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2017 Audi A4 allroad: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader June 2017

The 2017 Audi A4 allroad is the first variation to come from the new wave of A4 premium compact sedan. It won't escape anyone's notice that this car looks a lot like a wagon. That's because it is. The company doesn't import its elegant-looking wagons (known as Avants) to the United States because the main demand is for crossovers and more crossovers.

However, there's a niche that offers some of the practicality and styling of an SUV while keeping the more composed handling of a vehicle with a lower center of gravity. For this niche, Volvo brings its Cross Country models. Audi brings the allroad.

So this is essentially an A4 Avant that rides higher on a suspension that provides more travel, and includes some stainless steel skid plates, flared fenders and side cladding, and all-wheel drive as standard. Which could be a good thing, depending on what a buyer wants it for. If there are frequent trips over dirt roads throughout the course of the year, but the driver still wants some handling talent, technology and luxury, then the allroad could be ideal.

What's New for 2017?

This generation of A4 allroad is completely new for the 2017 model year.

What We Like

Styling; adult-friendly space in both rows; technology

What We Don't

Why is it that rear side airbags are optional?

How Much?

$44,950-$52,350

Fuel Economy

Propulsion comes from a new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual (Audi calls this S-tronic). It's operated like a regular automatic; the dual-clutch aspect is the hardware we don't see. There are also steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles if the driver wants to be more engaged. All-wheel drive (Audi calls this quattro) is standard.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Audi A4 allroad comes in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.

The Premium ($44,950) includes an adaptive suspension (which is an option in the sedan), 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon plus headlights, LED daytime running lights/taillights, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights, skid plates, aluminum roof rails, keyless entry/ignition, a panoramic sunroof, drive mode selection (including an "off-road" setting), a power tailgate, leather upholstery, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, a self-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, ambient LED cabin lighting, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, the Multi Media Interface (MMI) system with a 7-in display, and a 10-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio input, two SD card slots and two USB ports.

The Premium Plus ($47,950) enjoys Audi Connect, which brings various services such as vehicle status report, remote lock/unlock, roadside assistance, maintenance interval notification, automatic crash alert, emergency calling and stolen-vehicle location. This trim level also has all-LED exterior lighting, heated front seats with driver's-side memory settings, heated/power-folding side mirrors, parking sensors front and rear, a Bang & Olufsen 19-speaker/755-watt "3D" sound system and satellite radio.

A Premium Plus Technology package adds the Virtual Cockpit (see the "Behind the Wheel" section below), plus Wi-Fi, navigation, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and rear collision mitigation.

The Prestige ($52,350) comes with everything mentioned so far, along with an 8.3-in MMI screen, voice control and handwriting recognition, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera system and sound-insulating dual-pane front windows.

A Driver Assistance package provides adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, road-sign recognition and automatic high beams. Other options include sport front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and rear sunshades.

Cargo space behind the rear seats is 24.2 cu ft., or 58.5 cu ft. with the rear seats folded down. That's much better than the rather stingy 43.8 cu ft. in the Volvo V60 Cross Country.

Safety

A basic version of forward-collision mitigation is standard, and the A4 allroad comes with stability control, anti-lock disc brakes and a comprehensive set of airbags. Rear side airbags, however, are optional on every trim level.

The 2017 A4 allroad has yet to be crash-tested by any agencies within the United States, but the previous generation won the maximum 5-star score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And the '17 A4 sedan (on which this car is based) was made a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after performing well in every major category.

Behind the Wheel

Being based on the new A4 can only ever be a positive thing. Also new for 2017, this sedan has superb handling, a handsome and user-friendly interior with plenty of space and high-quality materials, reassuring safety equipment, plus some cool technology.

For example, the Virtual Cockpit is a configurable high-resolution screen taking the place of the traditional driver's gauges. It will display all the usual information but can also put the navigation function right where the driver needs it. If this sounds complicated, don't worry, it only takes a short time for it to become second nature.

The A4 allroad has an extra 1.3 inches of ground clearance over the sedan, which enables it to take rutted roads and foul weather more in its stride.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 BMW 330i xDrive Sports Wagon -- The 3 Series wagon has fine road manners, thanks in part to keeping its ride height the same as the sedan's.

2017 BMW 330i xDrive Gran Turismo -- Slightly larger than a regular 3 Series, but with an elevated ride height and a hatchback.

2017 BMW X4 xDrive28i -- The fact that there are three BMW alternatives shows how finely spliced and diced automotive niches are nowadays. The X4 is more SUV-like, but with a sloping roof.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe -- Assuming a potential allroad buyer is looking for an alternative to a run-of-the-mill crossover SUV, this increasingly trendy "4-door coupe" body style might work.

2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country -- Another crossover/wagon, derived from the excellent S60 sedan. Pretty good, with some real off-road abilities, but interior space is limited.

Used BMW X6 -- Bigger and brasher, with the option of a robust V8.

Autotrader's Advice

If you can afford the Prestige trim, we won't stop you. But we do recommend opting for the Driver Assistance package.

Find an Audi A4 allroad for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Audi A4 allroad: New Car Review - Autotrader