Fleet News

Audi A4 2.0 FSI Sport - 6,350 miles

Audi

Review

LOVE – it's all about compromise. Little things such as squeezing the toothpaste in the middle or not doing the dishes can be forgiven if your partner has other qualities.

Which is why I am prepared to forgive any niggles I have with our long-term Audi A4 Avant and concentrate on the bigger, better things about our time together.

It just took the entire family on holiday – four of us – complete with an entire branch of Babies 'R' Us stuffed in the rear end.

If I wanted to, I could moan about the difficulty I had getting all this assorted paraphernalia in the back, as the boot proved a lot smaller than I expected. But that's where compromise comes in. A bit of thought about packaging and a willingness to cram the rear full right up to the roof meant it all worked out fine in the end.

A quick hop to Norfolk from Peterborough showed there were no hard feelings, as the Audi amiably coped with its weighty load and continued to deliver a fine on-the-road performance – admittedly at kiddy-friendly speeds in single file traffic.

It was still as smooth as ever and the 2.0 FSI engine pulled well, although I wasn't really pressing on. As a result, the trip computer managed to flash up 36mpg during our journey and hit 38mpg during the holiday.

In the back, it may be a bit cramped for lanky 16-year-olds, but for two children under three, it is fine.

I would have preferred more cubby holes and cup holders – but then we didn't really spend that long in the car to need drinks.

The lack of steering wheel-mounted stereo buttons is a glaring omission as well, considering the price of the car.

But despite all these minor moans, when I came back to the car at the end of a hard day and saw it in the car park, I couldn't help thinking how good it looked compared to everything else.

Audi has shown with the A8 just how good it is at making a car look stylish in an understated way and our A4 Avant just oozes character, without looking too flash.

Everyone I have spoken to likes it, a friend has just got one as his company car and I saw three of them on the way into work this morning.

They were all silver as well, which makes the ownership experience feel a little less exclusive, but you just tend to appreciate other people's good judgement. After all, love is all about compromise.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (40% tax-payer): £148 per month

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  • 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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