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Audi A4 review - as refined and composed as ever, but is the new A4 fun? - Performance and 0-60 time

No matter the body style, this is the best A4 yet

Evo rating
  • Much improved ride and handling, great cabin, tempting tech
  • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it styling, no steering feel

The A4 is available with four different engines, most of which can be chosen with two different power outputs. Three different gearbox options can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive too.

The 1.4 petrol is the only one to have just one power choice, it’s available exclusively in front-wheel drive form and with a six-speed manual transmission, too. The 1.4 Saloon can accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.7sec while the Avant takes 9sec.

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The 187bhp 2-litre TFSI really needs to be worked hard to deliver any meaningful performance; sadly this highlights its rather unpleasant aural character. At a cruise it settles and the noise barely intrudes into the cabin. Officially, the manual Saloon will reach 62mph in 7.2sec while the estate takes 0.3sec longer. The dual-clutch S Tronic transmission adds 0.1sec to the Saloon’s time but doesn’t change the Avant’s.

The same 2-litre petrol can be had with 249bhp too. The extra power is complemented with four-wheel drive and is only available with the S Tronic gearbox. The 249bhp petrol Saloon goes from 0-62mph in 5.8sec while the Avant takes 6.0sec.

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Audi’s 2-litre diesel can be had with either 148bhp or 187bhp. The more powerful of the two is the only one we’d recommend. It undoubtedly suits the character of the car and it doesn’t suffer unduly at the hands of its petrol counterpart in terms of performance but it won’t excite you to any degree. The manual Saloon takes 7.7sec to get from 0-62mph while the Avant takes 7.9sec. The S Tronic gearbox alone makes no difference to the acceleration times, but when equipped with four-wheel drive too both versions are 0.5sec quicker to 62mph.

The 2-litre TDI is remarkably smooth in operation – contributing to a cabin Audi claims is now as quiet as that of an A8 – and flexible from low revs. Given its driving characteristics and claimed economy, it’s little wonder Audi expects the 2.0 TDI to remain the biggest-seller of the A4 range.

There are two power choices for the 3-litre V6, either 215bhp or 268bhp. Both have a broad torque curve and sharp responses, too, it returns strong performance at all times without the frustratingly narrow sweet spot of some diesel engines. It doesn’t quite have the sustained punch of BMW’s equivalent, nor the almost sonorous bark of its Bavarian rival, but it’s silent, smooth and endows the A4 with an effortless demeanour. The 215bhp V6 diesel can only be had with the S Tronic transmission but this helps the Saloon reach 62mph in 6.6sec and the Avant in 6.7sec. Adding four-wheel drive improves the acceleration times by 0.3sec.

The more powerful V6 can only be had with four-wheel drive, however, depending on whether you choose the Saloon or Avant you get a different gearbox. The Saloon comes with the seven-speed S Tronic gearbox, while the Avant gets an eight-speed automatic. The S Tronic equipped Saloon is the fastest non-S A4 you can buy, it goes from 0-62mph in just 5.3sec. The Avant is just 0.1sec slower.

The A4 Allroad is also available with the most powerful diesel engine, just like the Avant it comes with the eight-speed automatic. The Allroad takes just 0.1sec longer than the Avant to get from 0-62mph.

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