Fleet News

Our Fleet: Audi A4 Avant TDI quattro S Line 170 - May 2011

Audi
BIK List Price
£31,830
Audi A4 Avant BIK list price
BIK Percentage
21%
Audi A4 Avant BIK Percent
CO2
149g/km
Audi A4 Avant CO2
Combined MPG
48.7
Audi A4 Avant MPG

Review

The A4 Avant has always enjoyed admiring glances from family and friends.

It looks good, has a practical boot and comes with a well thought-out, high quality cabin.

But now, after 10 months, it goes back to Audi.

Those that have been for lengthy journeys have commented on the car’s uncomfortable seats and its firm ride – the two notable detractions on the A4.

Unlike our long-term 520d which recently went back, our A4 Avant does not have optional suspension settings which would allow a softer, more cushioned ride when appropriate.

In general, our time with the Avant has been pleasurable and good on the pocket for a four-wheel drive quattro.

Fuel consumption has averaged 46mpg – against the official 51.4mpg figure.

Four-wheel drive adds £1,400 to the price compared to the front-wheel drive S-Line version, but fuel consumption is less than 2mpg lower and CO2 emissions are higher by just 5g/km (although, at 149g/km, it puts the car in a higher BIK tax bracket of 22%).

To drive, the A4 has exceptional grip in dry and wet (thanks, quattro) with direct handling and good body control.

It might not be the market leader, but few people other than professional racing drivers would really appreciate – or need – the finer nuances between this and the BMW 3 Series.

As a family car, the A4 Avant excels. Boot space is 490 litres, rising to 1,430 litres with the seats down (3 Series: 460/1,385 litres, C-class: 485/1,500 litres) while the rear bench is very accommodating for child seats, holding them securely in place.

The only other niggles are a sat-nav system that can be slow to initialise from start-up and only offers four-digit postcode entry, and a Bluetooth system that refused to acknowledge the existence of my phone.

The A4 Avant is well worth considering, but note that the car’s 42.92p per mile running costs over four years/80,000 miles are a couple of pennies higher than comparable 3 Series Touring and C-class estate – worth £1,600 per car over that operating cycle.
 

Driver Notes

CO2 emissions
Emissions rise from 135g/km to 144g/km. For a 40% taxpayer – the likely fleet driver for this vehicle – it would bump the annual BIK up from £2,047 to £2,701, almost £55 a month
Driver appeal
S Line also adds 18-inch alloys, part leather on the seats and a few other features, such as three-spoke steering wheel and matt-brushed aluminium inlays. Sports suspension is already 20mm lower; S Line brings that down a further 10mm.
Fuel costs
Fuel consumption has averaged 46mpg – against the official 51.4mpg figure.
FN Verdict
It might not be the market leader, but few people other than professional racing drivers would really appreciate – or need – the finer nuances between this and the BMW 3 Series.
Top Speed
N/A
Audi A4 Avant Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Audi A4 Avant Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Audi A4 Avant Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £11,425
4 Year 80k : £8,675
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 49.93
4 Year 80k : 47.36

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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