It’s hard to be successful in the mid-sized executive market sector without a credible estate body style – ask Jaguar or Lexus. That is, after all, what an increasing number of leasing customers in this segment are looking for. Audi reckons to have nailed exactly what they need with this car, this improved version of the fifth generation A4 Avant.
This ‘B9’-series A4 Avant was first launched in 2015, then substantially updated four years on to create the revised model you can lease from Vanarama right now.
We’ve been able to choose the A4 in an Avant estate guise as well as a saloon body shape ever since this model line was first launched back in 1994 and this improved model has been made sleeker and cleverer than ever before. The styling updates might appear to be relatively minor but actually, only the roof, bonnet and boot lid of this car remain the same as they were when this current design was first launched in 2015.
Of more significance to our business customers is the fact that Audi has introduced RDE-1-compliant powerplants and its MHEV mild hybrid engine technology across the range, with a 12-volt system for mainstream models and a 48-volt set-up for the potent S4 TDI diesel variant.
Plus on all versions, the cabin has gained a new larger MMI infotainment screen to work in concert with the now-standard ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster.
There’s also now more equipment, a revised range structure and some of Audi’s most sophisticated camera-driven safety and autonomous driving technology. And of course, there’s a full dose of estate practicality here, with a 505-litre boot, extendable to 1,510-litres if you fold the seats. In short, there are lots of reasons why we think you’d really like one of these.
Vanarama customers get a choice of five core A4 Avant trim levels – ‘Technik’, ‘Sport’, ‘S line’, ‘Black Edition’ and top ‘Vorsprung’. On top of that, there’s the sporting S4 TDI variant, which comes in standard, ‘Black Edition’ form or in top ‘Vorsprung’ guise. Even faster is the top petrol-powered 450PS RS 4 Avant.
Every A4 Avant model comes with 7-speed S tronic auto transmission as standard – apart from the base 35 TFSI petrol version, where it’s an option. That base petrol-powered 1.5-litre TFSI 150PS model, like the two core 2.0-litre TDI diesel derivatives (the 136PS 30 TDI and the 163PS 35 TDI), features Audi’s latest mild hybrid MHEV engine technology.
As does the 190PS ‘40 TFSI’ petrol variant and the 347PS 3.0 TDI diesel unit used in the top S4 TDI. There’s also a non-electrified 190PS 2.0-litre diesel in the 40 TDI quattro variant.
There’s also an SUV-inspired A4 allroad Avant variant, which is a model you’d choose if you needed some kind of light off road ability in a car of this kind but didn’t want to move out of an A4 into Audi’s Q3 or Q5 SUVs. The A4 allroad offers slightly raised ride height and some extra off road tools, is only available in Avant estate form and, as you’d expect, can only be had with quattro 4WD.
The two main competitors for this car are also German – BMW’s 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate. But you might also like to consider Volvo’s V60.
Here’s a mid-sized executive estate model created by a brand that knows its customers. The magazines might tell Audi to bring us futuristic looks and an uncompromisingly dynamic drive but Ingolstadt knows that buyers in this segment really value comfort, class and quality. All three attributes are prioritised in this lighter, more agile and more advanced version of the fifth generation A4 Avant.