The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
You won’t have too many issues getting comfortable in the Audi A4 Avant. There are generous seat and steering wheel adjustments, including four-way electrically operated lumbar adjustment that's standard with entry-level Technik trim. From Sport Edition trim upwards you'll find well-bolstered sports seats that hold you in place more securely through corners. Whichever seat is fitted, it's comfortable on a long trip and you get a comfy adjustable centre armrest.
That said, there are some problems. The pedals are offset to the right and there's a bulge in the footwell by your left leg. It's quite pronounced, but the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class aren't much better. The Volvo V60 is the car we'd choose if you want one of the best driving positions around.
The A4 Avant’s minimalist dashboard is simple and easy to use, with big buttons and knobs for operating the main functions, including the climate controls. All models get Audi's excellent Virtual Cockpit system as standard. It replaces analogue dials with a 12.3in digital display that you can configure in multiple ways with ease from the steering wheel buttons.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Audi A4 Avant has fairly narrow windscreen pillars so you get a decent view forward. The size and shape of the door mirrors give you a good view of what’s coming up alongside, too. Its estate car shape opens up the view rearwards compared with the A4 Saloon, although the angled rear pillars mean it’s still not quite as easy to see out of as some rivals, such as the boxier Volkswagen Passat Estate.
Fortunately, every version has front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. You get a 360deg camera on the top-end Vorsprung trim.
All Audi A4 Avants come with bright LED headlamps, which Vorsprung trim upgrades to adaptive Matrix LED headlights. These adjust their main beams to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers so you can leave them on main beams more often for better vision. They're great, but sadly not available on the lower trims.
Sat nav and infotainment
Every A4 Avant gets Audi’s impressive MMI infotainment system with a 10.1in touchscreen. The graphics are sharp, the screen is really responsive and the menus are decipherable after a little acclimatisation. We still prefer the iDrive system you get in the BMW 3 Series because it gives you the option of a touchscreen and a physical rotary controller, which is a less distracting way to make changes while you're on the road.
You get lots of kit as standard with the Audi A4 Avant. That includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, built-in sat-nav, online features, voice activation, two USB sockets in the front and an eight-speaker stereo. If you add the optional Comfort and Sound pack or go for the high-end Vorsprung trim, you get a B&O stereo with 19 speakers and 755 watts of power.
The Audi A4 Avant’s interior is beautifully crafted from high-class materials. Harder plastics are few and far between, and nearly everything else has a plush, soft-touch finish. Real metal or wood veneer (depending on the trim level) garnishes the dashboard and centre console, combining with well-damped switches to create an upmarket ambience.
The overall level of fit and finish is at least a grade or two above plenty of other cars in the class, such as the Skoda Superb Estate, and even some of the more expensive estates, including the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. Only the BMW 3 Series Touring comes close for similar money.
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