Audi A4 2021 allroad 40 tdi quattro
long-term-report

2021 Audi A4 Allroad long-term review: Introduction

$70,600 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
    4.9L
  • Engine Power
    150kW
  • CO2 Emissions
    130g
  • ANCAP Rating
    5Stars
Does raising a practical wagon make it even more practical - especially for lifestyle pursuits? The Audi A4 allroad joins the long-term garage to find out.
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Want to sum up today’s new car market in one word? Choice.

Like the idea of a coupe but want the stance of an SUV? Done. Need the practicality of a ute but also want the open-air sensation of a convertible, and the taller stance of that SUV? Check that too.

And in the case of our latest long termer, the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro 40 TDI, you can have the style and presentation of a premium station wagon with, ah, the ride-height of an SUV.

Choice!

The Allroad (yes I know Audi uses a lower-case 'a') dates back to 1999 when the first ‘plastic clad’ Audi A6 crossover wagon arrived on the scene. The smaller A4 Allroad arrived in 2009.

It might not have been the first all-wheel-drive ‘adventure-estate’ on the block; the Subaru Outback predated it by five years and the Alfa Romeo 33 Giardinetta by 16, but for the last two-decades the Allroad has given buyers looking for a traditional Audi ‘Avant’ a choice of either a vanilla wagon or one with a decidedly more SUV flavour.

2021 Audi A4 Allroad 40TDI Quattro
Engine configurationFour-cylinder turbo-diesel with 12V mild-hybrid
Displacement2.0L (1968cc)
Power150kW @ 4200rpm
Torque400Nm @ 1750-3250rpm
Transmission7-speed DSG
Drive typeAll-wheel drive (Quattro)
Power to weight ratio82.9 kW/t
Fuel consumption (combined cycle claim)4.9L/100km
Fuel consumption (combined cycle on test)-
Fuel tank size61L
Estimated range1250km
Sales categoryMedium car (wagon)
Key competitorsVolkswagen Passat Alltrack | Audi Q5 | Subaru Outback and change

To set them apart, the 2021 Allroad stands 34mm taller than a ‘regular’ Audi A4 Avant (172mm plays 138mm ground clearance) and offers a 6mm wider track up front (1578mm against 1572mm) and 11mm extra down the back (1566mm vs 1555mm), which is neatly disguised by the grey, plastic fender extensions.

All four-ring wagons feature Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, but the crossover is the only current Audi A4 (sedan or wagon) to offer the 150kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine.

Which, conveniently, is what we have under the bonnet of our Manhattan Grey example.

Priced from $70,600 (before options and on-road costs), the diesel Allroad undercuts the 183kW/370Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol A4 Avant by $400 ($71,000), and its own petrol-powered twin, the A4 Allroad 45TFSI by $2000 ($72,600).

Perhaps more relevant however, is the $68,900 Q5 40TDI, which with the same engine and an arguably more popular body style (so far this year, Audi has found a home for 934 Q5s and just 193 A4s, of sedan, wagon and Allroad variety combined), is $1700 more affordable than our wagon, while carrying a similar level of equipment.

2021 Audi A4 Allroad 40TDI Quattro
Length4762mm
Width1847mm
Height1494mm
Wheelbase2818mm
Turning circle11.6m
Boot volume495L / 1495L
Tare mass1810kg
Wheels/tyres245/40 R19 Continental

Speaking of which, the Allroad packs a generous list of gear out of the showroom, including LED head- and tail-lamps, roof rails, integrated rear-window sun blinds, powered front sport seats, tri-zone climate control, a 10.1-inch Audi MMI display with support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Google Maps navigation and a DAB+ digital radio tuner, and a power tailgate.

Our car adds smart-looking 19-inch 10-Y spoke wheels for $1350, the Manhattan Grey metallic paint (one of nine options, of which three are grey, two are silver and two are black) for $1531 and a comprehensive driver assistance pack for $2900.

This adds adaptive cruise control, lane assist, AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a head-up display, 360-degree camera and automatic parking assistant. A good kit, sure, but having it as an option at this level is pretty cheeky.

I wont even mention, despite moving into the colder months, that the car misses out on the $654 option of heated seats. That is less than one per cent of the list price, and a pretty sad exclusion for everyone’s backside in a $76,381 (before on-roads) go-anywhere Audi wagon.

Especially considering that this car practically asks you to take it to the ski fields come wintertime.

2021 Audi A4 Allroad 40TDI Quattro
ColourManhattan Grey Metallic
Price (MSRP)$70,600
Options as tested$5781 (Assistance Plus, 19-inch wheels, metallic paint)
Servicing 5yr$3380
ANCAP safety rating5-star (2015 - A4 range)
Warranty3 years / unlimited km

Which of course leads to our plans for the A4 Allroad while we have it under our wing.

We’ll naturally assess the car around town and see how the diesel, with a claimed combined cycle consumption of just 4.9L/100km, manages urban duties. We'll find out what a 12-volt mild-hybrid system does too, as last time I checked, that was the regular car battery?

On top of that, and largely due to the fact that every Allroad I see near my home has bike or kayak carriers on the roof, points to the wagon as being the discerning choice of those who like to indulge in some adventure rather than just look like they do.

With this in mind, we’ll head out of town to see what the Allroad is like, poetically, on all roads.

This will take in some touring on sealed and unsealed surfaces, ideally in the pursuit of some fresh-air lifestyle activities, and if the dates line up even a visit to the snow may be in order.

We’ll put the fuel consumption and spendy assistance pack to the test, see how the Quattro system deals with changing surfaces and generally assess if the high-riding wagon makes a valid SUV alternative, outside of just being a stylish one.

As always, let us know if you have any questions about the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad 40TDI Quattro while we have it in the garage.