2017 Audi A4 allroad Reviews
Cars.com Expert Reviews
The 2017 A4 Allroad feels like a yuppie in expensive hiking gear, but if this is the only way to get an Audi wagon in the U.S., we’ll take it.
Versus the competition
Many automakers offer a slightly beefier “all-terrain wagon,” and the Allroad offers no real performance or value benefits over any of them.
Americans used to love wagons; they were the family vehicle of choice for decades before minivans and SUVs came along and put an end to their dominance. That's a shame, really, because unless you really need to sit up high, wagons are fantastic: They've got all the handling and performance characteristics of a good sedan along with the ability to carry a bunch of extra stuff.
Audi used to sell some of the best wagons in the U.S., but like so many other brands, it's gone almost exclusively to SUVs now — almost. There's still one Audi wagon left in the lineup here: the 2017 Audi A4 Allroad. Said the Audi engineers I imagine dreamed up the concept, "If Americans really love SUVs but a few still want a wagon, maybe we can create a butch wagon that sort of looks like an SUV but isn't one, really."
Originally based on the A6 wagon, the Allroad has been based on the smaller A4 since 2011. For 2017, it's received a refresh just like the A4 has, with a new front and rear design, an updated interior and new electronics, as well. But in a land where the SUV is king, can a compact butchwagon really be competitive?
Exterior & Styling
What the Allroad does well, however, is carry stuff. Auto journalists tend to have an unnatural love for wagons, more than for SUVs, and there's good reason for that: the driving dynamics of a sedan with the cargo capacity of utility vehicles. Cargo capacity in the Allroad is 24.2 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 58.5 cubic feet with them folded. The seats don't, however, fold flat, leaving you with a slightly angled cargo floor, which is less than ideal.
By comparison, the similarly sized Volvo V60 Cross Country has 28.0 cubic feet in the way back, expandable to a much lesser 43.8 cubic feet overall. For the same money (or less), you can get a lighter, larger Subaru Outback that offers up 35.5 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats in place and a cavernous 73.3 cubic feet of maximum space.
The new 2017 A4 Allroad earned five-star ratings in side-impact and rollover crash tests but has not been tested for front impacts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't rated the Allroad.
Audi has long been a leader in safety systems and, unlike some German automakers, it provides many of those fancy electronic systems as standard equipment. You get a lot of airbags standard, including front knee bags and side curtain airbags, as well as Audi's basic Pre Sense system that tightens up the seat belts and prepares vehicle systems for a collision if it detects one is imminent. The standard Pre Sense City system detects pedestrians at speeds up to 52 mph and can apply the brakes to try to avoid or minimize a collision. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go and traffic-jam assist is optional. A backup camera is standard, but rear parking sensors, blind spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic park-in and park-out are optional.
Value in Its Class
If you're looking for a real station wagon in the U.S., the Allroad is the only choice available from Audi. It starts at $44,950, including destination fee, with the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, bi-xenon headlights, a backup camera, a panoramic moonroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers and more. My test car included some extras, like the Technology Package, which includes navigation, remote concierge, the Virtual Cockpit gauges and blind spot warning. It also had Audi's Premium Plus Package, which brings a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, satellite radio, keyless start, LED headlights, an automated parking system, and heated, auto-dimming exterior mirrors. Some fancier wood trim, a Cold Weather Package and Gotland Green metallic paint brought the grand total of our test car to $52,625.
There are two big competitors for the Allroad so far (more may be coming soon). The closest alternative is the Volvo V60 Cross Country, a built-up version of the V60 wagon that features many of the same styling changes as the Allroad. Beefier fender flares and a higher ride height give it that quasi-SUV wagon look. It's sized similarly to the A4 Allroad, has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive, and starts at $42,695, including destination.
If you like the SUV-wagon look but want something less premium (and more spacious), the Subaru Outback is really what put this idea on the market. The Outback's 2.5-liter four-cylinder isn't as powerful as the Audi or Volvo engines, but the car itself is lighter and larger than either of them. It's also less expensive, starting at $26,520, but can be optioned up — with a powerful six-cylinder engine and luxury appointments — to just less than $40,000. Compare the three here.