Unfortunately for us North America Audi enthusiasts, the Audi A4 Avant won’t be making it to this side of the Atlantic. However, we will be getting the Audi Allroad, which is basically a jacked up A4 Avant with pseudo off-road capability. So when a European publication reviews the Allroad, when they can also drive the A4 Avant, we take notice because it’s the only Audi wagon we’ll be getting here.
Auto Express recently took the new Audi Allroad for a spin and was able to see if it’s worth the premium over the A4 Avant and if it’s better value than the Audi Q5 SUV. The new Audi Allroad is based on the Audi A4 and shares the same chassis, engine, gearbox and interior. The only things that differentiates the Allroad from the A4 Avant are the Allroad’s higher ride height, undercarriage skid plate and some softer suspension with more travel to allow for more wheel articulation in the even of off-roading. You can almost imagine Audi reps saying that with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks.
But despite the lack of reason or logic for the Allroad, Auto Express actually deems it to be a pretty good car. The handling characteristics are pretty much that of a muted A4, so it’s capable and confident if a bit dull. But it isn’t a sports and it isn’t trying to be, so that’s kind of okay. The suspension is a bit more supple than the A4’s, making it a bit more comfortable and giving it more body roll. But the roll isn’t said to be excessive and the ride is still firm enough to handle well.
But its handling and performance aren’t the main points of the Allroad. Instead, interior space, cargo space and comfort are the main focal points of the Audi Allroad. The interior is nearly identical to the standard A4’s, with just a bit more passenger space. However, the design is identical, which is to say fantastic. The new A4 and Allroad alike have possibly the best interior in their respective price ranges. The Allroad also has a much bigger trunk, obviously, with a 505 liter capacity, making it best-in-class.
More big news for the Allroad is its introduction of Audi’s new Quattro Ultra all-wheel drive system, making it the first Audi to use the new technology. The Quattro Ultra all-wheel drive system decouples the rear driveshaft, via an electronically-controlled clutch, so that the Allraod is fully front-wheel drive under normal driving circumstances. The clutch recouples the rear driveshaft to power the rear wheels as-needed. This new Quattro Ultra system will be implemented on all non-performance Audis moving forward.
All in all, the Audi Allroad doesn’t seem to be as bad as we had anticipated. In fairness, we never thought the allured would be bad but it kills the Avant in America, so we’ll always be bitter toward it. However, it does actually have some redeeming qualities, such as its luxurious cabin, smooth and comfortable ride, as well as a capacious cargo area. While it can’t actually do any real off-roading, it will handle some dirt trails and maybe some sand to aid in owners’ active lifestyles. So if you want a German wagon with some active lifestyle capabilities and a great cabin, you can do worse than the Audi Allroad.