The A4 Allroad’s rivals are few and far between – jacked up versions of the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series have yet to be conceived. That leaves cars such as the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack (a little less premium), Subaru Outback (way less premium) and the Skoda Octavia Scout (less well equipped… and less premium).
The latest Audi A4 Allroad estate is the first model to get the firm’s new ‘ultra’ quattro four-wheel drive system, although from launch it’s only available with the petrol engine option.
Telling the Allroad apart from a regular A4 Avant shouldn’t be that difficult – its suspension is raised by 34mm, it gets a unique framed grille and roof rails. Less obvious is the underbody cladding that protects the floor from bumps and scrapes should you venture off-road. Few will.
Jump inside and the changes are less obvious – the only difference being the Off-road setting on the car’s Drive Select. Of course, the standard A4’s dashboard is smarter and more minimalist than in a BMW 3 Series and a good deal less ‘grandad’ than the Mercedes C-Class can be in some trim levels.
Engines, predictably, are also good. The 2.0-litre petrol is spritely, while the 3.0-diesel offers substantial midrange thump for overtaking, but it’s the 2.0-litre diesel that we would choose. It is the cheapest to run of the lot, is quiet and feels plenty quick enough in the real world.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights and three-zone climate control, but sat-nav is on the options list.
At a time when everyone seems to want an SUV the Allroad will be a rare sight on the roads
Given that a basic A4 Allroad costs just £1,150 more than a regular A4 Avant quattro SE, you can see how many people would be sold on the Allroad’s unique looks and comfy ride. It’ll also tackle light off-roading better than the regular car, however irrelevant this may be, and would be an ideal tow car.
Exclusivity could well be the biggest draw, though, Audi says the Allroad will account for just eight per cent of total Avant sales with 1,000 cars expected to find new homes per year.
If you want to read more about the Audi A4 Allroad, look through the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see the kind of offers that are available on the A4 Allroad, go to our deals page.