2015 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro Review and First Drive

by under Review, family, SUV on 07 May 2015 02:55:00 PM07 May 2015
-AA000FYLU5
2015 AUDI A4
Price
$70,500
Safety Rating
Green Rating
Fuel Consumption
5.6L/100km
4RATING
PROS

New turbo-diesel is nice; hallmark Audi style; handy package size; versatile; great to drive

CONS

The market has caught up, no external updates for 2015

Audi has unwrapped an updated A4 Allroad with a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.0-litre TDI engine and extra available technology. At $70,500, the updated Audi A4 Allroad is priced just $600 more than the outgoing model making this one of the best buys in the Audi range.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

We’ve always been keen on Audi’s Allroad models (A4 and the larger A6) – the raised ride-height and extra toughness providing the versatility families with active lifestyles look for. It’s a given they come with Audi’s hallmark quality, gorgeous interiors and sporty driving dynamics…what’s not to like?

Audi A4 Allroad Overview

Based on the ‘Avant’ (wagon) body style, the first Audi Allroad (raised ride height and extra underbody protection) Quattro debuted back in 2001 and was Audi’s first SUV type vehicle. Generation one of the A4 Allroad kicked-off in Europe in 2009 but Australia waited until the second generation lineup appeared in 2012.

Now the update has delivered an EU6-compliant 2.0-litre TDI engine which is both more powerful and fuel-efficient that the predecessor. And Audi has also launched extra equipment packages.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

There’s the ‘Assistance Package’ which adds adaptive cruise control with pre-sense front and Autonomous Emergency Braking and active lane assist ($1,300) or if you also add Audi side assist the price is $2,146.

Then there’s the ‘Comfort Package’ which scores memory seats and mirrors, mirrors with heating, folding, auto-dimming and kerbside function, electric tailgate, interior aluminium highlights and 18-inch wheels ($2,923) or $3,923 with 19-inch alloy wheels.

And we have the ‘Technology Package’ including Audi Connect with Google services and in-car Wi-Fi, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio, digital radio and adaptive headlights with high-beam assist and cornering function. You’ll need just $2,308 for that.

 

Audi A4 Allroad Engine

Biggest change is under the bonnet with the updated A4 Allroad scoring Audi’s latest 2.0 TDI turbo-diesel.

Maximum power is 140kW between 3800-4200rpm and peak torque of 400Nm is delivered between 1750-3000rpm. That’s 10kW/20Nm up on the outgoing model.

Despite that extra grunt, fuel consumption is down – 5.6l/100kms compared to 6.0-litres for the previous model.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

The gains have come from an improved turbocharger, updated engine mapping software, some revised internals and adoption of two AdBlue tanks. With 20-litres in total capacity that’s easily enough to last more than 15,000kms.

Drive is via Audi’s seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission and the Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system with a self-locking centre differential and dynamic torque distribution.

 

Audi A4 Allroad The Interior

No changes inside for the Audi A4 Allroad. And that’s good because, as usual with Audi, this is one of the best interiors you’ll find anywhere.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

There’s the usual slick instrumentation and large centre multi-function screen, the gorgeous sporty steering wheel with rake/reach adjustment and superb seats (the combo providing an ideal driving position). And of course it’s all wrapped in top quality materials and put together with the expected Audi fastidiousness.

The A4 isn’t a large car but nevertheless rear seat space is reasonable.

 

Audi A4 Allroad Exterior & Styling

The A4 Allroad is significantly different dimensionally than the regular Avant model. It’s 59mm higher, 15mm wider and 22mm longer. Underneath, apart from the 37mm increase in ride height, the front track is 19mm wider and the rear track is 23mm wider.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

Other visual changes are the side sills and plastic protection around the wheel arches and front and rear ends. The alloy wheels are heavy duty having been specifically developed for all-road use and they run stronger high-profile tyres.

 

Audi A4 Allroad On The Road

The acclaimed Northern Territory roads from Darwin out to the Mary River National Park with just a bit of a detour for some high-speed dirt produced an ideal venue to exploit the Audi A4 Allroad with the new turbocharged 2.0-litre engine. Surfaces were not ‘Autobahn’ pure, the bitumen was not silky-smooth but speeds were high…much higher than say the Hume Freeway.

Even at north of 130km/h you sensed the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel wasn’t being stretched - in fact it just ambled along – and when required there was plenty in reserve for overtaking (and you need plenty when the truck in front turns out to be one of the Territory’s acclaimed road trains! Refinement was high with just the telltale Audi growl when you crackled the whip.

You often hear talk of the taut suspension calibration favoured by the German brands. The Audi A4 Allroad was sporty and precise but the moderate extra compliance required for its higher ride-height and off-road expectations meant it was supremely comfortable on all the roads we covered up north.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

Corners were not exactly frequent but those we came across saw nice response as the Audi A4 Allroad tucked-in its nose with immediate repose to steering inputs. You get that with Quattro.

Same on the short dirt road section in the Mary River National Park. It was smooth and fast – never a suggestion we’d need ‘4WD-Low’ in the Toyota LandCruiser/Nissan Patrol sense – and the Audi A4 Allroad displayed commendable traction under acceleration and grip when cornering.

A couple of mid-corner ruts were conquered with ease and there was no sign of wheel hopping even when we tried to provoke things. That’s the payback for that clever suspension set-up and Quattro all-wheel-drive.

The Audi A4 Allroad runs a clever ESC system which automatically switches to an off-road mode when it detects poor road surfaces – modifying the ABS, ESC and EDS systems. The ABS threshold is raised and intervention of the Electronic Differential Lock is increased to cater for wheel speed differences in either axle.

Overall refinement levels were extraordinary with just a hint of wind noise from the rearview mirrors at very high speeds and feint noise from the tougher, high-profile when traversing some of the Northern Territory’s unique coarse chip surfaces.

 

Audi A4 Allroad Issues

All of this for $70,500? Yep there’s nothing you can criticize about the Audi A4 Allroad.

 

Audi A4 Allroad Verdict

Without doubt the Audi A4 Allroad is a tremendous European wagon/crossover. Along with the larger A6 Allroad these are without question the best of their type.

2015 AUDI A4 4D WAGON ALLROAD QUATTRO LE

The new turbocharged 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is a cracker – extra grunt and enhanced fuel consumption is a winning combination in anyone’s book. Moreover, this driveline combo (engine, transmission and Quattro) is just right for a vehicle the size of the A4 Allroad.

And talking of size, we reckon the A4 Allroad is spot-on for active families (say snow skiers) – compact enough for the city life but nicely versatile for those weekend getaways. Of course the top-notch Audi styling inside and out is readily apparent and makes the whole package tremendously appealing.

 

Audi A4 Allroad The Competition

In many ways the Audi A4 Allroad is a unique proposition. In fact its most direct rival isn’t here as we write – that would be the all-new Volkswagen Golf Alltrack which is expected to start under $40,000.

The Luxury end of the market it void of a direct competitor but the Skoda Octavia Scout starts from $32,990 and the latest Subaru Outback kicks off from $35,490.

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