You can have two seat styles in the A4 Avant – standard seats in the SE, or Sport seats in the Sport and S line trims. Both styles provide a comfortable shape and firm but supportive cushions, although the Sport seats give better side support.
Electric lumbar adjustment comes as standard on the top S line models and is optional on the lower trims. The rest of the seat’s adjustments are manual and include height adjustment, with full electric adjustment available as an extra.
The steering wheel also moves for height and reach, so whatever your size you should find a driving position that suits. It’s only spoilt a little by the offset pedals, more noticeably so if you have a manual gearbox.
Other than that, the cabin is extremely well thought out with clear controls that are all within easy reach.
Audi A4 Avant visibility
With fairly narrow windscreen pillars you get a decent view forwards in the A4 Avant, and the size and shape of the door mirrors help give you a good view of what’s coming up alongside. With the mirrors being heated, this is still the case on a frosty winter’s morning, when you may also find the optional heated windscreen a boon.
The Avant’s estate-car body also opens up the view rearwards, although the angled rear pillars mean it’s still not quite as easy to see out of as some rivals, such as the boxier VW Passat Estate. That said, you do get standard rear parking sensors on all models, while the optional Parking Assistance Pack gives you front parking sensors, a 360deg camera and parallel and bay parking assist. This can be upgraded further to include a range of sensors that will warn you of moving hazards when you are reversing and changing lanes.
Audi A4 Avant infotainment
Audi’s MMI infotainment system is among the best of its type on the market, perhaps second only to BMW’s iDrive. It uses a rotary controller by the gearlever – which acts as a convenient hand rest when operating the system – to control the various menus. This makes operating it on the move much less distracting than some of the touchscreen designs. The menus are quite intuitive and the processing snappy.
The standard 7.0in screen is mounted high on the dashboard, with nice, clear graphics. Sat-nav is optional on the entry-level SE and standard on the rest of the range, but all models come with Bluetooth, two USB ports and a DAB radio. An upgraded version with a 8.3in screen, a writing pad for entering addresses and phone numbers, voice activation and a 10GB hard drive is on the options list.
Another screen in between the instruments shows additional driver information, or you can opt for the Virtual Cockpit. This converts the whole instrument binnacle into a 12.3in screen that displays everything from sat-nav maps to telephone contacts right in the driver’s line of sight, operated via the steering wheel-mounted controls. You can also order a head-up display to project among other things your speed and the current speed limit on the windscreen.
Audi A4 Avant build quality
There are some very well constructed rivals in this class, but none can hold a candle to the A4 Avant’s cabin. The materials are top-notch, with high-grade plastics used liberally and hard plastics few and far between, as well as a range of metal or wood veneer trims on offer. On top of the material quality, everything feels screwed together to an extremely high standard.
All the switches operate with finesse and it’s little details like the precise machine-like clicking action of the rotary heater controls that make it a satisfying place in which to spend time.
Options include an extended LED lighting pack to bathe the cabin in a choice of colours at night, and fine Milano or Nappa leather for the seats.