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- Highs High-tech infotainment system, attractive exterior, quick acceleration.
- Lows Not as spacious as competitors, interior not as luxe as expected for the price.
- Verdict All the best parts of an A4 sedan, plus more cargo space.
While the 2019 Audi A4 Allroad may not be a hard-core off-roader, as competent all-weather transportation, it hits the mark. Plus, we really like wagons, and with a maximum of 58.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the A4 Allroad meets the needs of most buyers. A 252-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder teams with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; all-wheel drive is standard. It's a fine highway cruiser and easily tackles country roads thanks to its Offroad mode. Some competitors are plusher, and fuel economy is not a bragging point for this all-wheel-drive wagon, but the Allroad sits comfortably at the intersection of utility and class.
What's New for 2019?
The optional Convenience package on the base Premium model now includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The mid-range Premium Plus trim now comes standard with navigation, a new wireless smartphone charging pad is also offered, and two additional USB ports are provided for rear-seat passengers. The 2020 Audi A4 Allroad receives a facelift along with revised rear styling and the company's latest MMI infotainment system.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
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The 2019 A4 Allroad is available in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Goldilocks approach usually works when choosing cars, and this one is no different. We'd choose the Premium Plus trim for its mix of luxury features and relative affordability. The Premium Plus comes standard with desirable features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automated emergency braking, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, keyless entry, push-button start, and a hands-free power liftgate.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Likes: Smooth and peppy engine, quick-reacting transmission, deft handling.
Dislikes: Fuel economy isn't great, no towing capability.
There's only one available powertrain for the A4 Allroad, but it's a good one. The A4 Allroad's 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission work well together. The engine is pleasant, punchy, and downright quick, and the latest version of Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system adds a new level of intelligence to how it functions. The gearbox modulates its attitude depending on the driver's demands and can snap off quick, precise shifts under hard driving or more relaxed, unobtrusive shifts around town. At our test track, the A4 Allroad managed a brisk 5.2-second zero-to-60-mph time.
For a lifted wagon, however, the A4 Allroad drives like a dream; in Auto drive mode, it balances ride and handling extremely well. Its cornering grip is plenty adequate and puts it right in line with most competitors. It feels like a car rather than an SUV, something we think a lot of buyers will appreciate. We certainly do. The A4 Allroad isn't rated for towing. For drivers who need to haul a light trailer, the Subaru Outback or Volvo's V60 or the similarly lifted V90 Cross Country would be a better choice.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Several of the A4 Allroad's competitors have some variation on a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and all-wheel drive and, perhaps unsurprisingly, all of those cars share very similar EPA ratings. Despite a 30-mpg highway fuel-economy rating from the EPA, our A4 Allroad test vehicle managed just 27 mpg over our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Comfortable seats, good outward visibility, more cargo space by volume than A4 sedan.
Dislikes: Interior is more functional than luxurious, less cargo space than key wagon rivals.
The A4 Allroad has an attractive, businesslike interior, which we would like far better if we hadn't seen the art piece that is the V90's cabin. It may not be beautiful, but the A4 Allroad is perfectly functional, handsome, nicely appointed, and comfortable. Despite being significantly shorter in exterior length than several of its competitors, the Allroad's back seat has nearly as much legroom as both the Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon and the V90. As befits a luxury car, the Allroad comes standard with power-adjustable leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, and three-zone automatic climate control. We're less thrilled that heated seats aren't standard in the entry-level trim.
Audi was one of the first automakers to bring data plans and Wi-Fi into cars, and it hasn't stopped innovating. Audi's MMI infotainment system's newest crown jewel is the optional Virtual Cockpit, a high-resolution configurable display located where the gauge cluster would normally be. It can be arranged to show either a digital version of a traditional cluster layout or a more infotainment-focused display, which can feature real-time Google Maps overlays of the surrounding environs, depending on the driver's preference.
The A4 Allroad lost the carry-on-luggage test before we even got our suitcases out. It's smaller inside and out than competitors such as the E-class wagon and the Outback. More perplexing is the fact that it barely beat the sedan version of the A4: despite the Allroad's 11-cubic-foot advantage in cargo volume, it held just six carry-ons behind the rear seat. That's only one more than the A4 sedan.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The A4 Allroad has only been tested by one of the two U.S. crash-rating agencies, but aside from a headlight rating of Marginal, it aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's tests. Its wide array of available driver-assistance technology is also impressive, but only forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking are standard. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning
- Available lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Almost all of the cars in this class, including the A4 Allroad, have a warranty based around a four-year or 50,000-mile limited or powertrain warranty. Audi distinguishes itself by offering a year of complimentary scheduled maintenance, but that plan is outdone by Volvo's three years or 36,000 miles of included maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles