New Car Previews

Preview: 2017 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro

We, as North Americans have no one to blame but ourselves for this. At some point, somewhere, someone decided to SUV all the things and that station wagons were no longer cool. So instead of receiving the sexy (that’s right, we called it sexy) Audi A4 Avant wagon introduced at last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, we are permitted to have only the upcoming A4 Allroad version.

At some point, somewhere, someone decided to SUV all the things...

The A4 Allroad is, as it has been since 2009, intended to appeal to American sensibilities and the desire to have taller, more macho-looking family haulers. As such, the Allroad sits 34 mm higher than the A4 Avant thanks to a 23 mm taller ride height and larger diameter wheels, theoretically enabling more off-road ground clearance.

Aside from the taller profile, the Allroad is identified most distinctively by its large plastic wheel arches and rear bumper treatment. While matte gray is standard fare, the arches can also be spec’ed in body colour. An underbody guard and rear diffuser are finished in painted silver, and the front bumper and model-specific air intakes are unique to the Allroad. Higher roof rails literally top off the look.

Dimensionally, the new Allroad is larger than its predecessor, offering an improvement in overall interior space. Luggage compartment volume has also grown to 505 L with the rear seat up, and 1,510 L with it down. An optional rail and load-securing kit will be available to help tie down wayward cargo. A power-operated rear liftgate is standard with an optional sensor control to open the liftgate with a foot gesture.

Audi has spent considerable effort employing weight-saving techniques and materials throughout the construction of the new Allroad, removing mass from body, structure and mechanical components, enabling up to a 90 kg lower weight than the preceding Allroad.

When coupled with the suite of new and more powerful engines including both TFSI (gasoline) and TDI (diesel) fuel types, the new Allroad is expected to be dynamically superior to its former self. Having experienced the new A4 sedan on which this car is based, it is safe to assume the new Allroad will be legitimately fun to drive – and capable – even despite its slightly more off-road orientation.

What's your body type? 7 Things You Need to Know: 2017 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro

Like the upcoming A4, North American Allroads will be offered with the 2.0 TFSI turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine, now putting out 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Audi’s impressive virtual cockpit set up with each 8.3-inch and 12.3-inch high-resolution screens shows up here, as do other current Audi advancements including adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go including traffic jam assist feature. Audi will also offer trailer maneuver assist, first seen on the upcoming Audi Q7.

Audi will fit their familiar Audi drive select functionality that adjusts things like ride comfort, transmission shift points and throttle calibration in the interest of sportiness, efficiency or comfort. On the Allroad an additional “Offroad” mode will be present designed to optimize engine and transmission control, steering and the optional adaptive suspension during light off-roading.

While it would still be nice to be offered the proper A4 Avant, the promise of an A4 Allroad that is dynamically superior is a pretty good consolation prize, and ultimately should still prove to be a far more engaging machine than most typical crossovers and SUVs on the market today.

The new A4 Allroad will begin showing up in European dealerships this summer with an arrival in North America not before autumn 2016. Canadian pricing will be announced closer to launch.