The new Audi A4 Avant is modern, well-stocked with hi-tech equipment and boasts a massive boot. For anyone who wants an upmarket family car, it’s got a lot going for it.
As ever with Audi, the Avant comes with a top-notch interior. However, to get the absolute best out of it, you’ll need to dip into the list of extras, many of which are on the expensive side.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Audi A4 Avant review.
On The Road
In terms of how it drives, the Avant is hardly inspiring or engaging. Instead, Audi has gone for comfort and refinement but it’s still easy to drive. The precise steering is pleasing, body lean is kept to a minimum and the suspension setup is – surprisingly for an Audi – comfortable.
That said, we recommend that buyers pay a bit more for the adaptive dampers as they let you prime your car according to the conditions and surfaces. Moreover, if you fancy taking corners with more enthusiasm, you can quickly stiffen things up.
All the engines, including the petrols and the diesels, offer strong power, refinement and good efficiency. There’s not a bad engine in the line-up.
The petrol range kicks off with a 1.4-litre petrol unit, but we’d overlook this in favour of a pair of 2.0-litre petrols. The smaller of the two develops 187bhp and can get you from rest to 62mph in around 7.5 seconds. This figure stays the same whether you go for the 6-speed manual or specify the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic ‘box.
The bigger of the 2.0-litre engines, meanwhile, develops 249bhp and can race from a standstill to 62mph in 6.0 seconds flat. It comes with Quattro four-wheel-drive as standard.
If you really need even more power, the turbocharged S4 Avant is the one to look at. It’s backed by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, produces as much as 349bhp, comes paired up with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and can get you from rest to 62mph in just under 5.0 seconds. Is that kind of speed necessary in a family car. Probably not. But it’s damn exciting!
Audi A4 Avant Interior, Design & Build
Audi is well-known for their high-quality interiors, and the new A4 Avant is no exception to the rule. It’s seriously plush and its cabin looks a lot like the saloon variant. The materials are swanky, build quality is good and everything is where you’d expect it to be.
The design is simple and clean, and while its rivals run the car close, no one can compete with the Avant’s cabin.
A 7” colour screen controls most of its functions. It’s easy to get to grips with, though you can fork out extra for the brands Virtual Cockpit. This dispenses with the usual instrument dials and replaces them with a highly customisable TFT screen that comes with sat-nav.
In terms of how practical the Avant is, it’s hands down one of the most usable cars in this sector. It’s larger than its rivals we’ll be comparing it to below and there’s lots of room both up front and in the rear. Headroom is excellent, the steering wheel and driver’s seat offer lots of adjustability and the seats are super comfy.
The back seats come with a pair of ISOFIX child seat mounts, but a transmission tunnel means that any adult sat in the middle will find things awkward. For this reason, the Audi is best suited to either two adults or three children in the back. The high roofline makes access easy and there are plenty of storage bins here and there.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 505-litres. If you fold the rear seats you can extend it to 1,510-litres. The plastic levers make it really easy to fold and its shape is practical which makes it easy to use. Unfortunately, however, the boot floor doesn’t lie totally flat when you fold the rear seats.
Equipment & Safety Of The Audi A4 Avant
The Sport model adds LED interior lighting, a leather multi-function steering wheel, an enhanced ten-speaker stereo, sports seats and sat-nav. The S Line trim rounds things off with 18” wheels, LED exterior lighting and a sports body kit.
Is the Audi A4 Avant safe? It was awarded all five stars by Euro NCAP for its crash test performance, while its standard safety kit includes multi-collision brake assist, pre-sense city braking, anti-lock brakes, parking sensors and electronic stability control.
Costs Of The Audi A4 Avant
Prices for the new car start out from £29,250 and rise to £44,900. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from around £255 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the petrols measure up well, although they’re not expected to sell as well as the diesels. The 1.4-litre engine kicks things off, and it averages 51.4mpg while emitting 131g/km of CO2. This gives it a BiK rating of 25%.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engines offer more power but don’t both cost more to run. The smaller 187bhp variant, for example, returns 53.3mpg. The bigger of the two, on the other hand, averages 46.3mpg.
Then there’s the high-performance 3.0-litre V6 S4 model that returns 37mpg at best and emits 171g/km of CO2.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi A4 Avant
Once again, Audi has endowed another of their cars with a high-class interior.
On the road, the car is comfortable, composed and nicely refined.
Its 505-litre boot is the biggest in this class.
Not as Engaging to Drive as Some Rivals
Where drivability is concerned, the Audi is no match for the BMW.
The likes of adaptable dampers, a head-up display and the Virtual Cockpit are all tempting – and expensive.
Audi A4 Avant vs Mercedes C-Class Estate vs BMW 3 Series Touring
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Audi A4 Avant review.
Audi A4 Avant vs Mercedes C-Class Estate
The new Mercedes C-Class Estate is one of the most stylish family cars around. It’s also super comfortable and very practical.
If you want a comfortable and relaxing driving experience, it’s impossible to ignore the C-Class. It’s nowhere near as engaging as the BMW we’ll be checking out below, but it’s quick and its engines are solid performers.
While the cars standard suspension setup is just fine, you can add the optional air suspension system for even better cruising. That said, it isn’t available with the entry-level model.
In terms of its engines, there’s a lot to choose from. The C250 BlueTEC is the biggest diesel. It develops 201bhp which is enough to get you from a standstill to 62ph in less than 7.0 seconds.
At the other end of the scale is the C200 diesel. Powered by a 134bhp 1.6-litre engine, it takes just over 10.0 seconds to complete the 0-62 sprint. It’s much more affordable and will suit high-mileage drivers.
All models come with a so-so 6-speed manual transmission, while a more relaxed 7-speed automatic is available as an optional extra.
The C220 BlueTEC diesel, meanwhile, is the most economical. It can return 68.9mpg and emits just 109g/km of CO2. The C250 BlueTEC, on the other hand, returns 62.8mpg, which still isn’t too shabby at all.
Inside, the Mercedes can compete with the Audi, though we’d say the Avant just edges it. The C-Class has an upmarket, classy cabin, with all models getting satin chrome highlights and gloss-black surfaces. It’s very sophisticated stuff.
Comfort is okay in the entry-level models, but the more expensive trims can be specified with air suspension which really takes smoothness up a notch.
Is the Mercedes C-Class Estate practical? It’s an estate, so the answer is a resounding yes. It’s not as big as some mainstream models, such as a Skoda estate, but it’s got the badge appeal to go with its usability.
It’s longer than last time, legroom is good, a reversing camera is optional, and the boot measures 490-litres. Fold the rear seats and you can extend that to 1,510-litres.
Audi – £29,250 – £44,900
Mercedes – £30,235 – £47,030
Audi A4 Avant vs BMW 3 Series Touring
The new BMW 3 Series Touring is the more practical version of the 3 Series Saloon. Incredibly, it’s also more stylish.
In terms of how it drives, the BMW has the Audi beaten. It’s as good a handler as the saloon variant and it’s easily the most fun exec estate on the market. Its steering is accurate and not overly heavy, there’s plenty of grip available and the brakes are nice and strong.
The 316d Touring sits at the bottom of the range. It suits high mileage drivers, returning 64.2mpg and emitting 116g/km of CO2. We like the 320d Touring, which returns 62.8mpg without sacrificing much on the performance front.
The 335d Touring xDrive comes with four-wheel-drive and it’s a bit of a beast. It can get you and your family from rest to 62mph in less than 5.0 seconds, which outdoes all the petrol models. It returns 50mpg while emitting 151g/km of CO2, however, so it will hardly be the most popular choice. However, those numbers aren’t awful.
Inside, the BMW can’t quite match the Audi for quality but there’s still a lot to like about it. The driving position is excellent and ride quality is much better than what you’d expect from such an exceptional handler.
The dashboard keeps things simple and tasteful, and all the controls are in the right places. Build quality is good, as is durability.
As usual, the car gets the brands much-praised iDrive infotainment system, which continues to be the best around. It’s easy to use and logical, and it comes with a number of possible upgrades, including Professional navigation that features 3D mapping.
All models, meanwhile, benefit from BMW’s remote services feature. This lets you check how much fuel you’ve got left, your car’s status and so on using a smartphone app.
Is the BMW 3 Series Touring practical? Its boot measure 495-litres, which is 10-litres shy of the Audi. If you fold the rear seats you can increase it to 1,500-litres, which will be good enough for most families.
Interior space is decent, but we’re not convinced by the seat height adjustment system. It’s awkward.
Storage spaces are everywhere but we wouldn’t recommend three adults getting into the rear. It’s best suited to two and access is easy.
BMW – £28,130 – £45,620
Verdict Of Our 2018 Audi A4 Avant Review
A bigger version of the Saloon variant, the Avant Estate has retained its sibling’s sense of class and upmarket aesthetics. It’s spacious, gorgeously crafted and merges practicality with the economy to good effect.
If you need a powerful, usable and ultimately desirable family car, the new Audi A4 Avant is a great choice.