It may not be the land of milk and honey, but Nelspruit is certainly the land of avocados and beautiful driving roads. The combination of sweeping bends and less-than-savoury tar conditions seemed to suit the allroad’s adventurous personality.
Heading out of Nelspruit’s rapidly expanding confines, the ribbon of asphalt winds through the combination of mountains and pine trees that colour the landscape. These roads would prove a happy hunting ground for the A4 allroad. Thanks to its punchy 2.0-litre TDI engine, which generates 130kW of power and 380Nm of torque together with the Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, you can explore the roads to the best of your abilities.
The road conditions might be horrendous in some parts, but a detour through the mountains allows you to not only enjoy the road less travelled, but to put the Audi through its paces off-road. Notoriously rugged terrain with roads that tighten up, leaving you with nothing but a cliff by your side, means some serious cornering quickly enters the equation.
The allroad is quite a weapon on the dirt and knows how to handle itself. The raised ride height of 180mm and the stainless-steel underbody guard perpetuates its off-road demeanour. Also thrown into the mix are ESP and off-road detection, which allow the car to adapt the control characteristics of the ESC system to suit the driving conditions.
But despite the amount of technology and safety features housed in this suited-up crossover estate, it’s difficult to believe just how capable it is on sandy roads.
The ride is comfortable and despite its estate stature, it feels planted when fired through the twisties and launches with a decent amount of authority, despite its diesel powertrain.
Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.0 litres/100km in the TDI guise, but even on the open road this is a bit of an outlandish claim; I was getting closer to the 8.0 litres/100km mark.
Its styling is more aggressive than its subdued A4 family members, largely courtesy of its allroad applications. Tall up front and wide out back with plenty of room in between, mean this Audi can hold from 490 litres to 1 430 litres of luggage and easily accommodate four adults.
A lifestyle-driven vehicle, it will certainly find its niche in South Africa with those consumers who want to step away from the ordinary and mundane SUVs and climb into something different, but just as capable.