Fleet News

Our Fleet: Audi A4 Avant TDI quattro S Line 170 - September 2010

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

Like any company car driver, I’m not going to snub an opportunity to upgrade the equipment on a new car (unless it’s going to cost me a lot more money).

So it was with our new long-term Audi A4 estate (ok, Avant).

I was expecting fleet base level 2.0 TDI 143bhp SE (P11D - £26,930); we got a 2.0-litre 170bhp S Line Quattro, effectively three upgrades, plus Audi parking system (a £320 option) taking the P11D to £31,830.

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.

OK, so that’s hardly likely to bankrupt someone earning £37,400-plus, but what do you get for that extra cost?

A more powerful engine, of course, which is noticeable under acceleration (it’s a second quicker from 0-62mph) but all-out speed is tempered by the extra weight of the Quattro all-wheel drive system.

But while the Quattro blunts the straight line thrills, it is a huge benefit on handling, particularly in the wet.

The A4 Avant is sure footed even on the twistiest roads.

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.

This can be unpleasant on rough surfaces, producing a choppy ride.

It’s still early days with the Avant but overall impressions are positive.

As an estate it has an ample, though not class leading, boot and it is effortless to drive on long distances.

I have a couple of quibbles.

The seats are not the most supportive over long journeys despite having multiple adjustment options.

And Audi has still not created a sat-nav system that recognises a full postcode.

On a £30k premium car, this isn’t good enough.

Fuel efficiency so far is reasonable, averaging 44.1mpg against the official 51.4mpg figure.

A leisurely motorway stroll returned north of 46mpg; I expect to nudge 50mpg with a bit more effort.

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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