Audi A4 Allroad vs. Mercedes C-Class All-Terrain
What is the best off-road combination?
Admittedly, we already had some pity when the first little pebbles rocked wildly in the wheel arches of these two perfectly clean cars. But hey – that’s what they were designed for. The A4 Allroad has been around for over two years, and the T-Class All-Terrain Model has only been around for a few months. Similar to Audi, the 200-horsepower C 220 d is decorated with the usual extra parts, shiny underbody elements and – something new – with fenders, which unfortunately consist only in part of grainy and very strong plastics.
Longer steel springs, larger wheel diameters and larger steering knuckles (in the front) give the Mercedes four centimeters more ground clearance. All-wheel drive ensures permanent traction (45:55 power distribution). Two additional driving programs (Off-Road and Off-Road + with Hill Descent Control) manage the characteristics of the engine, nine-speed converter, steering, ESP and ABS. Only the chassis has a relief, because there are no adaptive dampers, the sound of comfort should be enough. Rear axle steering, which is certainly useful off-road, is also deprived of all-terrain buyers.
It doesn’t matter, either way, the station wagon squashes the gravel trails very surely and pats gently again. It is recommended to use the 360-degree camera so as not to cause minor damage. Narrow fairways in front of the hood, a bad rock on the right could scratch an expensive 18 inch; Or the rear shelf – everything is visible and displayed in clear, sharp 3D on the brilliant LCD screen, which tilts six degrees toward the driver. By the way, the camera in the back folds only when needed.
With the unprotected rear camera and relatively rough screen, the Audi looks completely pale. Similar to the Benz, it also has 35mm more ground clearance, a wider track and off-road program including Hill Descent Control, which, however, can’t ask for a softer response than the 204-hp 2.0 TDI. At the same time, the Quattro engine “only” belongs to the category of suspension variants, which are anchored to the rear axle via clutches as required. Of course, the most efficient design does not play a role off-road. The sensitive Audi knows what’s going on anyway, distributing 400 Nm variably between the axles and climbing uphill or zipping through gravel curves with barely less commitment. In short, both station wagons go further than any owner would dare. However, caution is required. All fairing disintegrates quickly, solid fenders for the engine and underbody are not available for an additional cost.
Real station wagons? sure of course
But now we’re not an off-road magazine, but an auto and sports magazine. So get out the dirt and wash the car. The competitors, which cost more than 50,000 euros, really deserve the premium program with active foam, washing under the body and wheels as well as a high-gloss finish. The price doesn’t even include parking whistles, seat heating or even electrically adjustable seats. Fully equipped adventure suits are the most expensive, between 10,000 and 20,000 euros.
So drive carefully, now open all doors and panels. Let’s take a closer look at the cars and start from the back. After all, that’s about two great classic station wagons. With volumes between 490 and 1510 liters, both are not superchargers. Here and there, the backrests fold into three parts, there are safety nets for baggage on the plane, and both manufacturers are not stingy with soft carpets even rattle-free curtains that do not fit on the loading floors.
However, the point-related differences are quickly found here in favor of the newer T model. With a 12-volt socket, a remote powered backrest (€ 357) and a nice cabin under the chassis including a foldable trunk, only Mercedes can service. In the basement of the A4, the customer must come to terms with a rugged, material-free spare wheel respite, as the lithium-ion battery in the hybrid’s electrical system, including cables, barely takes up much storage space. After all, there is a second compartment with a hidden steel flap forward, which can be opened only if the large loading floor is pulled forward. Some kind of secret compartment.
A smart hiding spot can also be found in the C-Class. To do this, please push the nice cover in the center console forward and tuck the phone into the slot on the left rear so to speak under the tiny control bar for driving modes, cameras and more. It is well laid out on non-slip rubber, it can be loaded inductively here and, depending on its size, can only be caught with difficulty. So it’s good that the nice MBUX lady indicates when you go out of the house, please don’t forget, that the entire information technology, including voice control, internet networks and smartphones, is running very smoothly.
The little feedback-free touchpads on the steering wheel aren’t quite as smooth. The best counterexample: the steering wheel in front of the A4 driver with precisely-fitted buttons, clear pressure points, the pulleys of the on-board computer and volume. Things are not getting better! Otherwise, the treated and remarkably well-ventilated upper Model T doesn’t have much trouble. The seemingly free-floating touchscreen adapted to the S-Class, along with the smooth, striped-looking instrument panel (as Linde claims) is a big deal.
The A4, which is cut somewhat narrower at the rear in particular, looks almost strikingly sober. Joy is strange to him. The job is of paramount importance. Keep in mind: for the benefit of the pilot and passengers. Well, on the front of the center console there is no larger shelf. But the quality of the materials is everywhere high. Precisely engraved conservative rotary controls for automatic air conditioning and volume control ease operation, and even the visually unobtrusive fabric sports seats (with extendable legrests) are on a par with the more comfortable cuddly seats (standard on All-Terrain).
Amazing strength: A4
Well – it almost looks like a stalemate so far. So we pick the winner on the street. He drives the older Audi on a stealthy four-cylinder diesel, which vibrates slightly right up to the throttle. And stay ahead. Untouchable. Very hesitant from the start despite the belt-starting generator, it backs off a bit later with a strong, even thrust. There’s no chance of a mildly hybrid station wagon with the OM 654 M running more smoothly, despite the 15 kW electric boost and two VTG superchargers. At a speed of 100 km / h, it takes 0.6 seconds from a powerful Benz with a power of 440 Nm, at a speed of 130 km / h per second, and at a speed of 180 km / h in 1.5 seconds.
reasons? found quickly. First of all, the A4-mounted seven-speed DSG tunes and sorts gears quickly and smoothly, while the nine-speed automatic, sometimes unexpectedly jerky, works more carefully. On the other hand, the Class C weighs simply 184 kilograms. After all, an oil engine (OM) consumes less diesel. With values between 5.1 (eco) and 6.7 l/100 km, it’s just below the TDI, despite the Quattro Ultra’s power distribution. As if you’ve already suspected it on a Daimler, the S-AT 3211 also features a 66-liter tank subject to an additional fee (€59.50). This results in a range of 985 kilometers and a small headway in the driving department.
Hard Thing: Class C
Good thing, after all, the standard 40-liter tank is ridiculously small. Two additional additions stand out in the configuration: Pirelli sports tires (P Zero) and larger front brake discs (together €655). Constellation of course does not correspond to the all-terrain philosophy. But it guarantees well-measured values in slalom and short braking distances. The only annoying thing is that the brake response behavior takes a lot of getting used to, as was the case with the first test of the C 300 dT model. First, there was a lot of fluffy pedal travel and a bit of lag, but then a lot more aggressive.
Audi does not slow down hard, after the tenth full stop of 130 km / h it stopped after only 3.5 meters. This costs a lot of points. It is commendable for its high suspension comfort. In both city and highway, its adaptively damped chassis (1,030€) handles small gaps and road rolls much more confidently than a raised station wagon. This, in turn, convinces with more sensitive and precise steering and does not sag in curves as evident as the A4’s careless off-roader. For fun handling, we still recommend a standard C-class.
thus. Terrain end. The All-Terrain clearly wins, thanks in particular to its clever configuration. Now the final choice for adventurers. Is everything still there? The rims are intact, nothing collapsed? Yes it fits. Now just shake the dusty mats – and that’s it.
Exactly my style!
Awesome fake offroad cars
The elaborately assembled all-terrain is not technically convincing in every respect. Space, lofty interior and powerful brakes guarantee first place.
Respect: Great performance among station wagons very well. Faster, more comfortable, smaller – what more could you ask for? Slightly stronger brakes.
|Audi A4 Allroad Quattro 40 TDI||Mercedes C 220 d T All Terrain 4Matic All Terrain|
|Base price||52000 EUR||57,061 EUR|
|external dimensions||4762 x 1847 x 1493 mm||4751 x 1820 x 1494 mm|
|trunk size||495 to 1495 liters||490 to 1510 liters|
|Displacement / Engine||1968 cc / 4 cylinder||1993 cc / 4 cylinder|
|perfomance||150 kW / 204 hp at 3800 rpm||147 kW / 200 hp at 4200 rpm|
|maximum speed||232 km/h||231 km/h|
|0-100 km/h||7.4 seconds||8.0 seconds|
|consumption||4.8 liters per 100 km||6.7 liters per 100 km|
|Test consumption||6.8 liters per 100 km||6.7 liters per 100 km|
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