Audi A4 Avant

We drive the flagship diesel version of the updated Audi A4 estate, that blends pace, space, efficiency

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Apart from the performance S4 Avant, this 3.0-litre V6 TDI is the quickest – and most expensive – model in the revised A4 line-up. Yet even with four-wheel drive and an auto box, it’s still relatively efficient, plus it has the most stylish and well built cabin in the class. If you need a rapid, luxurious and stylish estate, the A4 Avant is a great choice.

It's not only the A4 saloon that has been updated: Audi has tweaked the Avant version, too – and we’ve tested the flagship 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel to see if it’s worth the £35,825 price tag.
Thanks to the facelift, it looks the part more than ever before. The car in our pictures is a basic SE model, but that doesn’t take away from a design that makes it one of the smartest estates on the market. We also drove an S line model with 18-inch alloys and a lowered ride height – perfect for turning heads.
Video: watch our video review of the facelifted Audi A4
Unlike the 2.0 TDIe engine in the saloon driven on Page 32, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI is only available with quattro four-wheel-drive. This is out of necessity more than anything else.
With the engine delivering 242bhp and 500Nm of torque, four-wheel-drive grip is needed to stop the wheels breaking traction under hard acceleration. The sprint from 0-62mph takes 6.1 seconds – which is the same as a Renaultsport Megane 265 Trophy.
Audi’s S tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Drive Select system give the Avant a split personality. We started off with the car in Efficiency mode, and were disappointed to find the 3.0-litre TDI engine felt sluggish as the box quickly changed up to the higher gears. Switch into Dynamic mode, though, and the car is much sharper – and can embarrass plenty of sports cars off the line.
It would put up a good fight on twisty roads, too, as the four-wheel-drive system provides huge traction out of corners. But as with the saloon, the steering lacks the feedback needed to make you feel part of the action.
The most notable benefits of the facelift for drivers will come at the pumps. The old 3.0-litre V6 TDI was costly to tax and fuel, as it emitted 183g/km of CO2 and returned 40.9mpg.
Now, though, CO2 emissions have dropped to 154g/km, thanks mainly to stop-start and a new electric power- steering system. That means you’ll save £180 a year in road tax, while improved 47.9mpg economy will also bring lower bills at the pumps.
The interior benefits from the same simplified layout and material updates as the saloon, while our car had new oak inlays.
The rest of the Avant package remains the same, and the 490-litre boot is bigger than that found in the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class, although the 1,430-litre maximum is just shaded by the Merc.
If you can afford it, we think the flagship A4 Avant diesel is definitely worth the asking price.

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