Audi A4 Allroad Review logo

Audi A4 Allroad Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Capable and desirable off-roading estate”

Best bits

  • Raised suspension gives a supple ride
  • Luxurious, easy to use interior
  • Four-wheel drive grip and off-road capability

Not so great

  • Expensive compared to the regular A4 Avant
  • No raised SUV-like driving position
  • Not as rugged as the best 4x4s

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Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Audi A4 Allroad Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Allroad Driving

Driving

Audi A4 Allroad Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Allroad Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A4 Allroad

"Cars like the Audi A4 Allroad have become something of a countryside staple. Much like Barbour waxed jackets, border collies and colourful bunting, there seems to be one in almost every quaint village car park."

Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Front

Based on the Audi A4 Avant, it's been given minor cosmetic and mechanical tweaks to give it the off-road capability of an SUV, but without the fashionable image, and the current model is now the third generation.


It looks distinctive, with plastic wheel arch liners, underbody protection, raised suspension and a wider track.


The taller ride height, standard quattro four-wheel drive system and thicker tyres mean that it'll be able to go places normal estate cars can't, with a surprisingly terrain crossing ability that belies its 'soft-roader' image.


Of course, if you don't plan on any off-road adventures, the changes also make it more comfortable in town. With a narrower range of engines, increased equipment levels and just two trim levels (Sport and Vorsprung) it's more expensive to buy and run than the regular A4, making it a niche choice, but it has a unique appeal. It's designed for buyers with active lifestyles, or those who have an occasional need to tackle a muddy field.


Buyers can pick from a 2.0-litre diesel with 190PS, a quicker 2.0-litre petrol with 245PS, or the range-topping 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 286PS. All of these engines are refined, offering strong performance, but the standard diesel will be quick enough for most buyers, and is smoother than the four-cylinder units in its premium rivals.


The stunning cabin is every bit as solid, smartly executed and well equipped as the standard A4 estate, and it's one of the Allroad's standout features. Expensive feeling dash materials, a logical layout and sturdy build quality set it apart from premium rivals such as the Volvo V60 Cross Country and cheaper Subaru Outback.


Its luxuriousness is something of a blessing and a curse since the smart exterior design and plush interior are rather at odds with the tough mud-plugging image of a proper 4x4. We'd stick to light excursions only.


However, the Allroad's exceptional ride comfort and refinement, sure-footed grip and strong engines make it a superlative long-distance cruiser - perfect for big family outings or a continental road trip towing a caravan.


It's no more practical or spacious than the standard A4 estate though, and while that car is adept at carrying both people and luggage, if load capacity is your top priority then there are better options for less money.


Despite an impressive breadth of abilities, most buyers will be better served by the more affordable A4 Avant. That car has lower running costs, sharper handling and can be specified with four-wheel drive. Still, for that select group whose circumstances genuinely call for an estate with off-roading talents, this is one of the best. 


Is the Audi A4 Allroad right for you?

There is only a small section of UK buyers for whom a luxurious and adventure-prepped estate car will hold more appeal than a proper SUV, or indeed, a conventional premium wagon. It's for people who need a car that's capable enough to tackle mud, snow and ice when needed, but still has plenty of creature comforts.


Sure, on paper it seems like an expensive alternative to a proper off-roader, but the folks who buy this type of car tend to absolutely love them. It's a genuine automotive Swiss army knife. Blending the cosseting ride and stunning interior of a grand tourer, with the practicality and go (almost) anywhere abilities of a taller SUV.


It's also an excellent tow car - with strong engines, a smooth automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. Yes, it'll cost more to buy and run than a normal estate, but its exclusivity and tough image might (just) be worth it. If you don't need the 'allroad' bit, there is of course the standard Audi A4 Avant.

What's the best Audi A4 Allroad model/engine to choose?

Choosing a favourite from the Allroad range is a simple matter. While it's easy to be drawn to the power and muscular performance of the 50 TDI, the 40 TDI has more than enough oomph for most buyers.


In Sport guise, it also happens to be the most affordable version with the lowest running costs. That's true for both private and company buyers, since the smaller-engined car has cheaper insurance, VED and BIK costs. Not to mention its superior fuel economy, although we're not sure if affordable is the right word for a £40k car.


That price does include every conceivable item of standard equipment you could want though, and the Sport trim feels just as luxurious inside as the fully-loaded Vorsprung, minus a very fancy stereo and sunroof.


The only fly in the ointment is the 40 TDI's seven-speed S tronic gearbox, which can occasionally be jerkier than rivals systems at parking speeds, and has a tendency to hesitate when you demand a quick burst of speed. The tiptronic eight-speed gearbox in the 50 TDI is no better though, so it's not worth the jump in price.


What other cars are similar to the Audi A4 Allroad?

There are no shortage of rugged go-anywhere estates to suit every budget. If the Audi is just out of reach, the Skoda Octavia Scout has many of the same characteristics, but with a considerably lower starting price.


For buyers who need a more serious off-roader that can stay muddy all year round, the Subaru Outback is not afraid to get down and dirty, but its plasticky interior leaves a lot to be desired compared to the plush Allroad.


The Volvo V60 Cross Country is the closest of its premium rivals. The Swedish car is equally stylish on the outside, and almost as lavishly appointed inside, with closely-matched performance stats and a bigger boot.


If you can afford to pay a bit more, then Audi's own A6 Allroad and the Mercedes E-Class All Terrain both feature adaptive air suspension for even greater terrain-crossing abilities and can swallow a lot of cargo too.


Learn more

Audi A4 Allroad Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Allroad Driving

Driving

Audi A4 Allroad Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Allroad Boot

Prices, versions and specification