Audi A4 Avant Review
Audi up the ante with the new version of their popular model the A4 Avant.
- Increased, practical boot space
- Stunning interior
- Range of economical engines
- Options can become costly
With the A4 saloon being released recently Audi have added to their list of new models with the launch of their ninth generation A4 Avant. Since its inception in 1995 over 2.5 million have been sold with the A4 Avant becoming a successful model for the German brand.
On the Road
There is a wide range of TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines offering between 150 - 272PS.
The new 2.0 TFSI is available with 190PS using a redeveloped six-speed manual transmission while the 2.0 TDI ultra comes with 150PS and 190PS, the latter has the highest power in its class and mated with either a manual or a slick, seven-speed S tronic propels the car to 62mph in 7.9 seconds.
The V6 3.0 TDI is the world’s most efficient six cylinder engine, the quattro version has an electronically limited 155mph top speed and gets from 0-62mph in just 5.4 seconds using best in class 272PS power with 600Nm of torque.
If you have the practicality, then you want a welcoming ride and the A4 Avant doesn’t disappoint.
Based on a new platform it is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing model and the car is also 120kg lighter. A newly developed suspension improves the dynamics, it feels well planted and a solid drive out on the roads, while the handling feels light but can also be adjusted with the Drive Select system. This comes as standard and it’s also possible to change the set up of optional adjustable dampers, the dynamic steering system and also alter throttle response with five modes: Comfort, Auto, Dyamic, Efficiency and Individual.
Quattro all-wheel-drive is available on the 2.0 TFSI 252PS and 2.0 TDI 190PS and both 3.0 TDI engines.
Audi produce cars with a high level of refinement, interiors are done to a high standard putting them above their rivals and the redesign on the A4 Avant is pure class.
With a good range of economical engines Audi have developed them to not be exceedingly noisy, unless you’re going for a V6 when you want to be heard.
Even the cabin is relatively quiet, more so when the Start Stop system switches off the engine when stationary or coasting.
In the car
The redesigned interior screams premium, the climate control screen is plush, the full ventilation slot is a metre wide and with ambient lighting in the door strips and centre it turns into a very sophisticated model.
The armrest features the optional Audi phone box which charges smartphones and a clear, high resolution centre screen features navigation, media, car set up and phone settings. This can all be operated by using the MMI Touch system, a nifty dial which can be rotated, or using your fingertip you can write on it. Very clever.
The head-up display is in colour, featuring navigation, speed and assistance systems and can be adjusted to suit your driving position.
There is a good level of standard equipment on the entry level SE including three-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Keyless Go, Xenon or LED headlights, Audi drive select and a 7-inch colour display.
An option worth going for is the Audi virtual cockpit, the much talked about technology is a must for any Audi buyer now, the 12.3-inch high resolution LCD display has amazing graphics.
For those that like the sophistication of the A4 saloon but want something more practical then the A4 Avant is the ideal choice. With a best in class 505-litre boot, larger than the BMW 3 Series Touring, it offers plenty of luggage space and the split-folding rear seats increase this to 1510-litres with a one metre load through width.
It has a low loading lip to make getting items in and out easier and new to the model and to make life even easier, if you kick your foot under the rear the tailgate opens, another kick and it closes automatically. The electrically operated luggage cover also moves up and down with the tailgate. All helpful when you have your arms full.
The new A4 Avant is priced from £27,300, the BMW 3 Series Touring is marginally cheaper, with deliveries to the UK in January 2016. It is well priced amongst its rivals but options can mount up the cost so be prepared for that.
With fuel consumption reduced across the engine range expect low running costs; the 2.0 TDI 150PS has a combined 70.6mpg, full marks if you can get near that figure and emits just 104g/km of CO2 so part with just £20 annually for VED, the first year will cost nothing. The more powerful 3.0 TDI 272 PS emits 139g/km of CO2 so will cost £125 annually with a combined 53.3mpg.
Residual values are likely to be best in class on some models, the A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI SE will retain 39% of its original on the road price at three years/60,000 miles.
Audi have very high standards when it comes to quality, every little detail is tested and made sure it fits as they want visual perfection on the A4 Avant. With over 700 parts to configure in the interior Audi have been meticulous about attention to detail.
Despite their exceptional build quality Audi struggle in the reliability stakes and don’t perform as well in the various reliability surveys, with major improvements to the model this can only be a step forward in the manufacturer regaining owner satisfaction.
The new Audi A4 Avant is likely to gain the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings but hopefully there will be improvements in pedestrian safety as it only offered 39% protection when it was tested in 2009.
The car comes with six airbags, seatbelt monitoring and driver assistance systems include Pre Sense City with multicollision brake assist, Active Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go including traffic jam assist, all technologically advanced to aid the driver in numerous road situations. A Parking Pack is available as an option and adds a reversing camera, Cross traffic assist at the rear, Parking system plus, Audi pre sense rear, Exit warning and side assist.