VW Passat Alltrack vs Audi A4 Allroad

5 February 2013

VW Passat Alltrack vs Audi A4 Allroad

VW Passat Alltrack and Audi A4 Allroad go head-to-head in this comparative review.

Value

VW Passat Alltrack

from $47,790

Standard includes leather trim, Bluetooth with audio link, 17in alloys (space-saver spare), a 30-gig hard-drive sound system. The test car was also equipped with $2000 worth of safety systems, adaptive damping for $1650 and $3300 for bi-xenons, blind-spot and lane departure warning systems.

Audi A4 Allroad

from $69,900

It's $20,000 more than the VW in standard fettle, but gets a few extras: tri-zone climate, xenon lights, paddleshifters. It, too, sits on 17s, has keyless entry and ignition, 10-speaker 60GB hard-drive equipped sound system, Bluetooth, satnav. Optional powered tailgate.

Design

VW Passat Alltrack

Looks more adventurous than the staid standard wagon, with trim add-ons and increased clearance (if only to 165mm). Will appeal to those wanting to look more adventurous without resorting to an SUV. Well laid out functional cabin with huge luggage capacity.

Audi A4 Allroad

The Audi's much more stylish. It's not as long, but it is wider with a longer wheelbase. Bootspace is down at 490 litres, but that's still useful. There's enough cabin space to take the family but the Audi feels a little less spacious overall.

Technology

VW Passat Alltrack

The Alltrack is powered by the venerable 125TDI engine. A common rail and direct injection, the turbo diesel four produces 125kW/350Nm and sips at a claimed rate of 6.3l/100km. The Alltrack's AWD system is front-biased. It's boosted with offroad modes for the driveline, brakes and transmission.

Audi A4 Allroad

A 2.0-litre turbodiesel four here, too, but with 130kW/380Nm. The twin clutch auto has seven speeds, not six, to drive its rear-biased all-wheel-drive. That could be the difference in fuel use, the Audi claiming 6l/100km.

Safety

VW Passat Alltrack

Five stars is top notch marks and it has eight airbags and the full gamut of electronic assistants to maintain path and traction. There's also tyre pressure monitoring, a rear camera and auto-dimming rear vision mirror.

Audi A4 Allroad

The Allroad gets eight airbags and all the electronic aids to keep things in check, with parking sensors front and rear, a reversing camera, tyre pressure monitoring and auto-dimming rear vision mirror. It would emulate the A4's five-star ranking.

Driving

VW Passat Alltrack

A punchy little diesel and slick six-speed DSG, firmish ride and competent sealed-surface manners. On a loose surface its nose can push wide under duress -- but not to a panic point, as the electronics will intervene without too much encouragement.

Audi A4 Allroad

No rock-hopper, though it sits 20mm further off the deck than the VW. But A-grade dirt, a firm beach run or a sodden polo field are about all you'd want to tackle. The Audi's rear-biased drivetrain is preferable.

Verdict

VW Passat Alltrack

Audi A4 Allroad

Both cover sealed and loose ground with ease, without the lardy direction change that afflict SUVs. The Audi scores in the badge stakes and for better all-wheel drive.  

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Published 5 February 2013

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We compare, head to head, two similar models of competing manufacturer cars. Which do we prefer? Why? Find out in CarsGuide's Head To Head showdowns.