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- Highs Plenty of standard tech features, handsomely styled, punchy turbo four-cylinder.
- Lows Less passenger space than rivals, missing some luxury touches, no towing capability.
- Verdict If you like the A4 sedan but need more cargo space, the 2020 Audi A4 Allroad is the logical choice.
While it might look rough-and-tumble like an SUV, the 2020 Audi A4 Allroad drives like the luxury car it's based on, albeit with a little more ground clearance for traversing snowy roads or rutted dirt driveways. This is the Audi that your wealthy, kayaking, adventure-seeking neighbor would buy if he wasn't convinced he needed a Jeep Wrangler or a Toyota 4Runner. There's a punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood and standard Quattro all-wheel drive, so while it can't tackle the Rubicon alongside the Jeep and Toyota, it'll get through severe weather better than a normal sports sedan and offers more than the average SUV. Plus, it looks great and handles dry curvy roads far better, too.
What's New for 2020?
Like the A4 sedan, the A4 Allroad wagon receives a visual freshening for 2020, complete with updated grille, bumpers, exterior lighting elements, and other trim details. A new, larger 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen replaces last year's 8.3-inch unit and a panoramic sunroof is now standard.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Our advice is to go for the mid-range Premium Plus model, as it adds several luxury and tech features that really elevate the experience. Among them are the trick Virtual Cockpit digital gauge display, blind-spot monitoring, keyless entry with push-button start, parking sensors, a wireless smartphone-charging pad, LED headlamps, rear-seat USB charging ports, power-folding exterior sideview mirrors, and a memory driver's seat.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
There's only one available powertrain for the A4 Allroad, but it's a good one. The A4 Allroad's 248-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.
Towing and Payload Capacity
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
The EPA estimates the 2020 A4 Allroad will earn 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are up from the previous model year when the Audi was rated at 22 and 29 mpg, respectively. While we haven't tested a 2020 A4 Allroad on our real-world highway fuel-economy route, the last one we evaluated returned 30 mpg during that test.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
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 front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and three-zone automatic climate control. 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.
Infotainment and Connectivity
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.
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 with forward-collision warning
- Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode
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 and powertrain warranty.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance