Tips, Tricks & Trends

If You Can’t Afford an Audi A4 Allroad, Buy a Subaru Outback Instead

If you’re in the market for a wagon, then it’s tempting to give into the allure of an Audi A4 Allroad. And why not? Its sleek styling and luxurious amenities are hard to compete with and its wagon body and cavernous cargo space is extremely practical. But what if you can’t afford its steep price tag of $45,000? Then we suggest going with a Subaru Outback instead.

The Subaru Outback isn’t as attractive, but it gets the job done

A blue Audi A4 Allroad wagon on display at an auto show
Audi A4 Allroad | Scott Olson/Getty Images

We know, suggesting a Subaru to anyone that really wants an Audi sounds downright ludicrous, but if you think about it, it makes sense. There’s not really any other model currently in the market that could hold a candle to the 2021 Audi A4 Allroad when it comes to performance, cargo-carrying capability, and off-road worthiness all in one package. Except for the Subaru Outback, which can basically do everything that the A4 Allroad can, but to a little bit of a lesser degree.

For example, the Outback might not look as attractive and sleek as the A4 Allroad, but it doesn’t look offensively cheap, either. If anything it looks more rugged, but sophisticated, as if it can take you to that expensive dinner after playing in the dirt without skipping a beat. But if the exterior doesn’t do it for you, then maybe the interior will.

2020 Subaru Outback displaying capability with staged photo on top of a cliffside
The off-road capable 2020 Subaru Outback | Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

It’s what’s on the inside that counts a little more

If you opt for 2021 Subaru Outback Touring, then you’ll be treated to a supple Nappa leather interior complete with heated and ventilated front seats (as well as heated rear outboard seats) and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. As far as the infotainment goes, the Outback is now available with a massive 11.6-inch touchscreen that sits front and center and is connected to a premium Hardon Kardon sound system with six speakers. There’s also dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt and sliding moonroof, and all of the driver-assist features that you could possibly need via Subaru’s EyeSight system.

In contrast, you’ll get the same type of amenities in an Audi A4 Allroad, but in a neater package. There is a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, available heated and ventilated seats, and a Bang and Olufsen sound system. However, just remember the cost of entry to get all of that.  

RELATED: How Do You Pick Between the Subaru Outback and Ascent?

2020 Subaru Outback interior fitted with Java Brown Nappa Leather.
2020 Touring Outback Interior ⎹ Subaru

If the looks don’t do it for you, maybe its performance will

OK, so the Subaru Outback might not completely tickle your fancy in the looks department no matter how gussied up it is, but have you seen what’s under the hood? No, we’re talking about the standard 182-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, we’re talking about the available turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that puts out 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. According to MotorTrend, this powertrain is able to get the Outback up to 60 mph in around 6.1 seconds, which is a full second slower than the A4 Allroad, however, it’s still impressive for a wagon.

Of course, the potent engine setup isn’t the Outback’s only trick up its sleeve as the brand’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system is what puts the power to the ground. Believe it or not, it’s pretty similar to Audi’s Quattro system. And if you don’t believe us, then here is a video to showcase the similarities between the two:

RELATED: Can the 2020 Subaru Outback Actually Go ‘Out Back’ and Off-Road?

In the end, the pricing might win you over

Now that we know that the Subaru Outback and Audi A4 Allroad are pretty similar in terms of engine power, interior amenities, and even all-wheel-drive capability, it’s time to look at the price of each. The Subaru Outback starts at around $27,000 and tops out at $37,500 for the top-trim Limited. However, the Audi A4 Allroad starts at around $45,000 and top out closer to $60,000 if you opt for the Prestige trim will all of the option boxes checked.

For that kind of money, you could buy two Subaru Outbacks or at least buy one and go on a nice vacation and a fancy dinner, provided you play in the dirt first. Let’s face it, no one else really cares about the badge on the front of your car, so if all things are equal, then why should you?