Audi A4 Avant (2008-2015) review - price, specs and 0-60 time

Estate A4 gets new look and layout

Evo rating
Price
from £23,400
  • Desirable and efficient piece of sculpture
  • Hardly a thrill a minute

OK, it’s just a new-generation Audi A4 with a more useful tail. It’s a good-looking tail, true, into which the A4’s ‘tornado line’ – that’s the ridge along the midriff in Audi designer-speak – flows rather satisfyingly. And the A4 Avant does have the most load space in its class, which excludes those nasty Fords, Citroens, Volkswagens, etc, because they aren’t premium. And in the mind of the Audi buyer, premium is all and emperors wear new clothes.

The Avant isn’t as good an estate car as it could be, though, because the rear seat cushion doesn’t fold out of the way to let the backrests fall down further. Result: a floor higher and slopier than it should be. Still, as a load-carrier it’s not bad.

What's it like to drive?

But what we really want to know is whether it’s a decent drive at the same time. First the A5 and then the A4 gained Audi’s new-philosophy disposition of engine and chassis, with the diff where the clutch used to be and the front wheels moved about six inches forward accordingly. Result: a shorter front overhang than before and a less nose-heavy weight distribution. Bringing the rack nearer to the hub-carriers, via shorter, stiffer steering arms, has helped sharpen things up, too.

Or so we were promised. First impressions of the A5 suggested a minimal improvement, thanks to the intervention of Audi’s marketing department, which didn’t want to alienate existing buyers. These A4 Avants, however, do feel quite sharp, with a keen turn-in and a positive, mechanical feel to the handling overall. The steering still feels artificial, though, even if the optional ‘Active Drive’ variable-ratio steering feels less unnatural than BMW’s similar system.

Engine and performance

As ever, the smaller-engined, front-drive versions seem wieldier and purer in their responses than the tech-laden quattro V6s, 40:60 front:rear torque-split or not. All ride better than expected, but the star is the new 1.8 TFSI with 158bhp and a sweetly-delivered wash of turbo torque. It’s all you need.

Price and release date

The Audi A4 Avant is available now from £23,400.

Read our full Audi A4 review here.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1798cc, turbo
Max power158bhp @ 4500-6200rpm
Max torque184lb ft @1500-4500rpm
0-608.9sec (claimed)
Top speed140mph (claimed)
On saleJune

Most Popular

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon
Audi RS7 vs M8 Comp GC - cornering
BMW

BMW M8 Competition Gran Coupe vs Audi RS7 Sportback – battle of the alt-supersaloon

BMW's grandest of M8 Competition Gran Coupes takes on our impressive fast-fleet Audi RS7
16 Jan 2021
Next-generation Nissan Z revealed in patent images
Nissan Z Proto patent front
Nissan 370Z

Next-generation Nissan Z revealed in patent images

We’ve already seen it in concept-form, but these patent renders offer a first look at the model in production spec
15 Jan 2021
Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant
Electric Renault 5 concept
Renault 5

Renault 5 set to relaunch as an EV – Alpine eyeing hot hatch variant

A new Renault 5 has been confirmed as part of the company’s future strategy presented by CEO Luca de Meo, with an Alpine hot hatch variant also on its…
14 Jan 2021