Fleet News

Audi A4 2.5 TDI quattro Sport

Audi

Review

With more than 28,000 miles on the clock, and its first birthday just passed, how does our Audi measure up in the great running cost debate?

Is it, or is it not, a cost-effective choice for today's executive looking to downsize?

On my reckoning, the answer is a resounding 'yes'.

It is a measure of the strength of the new Audi A4's residual values that its running costs comfortably outstrip other executive models.

CAP Monitor, the guide to future residual values, quotes a three-year/60,000-mile residual value forecast of £10,175 or 41% of cost new for our A4 2.5 TDI quattro Sport.

That tallies with a Fleet News running cost figure of 37.16 pence per mile over the same parameters - a total of £22,296 - not bad for a car listing at £25,295 on-the- road.

It compares favourably with the similarly powerful BMW 330d Sport, for example, which costs 42.2p/mile over the same cycle, with a CAP RV of £11,450/39%. That equates to a total of £25,320, or a saving to the Audi of a significant £3,024.

Part of that difference, of course, is due to the BMW's higher price of £29,255 - almost £4,000 more than the A4 - but the tangible advantages on the road make the BMW's cost premium harder to justify.

Its power output, at 181bhp, is only 1bhp higher than the Audi's, while its torque figure of 288lb-ft is just 15lb-ft more, despite the extra 430cc. The bottom line is that the 330d is quicker to 60mph - 7.9secs for the BMW compared with 8.6secs for the Audi - with identical 140mph top speeds.

It is easy to get carried away with such objective comparisons, however, and they don't take account of the emotional reasons for choosing either car, but it's food for thought for those looking to make a cost-effective choice.

The interesting thing is that the Audi can also work out significantly less expensive to run than models that are cheaper to buy.

In fact, the A4 will save almost £2,000 on wholelife costs over three years compared with a Vauxhall Omega Elite 2.2 dTi, for example: at £25,295 on the road, the A4 is around £600 more expensive to buy than the £24,700 Omega, yet its running costs are over 3ppm less, chiefly due to the Omega's poorer residual value of £6,675, or 27% of cost new.

There are similar differences when comparing lesser models in the A4 range too: an A4 2.0 SE at £19,300, with running costs of 31.07ppm, undercuts the similarly-priced Ford Mondeo Ghia X 2.0 5dr by almost 5ppm - a difference of £2,772 over three years.

So, with all the prestige, pride of ownership, driver appeal, safety and quality that comes with the Audi brand, you are also safe in the knowledge you are being cost-responsible as well. Can't be bad.

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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