Audi A4 Avant Review logo

Audi A4 Avant Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Stylish and refined compact estate”

Best bits

  • Stunning cabin quality
  • Quiet and comfortable to drive
  • Impressive standard equipment

Not so great

  • Boot space trails cheaper rivals
  • Hesitant automatic gearbox
  • No hybrid versions available

Read by

Audi A4 Avant Exterior Front

Overall verdict

Audi A4 Avant Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Avant Driving Front

Driving

Audi A4 Avant Dashboard

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Avant Boot

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Audi A4 Avant

"Audi is one of the few premium marques that sells almost as many estates as it does saloons. This practical body style - which it calls Avant - fits with the company's understated styling cues and four-wheel drive legacy."

Audi A4 Avant Exterior Front

The A4 Avant is the smallest load-lugger in the brand's line-up, with an overall footprint that's near-identical to its closest rivals. The BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. Buyers after something larger will be better served by the 'one-size up' A6 Avant or E-Class Estate - or a high-riding SUV like the Audi Q5.


Family buyers have more choice than ever before, so why pick the low-key A4 estate over its competition? Well, it distinguishes itself - and justifies its price premium - with an upmarket interior, high-quality materials and (from 2019 onwards) a laundry list of standard features that includes everything you could need or want.


Of course, if boot volume is more important to you than what badge a car wears on its nose, then Volkswagen group siblings the Volkswagen Passat Estate and vast Skoda Superb Estate beat the A4 in a space race. Still, with a useable 505-litre boot, a handy powered tailgate and a maximum capacity of 1510 litres, it comes equipped to cope with the rigours of a busy life - whether that involves carrying suitcases, sports kit, or flat-pack furniture.


Passenger space is generous, too. There's room to stretch out whether you're sat in the front or the back, but those lucky enough to ride shotgun will get more time to play with the excellent 10.1-inch touchscreen that is part of Audi's latest MMI Plus infotainment system. It comes with sat-nav and smartphone mirroring capability and is fitted as standard to every version - oh and a slick 12.3-inch digital driver's display is thrown in as well.


Like the A4 saloon, the Avant comes with a wide selection of engines, transmissions, and drive layouts. Most of the range - be it petrol or diesel - comes fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. As yet, there is no A4 plug-in hybrid for really low running costs, but with front-wheel drive it won't be too hard on your wallet.


The diesels are strong performers, with the potential to return over 50mpg if driven gently, and all come with Audi's S tronic twin-clutch gearbox as standard. This makes for a good combination since the A4 estate is refined and feels very relaxing to drive - although it could do a better job of involving you in the process.


In the right spec (smaller wheels, standard suspension) it's a very comfortable car to drive long distances. A BMW 3 Series Touring has fractionally sharper handling, but the gap is not nearly as big as it used to be.


Buyers who want an A4 to quicken the pulse can choose between the high-performance S4 (medium hot) or the RS4 Avant (very spicy). Both deploy the brand's quattro four-wheel drive system for improved grip, and it also comes fitted as standard on the most powerful versions in the regular line-up.


Should the A4 Avant be on your shopping list? Absolutely. First-rate interior ergonomics and design, luxurious materials and cutting-edge technology combine to make this a car that's every bit as posh as it is practical. It drives in a restrained, unfussy manner that will appeal to most buyers and, in the right trim, it's good value.


Is the Audi A4 Avant right for you?

Audi is one of the few premium brands that sells more estates than saloons (at least in the UK) and it's not hard to see why. This sensible body style is a perfect match for the current A4's classy, understated image. 


It's certainly not the biggest estate - and won't win any awards for outright capacity - but judge this car by its quality and not quantity, and it's clear that this is one of the most accomplished small estates money can buy.


Class-leading refinement and a supple ride make it ideal for family buyers who just want to get from A-to-B in serene comfort. There is an engine to suit all budgets, whether you're into high-performance or low fuel bills. 


Yes, the A4 Avant costs a little more than its mainstream competitors, but just like getting a free upgrade to business class, it also gives you a taste for all the luxury and on-board technology that you've been missing. If you need a more rugged model, look at the Audi A4 Allroad while if you want the straightforward saloon, there's the four-door Audi A4.


What's the best Audi A4 Avant model/engine to choose?

Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one - and for us it's hard to look past the excellent 35 TDI. It has reasonable running costs, decent pulling power, and is more refined than many other four-cylinder diesels. 


The standard S tronic automatic gearbox makes this version of the A4 Avant a relaxing way to transport the whole family, soothing the irritation of traffic jams and tackling long motorway stints without any fuss.


If you don't fancy the idea of a diesel then the 40 TFSI is a brilliant alternative. It's even quieter and smoother than the diesel and costs less in the same trim Sport trim. It feels considerably quicker off the mark too. 


Both cars front-wheel drive - which will be fine for most buyers - but if you do want the added security of four driven wheels for the winter months then the 40 TDI comes with Audi's quattro 4x4 system fitted as standard.


What other cars are similar to the Audi A4 Avant?

It will no doubt shock you to learn that Audi's fierce rivals BMW and Mercedes both make premium estates in the mould of the A4 Avant: the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. This trio is incredibly closely matched, so deciding between them will come down badge preference, or the most affordable monthly finance deal.


For estate buyers who are more interested in boot volume than brand snobbery, the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat estates can carry a lot more stuff - as can the stylish Peugeot 508 SW and Volvo V60.


On the more affordable end of the market, the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia estates are both roomy, comfortable to drive, offering similar levels of standard equipment - without the high-quality premium gloss.


Learn more

Audi A4 Avant Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Avant Driving Front

Driving

Audi A4 Avant Dashboard

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Avant Boot

Prices, versions and specification