Audi A4 Allroad (2016) Review

Audi A4 Allroad (2016) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Although we're admirers of the Allroad's styling, wonderful interior and comfort oriented driving experience, it's a hard car to justify. Especially when the cheaper A4 Avant is just as good.

+More ground clearance than previous A4 Allroad, incredibly comfortable and quiet, quattro system allows full front-wheel drive to save fuel.

-S tronic gearbox with 2.0 TDI can be hesitant, Audi Virtual Cockpit is impressive but expensive.

Insurance Groups are between 26–39
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Audi A4 Allroad combines the style and practicality of a premium estate car with the off-road prowess of an SUV. It has taller suspension and improved underbody protection for tackling country lanes, and Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system is fitted as standard. Much like fancy skiing gear, part of the Allroad's appeal lies in its exclusivity and adventurous image, since it commands a hefty premium over the standard estate. The current model launched in 2016, and got a mid-life visual refresh and spec bump in 2019. It competes with jacked-up estates the Volvo V60 Cross Country, Subaru Outback, and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.

The A4 Allroad is a curious half-way house between a standard A4 Avant estate and the Q5 SUV. For the majority of drivers, surely buying the standard A4 Avant on which its based makes more sense? So aside from a bigger set of bumpers, what does the Allroad really offer over and above the standard car?

Firstly; exclusivity. It's a simple fact that Audi sells fewer Allroads than it does regular A4s, and driving around in something that wears its distinctive, tougher character on the outside has an obvious appeal.

The rugged wheel arch protectors, vertically slatted chrome grille, a wider body kit and a generous helping of aluminium trim on the exterior are more cosmetic than functional, but there are mechanical upgrades here too.

For starters, there's increased ground clearance, with an extra 34mm of suspension travel compared to the Avant, along with a dedicated off-road mode and tougher underbody guards.

It has a slightly wider front and rear track, and four-wheel drive comes as standard. In the current generation, this is an on-demand system - so it's also capable of running in front-wheel drive mode under normal driving conditions to help save fuel.

This is definitely a car that fits within an idealised outdoor lifestyle, but it's not bereft of any off-road ability.

It can tackle surprisingly difficult terrain in fact, and the quattro system works incredibly well. It gives the Allroad sure-footed grip in all weathers, and the taller springs help further improve the Avant's excellent ride comfort.

The trouble is, with its luxurious interior, high-quality materials and lengthy standard kit list, the Allroad feels a bit too posh to be a genuine mud-plugger. The same charge could be levelled at Audi's SUVs - so like many fancy diving watches - the extra capability is just reassuring to have, even if you're unlikely to ever need it.

With identical cargo volumes to the Avant (505 litres with the rear seats up, 1510 litres when folded flat) it has no additional carrying capacity. While the regular estate is a pretty practical car, plenty of rivals will do a better job of swallowing all of your weekend surfing/biking/skiing/hunting* gear (*delete as appropriate).

The engine range is simpler too, with one petrol and two diesels available. All are powerful units, sending drive to each corner via an automatic gearbox.

The 40 TDI is likely to be the most popular. Producing 190PS and 400Nm, it comes with a seven-speed S tronic gearbox and has an easy-going character that pulls strongly when you need it to. Claimed economy figures are good, with WLTP economy listed at 44.1mpg.

The A4 Allroad comes in only two trims: Sport and Vorsprung. The former has everything you could possibly need, including leather seats, parking sensors, three zone climate control, and LED front and rear lights. The latter adds virtually every luxury accessory, from a panoramic glass roof to massage seats and a B&O Hi-Fi.

There are a few alternatives to the A4 Allroad, but Volvo V60 Cross Country is the most obvious. Audi might claim to have created this niche, but the Swedish brand has been building beefed-up estates for just as long. 

Still, it's an expensive niche. With prices starting at more than £40,000, it's far from cheap, and although not in the same class the likes of the Skoda Octavia Scout offer something similar for considerably less money.

Ask Honest John

I thought my car tax was £150. Why am I being charged £475?
"I've just purchased a 2017 Audi A4 Allroad lease car and was surprised that the car tax was £475. All the online checks I had made indicated that it was £150. When I leased the car, I'm sure the on the road price was under £40,000 - including the fitted extras. I have contacted the DVLA and they have asked for evidence of the 'on the road' price of the car when it was purchased. Can you advise me how I would now get this evidence? Thanks."
The Audi A4 AllRoad is a high spec and powerful luxury car. When this model was launched in 2017 the list price started at £36,710 for the 2.0 diesel and £38,425 for the 2.0 petrol. One or two optional extras would easily push the list price over the £40,000 threshold. You could contract the dealer that supplied the car to the lease company and ask them to provide the spec of the car when new (with the list price). But they will probably charge you for this service.
Answered by Dan Powell
Should I buy the Audi A4 Allroad in standard or sport?
"I'm about to buy an Audi A4 Allroad 2.0 190 TDI S tronic and can't decide between standard and sport. I am concerned about the negative impact 18-inch wheels might have over comfort compared with 17-inch wheels on standard. Will there be a noticeable difference?"
You are right to be concerned. Get it on 17-inch wheels for which you will be able to get a much better choice of all weather tyres such as Michelin Cross Climate. Completely nuts to buy an "allroad" car on low profile tyres. Like going on a cross-country hike in ballet pumps.
Answered by Honest John
Need an all-roader - which model do you recommend?
"We want to change our Audi A4 All Road 2.0 TDI. Which would you suggest we replace it with? We quite like the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, SEAT Leon X-Perience and Subaru Outback. Are there any other makes/models we should be considering?"
I was very favourably impressed by the VW Golf Alltrack: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/volkswagen/volkswagen-golf-alltrack-2015// Also by the SEAT Leon X-Perience: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/seat/seat-leon-x-perience-2014-road-test//
Answered by Honest John

What does a Audi A4 Allroad (2016) cost?