Audi A4 Avant review

Category: Estate car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Audi A4 Avant 2021 infotainment
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RRP £32,510What Car? Target Price from£29,510
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Audi A4 Avant is more expensive than the non-premium estates, which include the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat, but it's predicted to hold on to its value well. Resale values are similar to those of the BMW 3 Series Touring and stronger than the Mercedes C-Class Estate. That helps to keep its PCP finance rates competitive, but these will vary depending on the deals that Audi and its rivals are doing at the time. Check out our New Car Buying service for the latest offers. 

Executive estates are popular with company car drivers, a car’s official CO2 emissions and P11D value are the critical factors that determine the benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax paid. The diesels emit the lowest CO2 and are all RDE2 compliant (so there's no 4% diesel surcharge), but that's negated slightly by the fact that they’re pricier – and consequently have a higher P11D value – than the petrols. There isn't a plug-in option of the A4 Avant, though. Plug-ins substantially lower your BIK tax and there are many available, including of the BMW 330e Touring, the Mercedes C300e and the Volkswagen Passat GTE. 

When it comes to fuel economy, most Audi A4 Avants are roughly on par with the equivalent 3 Series Touring or C-Class Estate. Our pick is the 35 TDI diesel, which officially averages around 60mpg. Meanwhile, our favourite petrol engine is the 40TFSI and that officially averages just under 45mpg.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Technik trim is our pick for the Audi A4 Avant. You get 17in alloy wheels, power-folding door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, front and rear climate control, cruise control, keyless start, and we've already discussed the parking aids, LED headlights and infotainment features. That's not a bad tally. 

That said, we wouldn’t blame you for stepping up to Sport Edition trim. That adds 18in wheels, leather seat trim, sports front seats and more aggressive looks but, importantly, retains the softer Comfort Dynamic suspension for a suppler ride than S line trim.

As well as firmer sports suspension, S line has leather and Alcantara seats, privacy glass and 19in alloys, to which Black Edition adds, well, black styling details and some Audi Sport wheels. Vorsprung is pricey but comes with everything, including adaptive cruise control, heated rear seats, Nappa leather, a sunroof and keyless entry. Sadly, you can add very few individual options to an Audi A4 Avant. As a result, you could well end up going without unless you're prepared to spend a big chunk of change on a higher trim.

Audi A4 Avant 2021 infotainment

Reliability

We didn't have a big enough sample to include estate cars in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey, but if we go by the saloon variants, the Audi A4 Saloon didn't do too well, finishing below the BMW 3 Series and the Skoda Superb, while the Mazda 6 was top. The Mercedes C-Class came bottom, by the way.

Not only that, but Audi ranks near the bottom in the overall brand rankings too, finishing 22nd out of 31 manufacturers. That’s well below BMW, but again above Mercedes.

You do get a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, which includes roadside assistance. For a reasonable cost, you can extend this for up to five years or 90,000 miles.

Safety and security

The Audi A4 Avant received five stars from Euro NCAP for its ability to protect occupants in an impact. Study the results in more detail, though, and you’ll see the Audi scored lower marks than the BMW 3 Series for protecting adults in the event of a crash.

All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard to help prevent low-speed shunts, and the optional Driving Assistance Pack includes road sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control, which make easy work of following the car in front when traffic builds up. The Avant also comes with six airbags as standard, and you can also choose to add rear side airbags.

Thatcham awarded the Audi A4 Avant five stars (out of five) for resistance to theft and four stars for guarding against being broken into.

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Overview

If you want a relatively compact estate with a premium badge, there are lots of things to like about the A4 Avant – particularly if opt for our recommended 35 TDI diesel engine, which is frugal yet punchy, and Technik trim, which is relatively well-equipped. Much bigger estates are available for considerably less money, the best of which is the Skoda Superb Estate, while the BMW 3 Series Touring is as classy as the A4 Avant but more fun to drive.

  • Refined engines
  • Comfortable ride
  • Superbly made interior
  • Not as fun to drive as the BMW 3 Series
  • More practical estates are available
  • You can’t add many options

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