Audi’s answer to the BMW Efficient-Dynamics steamroller has been a while coming, but now there is an array of low emission A4 models to choose.
Stop/start technology now features on a multitude of 2.0 TDI-badged A4s, offering 120, 143 or 170bhp.
The model on test is different – the small ‘e’ in the TDIe badge means this is a ‘super-economy’ A4. It also uses stop/start mated to a slightly detuned 2.0-litre/136bhp diesel engine, but adding to the economy proposition are brake energy recuperation, grille and under-body modifications to improve aero-dynamics, a gearshift indicator mounted in the instrument binnacle to advise on optimum change points for fuel efficiency and sports suspension which lowers the car’s ride height.
All those touches boost fuel efficiency over the standard 2.0 TDI from 55.4mpg to 61.4mpg – potentially saving almost £90 over 10,000 miles.
From behind the wheel there is no indication you are sitting in a hair shirt economy special, which is welcome as the SE specification model on test costs more than £24,000.
Even on the move there is little hint that this engine is down on power compared to the regular 2.0 TDI 143 version.
Unlike BMW, which only offers its very low emission 320d EfficientDynamics saloon on 16-inch wheels, Audi offers SE buyers 17-inch rims as standard so it doesn’t look like an economy special model from the outside.
While the BMW may have much lower emissions (109g/km, qualifying it for the 100% first year writing down allowance), it still sits in the same 13% benefit-in-kind tax band as the A4.
With the Audi’s lower front-end price, it will cost less in company car tax.
The addition of efficiency-boosting tweaks have made the A4 2.0 TDIe a real challenger as it is the only A4 to fall into the lowest 13% diesel BIK tax band.
It also offers the usual Audi traits of stylish looks and a well-built and equipped cabin. Factor in that there are no compromises to be made and it is a winner.