A perfect blend of an SUV’s practicality and a sedan’s handling

Estates have always been looked upon as family and luggage haulers. They were never meant to be attractive, fast, or adventurous. These vehicles were boring, but very practical. But with time, estates, aka wagons, started getting glamorous and confident, and lately, even luxurious. One classic example of the same is the Audi A4 Allroad. Other than the slight body roll and the long tail, it is a perfect blend of a sedan’s ride and handling and an SUVs practicality and off-roading capabilities.

Background

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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Wagons sell quite well in Europe, unlike the States. Automakers did try to carry over the success formula here, but failed at some point in time.

In the U.S., Volvo sells them on special-order basis, and BMW recently ditched them altogether. We saw Jaguar try its luck with the XF Sportback only to get disappointed. However, customers are realizing that wagons are not the kind of vehicles that are purchased out of need rather than want anymore. In 2018, 212,000 wagons were sold in the U.S. Although it accounts for just two percent of the overall car sales, the wagon segment is one of the fastest growing segments lately. In fact, the segment is 29-percent larger than it was five years earlier.

With BMW’s exit and Volvo, Jaguar, and Porsche just testing the waters with their products, Buick decided to dive right in and change its image. And, as luck would have it, Buick tasted instant success with its wagon called the TourX. Audi, however, has remained a silent spectator while all this drama was happening. The German neither took a step back, nor forward. It just stayed where it was and analyzed the whole situation. Realizing that the winner in the death of sedans is the wagon, it decided to pounce upon the segment and re-invest in its representative in the segment - the Audi A4 Allroad.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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The Audi A4 Allroad is the closest thing to the A4 Avant that can be purchased in the U.S. The wagon was recently spied testing around in the winter with its dress on. Upfront, the new Audi A4 Allroad wears additional plastic cladding along the lower rockers and fenders, and it sports a new front bumper.

The A4 Allroad's grille is slightly altered and looks sharper than the previous-gen. The new headlights and the LED design are now in line with the Audi Q8.

The fog lamps on the corner of the bumper also get restyled housings and look much more prominent and proportionate. The spotlights on the top are for testing purposes, but I believe it would make good optional equipment once the car is on sale.

It is only when viewed from the side that you realise this is a wagon and not a sedan. This is where most automakers mess up the design and earn the ’ugly car’ tag. But Audi has managed to make this perhaps the best viewing angle of the facelifted A4 Allroad. The blackened out A, B, C, and D-pillars give it a floating roof effect. The roof rails add to the character of the A4 Allroad. The A-pillar is not very wide and will eliminate the blind spots from that angle. The plastic cladding continues on the skirting as well the rounded wheel arches. You get to know the actual length of the long bonnet from the side. The new Audi A4 Allroad looks much more ’off-road’ capable than the outgoing model. The alloys look quite similar to the ones found on the A4 Avant. I, for one, think that Audi should have opted for a slightly funkier design. The 10-spoke, star-shaped design feels a tad bit simple when compared with the overall aura of the wagon.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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The rear looks largely similar to the present model - the raked windshield, the rear spoiler, and the tailgate look the same.

The new Audi A4 Allroad comes with an all-new set of taillights. They are slimmer and sleeker than the present A4 Allroad’s taillights and look aggressive. The biggest change, however, is on the bumper. The new Audi A4 Allroad comes with rectangular exhaust tips on either side, replacing the dual circular exhaust setup found on the previous model. They are blackened out as well, adding to the sportiness of the wagon.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Interior

2019 Audi A6 Avant Interior
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Things have gotten interesting on the inside as the interior has received a major makeover. The dash design will be in line with the Audi A6.

So, this means there will be fewer buttons and a lot more touchscreen bits. The current A4 Allroad features a floating infotainment system. This has been a signature design with the A4 series, but the new Audi A4 Allroad’s infotainment system will sit flush in the dashboard. It will support Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto. The air-conditioning vents have been moved to the top to create a simple and clean-looking dash. Audi’s latest features and equipment, like the driver assists and semi-autonomous functions, will also be available in the A4 Allroad.

Other specs include:

  • MMI Display and touch
  • Audi Smartphone Interface
  • Audi Connect
  • Head up display
  • Panoramic Sunroof

Although the official specs are not out, we expect the new Audi A4 Allroad to carry the same dimensions as the current model. Being a wagon, there is no dearth of space anywhere in the cabin. The long 110.9-mm wheelbase ensures that legroom is generous. The same goes for the shoulder-room as well, but headroom could have been better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely fine, but a slightly taller ride would have made the Audi A4 Allroad much for comfortable for the folks who surpassed the growth spurt a little too much. The boot, of course, is quite spacious. The current Audi A4 Allroad has a cargo space of 24.2 cubic-feet with all the seats in place and 58.5 cubic-feet with the last row flipped down.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Drivetrain

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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Talking about the engine, the new Audi A4 Allroad will most likely carry over the same powerhouse from the current A4 Allroad, albeit with a minor power bump.

The present A4 Allroad comes powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that churns out with 248 horses and 273 pound-feet of torque. It can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 130 miles per hour. Power will be sent to all the wheels via the quattro all-wheel-drive system. A seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission handles the gear-shifting duties.

Audi offers the Allroad A4 with five different driving modes, namely - Offroad, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual. It is the Audi A4 Allroad’s off-roading capabilities that basically differentiates it from the A4 Avant. When compared to the A4 Avant, the A4 Allroad’s suspension has been raised by 34 mm to tackle uneven surfaces. If you opt for Audi’s Sport package, you get the sport suspension that has former tuning and offers increased comfort while lowering the ride height that ultimately culminates into a dynamic driving experience.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Prices

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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Currently, the base Premium model starts at $45,700, while the Premium Plus and Prestige come with a price tag of $50,600 and $53,900 respectively. We speculate the price tag of the new Audi A4 Allroad to begin around $52,000 for the base model.

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Competition

BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Being a BMW fanboy, you might see a little extra love pouring for this lovely machine. Just how the A4 Allroad is based in on the A4 sedan, this Sports wagon also originated from the 3 Series sedan’s DNA. On the outside, this wagon looks sexy. The mean-looking LED headlights go well with the appropriately-sized grille. While there is nothing to write home about the side profile, the rear has some action going on. The taillamps, the shark-fin antenna, the dual-tip exhaust, and the perfect integration of all the elements make the BMW Sports Wagon look more than just an elongated 3 Series sedan.

It has, perhaps, the best interior in the segment. It exudes nothing but sheer class and quality. You can get features like a Panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, head-up display, ambient lighting, etc. Thr touchscreen infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In terms of performance, this car is a hoot-and-a-half to drive. It comes with three drive modes to cater to your needs as per the situation. This family hauler makes sure to keep the family, as well as the enthusiastic driver in you happy. Not to mention, BMW offers a plethora of packages and option for you to spec it as per your needs - both, aesthetically and mechanically. The caveat, however, is that the BMW 3 Series Wagon is ending its run after spending 20 years in the U.S. BMW has announced that it will not be bringing the next-gen wagon to the States.

Engine 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, TwinPowerTurbo unit
Power 248 horses
Torque 258 pound-feet
Mileage (combined) 27 miles per gallon
0 - 60 mph 5.7 seconds
Cargo Size 27.5 cubic feet / 61.5 cubic feet with rear seats folded down
Price $45,000 onwards

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

Subaru Outback

2015 - 2017 Subaru Outback High Resolution Exterior
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Some of you may wonder how does it even compete with the Audi and the BMW? The price bracket is completely different altogether. Well, since the wagon market is not that big and mature in the U.S. yet, it made sense to pit the A4 Allroad against one of the strongest competitors of the segment. In terms of looks, the Subaru does not feel as posh and plush as the German, but it is not a bad-looking wagon either. However, it has started to show its age lately. The Subaru Outback is a very practical family hauler and has proven its grit time and time again. But for a veteran like this one, it is rather shocking that it comes without roof rails! Isn’t Wagon spelt as R-O-O-F-R-A-I-L-S? That is a glaring omission on the lower trims.

Space is not a problem here, and unlike the Audi, headroom is not an issue. The Subaru Outback comes with a fairly straight-forward cabin - seats are comfortable, space is generous, and dash design will not bother anyone. It comes with a 6.5-inch infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Outback surprisingly handles quite well; so well that it could put some wagons in the segment to shame. It comes with two engine options - a four-cylinder unit and a six-cylinder unit. While the four-cylinder feels inadequate, the six-cylinder is a fuel guzzler. In terms of safety, the Subaru is filled with features to the brim. So, as a budget family hauler, the Subaru Outback is probably the best bang for your buck.

Engine 2.5-liter, four-cylinder 3.6-liter, six cylinder unit
Power 175 horse power 256 horse power
Torque 174 pound-feet 247 pound-feet
Mileage (combined) 27 mpg 22 mpg
0 -60 mph - 9.4 seconds 6.9 seconds
Cargo Size 35.5 / 73.3 35.5 / 73.3
Price $26,400 $35,000

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Outback

Conclusion

2020 Audi A4 Allroad Exterior Spyshots
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The Audi A4 line up has not been performing as well as the BMW 3-series or the Mercedes C-Class lately. Given that both these brands were updated recently, we expect the Lord of the Rings to launch the facelifted lineup very soon; perhaps in March 2019 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 2019 Audi A4 received a minor upgrade, so the All Road is due for a fresh face this year. Some sources suggest that the refreshed A4 lineup will receive a heavy upgrade inside the cabin. As for the new A4 All Road, it will most probably debut at the end of 2019, or early 2020 as a 2021 model. What are your thoughts on the new Audi A4 Allroad? Share them with us in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Alloy designs are a turn-off
    • Audi should have been more generous with the headroom
    • A fully-spec’d A4 Allroad will make you shell out north of $65,000

Further Reading

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro.

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4.

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