The station wagon as a crossover replacement is definitely a thing now. Several companies are finally coming forward with wagon-style designs based on all-wheel drive platforms. In the American market, the European AWD wagon has always been the Audi Allroad, with the A4 Allroad holding what we think of as the European ideal for wagon-kind.
Quick Specs & Info
|2018 Audi A4 Allroad
|Class: Compact luxury wagon
|As Tested: Allroad Prestige
|MSRP as tested
The 2018 Audi A4 Allroad carries forward from the 2017 model with few changes. Some trim package content shuffling marks the only real changes made for this new model year. Yet the A4 sedan-based Allroad needs little to stay competitive. Despite new options from domestic makes.
The 2018 Allroad has a higher ride height, AWD as standard, and a station wagon’s hatchback styling to mark it as different from the A4 sedan. The Allroad seats up to five, has plenty of interior room and cargo space for its size, and has a good ride quality that befits its German heritage and luxury status. The 2018 Allroad comes in any of three trim levels with a single powertrain option for all of them.
The three trim levels for the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad start with the Premium and move into the Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Here are highlights for each trim point:
- Premium – The base trim of the A4 Allroad comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, plenty of luxury goodies (automatic wipers, heated mirrors, etc), and infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A power liftgate, adaptive suspension, and forward collision warning and mitigation are standard, as are tri-zone climate controls and keyless entry/ignition. Optional on the Premium trim is the Convenience package, which adds auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, an upgraded driver information display, and satellite radio.
- Premium Plus – This package adds to the Premium level with the Convenience package’s contents, LED headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and a 19-speaker premium sound system. Optional for this trim are the Navigation and Telematics package, which adds navigation, Audi Connect Services, a virtual instrument panel, a touchpad infotainment controller, and a larger 8.3-inch infotainment screen.
- Prestige – This trim adds on the Navigation and Telematics package to the Allroad as well as automated high-beam control, noise-reducing windows in front, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and lane departure warning and intervention. The Cold Weather package can be added to either the Premium Plus or Prestige trims to add heated rear seating, a heated steering wheel, etc. The Warm Weather package is also available for both trims to add manual rear sunshades, ventilated front seating, etc. Any trim can have rear-seat side airbags added on.
Exterior and Interior Design
The exterior of the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad is stylish and very Audi, with the cascading grille of the A4 sedan and front fascia moving into the wonderfully proportioned station wagon body. The simple, but nevertheless svelte design of the A4 Allroad overall is very in tune with today’s luxury standards of simple elegance being more. Its slightly higher stance, large wheel well liners, and lower body protection ensure that the Allroad looks off-pavement ready too.
Inside, the 2018 Allroad is all about comfort through simplicity and ergonomics. The materials quality found throughout is top shelf and seating is very, very good. Especially up front. The rear bench is good on the outboards, with enough head- and legroom to satisfy most people. The center position, however, is severely lacking in legroom, even for kids. Consider it pet-friendly at best.
The controls and functions for the 2018 Audi Allroad driver are nicely positioned and the upgraded virtual instrument panel is excellent. We’re also fans of the new infotainment system Audi has, which is showcased well in the Allroad. Clear, customizable menus and the fast pace of the infotainment responses are very welcome.
Cargo space in the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad is roomy with easy access through the rear hatch. The useful space is a high point, as are the standard 40/20/40 split-fold rear bench for expansion and access.
Driving the 2018 A4 Allroad
The Audi Allroad drives very well, with strong performance from the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine produces 252 horsepower and puts it into a nicely-programmed seven-speed automatic transmission. Power delivery goes to all four wheels and is quick and efficient, with downshifts coming readily for added boosts.
The quiet nature of the 2018 Allroad is a mark of its luxury status, with highway noise and powertrain sounds dampened very well. The Allroad also absorbs most road bumps with ease and stays sporty and tight in spirited driving, especially at lower speeds around town.
The 2018 Audi A4 Allroad is not a track car, of course, but it’s smart handling and fast acceleration are great for everyday sportiness and feel.
Fuel economy in the 2018 Allroad is EPA-rated at 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is lower than many in this class. We achieved about 25 mpg on average, which is in keeping with expectation.
Key competitors to the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad are few, but excellent. The new 2018 Buick Regal TourX is a solid contender in looks, but not in performance. The top-shelf 2018 Subaru Outback outdoes the Allroad in capability and roominess, but is not as luxurious or sporty. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon is a solid competitor with similar excellence, but a higher price point. The BMW 3 Series wagon is the same, but the Volvo V60 might take the Allroad for a competitive lap and come out even.
- Excellent interior with lots of goodness
- Strong road presence and a well-mannered drive dynamic
- Infotainment and instrumentation are beyond expectations
- Fuel economy is disappointing
- Competitive field may find others with more capability or more luxury
- Exterior beginning to become a bit dated for the segment
Our key takeaway from the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad is that this is the luxury station wagon that defines the segment’s benchmarks. We see a lot of goodness in the Audi’s design, despite it’s becoming a bit dated. We’re fans of the drive dynamic, accouterments packaging, and classy presence that the 2018 Allroad has.
Test Period Length and Limitations
The 2018 Audi A4 Allroad was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week. During that time, a total of about 200 miles were put on the vehicle in varied driving conditions with various passenger loads.