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    Audi A4 2021 review: allroad 40 TDI off-road test

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    The Audi A4 allroad is the off-roader of the A4 line-up. I’m using the term ‘off-roader’ loosely here because this wagon is obviously best suited to daily duties in a city and suburbs, with perhaps an occasional foray into very light off-roading, i.e. driving on a well-maintained gravel or dirt road with few, if any, corrugations, and in dry weather only. 

    But that’s not a negative factor because the great thing about adventures is that they can be scaled to suit you, your lifestyle and your vehicle of choice.

    However, is this allroad your best option for a comfortable, nice-driving all-rounder? Read on.

    Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

    The Audi A4 allroad 40 TDI quattro S Tronic has a MSRP of $69,900 (plus on-road costs).

    It has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine unit (140kW/400Nm), a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system

    In standard guise this allroad’s features list includes a new 10.1-inch touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), DAB+ digital radio, an Audi 10-speaker stereo, wireless charging for Qi-enabled smartphones, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit (a 12.3-inch digital display), smart key with push-button start, leather trim, three-zone climate control, as well as LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, illuminated door sills, and overall tweaked exterior and interior styling.

    In standard guise this allroad’s features list includes a new 10.1-inch touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto). In standard guise this allroad’s features list includes a new 10.1-inch touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

    It also has AEB with pedestrian detect, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

    But our test vehicle has a few different features and a fair few extras. Our allroad has a ‘price as tested’ of $75,681 (plus on-road costs), because it has Assistance plus package ($2900), which includes a raft of driver-assist tech, such as adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, collision avoidance assist, high beam assist, head up display, park assist (helps to steer the vehicle into a parallel or perpendicular parking space), as well as a 360-degree-view cameras 

    It also has 19-inch Audi sport alloy wheels in 10-Y-spoke design ($1350), instead of the standard 18-inch alloy wheels in 5-V-spoke design, and metallic paint (Mahattan grey, $1531).

    Note: when we were conducting this test, Audi announced that, among other things, it would release a new-gen A4 allroad quattro 40 TDI in early 2021 that would have an extra 10kW more than our test vehicle, so it’ll be a 150kW/450Nm machine.

    Our test vehicle had 9-inch Audi sport alloy wheels in 10-Y-spoke design ($1350), instead of the standard 18-inch alloy wheels in 5-V-spoke design. Our test vehicle had 9-inch Audi sport alloy wheels in 10-Y-spoke design ($1350), instead of the standard 18-inch alloy wheels in 5-V-spoke design.

    For those of you into hot laps, the current-generation achieves 0-100km/h times of 7.9 seconds; the new A4 allroad quattro 40 TDI is claimed to achieve that mark in 7.3 seconds.

    Pricing for the upcoming 150kW A4 allroad quattro 40 TDI as standard was set to be $70,700. 

    Is there anything interesting about its design?

    The allroad’s overall look is part of a range-wide refresh and it certainly fits in with the line-up’s updated aesthetic.

    Because I’m a bloke who spends the bulk of my time in 4WDs – traditionally bulkier vehicles rather than slim city-friendly wagons – I’m not totally enamoured of the Audi’s style, especially in terms of trip-packing practicality. However, I can certainly appreciate the appeal of its quite low, sleek and streamlined appearance, which its tweaked chunkier grille adds some gravitas to. It’s just not my cup o’ tea.

    The allroad’s overall look is part of a range-wide refresh and it certainly fits in with the line-up’s updated aesthetic. The allroad’s overall look is part of a range-wide refresh and it certainly fits in with the line-up’s updated aesthetic.

    How practical is the space inside?

    I’ll answer that question as a politician would – without actually answering the question.

    The allroad’s interior looks good and certainly feels open and spacious, although the driver’s seat tends to feel a bit more snug as the dash is angled towards that position.

    The new 10.1-inch touchscreen, home for most upfront functions, dominates the dash, in a good way.

    The allroad’s interior looks good and certainly feels open and spacious. The allroad’s interior looks good and certainly feels open and spacious.

    The front seats are electrically adjustable with lumbar and driver memory.

    There are plenty of places in which to put your everyday bits and pieces (including a decent storage bin/arm-rest), as well as charging points, including two USB ports, for your devices.

    Back-seat passengers also get air vents and climate control. Back-seat passengers also get air vents and climate control.

    Need somewhere to put a cold beverage, mate? There are two cup-holders between driver and front-seat passenger, two in the fold-down centre arm-rest for the back-seat passengers, and bottle holders in all doors.

    Back-seat passengers also get air vents, climate control, mesh seat-back pockets and grab handles. 

    There is a 495-litre cargo space when the rear seats are in use, but that increases to 1495 litres when those seats – 40:20:40 split folding – are stowed away in the floor.

    There is 495-litres of cargo space when the rear seats are in use. There is 495-litres of cargo space when the rear seats are in use.

    What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

    The Audi A4 all road 40 TDI quattro S Tronic has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, producing 140kw at 3800-4200rpm and 400Nm at 1750-3000rpm.

    It has a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission and all wheel drive.

    It has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. It has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

    What's it like as a daily driver?

    For a bloke who spends a lot of time in big, tall and bulky 4WDs, I felt like I was driving a go-kart. It’s that low, but it’s also that much fun – and it’s a very different driving experience to what I’m used to.

    The allroad is 4762mm long, 1847mm wide and 1430mm high, and has a listed kerb weight of 1720kg. So relative to the 4WDs I usually steer around, this is light and low slung. It’s more car than SUV, that’s for sure.

    Acceleration is rather punchy (the engine and auto are a decent match-up), steering is light but precise, and you can cycle through drive modes (efficiency, comfort, auto etc) to set up vehicle characteristics to suit your driving style and conditions.

    The allroad is 4762mm long, 1847mm wide and 1430mm high, and has a listed kerb weight of 1720kg. The allroad is 4762mm long, 1847mm wide and 1430mm high, and has a listed kerb weight of 1720kg.

    The quattro all-wheel drive system helps to keep the allroad planted and composed at all times. 

    Ride is on the sharpish side of firm and you do tend to feel every irregularity in the road surface – it is long and low and on low-profile rubber afterall.

    The virtual cockpit plus – a 12.3-inch high-resolution colour display – offers a comprehensive read on all things to do with the allroad.

    Throw around your superlative of choice – “sporty” and “dynamic” fit this allroad well – but I’m loathe to gush about its on-road performance much more than that because I reckon if any motoring journos are reading this – many of whom spend the lion’s share of their time swanning about in sports cars – they would have already choke-spat out their dirty chai with surprise by now.

    What's it like for touring?

    Its all-wheel drive system is best suited to a maintained surface (blacktop or at the very least gravel/dirt) that in the conditions at time of driving may not offer the best sustained traction opportunities (read: in the rain, or in some similar traction-challenged circumstances).

    Often people who own AWD vehicles don’t actually have any inclination as to how potentially capable their vehicle of choice actually is off-road. Traction control systems and other assorted tech wizardry go a long way to helping a vehicle get further than you might reasonably expect it to. Add in some cluey tyre-pressure adjustments and your city-friendly SUV wagon may be able to well exceed your expectations.

    It was in this spirit that I decided to drive the allroad on soft beach sand to see how far it’d go.

    Not very far as it turned out – in fact only a few metres – but that’s no surprise because the allroad is not intended for much beyond well-maintained gravel or dirt tracks in dry weather. And that’s perfectly fine for this vehicle.

    The allroad only managed a few metres on sand. The allroad only managed a few metres on sand.

    It doesn’t have much ground clearance (listed as 172mm) and you can’t do much in terms of tyre-pressure adjustment to suit surfaces or conditions anyway, because on 18-inch wheels, as this is standard, or 19-inch, as it is optioned to, and on Continental Sport Contact 6 tyres (245/40R19), there’s not a whole lot of wriggle room for airing down. Well, there’s none really.

    No matter, it’s still rock-solid stable on loose gravel roads and there like, so it’s more than capable of light-duty off-roading.

    It has a space-saver spare tyre, which is far from ideal if you’re planning any touring.

    There's a space-saver spare tyre. There's a space-saver spare tyre.

    How much fuel does it consume?

    It has claimed fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km (combined), but we recorded actual fuel consumption on test of 8.4L/100km – driving in soft sand likely negatively impacted that figure.

    It has a 61-litre fuel tank.

    It has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km. It has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.2L/100km.

    What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

    The Audi A4 all road 40 TDI quattro S Tronic has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.

    It has eight airbags (dual front, front side, side bags front and rear, and curtains front and rear), as well as AEB with pedestrian detection, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

    What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

    Pricing & SpecsInsurance Quote

    The Audi A4 allroad 40 TDI quattro S Tronic is a nice-looking wagon that’s fun to drive.

    It’s packed with tech, adequately functional for daily life and it’s also capable enough off-road as long as the driving surface is nothing more challenging than well-maintained gravel or dirt tracks in dry weather, and you’re not planning a rough-and-tumble expedition into remote bushland.

    As I mentioned earlier, the great thing about adventures is that you can scale them to suit you and your vehicle and the allroad offers a nice stepping-stone for people who’d like to experience the outdoorsy lifestyle, before perhaps diving deeper into it.

    $69,900

    Based on new car retail price

    VIEW PRICING & SPECS

    Daily driver score

    3.7/5

    Adventure score

    3.7/5

    adventureguide rank

    • Light

      Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

    • Medium

      Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

    • Heavy

      Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

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    Price Guide

    $69,900

    Based on new car retail price

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