2016 has been a big year for Audi with plenty of new models, facelifts and innovations. Their range includes more models than New York’s Fashion Week and turns heads equally. Their A4 platform comes in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit almost everyone. The sedan (in many different levels), wagon (or Avant) and today, the AllRoad Quattro. It is the sort of car that bridges the gap between SUV and sedan.
We are in Port Douglas in Queensland to experience the new Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro, a rather nice place. It appears that this is the sort of place a person who owns one of these cars would enjoy. Beautiful views, amazing restaurants and resorts yet adventurous enough to keep things from being too relaxing. There are unsealed roads here and parts of Cairns that couldn’t be enjoyed with a regular car with a lower ride height. Yet there are some roads along the coast that wouldn’t be enjoyed with a regular SUV. Now you see what we mean by this car bridging the gap.
The new Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro we are driving is the 2.0L TFSI delivering 185kw to all four wheels, it will do 0-100km/h in a whisker over six seconds yet is capable of achieving 6.7L/100km in fuel consumption. Essentially, this car can be fun to drive without hurting your wallet too much in the process.
After looking around the vehicle so much we start to wonder how many options are fitted to this car. There is a lot of special kit. We later learn that the majority we were looking at comes in standard. The list is long however some key highlights that excited us included the razor sharp LED headlights in the front and rear, the gorgeous 8.3inch screen with satnav and Apple CarPlay and pre-sense safety which will brace your seatbelts if a collision is incoming from the front or rear.
One item that isn’t standard but is a must have is the virtual cockpit. It is by far the most advanced and most spectacular view while driving, it provides your navigation right in front, allows you to move your gauges out of the way and lets you get on with driving. Speaking of which…
The Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro was enjoyable to drive, it was quite surprising actually. The car sits 173mm from the ground, has flared guards and looks like it may handle like an SUV based on looks alone. Fortunately Audi has engineered the car so that it handles extremely well, even in comfort mode. We switched to the Dynamic mode and did notice the difference, it handled sweeping bends with grace and had a great response in the steering. While it is certainly not going to steal sales from an Audi TT, it isn’t boring to drive. Being a passenger is comfortable as is being in the back with plenty of room, a sun blind and your own climate controls in the rear. If you’re lucky the car will also be fitted with the optional rear seat integrated tablet infotainment system running on Android the question of “Are we there yet?” is answered with the same feeling you get from an airline system.
Taking the Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro was enjoyable, the car felt confident and in Off-Road mode allowed the car to float over the bumps rather well. Again, this car won’t be stealing sales from the more serious Q7 but it certainly isn’t shy to leave the tarmac. We will emphasise this point too, it doesn’t mind being off-road but it is not suited for serious off-roading, ground clearance is one limiting factor.
Back on the road the Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro has been doing something we didn’t know, it had been shifting from all wheel drive to front wheel drive as it so pleased. With a new piece of technology Audi calls Ultra the car senses when you’re cruising, such as on the highway, and removes the drive from the rear wheels, this ultimately saves you petrol without you knowing or needing to do anything.
The Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro has a very specific place in the market and Audi feels they truly understand who their customers are in this niche segment. Looking at it without that in mind we see this car suiting families or couples who like to explore on weekends and take day trips. It is the sort of car you happily visit the Hunter Valley with, bring the BBQ and park among the vineyards. It is luxurious enough in appearance and on the inside to take to the city and leave with the valet, yet it is also economical to be your daily driver to the office. There is a very long list of applications you can see this car in that it brings no other word to mind besides “versatile”.
On sale now, the Audi A4 AllRoad Quattro TFSI starts from $74,400 with a Diesel variant arriving in November from $71,400.
Geoff Quattromani travelled to Port Douglas as a guest of Audi Australia