What is it?
The estate version of Audi’s big-selling A4 and an important addition to the range, because the Avant takes a big portion of A4 sales, despite the outgoing model’s smaller than average loadbay.
That’s been rectified this time around, in that there’s more room seats up than either the BMW 3-series Touring or Mercedes C-Class estate can muster, and seats-down the Merc only just betters the Audi.
But, as we all know, ultimate load space matters less than the additional versatility these cars offer over their saloon version. Not that the A4’s dynamic competence has ever been as finely burnished as its interior finish, the car’s ride sometimes a crude contrast to the precision sophistication of its fittings.
Audi has spent plenty of money trying to tackle the problem this time around, the latest A4 riding on an entirely new platform, shared with the A5 Coupe, that has seen the wheelbase stretched and the powertrain’s structure reconfigured to place less weight beyond the front axle.
A lighter, stiffer, roomier – and bigger – shell, plus an array of new technologies are the essence of a remake that has seen much of the car completely renewed. There’s a wide choice of engines on offer, from a 1.8 TFSI through to the range-topping 3.2 V6 petrol, which comes with Quattro four-wheel drive as standard. It’s this last powertrain that we sample here.