2017 Audi A4 allroad — Subaru Outback of the German luxury set

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 30, 2016) Audi’s 2017 A4 allroad is sort of the Subaru Outback of the German luxury set. Quattro all-wheel drive with “ultra” technology is standard, as are adaptive dampers and a redesigned five-link suspension. Power is supplied by an updated 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and capable of propelling the allroad from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

The quattro system’s ultra technology consists of optimization for performance and efficiency, and centers around an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch and decoupling rear differential. If you want more detail than that, ask your Audi dealer as this is all the company is saying about the system right now.

Ditto the five-link suspension, though it is pulled from the A4 sedan, features a 34-mm (1.3-in) taller ride height, and the lightweight aluminum control arms use revised bushings and settings.

Audi’s Drive Select system has the standard Comfort, Auto, Dynamic
and Individual modes, as well as an Offload mode that adjusts the engine, transmission and steering response. It also disables the Pre-sense safety system while off road. When not off the beaten path, this system closes the windows and standard panoramic sunroof, pretensions the front seatbelts, and pre-fills the braking system for quicker response. (Pre-sense Rear does the same things as the basic Pre-sense system while monitoring traffic following the vehicle.)

In addition, the standard Pre-sense City system can detect stationary and cornering vehicles, pedestrians, and — at speeds up to 52 mph — initiate full ABS braking when a collision in imminent.

Other available technology includes traffic sign recognition, which also evaluates various driving conditions, passing zones and school construction zones. Active Lane Assist induces vibrations in the steering wheel if the vehicle approaches the edge of the lane without signaling. Side assist (available with the Premium Plus trim level and standard with Prestige) adds blind spot monitoring at speeds above 9 mph, Rear Cross Traffic Assist, and includes Vehicle Exit Assist.

This flashes a warning light when vehicles or cyclists are approaching from behind when a door is opened. At speeds above 1 mph and below 7 mph with the turn signal activated, Turn Assist detects the approach of oncoming traffic, while Collision Avoidance Assist — in those circumstances where a sharp maneuver is necessary to avoid a collision — supports the driver’s turn into an adjacent lane. Finally, the Adaptive Cruise Control has Stop & Go Jam Assist to not only help maintain a set distance to the vehicle ahead, but to combine acceleration, braking and steering guidance from 0-40 mph.

Keep checking items on the option list and your 2017 A4 allroad will include items like the 12.3-in. virtual cockpit instrument display, a full-color head-up display, a 19-speaker 755-watt Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, and one of three levels of Audi Connect.

The basic system, Connect Care, provides emergency assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, online roadside assistance, service interval notification, and automatic crash notification. Move up to Connect Prime and you get Google Earth, myAudi Destinations, Audi Semi-dynamic Route Guidance with INRIX-XD Traffic, online travel info, fuel prices, internet radio and Twitter alerts. For the true off roader, Connect Plus adds a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to eight devices. It comes with a complimentary six month trial subscription.
Pricing for the 2017 A4 allroad starts at $44,000 for Premium trim, $47,000 for Premium Plus, and $51,400 for the Prestige trim level.

The Virtual Driver