Audi A4 Avant Review

The Audi A4 Avant family estate is spacious and efficient with an upmarket interior

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Large, practical boot
  • Best interior in its class
  • Very efficient diesel engines
  • Options are expensive
  • Confusing suspension choices
  • Newer models have distracting touchscreen
Audi A4 Avant prices from £14,500.
Finance from £245.34 / month.

Audi A4 Avant prices from £9,300   Finance from £253.24 per month

There was a time when the term 'estate car' conjured a image in your mind of a boxy old Volvo. More recently, however, that conception has been replaced by much more modern and stylish looking cars. They even have new names, you can have a Shooting Brake, a Touring, or in the case of Audi, an Avant.

Despite this modern take on estate cars with sculpted and swooping exterior styling, the main premise remains. The Audi A4 still has a large boot - 505 litres with the back seats up is more than you get in the Mercedes C-Class Estate and the BMW 3 Series Touring, and that grows to 1,510 litres with the seats folded down. Just as importantly, there's a wide load area, making it less likely that you'll be stranded at Ikea with a flat pack wardrobe that gets stuck in the boot opening. The seats fold in three stages (known as 40:20:40) so you can fit long loads into the car and keep up to two spaces for passengers in the back.

The bootlid is powered - a love it or hate it feature - so you can open and close it at the touch of a button. Select the hands-free opening option, and you'll just need to poke your foot underneath the rear bumper - with the key in your pocket or bag - to open the boot. There are secure Isofix mounting points for child seats in the back, and the current Audi A4 saloon received a full five stars when crash tested. A basic automatic braking system that can potentially help you to avoid crashes also comes as standard.

Inside, the high-tech dashboard might not be as stylish as the one in the Mercedes C Class estate but feels so well-built that even a Rolls-Royce owner would be impressed. It's uncluttered and well-laid out, with most functions accessed through the dashboard screen. This uses the same software as on many other Audis, controlled by a dial near the gearstick. It's easy to learn, so it doesn't take long before you're carrying out basic tasks without taking your eyes off the road.

Beware, though, that models sold from mid-2019 onwards ditch the rotary controller, meaning you have to jab the touchscreen to change settings while driving - a substantial distraction. So you may be better off going for a pre-update car that still has the rotary controller next to the gearstick.

Audi doesn't make life easy by offering four types of suspension, but if you choose one of the two with comfort in their name, you should have a car that soaks up bumps better than the competition. Efficient ‘ultra’ diesel engines, meanwhile, help to keep fuel costs low and make sense for those who cover high mileages.

There's also a sporty Audi S4 Avant, with a big and thirsty 3.0-litre petrol engine that brings acceleration from 0-62mph down to just 4.9 seconds.


Key facts

Warranty Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size 505 litres
Width 1,842mm
Length 4,725mm
Height 1,434mm
Tax (min to max) £20 to £145

Best Audi A4 Avant for...

Best for Economy – Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra SE S Tronic

The 'ultra' diesel engines are the most efficient available on the Audi A4 Avant. Fuel economy with the S Tronic automatic gearbox is little different to the manual on paper but it will probably help you use less fuel in the real-world, as it changes gears at the optimum time.

Best for Families – Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra SE

You might be dismayed at the amount of equipment that's optional - and the prices that Audi charges for it - but most owners will be able to live with the basic specification, which includes three-zone climate control and the dashboard screen.

Best for Performance – Audi S4 Avant

Audi gives the ‘S’ prefix to the fastest regular versions of its cars. The S4 Avant will be on sale soon with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine that’ll get the car from 0-62mph in just under five seconds, as well as Audi’s quattro four-wheel-drive system for surefooted handling in all conditions.

One to Avoid – Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI 252 Quattro S Line S Tronic

This well-equipped petrol four-wheel-drive A4 is great to drive but a high purchase price and steep running costs mean it makes poor financial sense compared to the more efficient diesels.


  • February 2016 Audi A4 Avant range goes on sale in Britain.

Understanding Audi A4 Avant names

Engine 2.0 TFSI 252

The engine size is given in litres (2.0 in this case). Small engines are generally more economical than larger ones. Petrol engines are badged TFSI and diesel ones TDI. The most efficient of these also have the 'ultra' label. The other figure (252) is the engine's horsepower, which is the European way of measuring power. Confusingly we use a slightly different measure in Britain: brake horsepower (bhp).

Driven wheels Quattro

Quattro is Audi's name for four wheel drive

Trim S Line

The trim level you choose affects the amount of standard equipment fitted to the car. The A4 comes in three regular levels called SE, Sport and S line. The sporty Audi S4 is currently top of the Audi A4 Avant range.

Gearbox S Tronic

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with Audi’s seven-speed ‘S tronic’ automatic transmission also available with certain engines (quattro four-wheel drive cars are only available with the automatic gearbox).

Audi A4 Avant Engines

Petrol: 1.4 TFSI, 2.0 TFSI, 3.0 TFSI Diesel: 2.0 TDI, 3.0 TDI

The A4 Avant offers an extensive choice of petrol and diesel engines, so should find an option that suits your needs and budget.

Starting things off is a 1.4-litre petrol engine with almost 148bhp. It moves you from a to b but doesn't feel powerful enough for a relatively luxurious estate, especially when the Audi A4 Avant is loaded up with passengers and luggage.

The 2.0-litre petrol engines - one with 187bhp and one with 249bhp -  are better suited to the A4. More power means that they don't have to work as hard, making driving feel smoother. Both arer quick too, but but fuel economy hovers around the 50mpg mark depending on what size wheels you pick, so they’re far from the cheapest Audi A4 Avant models to run.

The diesels will probably be a better choice for most buyers – particularly those covering more than about 10,000 miles a year. The entry-level ‘ultra’ version can just scrape 70mpg on the smallest wheels, which is very impressive for a big estate car like this. Again, though, a more powerful engine could be advisable if you intend to make the most of the Avant’s luggage capacity or use it for towing. The 187bhp diesel in particular is a nice middle ground, returning over 60mpg but still managing to accelerate from 0-62mph in under eight seconds.

Topping the diesel range are two very powerful 3.0-litre units, which feel more suited to the sections of German Autobahn without speed limits than the congested roads of the UK. The most powerful 267bhp one isn’t far off the performance of the sporty S4 Avant, which gets its own 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and does 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.





0 - 62mph

top speed

1.4 TFSI


50.4 - 51.4mpg




2.0 TFSI


47.1 - 53.3mpg



146 - 148mph

2.0 TFSI


44.1 - 46.3mpg




3.0 TFSI






2.0 TDI


64.2 - 70.6mpg


9.0 - 9.2s

130 - 133mph

2.0 TDI


60.1 - 68.9mpg


7.4 - 7.9s

130 - 143mph

3.0 TDI


57.6 - 64.2mpg


6.4 - 6.7s


3.0 TDI


52.3 - 53.3mpg




Audi A4 Avant Trims

SE, Sport, S line, S4

The cheapest specification of Audi A4 Avant  - the A4 Avant SE - comes with a good level of standard equipment, including 17in alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, 7in colour screen, DAB digital radio, cruise control and rear parking sensors. Practical luggage features, including 40:20:20 split folding rear seats and a powered bootlid are also standard but four-wheel drive and the 3.0-litre TDI diesel engines aren’t available with this trim.

The next level up is the Audi A4 Avant Sport for a little under £1,000 more. Most importantly, this includes sat-nav as standard, along with a different design of alloy wheels, sports seats and a ten-speaker stereo. It also has a wider choice of engines including quattro four-wheel drive and powerful 3.0-litre diesels.

Topping the regular A4 Avant range is the smart-looking A4 Avant S line. The most obvious difference compared to the lesser models is a sporty bodykit. It also gets larger 18in alloy wheels, full LED headlights, part-leather upholstery and the full range of engines.

Sports suspension (20mm lower than standard) is included, but this does make the ride firmer and less smooth over bumps. Because of this, Audi will replace it with standard suspension (known as comfort) for no extra charge unless you have one of the 'ultra' diesel models. Ultra models can only be fitted with sport suspension.

The choice of suspension is made even more confusing because Audi offers two more options for additional cost. These are more sophisticated adaptive systems that can adjust to the road and also offer pre-set modes - to make the car feel sportier or more comfortable. The first, 'adaptive comfort', is a slight improvement over standard comfort suspension. The second, 'adaptive sport', has a mode that's more comfortable than the standard sport suspension.

The Audi S4 Avant serves as its own trim level, with a single choice of engine: the powerful 3.0-litre V6 petrol. It has more powerful brakes and further upgraded suspension, with full leather sports seats and aluminium trim inside.

In addition to the standard equipment, the Audi A4 option list is lengthy (and expensive), allowing you to personalise the car to how you use it. Regular motorway users may want to opt for adaptive cruise control, which maintains a set distance from the car in front. It comes with traffic jam assist, allowing the car to drive itself - accelerating, braking and steering automatically - in congested traffic at speeds of up to 37mph.

Audi's virtual cockpit replaces the dials behind the steering wheel with a digital screen that can be customised. For example, you can make the speedometer smaller to leave space for a giant map, giving you clearer directions right under your nose. There's also a self-parking system and head-up display, which projects your speed and sat-nav directions onto the windscreen. A heated steering wheel for cold mornings and fan-equipped seats that cool your back on warm days are available too.

Audi A4 Avant Reliability and warranty

Warranty coverage is only average, too, lasting for three years or 60,000 miles. That’s the equal of what Mercedes offers, but not as good as BMW’s cover, which also lasts for three years but has no mileage limit.

Used Audi A4 Avant

Most second-hand Audi A4 Avant deals are for the previous model: there are few used examples of the current model, as it was only introduced in early 2016. Previous versions of the car have tended to hold their value well thanks to their upmarket badge, practical body style and efficient diesel engines.

Cars like this tend to be driven a lot so, in a few years' time, you may struggle to find a low-priced Audi A4 Avant still within its 60,000-mile warranty limit. You may also want to watch out for A4 Avants that have been subjected to the rigours of family life or been used to transport pets, and therefore suffered more wear and tear to the boot and back seats than usual.

Other Editions

A4 (2015)

This premium family saloon offers class-leading comfort, the latest in-car technology and sharp design