Audi RS 4 Avant review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
Given the performance on offer, the RS 4 is remarkably fuel efficient. It’ll be pricey to insure, however
Step one in the cost of ownership of an Audi RS 4 Avant is the initial purchase price. This starts from around £62,000, but you can easily ramp up the costs by adding options. You can blow an extra £10k in an instant by going for the RS 4 Carbon Edition. As you might've guessed, this adds plenty of carbon fibre trim inside and out, as well as an RS exhaust, 20-inch wheels and matrix LED headlights.
Some of these extras can be added individually to the standard car, while other options include the RS dynamic package that raises the speed limiter from 155mph to 174mph, carbon ceramic brakes and plenty of other extras to personalise the cabin.
One area where performance saloons and estates most often come undone is running costs. All that power in a relatively heavy body means they're not the most efficient machines for sale, even by performance car standards. The RS 4 Avant is better than most, however, thanks to that downsized V6 engine.
We have yet to see this fast Audi tested under the latest WLTP test procedure (or the RS 5 for that matter), so official economy remains at 32.1mpg combined. This is relatively acceptable for a 444bhp motor, while in our testing we found it easy to exceed 25mpg in normal driving without too much effort, and even get close to 30mpg on a run. By comparison, a Mercedes C 63 estate manages about the same official figures, but in the real-world you’ll be looking at closer to 20mpg unless you take it easy.
The RS 4 Avant’s emissions of 199g/km are also from the older NEDC tests, and are comparable with rivals. Any way you cut it, company car costs will be steep. As the car's list price exceeds the £40,000 barrier, road tax for the first five years you pay it will be subject to the premium car surcharge and add more than £400 to your annual road tax.
With so much performance on offer, the RS 4 Avant will be desirable to thieves, while the keyless entry system could be victim of a keyless theft attack. Add in a host of components that will be expensive to repair or replace in the event of an accident, and it's no shock to learn that the RS 4 has a Group 44 insurance rating.
As if to prove the desirability of a high-performance estate car, experts predict that the RS 4 Avant will retain 58 per cent of its value after three years. In comparison, the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate only holds on to 43-46 per cent of its value.
In this review
- 1Audi RS 4 Avant reviewThe fourth generation RS 4 replaces V8 with turbocharged V6, but its all-weather pace and ability are better than ever
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe RS 4 is very fast in any conditions, but it's comfortable and refined when you want it to be. It just lacks a bit of character
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingGiven the performance on offer, the RS 4 is remarkably fuel efficient. It’ll be pricey to insure, however
- 4Interior, design and technologyRS 4’s pumped-up exterior looks good, while cabin is as slick and solidly built as any Audi
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe RS 4 retains the impressive roominess of the A4 Avant, while it’s almost as comfortable despite the performance
- 6Reliability and SafetyA wide spread of assists and safety features are reassuring, but Audi’s recent Driver Power performances left something to be desired