Audi has been one of the fastest-growing makers in the UK in recent years, and cars like the A4 are a big part of this success. It offers something for everyone, with a wide choice of bodystyles, trims, engines and transmissions.
Launched in 2008, the A4 still looks fresh and although it’s never been the most involving car to drive, this compact exec is very hard to beat as an all-rounder. You can now pick one up for less than £7,000 – here’s what to look for.
The latest A4 saloon arrived in February 2008, with four-cylinder 1.8 TFSI or 3.2-litre V6 FSI petrol engines. Diesel fans could choose from a four-cylinder 2.0-litre or 2.7 and 3.0 V6 TDIs. In June 2008, the Avant was launched, along with a 2.0 TFSI, plus a low-power (120bhp) 2.0 TDI. A rugged Allroad appeared in May 2009, with 2.0 TFSI, 2.0 TDI or 3.0 TDI power. By October 2009, the 134bhp 2.0 TDIe had arrived, with 120g/km of CO2. A facelift in January 2012 brought new colours, styling tweaks, stop-start and revised suspension and steering. Audi’s quattro 4WD is an option on all models bar the 1.8-litre petrols and lower-powered diesels.
Premium German car makers have this class sewn up, with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class being the A4’s toughest adversaries. The BMW is the driving enthusiast’s choice, but both offer excellent build quality, a wide choice of engines, plus saloon or estate options. If you want four-wheel drive, you’ll need one of the latest examples of the 3 Series. The recently replaced Lexus IS comes in saloon form only, and isn’t that involving to drive, but reliability is outstanding and the dealers’ service tends to be superb, while standard equipment is generous.