It’s no secret that the A6 Allroad was a sales disaster locally but that was more a case of SA’s SUV-obsessed buyer rhetoric rather than the vehicle itself – after all, the car was a resounding success in Europe. After a 9 year hiatus from the South African market the Allroad nameplate makes a welcomed return in the shape of the Audi A4 Allroad, which will hope to reel-in buyers looking at downsizing from a larger vehicle.
Visually, the Allroad retains the essential ingredients and style philosophy of the current A4 Avant range but employs a litany of exclusive cosmetic augmentation such as plastic wheel arch mouldings, additional under body protection, a raised ride height, new grille, a pronounced front and rear bumper and circular fog light housings (a staple hallmark of Audi SUVs) to set it apart in the current Avant range. I must admit, it does look pretty bullish and pulls off the rugged Allroad uniform with conviction.
Inside it’s standard A4 trim and architecture with the only discernible feature coming in the form of the Allroad-branded door sills. It can be had with the choice of two engine options: a 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre TFSI and 130kW/380Nm 2.0-litre TDi, which are both mated with an S tronic gearbox – both offer impressive pulling power and economy figures.
Despite its 180mm ride height the Allroad handled impressively and dismissed both the gravel and twistier asphalt sections of the launch route effortlessly. The suspension layout is a compliant arrangement and provides high levels of grip in partnership with the revered Quattro system. While it doesn’t offer a bona fide off-road mode the Allroad can hold its own on most surfaces thanks to the the special off road detection function (ORD). This mode analyses the driving conditions/surfaces and adapts the amount of grip and traction accordingly.
Audi SA is aiming on selling a total of 220 units per annum. Sure, the A4 Allroad might look like an Avant on stilts but it should pique the interest from those who want the utility of an SUV but without the obligatory weight and gargantuan proportions. While the Allroad doesn’t have any natural rivals Audi sees the Subaru Legacy Outback and Volvo XC70 Cross Country as its chief adversaries. Pricing is pegged at R433 000 for the 2.0TFSI and R438 000 for the 2.0TDI, which includes a 5 year/100 000 km freeway plan.
Audi A4 Allroad 2.0TFSI Quattro
PRICE // R433 000 ENGINE // 1984cc, 16v turbocharged, 155kW @ 4300-6000rpm, 350Nm @ 1500-4200rpm TRANSMISSION // 7-speed double clutch, four-wheel drive
SUSPENSION // MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT // 4721/1841/1495mm WEIGHT // 1650kg PERFORMANCE // 6.8secs 0-100kph, 230kph top speed, 7.3ℓ/100km, 170g/km
ON SALE // Now