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Audi A4 Allroad Quattro: General Information
The 2020 model-year A4 Allroad has the same changes in appearance, equipment and engine range that Audi has carried out in the rest of the A4 range.
It is derived from the A4 Avant and is distinguished from it because it has a series of modifications that allow it to circulate in snowy conditions with more guarantees.
It offers 35 mm higher ground clearance thanks to modifications to tires and suspension, an all-Wheel Drive system and some plastic protection in some bodywork parts.
The A4 Allroad always has a four-wheel drive. Depending on the selected engine, it can be of two types: automatically connectable (for the gasoline version) or permanent (for the Diesel versions). The first system is what Audi calls the "Quattro ultra" and aims to reduce friction losses and fuel consumption.
It works using a multi-plate clutch located at the output of the transmission that couples or disengages the transmission shaft and a spur gear that joins or frees the rear differential according to the needs.
The ground clearance is 35mm higher than the rest of the A4 Avant range, which is pronounced when driving with many curves or making sudden maneuvers.
The multimedia system now has a 10.1-inch touch screen from where most of the previously controlled functions with buttons and roulette wheels are managed. Its operation is fast and very precise, but the handling is more complex because it forces you to take your eyes off the road to make any adjustment, which happened much less frequently in the previous model.
It also slightly changes the optional "Virtual Cockpit" instrumentation, which remains excellent for resolution, visibility and customization possibilities, discussed below in depth.
Exploring the beaten track is within reach of the A4 Allroad Quattro: it is even its specialty. It is a station wagon with all the capabilities and versatility of an SUV, allowing it to explore any terrain imaginable. At the wheel, you will discover new unique driving sensations, combining sportiness and comfort, regardless of the conditions and the terrain in which you venture.
The Audi A4 Allroad Quattro is one of the latest Audi models for driving in the snow. Thanks to the raised suspension and the wheel arch protectors, the design is a mix between a station wagon and an SUV. It is aided by 6.5 inches of ground clearance, making this four-wheel drive your ally in snowy conditions.
Quattro Ultra all-wheel-drive allows traction to be sent exclusively to the front wheels on less demanding terrain, also sending torque to the rear wheels when grip conditions become precarious.
It is equipped with a permanent all-wheel drive which guarantees flawless traction in all weather conditions, snow or rain, as well as all surfaces, asphalt or winding roads. Specific suspensions fitted to it raise the station wagon by 35mm compared to the previous Allroad version.
You can opt for different engines: a 190 horsepower TDI S Tronic version is available, as is the 245 horsepower TFSI or 231 horsepower TDI Tiptronic, discussed below in detail. This power allows the driver to overcome all obstacles. However, power is nothing without mastery.
As an option, you can also opt for the controlled damping chassis, which allows you to directly adjust the behavior of your Audi A4 Allroad Quattro among several driving modes so that all the mechanics and electronics of your station wagon are ready to go on the road.
Most of the driving assistants are added by packages called Tour, City and Parking. The Tour package includes active cruise control with a function that adjusts the pace to the characteristics of the route entered in the navigator. With the City, a function interconnects with the traffic lights to help the driver adopt the speed so that he tries to reach most of them in green.
Audi A4 Allroad Quattro Design
Audi A4 Allroad Quattro has a design of a confident adventurer, designed specifically to be efficient on any terrain, which is why it has several visual differences from other Audi versions.
Audi defines this A4 Allroad as the perfect companion for all situations. It has an increased height of 34 mm compared to the Avant and uses reinforced protection for the underbody to cope with difficult terrain. From an aesthetic point of view, it offers enlarged wheel arches and a different rear bumper for a look that earns a lot.
The wings of this A4 are more pronounced, the sides hollowed out, which gives an athletic and sporty dimension to this off-road version.
Several additions, such as the wheel arches, the matt gray bumper, and the side skirts, give a feeling of power reinforced than the A4 Avant. The Allroad Quattro version is also equipped with trapezoidal tailpipes unique and specific to this version.
The front end of the Audi A4 Allroad Quattro is also modified with a Singleframe grille with vertical slats and wider wheel arches to benefit from the rims that are much wider by twelve millimeters compared to the previous version.
This offers superior grip and a dynamic style peculiar to the Allroad version of the Audi A4. The single-frame front grille, which, combined with the unmistakable design of the headlamps, create an elegant and, at the same time, gritty image.
Let's talk about measurements: 475 cm long, 184 cm wide, and 149 cm high. The solutions adopted on the standard version remain unchanged in the passenger compartment.
It has two diesel engines, the 2.0 TDI (150, 163 and 190 horsepower) and the 3.0 V6 TDI (218 and 272 horsepower). There is also a petrol engine, the 2.0 TFSI with 252 horsepower.
The choice of gearboxes is wide: it starts with the 6-speed manual (to be combined with the 150 and 190 hp diesel engines) to move on to the automatic S-Tronic and Tiptronic. The latter can be combined with the torque monster (600 Nm) 3.0 with 272 horsepower.
What is the Difference Between S-Tronic and Tiptronic?
The first is a 7-speed double-clutch, designed for engines with a red zone up to 9,000 rpm; however, it cannot manage torques higher than 550 Nm, entrusting instead to the Tiptronic. It is an 8-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter, characterized by smoothness and comfort.
Don't be fooled into thinking that smoothness is paid for with slowness: if you ask this 8-speed to be fast, it will be.
Inside, you are greeted by an interior that looks like a luxury car. Standard features include leather seats, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate and adaptive suspension.
The premium Prestige trim gives you access to even more features, like heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and Bang & Olufsen audio system. That way, if you get stuck in the snow, you can stay warm while launching your favorite podcast.
In addition, two people up to 190 cm (approximately) can travel comfortably in the rear seats. However, a third occupant will be uncomfortable because there is no width between the doors at shoulder height, the softness of that seat is very hard and also the transmission tunnel is very prominent.
The starting price is $44,600, making it one of the most expensive wagons in the class and corresponds to the 40 TDI Quattro S Tronic version (190 HP Diesel engine).
The alternatives with a similar approach are the Subaru Outback, the Škoda Superb Scout, the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack or the Volvo V60 Cross Country. The Volvo is the most expensive, followed by the Audi, the Volkswagen and the Škoda. The Subaru is by far the cheapest but also the least powerful.
Compared to the A4 Avant, the Allroad represents an additional outlay of just over $2,000. From our point of view, it is worth paying this difference if you are going to take the edge of its off-the-asphalt advantages. If not, an A4 Avant Quattro is more affordable.
Audi A4 Allroad Quattro: Driving Impressions
The Allroad bodywork is 35 millimeters further from the ground than any other Audi range thanks to higher-profile tires (245/45 R18 instead of 245/40 R18) and different springs. These changes allow you to move on surfaces where a conventional car would have more difficulties.
Several elements are standard in this variant, such as a four-wheel drive system, a hill descent control and a specific driving program called Offroad that modifies the operation of the traction and stability controls and the ABS.
In motion, the differences compared to any other version can be felt when driving in the snow, on curvy roads, or making sudden maneuvers. In these situations, it is easy to notice slightly wider body movements and slower support changes.
That said, the Allroad is far from being a clunky car; in fact, it is more precise and reactive to movements on the steering wheel than most SUVs that are currently on sale.
It is one of those engines that, when rotating at idle, it is difficult to discern whether it is on or off because practically nothing vibrates, and the noise that leaks into the cabin is minimal. It is also not noisy when accelerating, even when done with intensity.
The 45 TFSI version, the only one available in the A4 Allroad range with a petrol engine, has the same 2.0-liter displacement and 245 horsepower that Volkswagen uses in the Golf GTI Performance. Both its operation and performance are excellent.
It only takes 4.3 seconds to accelerate between 80 and 120 km / h, exactly the same as a BMW 330i xDrive and slightly less than the previous A4 Allroad 2.0 TFSI, whose engine was somewhat more powerful (4.4 seconds and 252 hp).
The A4 Allroad has a small 12-volt electrical machine that acts as an alternator and starter motor and supports the combustion engine in the acceleration phases. Audi calls this system "Mild Hybrid," but it should not be confused with a conventional hybrid system because it cannot move the car by itself using only electrical energy.
What it does is to circulate with the combustion engine off for a maximum of 40 seconds (provided that it is circulating between 55 and 160 km / h) and to obtain the environmental label "ECO," with which it has tax advantages, of circulation and parking in some cities.
All A4 Allroad have an automatic gearbox, although structurally, they are different depending on the chosen engine. The 45 TFSI version and the lower-powered Diesel 40 TDI are the double-clutch with seven ratios, and the remaining 45 TDI is a torque converter with eight gears.
As is usual in this type of transmission, the operation of the first is very fast. Still, it also makes the transitions between gears very smoothly and allows precise maneuvering, something rare.
The engine always starts easily, even when it's -30 degrees, without being plugged in. The anti-skidding ensures that the car moves predictably on slippery roads. In Dynamic mode in deep snow, the experience is more stimulating than restrictive.
It is important to mention that the test we referred to relied on quality winter tires to ensure optimal traction.
The brakes are identical in all three currently available versions and have good overall performance. They are easy to dose, resist continued intensive use and act with great stability and control on icy roads.
According to the measurements, they need 53.3 meters to stop the vehicle starting at 120 km/h, a correct figure that, however, is higher than that obtained with the Opel Insignia Country Tourer 2.0 CDTi BiTurbo 210 CV 4x4 AT8 (52.7 meters).
LED headlights inspire great confidence in the evening. Their range and color have captured the most attention. The windshield can be cleaned quickly, and you can enjoy excellent visibility, even when driving at high speed.
Finally, in a layer of snow that could jam the car, the Quattro ultra system only takes half a second to detect the lack of grip of each wheel, and it allows a good dose of slippage to help you out.
While the 2020 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro is high-priced comparable to many more spacious vans, this luxury wagon is nonetheless a formidable weapon against winter thanks to its effective controls, the action of which is nevertheless almost transparent.
Add to that a superb interior and thoughtfully tuned suspension, and you've got a whole new way to ride all year round with the comfort and confidence you deserve.
About The Author
Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.Read More About Matt Meurer