Used Audi A4 long-term test: report 2

The Audi A4 is suave and sophisticated, not to mention a former What Car? Car of the Year, but how well will a nearly new example stack up to long-term use? We’re finding out...

Audi A4 LT

The car 2020 Audi A4 35 TDI Black Edition Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here We want to find out if a nearly new version of this premium executive saloon makes good sense

Needs to Prove that it can match a number of its rivals for dynamic ability, everyday usability and comfort and opulence, as well as cope with the daily grind of family life and work

Mileage 4823 List price new (2020) £39,770 Price new with options £44,140 Value now £33,000 Test economy 47.3mpg Official economy 53.3mpg

18 July – This Audi's a cool cat, despite the unkempt pause

I’m not sure if it’s the Quantum grey paintwork or the five-spoke alloy wheels, or the touches of black exterior trim added by my Black Edition package, but my used Audi A4 has been attracting many favourable comments from friends and neighbours. And I think they’re right – this latest A4, in the sportier trims and viewed from the right angle, has developed over time to be quite a handsome old Hector.

Audi A4 LT

I like driving it, too, even if it might not be rip-snortingly quick or handle like a Porsche Cayman. My favourite aspect is probably the steering, which is well weighted and pleasingly direct, and operated through a handsome steering wheel that feels, with the perforated leather material that comes as part of the S line trim, good to the touch. I could do without its flat bottom, but I guess we could all do without a flat bottom.

On top of that, all the control weights seem evenly matched, a quality I’ve noticed before in VW Group cars, so the steering, gearlever and brakes, and even some of the major and minor controls, such as the temperature dials, all seem to work in harmony. They all appear to be solid and well made, too, as does the interior as a whole. It succeeds by feeling, as all Audis do, a bit classy, and those that have travelled in it are as fulsome in their praise of the interior as they are of the exterior looks.

Audi A4 LT

So far, it's proving pretty economical, with early journeys averaging out at around 47mpg, which is not bad considering the town and motorway mix it's been subjected to. I suspect that by paying particular attention to it, this figure could easily be improved upon. 

Mind you, there is a fly in the driving experience ointment.

When you put your foot down at a low-speed crawl, there's a noticeable lag between order and action. Now, the A4 is not alone in this. Indeed, many petrol and diesel-engined cars with automatic gearboxes seem to display the same characteristic lag these days. It's down to them being tuned for low emissions rather than an eager response.

Audi A4 LT

It’s a little disappointing when the rest of the A4 is so elegant, but it’s still not enough to dampen my enthusiasm for this smart Audi.

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