Fleet News

Audi A4 2.5 TDI quattro Sport - 22,265 miles

Audi

Review

AFTER an impressive 22,000 miles without so much as the thought of a service, our Audi is at last demanding its first visit to the dealer.

It's thanks to Audi's innovative AVS variable servicing programme that we've had to wait this long, and it proves that, for many operators, such an interval means no service costs at all in the first year of operation.

It's also gratifying to know that in that time the A4 has not missed a beat.

In fact, aside from the need for a new windscreen - hardly the car's fault - all that has gone wrong is that the plastic cover to the driver's footrest has come adrift and the bootlid hinges have needed lubricating.

These were cured as a matter of course at the service, completed by Cook's of Peterborough, which came to £215 (ex VAT). I was intrigued by the cost of the AVS oil – £11.39 a litre (inc VAT). It is a high-tech fully synthetic lubricant, evidently one of the cornerstones of the extended-mileage service intervals. Confident the oil would be cheaper at my local Halfords, I did a quick price check - which revealed the opposite: it was more expensive at an aftermarket store than from the main dealer.

Admittedly, the difference was only some 20 pence per litre, but even so that makes refreshing reading these days.

Initially, the stiff bootlid I attributed to the gas struts losing pressure, but a quick squirt with WD-40 restored everything to normal: the hinges are prone to partial seizure, according to Cook's, but I was pleased with the remedy, although new struts would have been covered under warranty. Since the service, I've noticed a slight improvement in fuel consumption: a recent moderately gentle run to South Wales saw the Audi average almost 45mpg on the mainly motorway route - impressive, but still a little way off the 50.4mpg combined figure of the smaller-engined 1.9 TDI 130.

However, there is a significant power difference between the two models - and I'm not sure I could live without the 2.5's delicious 180bhp thump in the back and the torquey smoothness of the V6.

Audi has now introduced a quattro version of the A4 1.9 TDI 130 for £1,400 more than the equivalent front-driver: for lovers of four-wheel drive, this sounds like a great combination with the promise of frugal consumption and punchy performance together with the grip and traction of the quattro system - and all for over £3,000 less than the V6 in Sport trim.

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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