On the road in the Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI

In Audi, Car Reviews by Tom Scanlan

The estate version of Audi’s latest A4 is available for those who need to carry more stuff than the saloon boot can manage.

Tom Scanlan drives the Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI 190PS S tronic
The estate version of Audi’s latest A4 (that went on sale in November) is now available for those who need to carry more stuff than the saloon boot can manage.

The Avant, as Audi has long christened its load carriers, claims to have more capacity at the back than any of its rivals in the sector (premium compact executive), so if you would describe yourself as a premium compact executive, read on!

The A4 has already won a car of the year accolade from a leading magazine, so expect no less quality and value in the Avant. Standard features across the range are the power tailgate and electrically-retracting luggage cover.

Yes, the financial outlay starting at £27,300 for the SE version might call value-for-money into question and, sure, you need to look closely at this.

With all premium sector cars, it’s the optional extras that catch us out… you find you’ve got to have this and you’ve got to have that over and above the basic offering. Having said that, there are always deals to be done, especially if you go the PCP route.

Audi expects that, of all the variations in engines and spec., it will be the diesel ultra Sport 190 PS that sells the most and will retain 40% of its new price after three years or 60,000 miles. The claim is also that that beats the Avant’s rivals.

Driving an Audi is almost always a most civilised experience. The car I drove to get my first impressions was, in fact, the petrol-engined TFSI with the same power output as the 2.0 diesel.

Not unexpectedly, it is hard to find fault with the engine..and the car as a whole. No matter how amazingly Diesel engines have come on over a couple of decades, I still find petrol-powered cars to have an edge in feel and refinement; they may not have the ‘grunt’ of a diesel engine low down the rev range, but the delivery is satisfactorily smooth and unobtrusive.

Audi’s automatic gearbox is a delight, as ever. The suspension and seats combine to ensure a comfortable ride, and the steering and handling are, respectively, accurate and sure-footed, as we knew from the saloon.

As to the interior, Audi says there is more space up front for the driver and front-seat passenger than in the outgoing version in terms of head and shoulder room. There is, apparently, a similar increase for those in the back…I did, though, find that I could have done with more leg room when I got into the back and that was with the front seats set for occupants of only average height.

Audi’s super ‘virtual cockpit’ is an attractive newcomer to the Avant, available as an option. As are the Matrix LED headlamps that are so polite to oncoming drivers who won’t be dazzled by them. Standard items include 17-inch alloy wheels, Xenon headlights, smartphone interface, Audi Drive Select, three-zone climate control and a 7-inch colour MMI monitor.

Audi’s spec list is lengthy, so suffice to summarise here just some of the gains that the new Avant makes over its predecessor. Drag coefficient is a mere 0.26; it is 120 kilograms lighter, there is now the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine available; depending on the version, up to 70.6 mpg as the official combined fuel consumption figure and 104 g/km in emissions.

The trip computer recorded my drive in the 190 PS petrol Avant as a rather ordinary 33.2 mpg. The route took in a good variety of roads and I wasn’t pushing the car hard except on a couple of occasions. It showed that a useful safety feature is the car’s overtaking ability, not to mention beautifully powerful and progressive braking.

Actually, this Avant can hit 62 mph in a mere 7.5 seconds. It can also whisk you up to a top speed of 148 mph, but you’ll have to find yourself an unrestricted Autobahn to test that claim out.

Car reviewed: Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S tronic (190 PS) 0-62mph 7.5 secs Top speed 148mph Combined Fuel Economy 53.34mpg CO2 emissions 124g/km Engine 1984cc inline 4-cylinder Max Power 190PS@4200-6000rpm Torque 320Nm@14500-4200rpm Transmission 7-speed dual clutch

  • Spacious Cabin

  • Virtual Cockpit

  • Refined

  • Can be pricey

About the author

Tom Scanlan

'Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars. He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0. In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.'

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