Fleet News

Audi A4 2.5 V6 TDI quattro

Audi

Review

BANG! It took just a fraction of a second, but once again I'm £250 worse off.

The reason? For the second time this year, our Audi has had to have a new windscreen thanks to the killer blow delivered by a tipper truck coming the other way.

I saw the stone arcing up from its tyres but before I could react it had made its mark - a chip the size of a 10p piece right in the driver's sightline.

It's infuriating to say the least, particularly as the screen was only replaced a couple of months ago. It needs replacement again, as although repair is possible on damage of this nature, it is out of the question when it falls within the driver's line of vision.

Nevertheless, it doesn't stand in the way of any enjoyment of the car. Quite simply, this is a multi-talented machine that has an uncanny ability to match your mood: drive for economy and you won't be disappointed - I have achieved close to an average of 45mpg with only modest restraint, remarkable for a car that can top 140mph and achieve 0-60mph in just 8.6secs.

Yet I can't think of a more rewarding real-life companion on a favourite B-road. The combination of quattro four-wheel drive, the engine's 180bhp output and phenomenal mid-range torque makes it stormingly quick from A to B.

Though the V6 is limited to 4,500rpm, in practice there's seldom any need to exceed 4,000rpm such is the urge available. Delivered through the slick-shifting six-speed gearbox, there's more than enough flexibility to make this a searingly quick and fulfilling driver's car - and that's in the dry. In the wet, it's invincible, with grip and traction unheard of in most two-wheel drive rivals.

Leaving a slow, sharp corner quickly reveals the quattro's remarkable dynamism: rock-solid composure, unflappable poise and vigorous acceleration imparts a unique sense of security.

Now with more than 26,000 miles under its wheels, I reckon our Audi is getting better all the time.

While the engine hasn't lost any of its crispness - it sounds as sharp as the day it arrived - it's now smoother, freer revving, more economical and more responsiveness than ever, underscoring my belief that Volkswagen Group engines are only just beginning to get into their stride at the 20,000-mile mark.

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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