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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 continues to be a popular choice in the mid-sized executive estate 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: 250

Audi is gradually introducing its mild hybrid 48-volt technology across the four and six cylinder petrol and diesel engines in the A4 line-up. Their power outputs range from 150PS to 347PS - from the Audi A4 35 TFSI up to the Audi S4 TDI, that S4 now featuring diesel power for the first time. Audi obviously sees more of a future for diesel than some of its rivals; the brand is introducing two more affordable TDI units to the line-up, the 30 TDI with 136PS and the 35 TDI with 163PS. 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 A4 has always struck an appealing balance between handling and comfort and with this MK5 model, the Ingolstadt engineers sought to improve its credentials still further by developing a sophisticated 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 who 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, most variants standardise the seven speed dual clutch 'S tronic' unit that claims to be able to improve both performance and fuel consumption.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

5.4

9.2

Combined mpg:

44.8

70.6

Extra urban mpg:

52.3

78.5

Height (mm):

1434

Length (mm):

4725

Max Speed (mph):

130

155

... and 6 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.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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