We’ve been critical of the Audi Allroad in the past. Not that we find it to be a bad car but it’s just not the car we want here in North America. We want the Audi A4 Avant here in the ‘States and instead we get a jacked up version with silly fender flairs and some off-road capability that no one is going to use. However, we should hope for the Allroad’s success, because its success could cause Audi to realize the market for Avants here in the ‘States. And, according to Car and Driver, the Audi A4 Allroad is a good enough car to be highly successful here in America.
Based on the standard Audi A4, the Allroad is lifted, giving it 1.3 inches of more ground clearance, so as to allow for some soft roading and give it a more adventurous look. But underneath, it’s all Audi A4.
Powered by the same 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the A4, the Audi A4 Allroad makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. When paired with its standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the A4 Allroad can scoot from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. That’s actually quite quick for something as big and soft as the Allroad. It’s VW GTI quick and it has all-wheel drive, a slightly lifted ride height and more leather than a Village People concert.
However, that’s where its sporting credentials lie. It doesn’t handle or drive with the same sportiness as the standard A4 and that’s intentional. It’s designed to be a bit softer, more luxurious but also more rugged, as it’s meant to tackle the occasional muddy trail or snowy hill. Apparently, it does so quite well, too. Car and Driver claimed that it handled a few inches of fresh snow, ice and mud without an issue. While that won’t make a Jeep Wrangler jealous, it’s enough to make some active customers very happy.
Inside, the A4 Allroad is every bit as nice as the standard car because it’s basically exactly the same. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing, though. It’s one of the finer cabins in the industry and certainly best-in-class. Customers will have no problem getting comfy in the Allroad and will also enjoy its state-of-the-art technology.
But the big news with the new Audi A4 Allroad is its Quattro Ultra all-wheel drive system. Rather than the standard Quattro setup that always sends power to both axles in varying degrees, the Ultra system is front-wheel drive under normal situations but sends power to the rear axle when deemed necessary. While it’s similar in function to a Haldex all-wheel drive system, used in smaller, transverse-engined Audis and Volkswagens, the Quattro Ultra is a bit different. In a nutshell, it works similar to Audi’s standard Quattro setup but uses two clutches to disconnect the rear driveshaft and axle when unneeded.
All in all, the Audi A4 Allroad seems to be a very good, very well-rounded car that should make its customers very happy. Let’s hope that it makes a lot of them happy, as its success could be directly tied to an upcoming Audi A4 Avant. It’s like rooting for a sports team you don’t like because they’re playing a rival in your team’s division.