£24,000 - £45,000 Price range
40 - 72 MPG
First reviews are in for the new Audi A4 Avant. The car gets the same high-quality interior as the saloon it is based on, is bigger inside and has a revised range of engines that offer improved efficiency. As before, it competes with rivals such as the Mercedes C-Class estate, BMW 3 Series Touring and Volvo V60. If you don’t need the estate version then read our review of the A4 saloon.
Buyers now get the option to specify Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, which replaces the conventional analogue dials found in rivals. It can flick between roles at the touch of a button. As a result, the interior has a classy uncluttered feel.
The car is wider and longer than the outgoing model, so interior space has been improved throughout. Audi is also claiming a class-leading boot capacity. For the full run down, read our Audi A4 dimensions guide.
Early reviews are of the pre-production prototype and, as yet, only one engine has been tested, although it’s arguably the one of most interest – a 2.0-litre petrol that offers nippy performance and diesel-like fuel economy.
Although exact specification haven’t been finalised, all new Avants come with automatic emergency braking and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen. Remember to take a look at our Audi A4 Avant colours guide to see what shade best suits the Audi too.
For high performance fans, Audi will introduce the S4 with 354hp, four-wheel drive and a quick shifting automatic gearbox. If that’s still not enough, a bonkers RS4 will join the lineup later in 2016.
Cheapest to buy: 1.4-litre SE petrol
Cheapest to run: 2.0-litre Ultra diesel
Fastest model: 3.0-litre 272hp diesel
Most popular: 2.0-litre TFSI S-Line
Interior quality was one of the old A4’s strong points and the new car picks up where it left off. The standard 7.0-inch display lets the company do away with conventional buttons, leaving only primary controls for items such as the car’s ventilation system. It’s now more effective than ever thanks to a huge vent that runs along the passenger side of the dashboard – called the Air Shower.
Although the car’s only been driven in left-hand-drive form, reviewers say getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy, with plenty of adjustment for both the steering wheel and driver’s seat.
Audi A4 Avant passenger space
The car’s increased exterior dimensions have been put to good use inside, where headroom and shoulder room in the front have increased by 24 and 11mm respectively, while rear legroom is up by 23mm. The transmission tunnel eats into foot room for a fifth passenger, though. The car also has new seats that are more supportive.
Audi A4 Avant boot space
The new car claims to offer the biggest boot in class, if only by a whisker. Load capacity comes in at 505 litres compared to the 495 litres you get in the BMW 3 Series Touring and the 490 litres summoned up by the Mercedes C-Class estate. Maximum load capacity with both rear seats folded down has yet to be confirmed, but will more or less level peg with its rivals.
It should offer a significant improvement over the old A4 however and much of that come thanks to a weight reduction of up to 120kgs across the range. Testers report that the car feels composed in corners with minimal body lean, although the 3 Series’ steering has more feel and is quicker, making it easier to drive quickly round curves.
You get four different suspension setups to choose from, including two adaptive damper setups. The more comfortable of those offers three settings of various stiffness and in its softness mode is said to offer a smooth ride, something that wasn’t always true in the old A4 particularly when it was kitted out with large alloy wheels and S line sports suspension. Around town the new A4 can still get caught out by potholes, though.
Most Avants can expect to spend a lot of time on the motorway and they should prove extremely quiet at a cruise – wind noise is well contained (thanks to the new A4 being the most aerodynamic car in its class) and testers report road noise is also well contained.
While the A4 is available with a variety of engines, it’s the new 2.0-litre petrol that proves the most intriguing. It combines a reasonable slug of performance, with fuel economy that would have been expected of a diesel not too long ago.
It produces 187hp and pulling power of 234lb ft, enough to get the car from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 149mph – 9mph quicker than the old 1.8-litre FSI it replaces. However, it never feels as quick as the figures suggest and can’t offer the same mid-range shove (useful for overtaking) as the company’s 2.0-litre diesel.
Fitted with the optional S Tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (a six-speed manual is standard) the car can return fuel economy of 58.9mpg and emissions of 109g/km for £20 annual road tax. Choose the manual and road tax rises to £30 a year.
With automatic emergency braking now coming as standard and the car being constructed from super-strong hot-formed steels, you can expect the new A4 to be even safer than the current car, which was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP. Other standard safety features will include multiple airbags, stability and traction control, while active cruise control and lane assist will be on the options list.
As just production-ready prototypes of the new A4 have been driven, exact specifications have yet to be confirmed, but we know all models come with a seven-inch infotainment display and automatic emergency braking. The line-up will follow the same naming strategy as seen across most of the rest of the range with basic SE and sporty S line time levels.
Audi A4 Avant Quattro
Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive has proved a popular option in the UK and will be a cost option on most of the range bar top end models such as the new S4 and RS4, they’re tipped to go into production soon after the standard car.
Instead of heralding a radical change, the new Audi A4 looks to improve on the weak points of the old car. It looks more modern, is has extra space and feels even nicer inside. The comfort of the suspension – something often complained about – has been vastly improved and, while the BMW 3 Series is still the car to choose if you enjoy driving, the new A4 runs it closer and is very to drive quickly. We’ll have a definitive verdict when the first right-hand-drive cars are driven on UK roads, but for now the new Audi A4 looks to be everything it needs to be.