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Audi A4 review - prices, specs and 0-60 time
Once the star of the small executive range, the B8-generation Audi A4 has been outclassed by newer versions of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-class. The current A4 was launched in 2008 and received a facelift in 2012, but an all-new fifth generation car is on the way later this year, which should elevate Audi back to (near) the top of the class. As it is, despite an atypically excellent interior, a large choice of capable drivetrains and smart if sober looks, the A4 is outmanoeuvred by not only its key German rivals and the Lexus IS, but also the latest class contenders such as the new Jaguar XE.
Unless you can get a really good deal on an S4 Avant Black Edition (supposed to cost £41,985), we’d advocate either waiting for the B9 version of the A4 to arrive later this year, or else spending your money on a more advanced product from another marque – such as the Jaguar XE with an Ingenium diesel or the Mercedes C300 BlueTec Hybrid.
There’s an interesting and not-quite-so-old model in the A4 line-up, which is the allroad. Released in 2009, it was facelifted along with the rest of the range in 2012 and provides arguably the most desirable A4 package as the current model’s time comes to an end. The allroad follows some basic rules in the off-road estate game, coming with quattro as standard across the board, featuring plastic cladding and underbody protection on its lower portions, and riding higher than the standard A4 fare. Nevertheless, it’s not quite as nice an execution of the jacked-up estate formula as the bigger A6 allroad, because while it rides well, it never matches the cushioned luxury of the bigger Audi, nor does it look as impressive from the outside.