WHO said estate cars can't be fun? The Audi A4 Allroad is just that with its spacious styling, dynamic handling along with all-wheel drive for a little extra grip.
The A4 Avant is the German car maker's estate version of the A4, and the Allroad takes things up a notch further by adding quattro 4x4 to the mix, along with a dedicated off-road trail mode and extra ground clearance.
The car has recently undergone an update with new-look lights and bumpers, a freshly designed grille and all the very latest on-board technology.
It's a great looking vehicle and offers all the practicality of an estate car with excellent driving dynamics and handling to make longer journeys that much more fun. In addition, comfort levels are exceptionally high - I covered more than 550 miles in 24 hours and not once was I getting fidgety in the driver's seat.
Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering 265PS, the A4 Allroad can sprint from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and tops out at 155mph while delivering a combined 34.0mpg with carbon emissions of 181g/km.
With bundles of head room, the roomy cabin is a nice place to be and a trio of adults can sit comfortably in the back of the car without too much fuss. The panoramic sunroof is a nice feature and allows light to flood into the cabin.
Storage levels are impressive too with a boot that can swallow 495 litres of kit - this limit increases to 1,495 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there is all manner of storage compartments scattered throughout the car too.
The car was priced at Â£43,180 although a few optional extras saw the final cost creep up to Â£51,150. Not cheap then. But for that outlay you do get a whole lot of car that's packed with all the latest on-board techno treats. Features include a 10-inch wide touchscreen, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a DAB radio, a navigation system and climate control.
When it comes to performance, the A4 Allroad copes will with all challenges put in its path. It cruises effortlessly on motorways, is sprightly through the country lanes where the road holding is ultra-assured and, with great agility, it's easy to manoeuvre in busier town centre settings.
There is slightly more body sway into corners compared to the A4 Avant model due to the Allroad's added ride height, but to be honest, you have to drive pretty enthusiastically to notice it at all.
The driver benefits from an elevated driving position that results in great all-round visibility and all dials, controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use on the fly.
The steering is perfectly weighted with ample driver feedback and there are steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gears manually for added enjoyment.
There are also various drive modes called Off Road, Efficiency, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic that alter the way the car reacts with Dynamic delivering edgier responses and Comfort calming everything down a bit. The Off Road setting is ideal for uneven tracks or to cope with unexpected changes to the weather conditions.
The Audi A4 was awarded the maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and the car is packed with features to protect occupants and other road users alike. As well as all the standard safety kit, our car featured a Driver Assistance Tour Pack costing £1,250 that added Audi pre-sense with autonomous emergency braking, active lane keep assist, collision avoidance assist, adaptive cruise control with automatic stop and go, traffic sign recognition and lots more besides.