By Patrick James on 2016-06-25 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Audi A4 Avant 2.0
TDI S line S tronic
THE continuing success of Audi should really come as no surprise.
The philosophy of evolution married to top quality, innovation and performance, whether in petrolhead stakes of brutal RS power, or the hugely economical and low emissions power units, make it one of the most desired brands around.
In the shape of the latest A4 it is a model much favoured by business and fleet users, which should also come as no surprise such is the range of engines and styles.
Now the Avant, or estate, has been added to the latest range, bigger than its predecessor and priced from £27,300.
Not cheap, but this is a real executive motor and the estate simply oozes quality and offers a range of engines to suit every pocket and CO2 emissions to suit every wallet.
Like many estates these days it is stylish. The days of the big barge are over, with estate or tourer drivers demanding a touch of elegance.
The A4 Avant provides that with 505 litres of seats-up luggage capacity, with a power operated tailgate and electrically retracting luggage cover as standard on all models.
Interior space is decent too, with good leg and headroom to the front, although the coupe style makes a little more cramped to the rear.
Also fitted as standard are to the three 'core' specification levels of SE, Sport and S line tested here, are 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon or LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, Audi drive select, three-zone climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors and the Audi smartphone interface, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto platforms and displays smartphone information such as navigation mapping on the seven-inch colour screen.
Major functions are controlled from Audi's MultiMedia Interface, or MMI, which are displayed on the screen.
A real highlight is the optional space age 'cockpit' digital display. This displays speedo and rev counter dials with the sat nav screen in the background. It looks great and further adds to the executive feel of the car.
The interior itself is the usual high quality affair, with top notch materials, soft touch finish to dash, doors and roofline, plus controls and switchgear which are logically placed and easy to use.
The 187bhp two-litre diesel is a pretty impressive power unit. Potent and flexible it has rapid acceleration and plenty of torque or pulling power.
Mated to a slick seven-speed automatic gearbox, it can hit 60mph from a standing start in just under eight seconds. Just as impressive is the fuel economy, a claimed 65-odd mpg and low emissions of of 113g/km.
This is aided by a drag coefficients of 0.26 making it slippery through the air and a weight advantage of as much as 120kg compared with its predecessor, this says Audi makes up to 21 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.
It is also a refined unit with engine noise just a thrum in the background, particularly on the motorway. The extra torque is a real bonus for overtaking.
Handling has always been decent and the Avant is just as good as its predecessors, while the steering is on the light side but direct.
Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI S line S tronic
Mechanical: 187bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 143mph
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 65.7
Insurance Group: 26
C02 emissions: 113g/km
Bik rating: 22%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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