Audi A4 Avant Review
The Audi A4 Avant is a practical and well-built estate car with a stylish, high-tech cabin and a range of economical engines but it won’t stand out in a crowd and isn’t much fun to drive
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Big boot
- Impressively well-built cabin
- Comfortable and quiet on the move
What's not so good
- Desirable options cost extra
- Not that exciting to look at
- Alternatives are more fun to drive
Audi A4 Avant: what would you like to read next?
The Audi A4 Avant is a great choice if you’re looking for a practical family car that’s roomy enough for five adults, has a big boot and comes with a good range of frugal engines.
Sure, its minimalist interior design might not feel quite as sporty as the one in a BMW 3 Series Touring but everything feels incredibly solid and the optional Virtual Cockpit digital driver’s display is leagues ahead of anything you’ll find in the BMW or a Mercedes C-Class Estate.
It’s dead easy to get comfortable in the Audi A4 Avant, too – the front seats are supportive, roomy and come with loads of adjustment as standard and there’s more space in the back for tall adults to stretch out than in either the Mercedes or BMW.
It’s not just adults the Audi A4 Avant caters for – it’s a doddle to fit a child seat and you can flip the back seats down in a three-way split to carry up to three passengers and some long luggage at once.
If you need to carry some very bulky luggage, the Audi A4 Avant’s back seats flip down to open up an almost completely flat load bay. It’s bigger than in the 3 Series Touring and easily large enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached.
The A4 Avant is far from the most exciting car on sale, but then who's looking to be thrilled by a big practical box on wheels?
The Audi A4 Avant isn’t just practical, it’s fairly cheap to run, too. Pick the 1.4-litre petrol if you spend most time driving around town or a 2.0-litre diesel if you do plenty of motorway miles. There’s even a pair of powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesels and two turbocharged V6 petrols if you pick the performance S4 or RS 4 versions.
Avoid these sporty models and the Audi A4 Avant’s comfy, easy to drive and mutes most of the unpleasant wind and tyre noise you normally hear at motorway speeds.
It’s even pretty easy to drive around town. Its large windows give you a good view out and all models come with parking sensors to help take the stress out of squeezing into tight spaces.
Another handy feature you get as standard is the automatic emergency braking. It’ll help stop the car as quickly as possible if it detects an obstacle in the road ahead and makes sure the Audi A4 Avant’s as safe as it is spacious. It’s certainly deserving of a place on your shopping list.
If you want to see what kind of offers are available, visit our Audi A4 Avant deals page.
The Audi A4 Avant’s cabin is stylish and very comfortable, but be prepared to hand over some serious cash if you want all the optional high-tech bells and whistles
There’s no shortage of room inside the Audi A4 Avant and it’ll happily take four six-foot adults and their luggage, but the load lip and fixed-height floor can make life a little difficult sometimes
Who said sleek looks and space couldn't come in the same package? Clearly not Audi, because the A4 Avant is as practical as it is sleek
There’s loads of adjustment in the Audi A4 Avant’s front seats to help you find your ideal driving position and enough head and leg room to stretch out – even if you’re very tall. Unfortunately, only S Line cars and above come with adjustable lumbar support to help reduce back ache on long drives – it’s a £250 option on SE and Sport cars.
Fancy electric seat adjustment? It’s a reasonable £200 extra on S Line models but will set you back a rather eye-watering £900 on entry-level SE versions. It does come with a handy memory function however, which is useful if you regularly lend your car to someone significantly taller or shorter than you.
Even with a six-foot-tall driver up front there’s enough space in the back for an equally tall passenger and you get even more headroom in the Audi A4 Avant than in the standard A4 saloon. The seats are nice and supportive and there’s enough space under the front seats for your passengers to slide their feet forwards.
You get slightly more shoulder room in the Audi than in the Mercedes or BMW which makes it better for carrying three adults abreast. The central seat isn’t quite as comfortable as the other two but it’s still fine for shorter journeys and there’s more space for your middle passenger’s feet than you get in a BMW 3 Series.
It’s just as easy to fit a child seat in the Audi as in the BMW or Mercedes thanks to its wide door openings and clearly marked Isofix anchor points. Unfortunately, they come with easy-to-lose removable plastic covers instead of the BMW’s simpler folding caps.
The Audi A4 Avant comes with loads of handy storage bins to help keep its cabin looking neat and tidy. Both front door bins can hold a 1.5-litre bottle each and the cupholders in the centre console are big enough to hold two one-litre bottles. There’s even space under the front armrest and in the generous glovebox to hide away a couple of cameras.
Pay an extra £175 for the optional Storage Pack and you get armrests for the back seats, a lockable glovebox, a sunglasses-sized cubby hole beside the steering wheel and some storage nets behind the front seats.
The Audi A4 Avant’s 505-litre boot is 10 litres larger than the 3 Series Touring’s and 15 litres bigger than in C-Class Estate. You probably won’t notice this difference unless you regularly fill your boot to the brim but the Audi’s slightly wider boot opening makes it a touch easier to load bulky items than in the BMW or Mercedes.
Unfortunately, there’s a slight lip in the boot and you can’t raise the Audi A4 Avant’s floor which can make loading very heavy items slightly tricky but you get plenty of handy tethering points, shopping hooks and storage nets to stop smaller items rolling around.
Annoyingly there’s nowhere to store the load cover when you’re not using it and the remote seat latches don’t actually drop the back seats down – you’ll have to lean in and give them a shove yourself.
On the subject of folding seats, the Audi A4 Avant’s back row flips down in a three-way (40:20:40) split as standard so you can carry up to three passengers and some very long luggage at once. If you need to carry even more you can fold all three back seats out of the way to open up a 1,510-litre boot. That’s identical to the C-Class Estate’s and 10 litres more than the 3 Series Touring can manage.
With the seats folded there’s no annoying step in the boot floor and it only ramps up slightly behind the front seats so it’s pretty easy to slide in a few heavy boxes. There’s even enough space to carry a large bike with both its wheels attached.
The Audi A4 Avant is a doddle to drive and cruises along quietly at motorway speeds but lacks any kind of fun factor – even the most powerful 272hp models are a bit dull
The A4 Avant won’t put a huge grin on your face on a windy country road but no other estate this size is as comfortable or as easy to drive
You can get the Audi A4 Avant with either front or four-wheel drive and with a choice of three petrol and four diesel engines.
If you mostly drive around town you’ll want to pick the 1.4-litre petrol model with 150hp. It’s quieter at slow speeds than the diesels and will accelerate from 0-62mph in nine seconds. Audi claims it’ll return 48.7mpg but you can expect to see a figure in the high thirties in normal driving conditions.
You’ll want to take a look at a 2.0-litre diesel instead if you do lots of motorway miles. These 150hp and 190hp models are slightly quieter at speed than the petrol and will return around 55mpg and 50mpg respectively in real-world conditions.
Want something a little faster? You can also get a pair of more powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesels. The 218hp model can accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds and return around 50mpg while faster 272hp cars return around 45mpg and can reach 62mph from rest in just 5.4 seconds.
Sadly, the 252hp 2.0-litre petrol can’t match the more powerful diesel for acceleration or economy – it’ll struggle to crack 35mpg and takes six seconds to accelerate from 0-62mph.
If you want a practical estate that’ll put some sports cars to shame you should check out the S4 and RS 4 models. These come with powerful petrol V6 engines and will blast from 0-62mph in less than five seconds but keeping their tanks brimmed will put a serious hole in your wallet. They also cost more than £45,000 and £60,000 respectively – without adding some expensive must-have options.
All 2.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel Audi A4 Avant cars come with an automatic gearbox as standard but it’ll cost you £1,530 on 1.4-litre petrol versions and £1,550 on 2.0-litre diesel cars. It’s well worth the extra cash, however – especially if you do lots of long journeys or find yourself regularly stuck in traffic jams.
All but the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol cars can be fitted with a quattro four-wheel-drive system to provide extra grip in slippery conditions. The standard front-wheel drive setup is surefooted enough however, and can easily deal with a leaf-covered country lane or a few inches of wintry slush.
The Audi A4 Avant might be boxier than the standard car but it’s still just as easy to drive around town. The pillars between the windscreen and front doors don’t create any large blind spots at junctions and its larger rear windows give you better rear visibility than in the saloon. You also get front and rear parking sensors across the range to help make it easy to park.
It’s even pretty comfortable over rutted inner-city roads. Its suspension soaks up bumps and irons out potholes reasonably well – even in sporty Black Edition models with their larger 19-inch alloy wheels.
You can get it with lowered sports suspension for £325 to make it feel a little livelier on tight twisty roads but it makes the Audi A4 Avant feel less settled on rough surfaces. The Adaptive Sports suspension is a much better upgrade – it absorbs bumps even better than the standard setup and stops the Avant’s body from leaning in tight corners. It costs £600 on S Line and Black Editions cars and £900 on SE and Sport versions.
Even if you stick to the standard suspension the Audi A4 Avant is still very relaxing to drive. It’s quieter than the Mercedes and BMW and all models come with cruise control to give your right leg a rest on long drives.
The A4 Avant hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP but it comes with the same advanced safety kit as the five-star-rated A4 Saloon. You get automatic emergency braking to help stop the car if it senses an obstacle ahead and a system that’ll keep the brakes on after a collision to help prevent you injuring your neck should you be hit by another car.
If safety is high on your list of priorities you should also consider the optional Driver Assistance Pack. It costs a fairly reasonable £1,250 and comes with lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control that’ll hold you a safe distance from the car in front.