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Audi A4 Avant Review

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

The Audi A4 Avant is the estate version of the German marque’s compact executive saloon and a big rival to BMW’s refined 3 Series Touring, writes Tim Barnes-Clay.

Although most of the A4s you’ll see on the roads won’t be the Avant, the car with the bigger booty is supposedly the best combination of premium performance, style and practicality that Audi offers.

The Sport Edition, which is the entry-level trim nowadays, is tested here. But it still comes well-equipped, with 17-inch 10-spoke wheels, LED headlamps that pierce the night like a lighthouse, three-zone climate control and heated front seats.

The cabin greets you with a three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel with gearshift paddles and twin-leather upholstery – available in beige, brown, grey or black, setting the tone for a luxurious ride.

The 40 TFSI engine is a gem – a well-refined 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit churning out a healthy 204PS, making it an animated performer.

It is paired with a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission that’s smooth and refined, ensuring that power delivery is always on point.

The A4 Avant is a beauty, no doubt about it, with its elongated silhouette and sharp lines giving it a commanding presence on the road.

It is visually appealing with Audi’s now traditional aggressive hexagonal goatee grille at the front, chiselled air intakes and a mean frown from the headlights.

Driving the A4 Avant is an experience in itself. The ride comfort is top-notch, thanks to the ‘comfort dynamic’ suspension that easily absorbs bumps and potholes. However, the next trim up, S-Line, has a firmer, sportier suspension.

You don’t need a harsher ride as the handling is still sharp and responsive in the Sport edition. It makes it a joy to navigate through winding country roads or busy city streets, meaning you can stick at entry level without compromising.

The 40 TFSI engine is a performer, delivering its power smoothly and efficiently. At the same time, the S tronic gearbox ensures seamless gear changes.

Step inside the A4 Avant, and a delightful, stylish, and functional cabin welcomes you.

Even the standard black colour scheme feels classy and timeless. Mind you, that’s partly thanks to the aluminium inlays, which brighten things up nicely, adding much sophistication and modernity.

The infotainment system is a standout feature, positioned on the dashboard with its 10.1-inch touchscreen that’s intuitive to use and packed with features like Audi Connect, MMI Navigation Plus and Audi Smartphone Interface.

You also get a digital instrument cluster called Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus, replacing the traditional analogue dials with a 12.3-inch high-resolution LCD, providing lots of helpful information in your line of sight.

Practicality, though, is where the A4 Avant truly shines.

It offers five relatively spacious seats for what’s still a compact car, offering a relaxing ride for all occupants, ensuring a comfortable experience even on long journeys.

Boot capacity measures 495 litres with the rear seats up, increasing to 1,495 litres with them folded down in a convenient 40/20/40 configuration. However, BMW’s 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate offer marginally more.

Still, that’s enough for your weekly shopping, a couple of suitcases, or even a small piece of furniture.

Fuel economy is okay, delivering 44.1mpg emitting 146g/km of CO2 in the process, making it a reasonably good choice for an estate of its size.

The latest Audi A4 Avant hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP – in fact, the most recent model was an A4 saloon that was put through its paces eight years ago. Nevertheless, all eleven Audis tested since scored five stars with regular ratings of over 90% for adults, 85% or more for children and 70-80% for safety assists.

Safety features include Audi pre-sense city, parking system plus, cruise control with speed limiter, plus automatic emergency braking, while an optional driving assistance pack adds even more.

In conclusion, the Audi A4 Avant is a car that ticks all the right boxes: it’s stylish, powerful, practical, and packed with features.

You are paying for a premium badge, so it’s not the cheapest option out there, and its fuel economy could be better. But these are minor gripes in what is otherwise a very impressive package.

The Audi A4 Avant is a car that delivers on its promises – and then some.

Fast Facts – Audi A4 Avant [40 TFSI Sport Edition S tronic] as tested:

  • Max speed:            130mph
  • 0-62 mph:               7.3secs
  • Fuel economy:       44.1mpg (WLTP)
  • Engine layout:       2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
  • Max. power (PS):   204
  • CO2:                      146g/km
  • Price:                     £39,005

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