Audi A4 Avant Review 2024

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingStylish and refined compact estate
  • 2015
  • Estate
  • Petrol, Diesel

Quick overview


  • Stunning cabin quality
  • Quiet and comfortable to drive
  • Impressive standard equipment


  • Boot space trails cheaper rivals
  • Hesitant automatic gearbox
  • No hybrid versions available

Overall verdict on the Audi A4 Avant

"In this 2024 Audi A4 Avant review, we're looking at a car that's been around since 2015, so a mighty long while. It's testament to the car's all-round ability that it's still a reasonably compelling choice, even in the face of much newer opposition."

Audi A4 Avant Review 2024: exterior side photo of the Audi A4 Avant on the road

The Audi A4 Avant is the smallest load-lugger in the brand's line-up, with an overall footprint that's near-identical to its closest rivals, the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. Buyers after something larger will be better served by the 'one-size up' A6 Avant or E-Class Estate, or a high-riding SUV like the Audi Q5.

Family buyers have more choice than ever before, so why pick the low-key Audi A4 Avant over its competition? Well, it distinguishes itself - and justifies its price premium - with an upmarket interior, high-quality materials and (from 2019 onwards) a laundry list of standard features that includes everything you could need or want.

Of course, if boot volume is more important to you than what badge a car wears on its nose, then Volkswagen Group siblings such as the Volkswagen Passat Estate and Skoda Superb Estate beat the Audi A4 Avant in a space race. Still, with a useable 495-litre boot, a handy powered tailgate and a maximum capacity of 1,495 litres, it comes equipped to cope with the rigours of a busy life: whether that involves carrying suitcases, sports kit, or flat-pack furniture.

Passenger space is generous, too. There's room to stretch out whether you're sat in the front or the back, but those lucky enough to ride shotgun will get more time to play with the excellent 10.1-inch touchscreen that is part of Audi's MMI Plus infotainment system. It comes with sat-nav and smartphone mirroring capability and is fitted as standard to every version: oh, and a slick 12.3-inch digital driver's display is thrown in as well.

Like the A4 saloon, the Audi A4 Avant has been offered with a wide selection of engines, transmissions, and drive layouts over the years. Most examples - be they petrol or diesel - come fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. Unlike rivals, though, there is no A4 plug-in hybrid for really low running costs. In recent years, the engine range has been pared right back to only a couple of petrol and diesel options.

The diesels are strong performers, with the potential to return over 50mpg if driven gently, and all come with Audi's S tronic twin-clutch gearbox as standard. This makes for a good combination since the Audi A4 Avant is refined and feels very relaxing to drive, although it could do a better job of involving you in the process.

In the right spec (smaller wheels, standard suspension) it's a very comfortable car to drive long distances. A BMW 3 Series Touring has fractionally sharper handling, but the gap is not nearly as big as it once was.

Buyers who want an Audi A4 Avant to quicken the pulse can choose between the high-performance S4 (medium hot) or the RS4 Avant (very spicy). Both deploy the brand's quattro four-wheel drive system for improved grip and traction.

Should the Audi A4 Avant be on your shopping list? Absolutely. First-rate interior ergonomics and design, luxurious materials and cutting-edge technology combine to make this a car that's every bit as posh as it is practical. It drives in a restrained, unfussy manner that will appeal to most buyers and, in the right trim, it's decent value.

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Audi Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Audi A4 Avant cars for sale.

The Audi A4 Avant certainly isn't the biggest estate car - and won't win any awards for outright capacity - but judge this car by its quality and not quantity, and it's clear that this is one of the most accomplished small estates money can buy.

Class-leading refinement and a supple ride make it ideal for family buyers who just want to get from A-to-B in comfort. There is an engine to suit all budgets if you're buying one the used car market (the engine range for new-car buyers is somewhat more limited), whether you're into high-performance or low fuel bills. 

Yes, the Audi A4 Avant costs a little more than its mainstream competitors, but just like getting a free upgrade to business class, it also gives you a taste for all the luxury and on-board technology that you've been missing. If you need a more rugged model, look at the Audi A4 Allroad while if you want the straightforward saloon, there's the four-door Audi A4.

Sometimes the obvious choice is the best one - and for us it's hard to look past the excellent 35 TDI. It has reasonable running costs, decent pulling power, and is more refined than many other four-cylinder diesels. 

The standard S tronic automatic gearbox makes this version of the Audi A4 Avant a relaxing way to transport the whole family, soothing the irritation of traffic jams and tackling long motorway stints without any fuss.

If you don't fancy the idea of a diesel, then the 40 TFSI is a good alternative. It's even quieter and smoother than the diesel and costs less in the same trim Sport trim. It feels considerably quicker off the mark, too. 

Both cars are front-wheel drive - which will be fine for most buyers - but if you do want the added security of four driven wheels for the winter months, then the Audi A4 Avant 40 TDI comes with Audi's quattro 4x4 system fitted as standard.

It will no doubt shock you to learn that Audi's fierce rivals BMW and Mercedes both make premium estates in the mould of the A4 Avant: the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. This trio is incredibly closely matched, so deciding between them will come down badge preference, or the most affordable monthly finance deal.

For estate buyers who are more interested in boot volume than brand snobbery, the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat estates can carry a lot more stuff, as can the stylish Peugeot 508 SW.

On the more affordable end of the used car market, the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia estates are both roomy, comfortable to drive, offering similar levels of standard equipment - without the high-quality premium gloss.

Comfort and design: Audi A4 Avant interior

"Looks can be deceptive. Some cars that seem luxurious and smart in pictures feel chintzy and brittle in real life. No so in the Audi A4 Avant: the interior looks great from the outside, and feels great to spend time in."

Audi A4 Avant Review 2023: interior close up photo of the Audi A4 Avant dashboard

It's this classy, upmarket interior that sets the car apart from many of its mainstream rivals. If a neighbour asked why you bought an A4 over, say, a Ford Mondeo or Skoda Superb Estate, you could point at this cabin and not say another word.

Okay, so the design looks a little dated these days in an age where every manufacturer - Audi included - seems obsessed with replacing traditional buttons and dials with digital screens, often to the detriment of usability. However, Audi has been too busy releasing new models, and so hasn't yet interfered with the A4. As such, its old-school design to makes it much easier to use the various functions than in newer Audi models. There are physical buttons and dials to operate functions including the ventilation, and while there are digital screens, these aren't overloaded with functions, so they're less cluttered and easier to navigate. Finding everything you need is the work of a moment.

Drivers will encounter no difficulties when getting comfortable behind the wheel. The heated seats have four-way lumbar support and a wide range of adjustment, and there's enough space in the front of the Audi A4 Avant that it can accommodate even the tallest drivers.

The steering wheel adjusts for height and reach, but the standard seats are not the most supportive. Go for the Audi A4 Avant Sport, S line or Black Edition version, and you'll get increased side- and thigh support and leather trim.

Audi interiors are among the best in the business, and the Audi A4 Avant is no exception. Everything feels expensively made and built to a very fine tolerance. Metal, leather, and soft-touch plastic trims fit together with harmonious, surgical precision. There is an impressive solidity and weight to all of the controls, and it is very obvious where the extra money that you paid for this 'premium' estate has been spent.

Depending on when your A4 was built, it'll have one of two infotainments systems. Early cars had a 7.0-inch central display that you navigated though with a rotary controller and shortcut buttons. It looks a little dated these days by modern standards where large, glossy touchscreens are the norm, but it's tremendously easy to use, with logical menus and sharp responses.

A major refresh in 2019 then brought a new system that brought much more functionality and a whole bunch of new features. In order to facilitate that, the previous central screen was ditched in favour of an iPad-sized 10.1-inch one with touchscreen functionality. It's big, set right in the driver's eye-line, and close enough to reach easily.

The graphics are really sharp, and the icons are large enough to hit at the first attempt. Overall, it's not as easy to use as the previous system, but it's more intuitive than many such systems these days, which have become way too complicated and feature-packed for their own good. Wiping greasy fingerprints from the display will be a weekly task, mind. Luckily, you can control most infotainment functions via the steering wheel and the 12.3-inch digital dials.

Audi calls this its Virtual Cockpit, and it comes as standard on every single Audi A4 Avant. It's one of the best of its type, with an intuitive layout and customisable screens, and never becomes a distraction. 

The Audi A4 Avant includes everything you'll need to stay connected: Bluetooth, DAB, Online services, built-in sim-card, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, voice control and eight passive loudspeakers.

In terms of its dimensions the Audi A4 Avant is 4.7m long and 2.0m wide, which is typical for the class. However, there is no hiding the fact that the A4 Avant is on the small side for a family estate, especially when it comes to overall carrying capacity. 

The Audi A4 Avant's boot volume is 495 litres, a little less than cars like the Volvo V60 (529 litres), Peugeot 508 SW (530 litres), and a lot less than the Passat and Superb Estates (690 litres). 

However, the Audi A4 Avant also manages to make excellent use of every available litre. The flat, square loading bay has no intrusions from the rear wheel arches, tall sides, and no lip to lift heavy items over. The powered tailgate and luggage cover (that swish open at the press of a button) make supermarket trips less of a chore.

Unlike in the A4 saloon, there are a set of handles in the boot for dropping the rear seats. They fold down in a 40:20:40 configuration, leaving a useable 1495-litre cargo area, but also don't lie completely flat. Compared solely to its rivals from BMW and Mercedes, the A4 Avant is just as practical as its premium estate rivals.

Now we know any family pets will have room to stretch out, what about the rest of the family? Passengers in the Audi A4 Avant are treated to decent knee-, shoulder- and headroom. The rear doors open wide, and six-footers should have no issues getting comfy in the back. Whoever ends up in the middle seat will have a less comfortable time, since it's narrow, and the footwell is impeded by the wide transmission tunnel, but it's fine for short journeys.

Stowing loose items should be no trouble, with enough cubbies dotted throughout the cabin to keep wallets, keys and snacks from rolling around the cabin floor. Still, it's irritating that Audi charges extra to fit net pockets in the back of the rear seats and cupholders for those in the back.

Families with young children will be relieved to hear that fitting a bulky rear-facing infant seat or a standard child seat is simple. The ISOFIX mounting points are clear and accessible, and the Audi A4 Avant has enough space between the wheels to be able to mount a rear-facing seat without crushing the front passenger's knees on the dash.

Handling and ride quality: What is the Audi A4 Avant like to drive?

"Choosing the right suspension setup (from the three available options) will have a major impact on how your Audi A4 Avant rides. Technik and Sport models feature softer springs that both allow a bit more body roll and cushion the people inside from lumps and bumps in the road, especially on 17-inch wheels."

Audi A4 Avant Review 2024: exterior front three quarter photo of the Audi A4 Avant on the road

Pick the S line or Black Edition trim, and the Audi A4 Avant gets a sportier setup that's stiffer and 23mm lower than the standard springs. Combine that with 19-inch wheels and lower profile rubber, and you end up with a car that feels too firm. Around town, you'll be swerving to avoid hitting potholes and speed humps.

While these models handle with a little more composure and control when you're getting your clog down on a twisty country road, the sacrifices made to comfort the other 90 per cent of the time are really not worth it.

The standard cars handle perfectly well and are better to drive where it matters: on motorways and in town. Expensive Audi A4 Avant Vorsprung models come with the firmer setup, but add a set of adaptive dampers into the mix. This lets the driver tune the ride comfort, with a stiffer ride in Sport mode and a softer feel in Comfort. It helps take the harshness out of patchy suburban roads, but the standard springs are still by far the best choice.

So equipped, this is a car that makes the process of driving effortless (rather than exciting) so if you want to have fun behind the wheel, the BMW 3 Series Touring will suit you better. The handling is stable, it grips well and the steering is accurate, but front-wheel drive cars will lose traction if you accelerate out of bends too fast.

Quattro four-wheel drive versions feel unflappable in all conditions, but the extra traction won't put a smile on your face or transform the Audi A4 Avant into a wieldy driver's car, but it's reassuring to have when the weather turns foul.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to powering your Audi A4 Avant, because over its many, many years on sale, it's been offered with a wide variety of engines, giving a wide variety of outputs.

Early entry-level choices were available with a six-speed manual gearbox, but the majority of the range is fitted with Audi's S tronic automatic transmission, which is a better fit with the Avant's character.

The entry-level 35 TFSI petrol is adequate, but we'd encourage you to step up to the Audi A4 Avant 40 TFSI if you can. It's almost as efficient as the cheaper model, but it's a lot faster and struggles far less to get the estate body moving. Pick a diesel and you'll have no such issues, although again, if you often plan to carry a lot of gear and passengers on board, the useful extra pulling power of the 35 TDI makes it more flexible than the 30 TDI.

There are a pair of four-wheel drive versions, both with a bit more power than the standard cars. The Audi A4 Avant 40 TDI quattro has 190PS, while the Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI has 245PS. The petrol is pretty rapid, but in the diesel it's hard to feel the difference, so we'd recommend the more efficient front-driven A4 Avant unless you absolutely need 4x4.

Two high-performance models sit above the standard range. Both feature V6 engines, with the S4 using a 3.0-litre diesel (it used to be a petrol) with 347PS and 700Nm of torque. It's paired with a conventional eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the flagship RS4 has a 2.9-litre twin-turbo petrol. The former is no slouch, but the latter feels shockingly rapid, with acceleration that wouldn't be out of place in a two-seater sports car.

In more recent years, the engine range has been pared right back. Buyers of brand new A4 Avants choose between the 35 TFSI and 40 TFSI petrols, the 35 TDI and 40 TDI diesels, or the RS4.

The A4 Avant suppresses unwanted wind- and road noise better than almost all its rivals. Getting inside is like putting on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Just close the doors and sink into the serenely quiet cabin.

All of its engines are smooth and unflustered, transmitting very little vibration into the cabin. The dual-clutch S tronic gearbox helps with this, shifting up early and keeping the revs nice and low when you're cruising.

The Audi A4 Avant 40 TFSI petrol is especially quiet, but even the diesels keep themselves to themselves, with just a faint rumble as you accelerate. Wind noise is barely audible, even at 70mph, thanks to the 'acoustic' glass fitted in the windscreen. Unlike the A4 Allroad, the regular estate doesn't have this thicker glazing in the side windows.

Road- and suspension noise are also effectively smothered, but models with larger wheels and wider tyres will naturally generate a little more tyre roar than the more efficient versions. If you are the sort of driver who gets excited by a raucous exhaust noise, then the S4 and RS4 are your best bet, but are still very refined cars.

Like any modern car, the Audi A4 Avant comes well equipped to protect you in the event of an accident. A set of six airbags, electronic stability control and traction control, are standard. There is a monitor telling the driver if someone forgets to buckle their seat belt, and a pop-up bonnet that protects pedestrians in an impact.

Euro NCAP crash tested the regular A4 in 2015 and it gained the maximum five-star rating, but that test took place so long ago that the result is all but irrelevant. Nevertheless, study the results closely, and you'll notice that the newest BMW 3 Series and Volvo V60 do a better job of protecting adults.

Audi's Pre-sense City automatic emergency braking system comes as standard. Active below 53mph, it uses a front-facing camera to detect potential collisions, making a noise to alert the driver and bringing the car to a full stop if needed.

High-beam assist dips the main beams of the powerful LED headlights to prevent the car from dazzling other drivers at night. Acoustic all-round sensors and a colour reversing camera help to simplify parallel parking.

The Audi A4 Avant also has hill-hold assist and cruise control as standard. The latter can be upgraded to a radar-guided system with full braking capability. That means it'll follow the car in front at a set distance and speed, come to a complete halt and then set off again, but it's only available with the Driver Assistance Tour Pack. It's a little annoying that you have to pay extra for this feature when many cheaper cars have it as standard.

MPG and fuel costs: What does an Audi A4 Avant cost to run?

"With an obvious exception for the blisteringly quick petrol RS4, this estate should be relatively fuel efficient. Diesels fitted with front-wheel drive and the smallest wheels (Technik trim) are the most frugal, with an official economy of 54.3mpg."

Audi A4 Avant Review 2024: interior close up photo of the Audi A4 Avant instruments

Both these diesels come with a smaller 40-litre fuel tank (giving a range of around 440 miles) but it's an affordable option to upgrade to a 54-litre tank, and stretch the distance between petrol station stops to 590 miles.

There is no penalty for upgrading to the more powerful Audi A4 Avant 35 TDI - it has identical WLTP stats - but consumption will drop by a few miles per gallon if you upgrade to the S line due to larger wheels. The petrols should get around 40mpg when driven gently, with the Audi A4 Avant 150PS 35 TFSI and 190PS (later 204PS) 40 TFSI returning very similar stats.

Audi's performance in the latest Satisfaction Index tells a very mixed story. Out of the 29 carmakers rated by owners of the cars for overall satisfaction, Audi placed in 16th position, which is a very fair-to-middling result.

However, when rated for reliability specifically, Audi was named in the list of the ten worst-performing brands. Even worse, the A4 was namechecked as one of the brand's most problematic cars. That said, the A4 didn't feature on the list of the ten least reliable models, when both the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class did. Make of that what you will.

If you have recently lost your no claims bonus, or picked up a few speeding tickets, then the cheapest Audi A4 Avant to insure (by a sizeable margin) will be the 1.4-litre TSI from a few years ago. It's in group 19E. 

From the current range, the Audi A4 Avant 30 TDI is the most affordable, but it's four bands higher, in group 23E. The popular 35 TDI with a bit more power starts in group 26E, and goes up one group for each trim level.

Add quattro four-wheel drive to the mix and you'll start in group 29. Unsurprisingly, the 3.0-litre V6 diesel S4 Avant and 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 RS4 Avant are the costliest to get covered, sitting in group 44E and 46E.

Used A4 Avants that were registered before April 2017 will cost you less in VED than the latest versions, since the vast majority of the engine line-up was very good on CO2, on which the old tax system was based.

It's a little more straightforward for newer models, as it largely comes down to whether the list price when the car was brand new (including optional extras) came to more than £40,000 or not. Those versions that don't bust that threshold will command a flat-rate fee of £190 per year. Those that do bust the threshold, meanwhile, will be liable for the 'luxury car' surcharge on top of the flat rate, meaning that for a five-year period between years two and six of the car's life, the owner will have to pay an additional £410 in tax. To be sure of what you're looking at, we'd advise performing a quick internet search with the registration mark of any used example you're considering.

How much should you be paying for a used Audi A4 Avant?

"The Audi A4 Avant has been around for such a long time now that there are some super-cheap examples on the used car market, despite its strong residual values."

Audi A4 Avant Review 2024: interior close up photo of the Audi A4 Avant boot space

If you want the widest choice of engines, and the best value, the pre-facelift Avant (from 2015 - 2019) is the one to go for. You can get a 2015 2.0 TDI Ultra in Sport trim for £11,000 with 80,000 miles on the clock.

The diesel was significantly more popular at that time but there are still petrol versions out there: for similar money, you can get a 2016 Audi A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI Sport with a similar mileage.

In truth, you don't have to pay too much more to get a facelifted car from 2019, which has the more sophisticated infotainment system and more luxury goodies. We found a 2019 35 TFSI Technik for less than £13,000, but it did have a similarly high mileage to the older cars already mentioned. For something a little newer, and with a more reasonable mileage, you'll need to spend around £20,000 for a three-year-old example. You'll have a variety of choices over engine and trim level at that money.

With so many to choose from, it's worth taking the time to find a well looked after car with just the right spec for you, and with a complete and comprehensive service history.

The Audi A4's trim levels have chopped and changed a bit over its many years on sale, with some ever-present and some coming and going. For much of the car's life, the most affordable Audi A4 Avant - the Technik - was also the best value. It doesn't feel like a watered-down version of a pricier model: there are no blank switches to make you feel like you should have spent more.

Apart from the cloth seats, it's hard to point to a single item missing from its spec sheet. Three-zone climate control, keyless start, all-round parking sensors, a powered tailgate, heated front seats and cruise control are standard. That's before mentioning the MMI Plus infotainment system, which (from 2019) comes with the same features across the range, including sat-nav, smartphone mirroring, and a set of 12.3-inch digital dials.

Audi A4 Avant Sport versions look a touch sharper inside and out, with 18-inch alloys, a distinctive grille design and subtle body kit, plus leather sport seats. Audi A4 Avant S line models sprinkle even more sportiness into the mix, with a range of cosmetic upgrades, while buying the Audi A4 Avant Vorsprung is the quickest way of securing every single optional extra.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Quite simple really. Avant in Audi-speak means estate, although the manufacturer would no doubt argue that Avants are more stylish than regular estates.
Audi A4 Avants destined for the European market are built across two sites in Germany, but the A4 is also built in India and China for global markets.
The Audi A4 Avant doesn't have a flawless reliability record and the brand's overall performance in the Satisfaction Index is average, too. As always, we'd recommend only considering cars with a solid and complete service history.

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