Used Audi A4 Avant 1995 - 2001 review

Category: Estate car

The original Audi A4 Avant is a relaxed, reliable, capable estate with a certain air of sophistication.

Audi A4 Avant 1995-2001
  • Audi A4 Avant 1995-2001
  • Audi A4 Avant 1995-2001
Used Audi A4 Avant 1995 - 2001 review
Star rating

What's the used Audi A4 estate like?

The interior of the original Audi A4 Avant is built like a bank vault, so even high-mileage cars should be free from rattles and squeaks. Like the saloon, this A4 Avant kick-started Audi's renaissance as interior design masters. The materials are classy and the styling is measured, understated cool.

Space in the back is meagre, but at least the ride is comfortable on most surfaces and you won't hear much outside din as you're whisked along at speed.


The original Audi A4 Avant is a relaxed, reliable, capable estate with a certain air of sophistication.

  • Phenominally well built
  • Should go on forever if you take good care of it
  • There's less room in the boot than you might think
  • 90bhp diesels are a bit sluggish

The engines are smooth and hushed until near the red line, but since most of them give strong mid-range shove, you don't need to go there. Handling? It's okay - the four-wheel-drive quattro models are better - but it's no BMW 3 Series Touring. The brakes can bite a bit too sharply, too.

Luggage space isn't generous, but the A4 Avant is more extended hatchback than estate, and the rear seats will fold so you can do the dump trip in one hit.

Ownership cost

What used Audi A4 estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Audi A4 estate?

First the bad news: if it goes wrong, it's going cost you, according to data from Warranty Direct.

Now the good news: they rarely go wrong. So choose a good one - have it inspected professionally before you buy, and you shouldn't have much to worry about.

Standard servicing costs are reasonable, and you can cut labour rates by as much as 40% by going to one of the many Audi/VW specialist garages rather than a franchised dealer.

Insurers shouldn't fleece you either, provided you steer clear of the top-trim 2.8 and 3.0 V6s, which are in group 17. A basic 1.6 petrol car qualifies for group 10 and a well-equipped version of our favourite 1.9 TDI weighs in at group 13.

Our 1.9 will also be easy on the wallet when you fill up - its official average is over 50mpg. The 1.6 and 1.8 petrols should be good for mid-30s, the V6 2.5 TDi turbodiesel about 40mpg and the petrol V6s high 20s.

Our recommendations

Which used Audi A4 estate should I buy?

The 1.9 TDi turbodiesels came in two basic states of tune and it's worth paying a little extra to get the higher-powered variants (110bhp or 115bhp). They have much more mid-range muscle than the 1.8-litre petrol and better fuel economy.

The 90bhp 1.9 TDI cars can feel lethargic at times and the 1.6-litre isn't really worth bothering with. If you want more pull than our recommended model, there's a meaty 1.8 turbo petrol and a range of V6s, some with six-speed gearboxes.

When it was new, the A4 Avant was well equipped, even in basic trim. However, it's woth tracking down an SE version, which brings extra luxuries, including climate control, and you may even find some models equipped with tasty options, such as leather seats.

The ideal car will be sold privately through the classifieds by a caring owner. They do exist, but watch out for the lemons. Alternatively, try a specialist independent trader.

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