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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The A4 Avant is spacious and handles well. It is a desirable car, too

Against The estate car is poor over bumps and is potentially pricey. The rear seats don't fold flat.

Verdict The A4 Avant is a very competent, classy estate, but overall it's just beaten by the competition from BMW and Mercedes

Go for… 2.0 TDI 140 SE

Avoid… 3.2 TFSI quattro models

Audi A4 Avant
  • 1. Kerbed alloys could mean steering alignment is out
  • 2. Look for damage to the bumpers caused by careless reversing
  • 3. The boot is a good size and easy to load
  • 4. Cabin materials are high quality and feel solid
  • 5. The ride is a little on the firm side
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Audi A4 Avant full review with expert trade views

Audi has a good reputation for building classy wagons, and the A4 Avant lives up to that. The styling is more sports hatch than load-lugger, but even so the boot is a good size and easy to load, although some rivals are slightly bigger. Unfortunately the rear seats don't fold completely flat, which makes loading longer items awkward.

The handling is balanced and there's good grip through bends. Pity the steering can feel artificially light at times and doesn't provide more feedback. The ride is on the firm side, if not quite as severe as that of the BMW 3 Series - although the A4 Avant struggles on poor surfaces.

The cabin is well laid out and spacious enough for four adults. Visibility is good, and the driver's seat is easily adjustable to suit most people. The A4 is no longer the class leader in terms of fit and finish, but the cabin is still build with high quality, solid feeling-materials.

Trade view

Most A4s start life as company or fleet cars so you need to check it has been cared for.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

You'll need a good reason not to consider the diesel models. The 2.0-litre TDI engines, with between 118bhp and 168bhp, are the best option - not only for availability, but for running costs and residual values, too. There's also a 2.7-litre, with 187bhp and a CVT auto gearbox, plus a quattro four-wheel-drive 237bhp 3.0-litre. There is no automatic 'box option on the 2.0-litre, but the 3.0 litre is also available with an S-tronic semi-auto gearbox.

The petrol versions start with the punchy and refined 1.8-litre TFSI, with between 118bhp and 158bhp, and a 2.0-litre version with 208bhp. Both are available with a CVT auto gearbox. The four-wheel-drive 261bhp 3.2-litre is more of a car for keen drivers, but rare on the used market.

Entry-level specification is good with stability control, electric windows all round, climate control and remote central locking, while SE adds alloy wheels, parking sensors, and upgraded stereo and cabin trim, and multi-zone climate control. The S-Line version sits on lowered sports suspension with larger alloys, plus sporty cabin trim and a body styling kit.

Trade view

Most A4s start life as company or fleet cars so you need to check it has been cared for.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Predictably the diesel A4s are cheapest to run, with stronger residual values and much better fuel economy than the petrols. The 2.0-litre diesels average between 55.4 and 47.9mpg, with the 2.7-litre at 44.1mpg and the 3.0-litre managing 42.8mpg. Compare that with the 1.8-litre petrol at 39.8mpg, the 2.0-litre with between 42.8mpg and 38.2, and the 3.2-litre at 31.7mpg.

Servicing costs are on a par with those of rivals, but Audi dealers tend to have some of the highest labour rates. You'll save by switching to a reliable independent garage, or you could try a franchised dealer from one of the other VW Group of companies (Skoda, Seat and VW). They share many of the engines and gearboxes, so should be able to carry out any work.

It's too soon to assess the A4 Avant's long-term reliability. So far there are few reported issues, but the previous version has a reputation for being less than perfect.

Trade view

Most A4s start life as company or fleet cars so you need to check it has been cared for.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Few problems have been reported so far, with most owners happy with their cars.

There are some complaints about notchy or noisy gearboxes, but this doesn't appear to affect their performance.

Most A4s start life as company or fleet cars. Have a thorough look at the car and check it has been cared for. Heavily kerbed alloys could mean the steering alignment is out, and tyres will wear faster than expected. Also look for damage to the bumpers caused by careless reversing.

Make sure the service history is complete, and that high-mileage cars have been serviced at the correct intervals.

Trade view

Most A4s start life as company or fleet cars so you need to check it has been cared for.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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