What's the used Audi A4 estate like?
Once upon a time the Audi A4 Avant and its rivals were labelled as ‘lifestyle’ estates, as they seemed to rank style and intent above down-to-earth practicality. Now, though, a few generations on, these cars have all grown in size, and now offer space and flexibility as well as retaining a heap of handsome styling.
The A4 Avant is based on the Audi A4 executive saloon, one of our very favourite cars, both new and used, and adds a larger and more practical boot. Indeed the engine range of the A4 Avant even mirrors that of the saloon, meaning four-cylinder petrols are offered alongside four and six-cylinder diesels, with front and quattro all-wheel drive and six-speed manual and seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
Later models became known by numbers, so the petrols became the 148bhp 35 TFSI, the 187bhp 40 TFSI and the 242bhp 45 TFSI, while diesels became the 134bhp 30 TDI, the 161bhp 35 TDI and the 187bhp 40 TDI.
There are four core trim levels to choose from. Entry-level SE models come with xenon headlights, 17in alloy wheels, an acoustic glazed windscreen, cruise control, parking sensors, keyless ignition and various semi-autonomous braking systems as standard. Inside there is tri-zone climate control, manually adjustable front seats and Audi's MMI infotainment system, complete with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, smartphone integration, a DAB radio and a 7.0in colour display.
Upgrade to Sport and you'll find more supportive front sports seats, interior ambient LED lighting, sat-nav and a 10-speaker audio system, while S line models get a bodykit, sports suspension, 18in alloy wheels, LED head and rear lights and a leather and Alcantara upholstery. Topping the range is the Black Edition trim, which adorns the A4 with 19in alloy wheels, tinted rear windows and lots of gloss black interior and exterior trim. Later models became Technik, Sport and S line, with a range-topping Black Edition.
While the A4 is in its element on the motorway, it’s not as exciting to drive as the BMW 3 Series, with the steering lacking anything in the way of feel and the suspension not giving the same sense of agility. Ride quality is also rather poor in the larger-wheeled S line and Ultra models, which also have lowered and stiffened suspension, although the optional adaptive dampers resolve this, if you can find a car so equipped. If you can’t, stick with an SE on smaller wheels and the A4 is a very agreeable companion.
It’s a sharp-looking car on the outside and is arguably even better inside, with a thoroughly modern design and exquisite, class-leading build quality. The driving position is good, and there’s plenty of space for passengers front and rear. The dash looks classy, and the infotainment system is first-class.
You’ll also find the A4 Avant is a comfortable car, too, with a smooth ride and eager handling. But its main selling feature is its refinement, which is particularly good even with the diesel-engined options.
The boot space is rated at 505 litres, rising to 1510 litres when the standard 40/20/40 split rear seats are folded. The smaller boot volume figure eclipses both the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate, its main rivals, while the C-Class Estate is a match for the A4 Avant seats down.
Add a raft of good-quality safety and security kit and you’ve got a car that shines in this class and looks even more appealing for families on a budget when purchased used.
Page 1 of 5