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Audi A4 Allroad 3.0TDI Quattro 272hp Tiptronic review
24 November 2016
Author: Debbie Wood
BMW 3-series Touring
Estate cars with off-road ability have been growing in popularity in recent years, and this, the Audi A4 Allroad, was one of the first to go on sale here in the UK.
This second-generation model was launched earlier in 2016 and even now has little in the way of premium rivals. Both BMW and Mercedes offer four-wheel drive capabilities for their estate offerings, but don't quite go to town like the Allroad.
The rugged looks added to this car are no bad thing either: you get a ground clearance that's 34mm higher than the standard car, chunkier tyres and extra body cladding, which overall gives the car a more distinctive and dominant presence on the road.
Available in the standard trim tested here or Sport, the Allroad comes with a wide variety of kit including LED daytime running lights, climate control, rear parking sensors, electric tailgate, cruise control and the Audi Smartphone interface.
Like the excellent A4 Avant it's based on, fit and finish around the Allroad's cabin is superb and the infotainment system is easy to use.
Our test car also came with a great deal of options - £16,000 worth to be exact. It would take all day to list them, and some are very expensive - for example, the Parking Assistance Pack for £1,350 adds a 360-degree camera and ultrasonic sensors, while the electronically adjusted front seats with memory function cost £950.
We'd definitely consider the Virtual Cockpit, a bargain for £450, and if you like your music, the excellent Bang and Olufsen 3D sound system for £975 is worth a look. For families, the hands-free boot opening system will definitely make life easier for just £525.
If you intend to venture off the beaten track often then the Allroad suspension with damping control for £900 should be investigated as it allows the driver to select different suspension settings, or will automatically adjust to the road surface.
Inside is spacious and comfortable. The Allroad comes with no additional practicality over the standard A4 Avant, with a large 505-litre boot expanding to 1,510 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.
Our test car was equipped with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which offers 272hp plus 600Nm of torque.
It's a powerful and refined engine that can complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.5 seconds. Comfortable and easy to drive both in the city and on the motorway, the A4 Allroad perhaps lacks the pizzazz and excitement of the 3-series Touring.
That said, it's a consummate all-rounder and impressive nonetheless. In truth, it drives very much the same as the A4 Avant with better grip for wet handling. The steering is well weighted and the excellent eight-speed auto gearbox is expertly paired with the engine for timely and smooth gearchanges.
We didn't get a chance to take the A4 Allroad off-road on this occasion, although previous experience tells us that the firm's four-wheel drive system is more than up to the task of dealing with deep mud and rough country lanes. The lack of ground clearance in comparison with SUVs will limit the car's ability to tackle particularly tricky terrain, though.
The costs battle
This isn't the most frugal engine in the line-up; you'll need the 2.0-litre TDI for that. That said, an official fuel economy of 51.4mpg is still good news, and we achieved mid-forties while on test, which is pretty close to those elusive official figures.
It's the same on the CO2 front too - it's not the best, but 139g/km is a low figure for an engine with this much performance.
Residual values against premium rivals are also impressive, with the A4 Allroad bettering the four-wheel drive estate version of the 3-series and the VW Passat Alltrack, although it cannot compete with the VW's pence-per-mile figure of 75.4p versus its own 83.1p, mainly down to the Passat Alltrack's cheaper price tag.
Audi A4 Allroad 3.0TDI Quattro 272hp Tiptronic
Model price range: £36,010-£42,595
Residual value: 36.6%
Service, maintenance and repair: £3,044
Vehicle Excise Duty: £390
National insurance: £4,736
Cost per mile: 83.1p
Fuel consumption: 51.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 139g/km (27%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £178/£355
Boot space: 505 litres
Engine size/power: 2967cc/272hp
A solid and stylish all-rounder that offers extra peace of mind when the roads get tricky. Watch out for expensive options, though.