Skoda Octavia RS 162TSI wagon 2016 review
The 162TSI continues as the entry version the Octavia RS wagon line-up, and lists at $39,590 or $42,690 drive away.
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Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the new Audi A4 Allroad Quattro, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.
Slightly less traditional wagons like the jacked-up Allroads have also earned their place, with the mid-size A4 Allroad making a return for its second generation this week.
|Audi A4 2016: Allroad Quattro LE|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
Audi has added a petrol to the range now that the fuel figure brings the car under the luxury car tax threshold for efficient cars. The TDI diesel kicks off at $71,400 (and is expected to be the top-seller…we’ll see) while the TFSI petrol starts at $74,400.
Standard are 18-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlights, analogue dials with seven-inch information screen, electric front seats with driver’s memory, three-zone climate control, electric tailgate with hands-free operation, leather trim and rear window sunblinds.
As with the A4, you get Audi’s excellent MMI system which also powers a ten-speaker stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and excellently detailed sat-nav.
Audi offers four option packages. The Technik package adds the head-up display and 12.3-inch digital dashboard (known as Virtual Cockpit) for $2200 or you can have a sunroof thrown in for a total of $3900.
The $950 Parking Assistance package adds 360-degree camera and auto parking.
Frugal and punchy once you’re over the initial lag, the petrol Allroad goes like the clappers, both from rest and in the gears.
The Assistance Package adds active cruise control with stop and go and traffic jam assist (keeps the car moving with traffic while you steer), active lane assist, collision detection and mitigation, turn assist (stops you turning across oncoming traffic) and auto high beam for $1900.
The Allroad’s nose is distinguished from the A4’s by a grille featuring vertical slats, a new splitter and vent arrangement but the same, funky ice-pick lights as the rest of the A4 range.
Different sills run along the sides of the car, topped with an aluminium-look finish and the rear also has a different venturi treatment. The roof rails also stand higher, there’s the de rigeur unpainted wheelarch extensions and the tops of the door handles are finished off in chrome caps.
Inside is exactly the same as the Quattro-spec models on which the Allroad is based. That means the same slimline dash, 8.3-inch screen and lovely materials. Audi says that all their interior materials are real - if it looks like metal, it’s metal and all the wood is real. One of the cars had an open pore wood finish that was a nice, tactile addition to the cabin if you don’t want the aluminium.
The already-familiar A4 Avant’s numbers are exactly the same here in the Allroad. Boot space is a modest-for-a-wagon 505 litres (just 25 up on the sedan) with seats in place, 1510 with the seats down. The load bay has an electric sliding cargo cover.
Front and rear passengers each get a pair of cupholders, the rears in the folding armrest. There’s four bottle holders, one in each door.
The 2.0 TFSI is good for an impressive 185kW and 370Nm while the TDI packs 140kW and 400Nm.
Both send power through all four wheels via Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Claimed 0-100km/h arrives in just 6.1 seconds for the TFSI and 7.8 for the TDI.
The Allroad is the first recipient of the Ultra fuel efficiency Quattro tech, which can disengage drive to the rear wheels when not needed to save a claimed 0.3L/100km. Put your foot down and it’s back to all-wheel drive in “fractions of a second.”
For the 2.0 TFSI, the official figures are 6.7L/100km on the combined cycle, our average on mostly highway running was around 8L/100km according to the trip computer.
For the 2.0 TDI, Audi claims 5.2L/100km. We didn’t have one of those to test, that’s a couple of months away, so we’ll have full fuel figures then.
Eight airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, blind spot sensors, brake assist, rear cross traffic alert, exit warning, active safety bonnet, driver attention detection and brake force distribution.
The A4 on which the Allroad is based scored the maximum five star ANCAP safety rating.
3 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
Audis come with a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty as well as roadside assist for the same period. Apart from nice dealers, there’s nothing super special about after-sales service.
Fixed price servicing covers three years for $1620, identical to the A4 Avant’s service pricing.
The extra ride height over the standard Avant has done little to affect the Allroad’s handling. As ever, the security of all-wheel drive means you can tackle wet suburban streets or loose surfaces without running into trouble, backed by the traction and stability controls for good measure.
The ride is a little plusher, with corresponding body roll and just the slightest hint of pitch under heavy braking or hard acceleration and it will understeer earlier and with a little more determination.
On rough surfaces, the extra height and the softer springs and dampers are much more apparent. The baggier tyres are also along to improve the ride.
The 2.0 TFSI available to us on launch is as good as ever - frugal and punchy once you’re over the initial lag, the petrol Allroad goes like the clappers, both from rest and in the gears. The seven-speed can sometimes be caught napping, but you’ve got to be trying.
All was going very well on the second half of our launch drive - we’d covered a decent length on tarmac and we were enjoying the quiet cabin and excellent stereo. We turned on to a dirt road and experimented with throttle applications to see what Offroad mode made of the loose surface.
No dramas. Safe and secure.
Once we’d got over trying to unsettle it (with traction and stability controls switched on, naturally), we settled into an 80km/h cruise. The road was a good one in that it was a bit of a roller coaster. We came over a blind crest and at the bottom was what looked like a few rocks and a couple of decent potholes. I positioned the car to miss the worst of it and waited for the inevitable compression.
Only thing was, the steering wheel didn’t centre properly and the car began to list over to its left hand side. Soon we heard rubber-on-wheelarch which suggested either a broken wheel and/or a puncture.
Closer inspection revealed something rather worse - something in the suspension had broken. There was nothing spectacular about it, the car didn’t for a moment feel this badly wounded and it wasn’t sudden or scary.
An Audi spokesperson offered the following explanation: “It appears as though the damage caused to the A4 Allroad was due to a combination of too much speed, a sharp washout gutter at the base of a crest and some bad luck. No defects were found on the car, other than the damage sustained, and no further incidents occurred during the program.”
It was back on the road a couple of days later, so the damage was obviously not terminal.
Everybody else passed over the same road at similar speeds and the rest of the launch fleet made it through unscathed, so we’re more than happy to believe that this was isolated to our car. Or driver.
The indiscretion on one car aside, the Allroad is another excellent car from Audi. That’s probably to be expected given the rapturous reception the A4 has received. The B8-based Allroad sold in almost equal numbers to the A4 Avant so with two models, it will be interesting to see if the SUV-lite styling, two engine choices and a day-to-day driving experience almost indistinguishable from the Avant will tip the balance to Allroad.
|1.4 TFSI S tronic Sport||1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$29,990 – 41,900||2016 Audi A4 2016 1.4 TFSI S tronic Sport Pricing and Specs|
|1.8 TFSI S-Line Plus||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$28,160 – 33,880||2016 Audi A4 2016 1.8 TFSI S-Line Plus Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI Quattro S Tronic Sport||2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO||$36,520 – 43,450||2016 Audi A4 2016 2.0 TDI Quattro S Tronic Sport Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro S Tronic Spt||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$39,800 – 48,999||2016 Audi A4 2016 2.0 TFSI Quattro S Tronic Spt Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||7|
|Engine & trans||7|