While an additional 34mm of ride height seems insubstantial, the Allroad feels very different to the A4 Avant on which it’s based. Not only are the coil springs longer but they feel softer, too. This gives the car a more relaxed, supple gait that makes for comfortable cruising.
Happy to lollop over big crests and compressions it may be, but potholes and expansion joints generate a thump that can be felt through the seat of your pants. And while we might normally say wheel size won’t have helped, the 18in rims of our test car still carried a tyre with a generous sidewall.
With no clever active anti-roll bars or air springs, the softer set-up generates more body roll in corners than the regular A4. It’s no 1970s Cadillac, but you do find yourself at angles of lean that won’t be familiar to those in lower-slung saloons and estates.
Adaptive dampers are optional and can be firmed up using Audi’s Drive Select system. There’s no doubt the Allroad resists roll far better in its Dynamic mode, consequently feeling far keener to turn in and change direction. The downside is a harshness to the ride that can become jarring over a crumbly B-road or urban stretch of pockmarked asphalt.
The steering is typically Audi, meaning it’s precise and nicely weighted (unless in its Dynamic mode) but bereft of feel or feedback.
You could argue this full-fat V6 diesel is a little much for the Allroad. We may not have figured it yet, but we can fully believe the performance claims.
When combined with the smooth-shifting eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission, the Allroad effortlessly gains speed and often deposits you at the entry to a corner travelling considerably faster than you might have expected. It’s also very refined for a diesel engine.
Even near the top of the rev-range, the noise is more V6 purr than clattery tractor. Likewise, it’s pleasingly creamy at idle, with little intrusion when the stop-start system springs into life. The thing is, we’ve found the lesser diesel to be just as refined and more economical to boot.
As for the interior, it’s virtually the same as that of the standard A4 Avant. You’d be very hard pushed to notice the extra ride height and there are no obvious changes to the décor. That means one of the best dashboards at this price point, comfortable seats with plenty of adjustment and reasonable amounts of space in the back.