The bulk of A4 buyers are likely to opt for one of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesels, but the figures for this 3.0-litre unit are impressive nonetheless.
The 0-62mph sprint is over in 7.3 seconds, yet the engine averages 55.4mpg and emits just 135g/km of CO2.
Whats the 2012 Audi A4 Avant 3.0 TDI like to drive?
The new engine pulls strongly from low revs and is both smooth and refined.
The standard CVT automatic gearbox allows easy progress once youre on the move, although it can hesitate a little when you want to make a quick getaway.
Wed avoid the S line trim that our test car came in, because it brings stiffer suspension and bigger alloys that make the ride unsettled.
No amount of fiddling with Audis Drive Select system (a 220 option that lets you adjust the steering, accelerator and gearbox responses) cures the oddly weighted steering and susceptibility to tram-lining, either.
Whats the 2012 Audi A4 Avant 3.0 TDI like inside?
Audi has improved the interior materials for the face-lifted car, and it shows.
Theres also space for five six-footers in the cabin, and the offset pedals that usually make life uncomfortable for the driver arent as big a problem here thanks to the standard auto gearbox.
The boot is fractionally bigger than the rival Mercedes C-Class Estates, and its easily accessible because theres no load lip and the opening is wide.
Should I buy one?
This new 3.0-litre diesel A4 gives you all the power youll ever need, while remaining surprisingly affordable to run.
However, the 2.0 TDI 177 model is nearly as quick and refined, average economy is 3.5mpg to the good, and it's two bands lower for company car tax. Overall, its the better option.
What Car? says