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Audi A4 Avant

ESTATEMENT OF INTENT (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Estate cars aren't meant to look as good as Audi's latest fifth generation A4 Avant. Jonathan Crouch checks out a car that aims to seriously dent the sales of rival models in the compact executive sector.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 51

The fifth generation Audi A4 Avant now features a sharper look and still claims to be class-leadingly efficient, hi-tech and, yes, practical. There's a 510-litre boot that's bigger than you might expect from a car in the compact executive market segment and the usual cool, classy Audi ambience. You'd like one.

Backgroundword count: 139

Every now and then, the car industry seizes upon a concept and rival manufacturers will indulge in a feeding frenzy to saturate the market. With hindsight, some of these concepts aren't at all clever. In the late Eighties, virtually every manufacturer rushed a four-wheel drive saloon car, hatchback or coupe to market. The Nineties saw a sudden spike in sales of small SUVs that fell over when pointed at a corner, while in the early Noughties, premium manufacturers fell over themselves to launch estate versions of their compact executive models that often actually held less luggage than the saloon cars they were based on. Every one of them an evolutionary dead end. In contrast, the latest smartly-styled and more efficient Audi A4 Avant demonstrates that in the battle between fashion and functionality, there's only ever one long term victor.

Driving Experienceword count: 309

The A4 has always struck an appealing balance between handling and comfort and with this MK5 Avant model, the Ingolstadt engineers have sought to improve its credentials still further by developing a new five-link suspension system. Optional adjustable shock absorbers with 'sports' and 'comfort' modes will enable owners to get the most from this and a dynamic steering system is another extra cost feature that'll reward those you like their driving. Both features can be controlled through the standard Audi drive select driving-dynamics system, which alters throttle response and auto gearshift timings in its most basic form. Talking of auto gearshifts, the old CVT automatic gearbox has gone, replaced by a seven speed dual clutch 'S tronic' unit that claims to be able to improve both performance and fuel consumption. As before, the A4 differs from its BMW 3 Series rival in its use of front wheel drive for most models. Also as before though, quattro 4WD is optional - and standard on the top V6 variants. The most powerful of these models even has the option of a sports differential for the rear axle to maximise traction. Refreshingly in a segment dominated by cars fueling themselves from the black pump, TFSI petrol models are still very much part of the mainstream A4 range, a 150PS 1.4-litre unit offered alongside a pokey 2.0-litre powerplant offering either 190PS or 252PS. There's also a 354PS 3.0-litre TFSI sporting S4 model near the top of the range. And a 450PS 2.9-litre V6 RS 4 Avant model beyond that. Most A4 buyers though, will continue to want a diesel, probably the 2.0 TDI 150PS variant, which gets to 62mph from rest in a brisk 8.6s. If you want more diesel power, then a 190PS version of this unit is also available, plus there's a 218PS 3.0 TDI V6 model further up the range.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62mph (secs):

5.4

9.2

[A4 Avant 3.0 TDI 272 Quattro S Line Tiptronic]

[A4 Avant 2.0 TDI 150ps S Line]

Braked Tow Weight (kg):

1400

1900

[A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI 150ps SE]

[A4 Avant 3.0 TDI 272 Quattro S Line Tiptronic]

CO2 (g/km):

104

139

[A4 Avant 2.0 TDI 150ps S Line]

[A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI Quattro 252 S Line S tronic]

Combined MPG:

42.8

70.6

[A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI Quattro 252 S Line S tronic]

[A4 Avant 2.0 TDI Ultra 150ps SE]

Cylinders:

4

6

[A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI 150ps SE]

[A4 Avant 3.0 TDI 218 Quattro S Line S tronic]

Driven Wheels:

4

... and 32 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

Performance
90%
Handling
90%
Comfort
70%
Space
70%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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