ALL roads lead to Rome, or so the saying goes. And I would certainly have loved to set off for the Eternal City in Weekend Wheels’ latest test car – an Audi A4 allroad.

Allroad refers to the car’s capabilities, sporting the legendary quattro four-wheel-drive system that is designed to take on all sorts of conditions. It also has extra ground clearance to help in this regard.

The A4 allroad quattro has a long-established reputation as an outstanding cross-country performer, and facilitating its impressive on or off-road ability is that increased ground clearance of 34 mm – electronically selectable – over the standard A4 Avant.

Also available for when the going gets tough is optional adaptive suspension with damper control.

The five-door estate boasted an entirely new version of the quattro system. Fundamentally, it de-activates all-wheel drive when it is not needed, but ensures that it is also permanently and instantaneously available, significantly reducing the potential fuel consumption difference between the two drive configurations.

Three stages of activation ensure there is no perceptible change from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive, and the new drivetrain with ‘ultra’ technology saves four kilogrammes in weight.

As is customary for Audi allroad models, robust under-body guards and contrasting wheel arches create a more rugged look in combination with a unique single-frame grille design and model-specific air intakes and roof bars.

Our car, an allroad Sport 2.0 TDI quattro 190PS S tronic featured a feast of kit, including xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, a smartphone interface, rear parking sensors and electrically powered tailgate operation, plus protective equipment such as a pre-sense collision avoidance system and multi-collision brake assist.

Fit and finish is impeccable, and the cabin is a pleasing place to be, with leather and Alcantara upholstery and three-stage heated front sports seats.

Options, in a substantial list, included a parking assistance pack, technology pack, and electrical adjustment for the front seats with memory function for the driver’s side.

The driving experience is peerless, with confidence-inspiring handling and oodles of power from the two-litre, turbo-charged, four-cylinder diesel engine, channelled via a super-slick seven-speed automatic gearbox. Top speed is 136mph, with 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and combined fuel consumption of 57.6mpg (manufacturer’s figures).

The A4 allroad quattro is a winning blend of top build-quality style, technology and luxury with the bonus of added capability over a variety of surface conditions.

Price, including options: £50,895