Avant Black Edition 45 TFSI 245PS quattro S tronic
or heart? No coin-tossing
for buyers considering one of Audis
latest A4 estates a svelte- looking
and highly satisfying piece of kit
offering all the cool
THERE'S A HINT of James Bond about the latest A4 Avant: it's suave,
beautifully toned and not a hair out of place; doubly so in the sharp-looking
Black Edition trim which, with the eye-catching, knife-sharp creasing crowning
the Avant's front and rear wings, exudes an enormously understated sense of
Powerplants available for the A4 Avant include mild petrol hybrids that deliver
an emissions-reducing electric boost alongside power ratings ranging from an
undeniably frisky 148bhp up to a strapping and very lively 241bhp (245PS).
If that doesn't light your fire there's always Audi's potent RS4 Avant whose
444bhp will catapult you off the line to spear past 62mph in an abs-clenching
4.1 seconds. For the record, and in spite of consumer choice switching heavily
to unleaded, turbodiesels can still be had in 134, 160, and 201bhp guise
and delivering impressively low emissions (as little as 101g/km) with 50+mpg
its pristinely profiled bonnet 'our' Black Edition Avant sported a 241bhp four-cylinder
1,984cc engine. It's good for a gutsy 272lb ft of torque spread out generously
through the rev range with maximum torque on call between 1,600 and 4,500rpm.
This muscular Audi four-pot is equally at home in town, in the country and blitzkrieging
motorways pootling around the houses or hoofing it along country roads
it's never short of punchy, clean-revving urge, unerringly delivered with smooth
assurance by a twin-clutch S tronic autobox that shifts imperceptibly up and
down its seven ratios. Slot it into Sport mode and it's bodacious.
four-pot under the bonnet
is equally at home in
town, in the country and
pootling around the
houses or hoofing it
along country roads its
never short of punchy
unerringly delivered with
smooth assurance by
a twin-clutch S tronic
autobox that shifts
imperceptibly up and
down its seven ratios.
Slot it into Sport mode
and its bodacious...
For the record, don't expect to feel or hear anything from the hybrid tech.
That said, you will be aware of its benefits the throttle response is
ever-keen. The only other give-away is, in fact, the stop-start system that,
thanks to the 'mybrid' configuration, enables the A4's engine to shut down earlier
than usual as your speed drops to a walking pace rather than waiting
for the full stop.
What keeps you singing the 241bhp/272lb ft combo's praises is that real grunt
is always there for the taking; whether it's low-down or hitting the upper reaches
of the torque- band, there always feels to be some more power to keep you engaged
and entertained, especially if you choose to personally manage the gearshifts
using the steering wheel paddles.
Judged by the 0-62mph yardstick, the A4 Avant '45' is satisfyingly quick and,
let's be realistic, its 5.9-second dash is as fast as you'll ever need in today's
traffic conditions; as too is its 155mph top speed. More relevant is the manner
in which it gets from A to B which is effortlessly, unflappably rapid
and with a potent hum under serious acceleration, and all with more panache
than 007 on his best behaviour.
It's no exaggeration to say that Audi cabins are flawless. And this one, with
its latest-gen infotainment system and touchscreen, is a real gem. The classy
cabin architecture is underscored by admirable build quality and awesome attention
to detail. The ergonomics, too, are spot-on, and the tech excellent the
highlight being the superb 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit and its über-friendly user-interface.
Equally commendable is the large landscape-format touchscreen commandingly mounted
dead centre of the elegantly slim dash.
are numerous nice features, from the continuous full-width strip of air vents
neatly integrated into the fascia and the well-considered blend of Piano black
high gloss and satin chrome finishing on the centre console, steering wheel,
and touchscreen to the eminently usable buttons and classically-knurled knobs
for the three-zone heating and ventilation so no distracting finger-stabbing
a touchscreen while trying to fight your way through busy traffic!
the A4 interior comes with plenty of room. The fine Nappa leather covered seats
look sporty with effective but not overdone bolstering, making
climbing in and out a breeze. There's a full fist of headroom and loads of shoulder
and elbow room both inboard and outboard. Better still there's masses of range
adjustment including extending front seat cushion sections for customised under-knee
support; both front chairs get powered 4-way lumber adjustment, three-stage
heating and height-adjustable belts. Both, too, are seriously supportive so
however long your trip you'll always get out feeling refreshed and ready to
rock and roll.
A4 cabin comes
with plenty of room.
The sporty, leather-
trimmed front seats
have effective but not
making climbing in and
out a breeze.
Both, too, are seriously
supportive so however
long your trip youll
always get out feeling
refreshed and ready
to rock and roll...
Thankfully the A4 bucks the recent trend for minimal in-cabin storage and you'll
find plenty of places to stash your personal stuff, including a generous compartment
containing two USB ports beneath the centre armrest (itself adjustable for both
height and length) plus a decent-sized glovebox and the expected dual-usage
cupholders which also benefit from illuminated rims. Should you spec WiFi charging
the necessary 'bed' for your smartphone goes under the armrest. And where many
brands give you keyless entry but restrict it to the front doors, the A4 has
keyless entry and locking on all its four side doors.
Comms is an important area and here too the A4 Avant comes up trumps. At 10.1-inches
the glossy infotainment and navigation touchscreen is great to look at and its
pin-sharp resolution and foolproof graphics a very big plus. All the must-haves
are present and correct from Audi's Connect Infotainment Services linking you
to the Internet and giving you access to entertainment, information and search
functions operated via the MMI control panel, the multifunctional steering wheel
or the voice control system. This lets you call up information such as flight
times, fuel prices, weather, and other online services as well as points of
interest and high-resolution aerial and satellite pictures from Google Earth.
Naturally Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a DAB radio, and Bluetooth are also onboard,
as too is a totally trustworthy MMI Navigation Plus SatNav with MMI Touch.
Talking of which, you can display the active mapping on the driver's digital
12.3-inch instrument panel; better still you can shrink the dials (select your
preferred layout using the View button on the steering-wheel) so even more detail
is clear not only is this more practical and less distracting when driving
and navigating, but frees up the main touchscreen for dedicated multimedia and
it goes without saying that, whatever ever else you decide to show, critical
driver information (such as roadspeed and graphic navigational prompts) is always
displayed where it can't be missed on the instrument screen so absolutely no
excuses for breaking the speed limits or missing your turn-off. Adding to the
appeal is a fab flat-bottomed compact sports steering-wheel with a delightfully
grippy perforated leather-wrapped rim.
A4 Avant comes in five trim levels starting with the entry-level Technik and
topping out with the sassy penultimate version tested here, the Black Edition,
and the range-topper Vorsprung.
from the quattro four-
wheel drive system,
the A4 is as safe a set of
wheels as you can get.
Reassuringly obedient in
all conditions, thats not
to say it wont do your
bidding whenever you
have a need for speed.
This is a car that delivers
satisfying pace pretty
much everywhere you
demand it and the way
it allows you to flit
from A to B like a bat out
of hell is decidedly
In addition to the leather, hi-tech infotainment system and widescreen digital
driver's panel, other highlights include Keyless Go, three-zone climate control,
a reversing camera supported by parking sensors (nose and tail), LED interior
lighting, privacy glass with acoustic double glazing, electric parking brake
with a handy and smooth-acting autohold function, polished ally pedal set, powerfolding
heated and auto-dimming door mirrors (on demand and automatically on locking
and leaving), four one-shot up/down power windows, a frameless auto-dimming
rearview mirror, and a set of eye-catching 5-arm rotor design 19-inch alloy
wheels finished in matt titanium.
Also standard are cool-looking LED lights and rear lamps with scrolling indicators,
high beam assist for automatic main/dip beam switching, drive-off auto door
locking, Hill Hold Assist, and Cruise control with speed limiter, plus vehicle-
and pedestrian-aware Pre-sense City (up to 53mph it warns of potential collisions
as well as instigating full braking necessary to avoid one).
The optional Driver Assistance Pack (£1,250) adds more advanced safety
assists including Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go and Traffic-jam assist;
Pre-sense Front (extends the collision warning and automatic braking function
of Pre-sense City to cover the entire speed range up to 155mph); Traffic sign
recognition (detects fixed and temporary speed limits, overtaking restrictions
and no-entry warnings); Collision avoidance assistant; Turn assist (when turning
at junctions, this detects approaching vehicles and applies braking to help
avoid a collision; and Active Lane Assist.
Being an estate there are no headroom comprises for those travelling in the
roomy back cabin. Measured against the class norm the A4 feels roomier than
its peers and there's no stinting on legroom; there's also decent knee- and
foot-room along with ample space between heads and the panoramic sunroof (a
desirable option well worth the extra £1,600 it costs the longer front
section slides open and it's all one-shot-op including the powered sunblind,
so occupants can soak up all the rays and vitamin D they fancy).
The shapely rear chairs and hushed ambiance make it a great place to spend time;
making it even better is the dedicated climate control that lets backseat passengers
set their preferred temperature independent of the front two zones, a wide centre
armrest with individual pop-up-and-out cupholders and integrated lidded storage
tray, net storage pouches, bottle-holding door bins, comfortable headrests and
big-hearted views out.
its Comfort setting and you'll find the Avant rides very acceptably while still
feeling nicely 'taut' fluent yes, but still retaining enough feel and
damping ability for those times when you're seriously pressing on and need to
know what's beneath the low-pro 245/35 rubber.
are well addressed by
the Avants 1,510-litre
loadbay; even a brace
of Briards will feel
perfectly at home
dog-owners in particular
will appreciate the hard-
wearing and waterproof
side of the reversible
For everything everyday,
and with the rear seats
in use, the 505-litre
boot with a powered
tailgate opened and
closed by pressing the
button on the key,
drivers door or the
tailgate handle will
prove to be
more than adequate...
Adding to its surprisingly well rounded-off ride is the hushed ambiance and
absence of road and wind noise despite the unashamedly sporty bias of
its Sport suspension (lowered by 23mm) and rolling on large 19-inch alloy wheels.
All of which makes it a polished and mile-gobbling motorway cruiser.
With limpet-like grip from the quattro four-wheel drive system, the A4 is as
safe a set of wheels as you can get. Combined with a harmoniously-fettled chassis
you'll find it handles crisply. Reassuringly obedient in all conditions, that's
not to say it won't do your bidding whenever you have a 'need for speed'. This
is a car that delivers satisfying pace pretty much everywhere you demand it
and the way it allows you to flit from A to B like a bat out of hell
particularly if you're sticking to the secondary and back roads is decidedly
Depending on your mood or driving conditions, Audi's Drive Select system is
always there to provide the most suitable mode for every driving style: choose
from Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual (to customise your personal
preferences). If you really want to enjoy its ground-covering ability then just
nudge back the selector lever toggles instantaneously between Drive to
Sport and enjoy the ride, either letting the autobox do all the work
or using the paddle-shifters to take complete control. Either way the drive
is zingingly impressive.
Active lifestyle needs are well addressed by the 4.8-metre long Avant's 1,510-litre
loadbay; even a brace of Briards (large French working dogs perfect for those
who want an intelligent and loyal four-legged, wolf-fighting companion for hiking
and other outdoor activities) will feel perfectly at home. Dog-owners in particular
will appreciate the hard-wearing and waterproof side of the reversible boot
mat. For everything everyday, and with the rear seats occupied, the 505-litre
boot with a powered tailgate opened and closed by pressing the button
on the key, driver's door, or the tailgate handle will prove to be more
It's versatile too more so than many of its compatriots courtesy
of its 40:20:40-split rear backrests (with convenient seatback release levers
in the boot) that allow you to mix and match passengers and cargo in a variety
of ways. When dropped down, the centre section opens up a max-sized ski-hatch
(or impromptu table). However you choose to configure the rear cabin/cargo bay,
you can still pull an impressive load behind you a braked 1,900kg. The
powered tow-hook is an especially practical touch.
A comfortable and cultured premium estate whose siren song is sweeter and more
alluring than that of similar prestige-badged rivals, the A4 Avant can deservedly
take its place among the best in class. Whether you regularly chalk up big mileages
or are a short-commute road warrior, the Avant quattro is a rewarding to own
and rewarding to drive package that has all the bases from lifestyle
to load-lugging comprehensively covered. All in all, a very premium way
to travel. ~ MotorBar
Audi A4 Avant Black Edition 45 TFSI 245PS quattro S tronic
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 5.9 seconds | Test Average: 36.6mpg
Power: 241bhp | Torque: 272lb ft | CO2: 180g/km