Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Turbocharged petrol and diesel available
  • There’s no bad version in the range
  • Diesel version is punchy, but slightly unrefined

Audi A4 Allroad 40 TDI (2020) driving

We’ve driven the Allroad with the 45 TFSI petrol engine – it uses a 2.0-litre turbo petrol producing 245hp and 370Nm of torque – and the 190hp 40 TDI version. Starting with the petrol, it’s a very smooth engine and is barely audible even when you’re trying to get up to motorway speeds.

It works well with the S Tronic automatic gearbox (not available with a manual) and is an excellent alternative to a diesel – especially if you’re not going to be covering thousands and thousands of miles. However, the diesel offers much higher torque numbers which will suit those who tow regularly far better. If you don’t tow, however, the 45 TFSI is a responsive engine (especially when you switch it to Sport mode) that’s more rapid than you might expect.

The diesel 40 TDI is exactly what you'd expect it to be. It's an automatic option only, which is no bad thing, given the excellence of Audi's DSG transmission when hooked up to this engine. The transmission responsive and smooth in use, and as long as you're not in Sport mode, revs are kept to a minimum. This is no bad thing, as it's not particularly refined, but at least it's quiet when cruising. Covering miles on the motorway is what this car does best.

Acceleration feels reasonably quick off the mark, and thanks to ample mid-range pulling power, steep hills or loading it up don't affect performance unduly. In the week in which we ran the 40 TDI, it never put a foot wrong, although its overall fuel consumption of 38.0mpg was nothing to write home about.

Engines previously available

The old Allroad came with petrol and diesel power. A 252hp 2.0-litre petrol that was good for a 0-62mph sprint in 6.1 seconds. It was quiet when cruising and – on paper – was notably faster than the diesels. However it needed working harder than the torquey diesels and became a little more vocal at higher revs.

A 190hp TDI was also available, cracking 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and was impressively refined, with plenty of performance at low revs, making it feel faster and more useful than the petrol in normal driving, such as on dual carriageways or motorways. A 150hp was also available, as well as a more powerful 3.0-litre V6 TDI with a choice of 218hp or 272hp.

Audi A4 Allroad 40 TDI (2020) rear driving

How does it handle?

  • Largely similar to the regular A4 Avant
  • More body roll due to ride height
  • Still composed and well-controlled

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Allroad’s raised ground clearance means there’s more body roll than the standard Audi A4 Avant in corners.

Cars we’ve tried came with optional adaptive suspension, allowing the driver to stiffen the shock absorbers for better handling in Dynamic mode. The diesel’s suspension fidgeted notably more over rough surfaces in this setting on pre-facelift cars.

The standard suspension does feel firmer, but doesn’t wallow as much in the corners. That can be good on a smooth road, feeling more composed, but over rougher surfaces the fidget nature may become slightly tiring. However, the V60 Cross Country demonstrates similar handling and ride characteristics.

Quattro four-wheel drive system impresses

When four-wheel drive isn’t needed, sending drive to just the front wheels reduces the energy required to move a car forwards.

Quattro With Ultra shifts between front- and four-wheel drive so seamlessly we couldn’t feel the system working. On relatively straight roads, it was also hard to tell the difference between permanent Quattro all-wheel drive and Quattro With Ultra.

In Audi tests, the system was worth roughly 0.1mpg and is 4kg lighter than a normal Quattro system.

However, all the benefits of all-wheel drive remain, because the sensors also allow the A4 to predict when extra traction is required, for instance if you turn and accelerate heavily; Audi claims Quattro with Ultra can reactivate all-wheel drive 0.5 seconds before it’s actually required, and will do so in ‘a split-second’ even if the army of sensors can’t predict what’s coming: a sudden transition from dry Tarmac to sheet ice, for instance.