Audi's original Allroad found a small but vocal following when it was first introduced on the old A6 platform, but it also had a bit of an (understandable) inferiority complex. Just as the medium-sized luxury SUV segment exploded, the Allroad offered much of that segment's versatility and cargo space, but it didn't hover over smaller cars like a leviathan. That stature also helped its on-road and soft-road dynamics. Flash-forward to late 2016, and the advantages of a wagon with all-wheel-drive versatility haven't gone anywhere. In fact, this year's Audi A4 Allroad further refines the art.
The Allroad was first based on the A6 platform using turbocharged V6s and then naturally aspirated V8s, last sold in the US market in 2005. The more recent A4-based Allroad debuted in 2010, propelled by four-cylinder engines. The new A4 Allroad's body muscles up compared to the A4 sedan, with flared wheel openings, vertical grille bars, and tall roof rails that all accent height, as well as bright accents for the rockers and lower front end. Rear turn signals are a feast for the tech nerd. Sequential LEDs illuminate to sweep across the back in the direction of the turn, suggesting motion itself. I learned that ergonomics engineers deep in the bowels of Audi discovered that this arrangement is a few milliseconds faster than conventional bulbs, even static LEDs.