Audi A4 Avant: month four - MSN Cars UK | Catalog-cars

Audi A4 Avant: month four – MSN Cars UK

26 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi A4 Avant: month four – MSN Cars UK
Audi A4 Avant

Summary

Model : Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI 177 S line

On fleet since:  May 2012

Motoring Research

Where have we been in the Audi A4 Avant?

I’ve been in and out of road test cars this month so the Audi has fitted in between them: it was, however, my transport to Park Royal, for the Eterniti Artemis reveal. Which gave me plenty of time to compare, contrast and think about just what makes it appealing.

A big part of this appeal is the S line suspension setup, believe it or not. I was genuinely worried about this before I had it. I’d read plenty about the stiff ride and feared that 12,000 miles boshing and banging down the road were ahead of me.

How wrong I was.

What do we like about the Audi A4 Avant?

So, why do I like S line so much? Because of the way it combines iron-tight body control with just enough high-speed compliance to make it bearable. Be in no doubt, the first time you drive it, you’ll notice the jiggles and jostles across city centre roads.

It strikes me each time I get back in it.

But unless you regularly drive across badly scarred roads, it soon stops becoming an issue. Because the ride isn’t actually ‘bad’, the firmness in town eventually fades from your consciousness. What does remain, though, is the impeccable high-speed control.

This makes the S line a seriously satisfying high-speed car. Weighty steering is tight and responsive, the car reacts immediately to any inputs and the way it feels weighted down to the ground gives a great feeling of accuracy, security and relaxation.

Motoring Research

You can drive with your fingertips and the A4 responds with the accuracy and efficiency of a sports car. I’d imagine it’s been tuned to make high-speed autobahn driving more satisfying but this also works on UK motorways too. I don’t take it for granted as it always satisfies, but it took a break from the A4 to remind me of how rewarding it is.

How good it was to get back into the ever-present surge of a seriously torquey engine, too. Not only does the TDI 177 deliver a serious shove in the back, it also does so from low revs and small accelerator inputs. This is something downsized engines can’t quite match: I’ve mentioned it before but it continues to be a draw.

As does, well, the overall feeling of togetherness. Weeks in non-premium cars reveal them to be fine, but it’s that extra level of honing that goes into a premium-brand car that makes the difference – from the tuning of the brake pedal, to the feel of the gearshift, even to the noise the wheels make over bumps. All at that bit, well, ‘posher’.

What don’t we like about the Audi A4 Avant?

I’ve twisted my back twice in recent weeks and getting back to the A4 reminded me of something else – how low to the ground it is.

It doesn’t look it, but you do have to bend down more thank you may be used to when getting in. It also makes loading Daisy into her child seat trickier…

The lack of sat nav is an options list fail rather than anything the car’s done, but it’s still a pain: somehow, sticking a TomTom to the windscreen of a £31k premium car just doesn’t seem right. Blame Audi here: while you can get an SE Technik model for £1,400 more than standard SE – which includes nav, leather and innumerate other nice extras – no such option exists for S line.

Motoring Research

This means to get built-in navigation, you must spend £1,695 on the technology pack. When people now have turn-by-turn guidance on their smartphones, this is obscene and it’s no wonder Audi UK chose not to spend it. Not sure what it’ll do for the retained values but not having it seriously dents the premium experience.

Audi A4 Avant

And while we’re on technology grumbles, my need to rely on the iPhone when I’ve forgotten the sat nav also makes Audi’s location of the iPhone charger cable in the glovebox frustrating. It’s too far away and too short to easily use. Please, Audi, utilise the space in the folding arm rest…

What’s next for the Audi A4 Avant?

Back in the sublime seats of the Audi (which are doing the back plenty of good), we’re once again taking to the motorway to rack up the miles once again. After a few weeks away, I’m looking forward to reminding myself of its talents.

I’m also eager to see if I can up the fuel consumption. It’s currently stuck around 46mpg: good, given the immediacy of its considerable urge, but I’d like to see if I can clock it up to nearer 50mpg. Follow progress on Twitter for updates…

Report 1: Audi A4 Avant arrival

Report 2: Audi A4 Avant month two

Report 3: Audi A4 Avant month three

Report 4: Audi A4 Avant month four (this report)

Report 5: Audi A4 Avant final report

Need to know

Performance:  0-62mph 8.4secs / 134mph

Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
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