Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Getting in and out of the front is easy because the Audi A4 Avant has wide door apertures and low sills. Once inside you’ll find plenty of head, leg and elbow room, so you're unlikely to feel cramped unless you’re remarkably tall. There are bigger estate cars, though, from the cheaper Skoda Superb Estate to the more expensive Volvo V90.
You get plenty of interior storage, too, including a tray under the adjustable armrest, two cupholders in front of the gear lever, and sizeable door bins with recesses big enough to each hold a 1.0-litre bottle of water.
The Audi A4 Avant falls a little way short of the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Volvo V60 on rear space, and a long way short of the Volkswagen Passat Estate and Superb Estate when it comes to rear space. There is still enough room in the back of the A4 Avant to accommodate a couple of six-footers, but it's tight if the front seats are slid back on their runners.
Storage amenities come in the form of rear door bins that will each fit a 1.0-litre bottle of drink. You’ll need to add the optional, but reasonably priced, Storage Pack if you want nets on the backs of the front seats and cupholders in the central armrest.
Seat folding and flexibility
Folding down the rear seats is easy in the Audi A4 Avant – it’s just a case of pulling the release levers positioned conveniently inside the tailgate opening so the backrests fold in one simple action.
The seats fold in a 40/20/40 arrangement, giving you more options when you need to carry long loads but still need to fit people in the rear seats.
The Audi A4 Avant's boot is slightly bigger than the one in the Mercedes C-Class Estate, about the same as in the BMW 3 Series Touring and a bit smaller than you'll find in the Volvo V60. It has a wide aperture and a low loading lip (to help take the strain out of lifting heavy items in and out), and the load area is relatively unencumbered by wheel-arch intrusion. The minimum width is a metre across, which could prove useful if you’re on an Ikea run.
It also comes with some helpful features. There's a standard powered tailgate with an optional sensor that opens the tailgate if you wave your foot under the rear bumper (useful for when you have your hands full). The load cover also retracts automatically as the tailgate opens, plus there's a netted storage cubby on either side of the boot to stop loose items flying around.
If you simply want an estate car with the biggest boot and you are not fussed about a posh badge, the class-leading Skoda Superb Estate is impossible to overlook. It’s far cheaper yet can swallow loads more luggage – the Audi A4 Avant fits seven carry-on suitcases, while the Superb Estate takes 11.
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