In Europe, the majority of Audi A4s, or Audis in general, are TDI models. The European market is very fond of diesel engines in their “saloon and estate” cars, as diesels offer far greater efficiency in parts of Europe where inefficient cars are taxed much higher. Plus, that extra efficiency doesn’t really come with any penalty in terms of performance, as diesel engines offer more torque than petrol engines and still allow for similar handling characteristics. However, petrol engines are more fun, so the enthusiasts usually go for them despite the high temptation of their oil-burning siblings.
So when Auto Express drives the brand-new B9 Audi A4 Avant with the potent 2.0 liter TFSI petrol engine and an S-Line package, we take notice. We’ve read Auto Express reviews of the A4 before, but they’ve mostly been the TDI models, both the ultra frugal 2.0 TDI Ultra and the much more powerful 3.0 TDI V6. But they haven’t tested the new TFSI engine in the A4 Avant just yet. So let’s see how it does.
In terms of ride, refinement, design and interior quality, there’s no much differentiating this car from the others that have been tested. This 2.0 TFSI has the same gorgeous interior, good exterior looks and incredible refined ride as all of the others. What differs about this model is its engine. The 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder TFSI engine makes 249 horsepower and can make the run from 0-60 mph in just under six seconds, making it right on par with the BMW 328i Touring and Mercedes-Benz C Class Estate. The engine is said to be silky smooth and whisper quiet, which gives it high marks, in terms of refinement but can be a bit unexciting. It is quick, though, and the seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission makes the most of the power by shifting quickly and always keeping the engine in the right gear.
Handling also improves a bit with the TFSI engine, as it’s a bit lighter in the nose and that small weight loss is noticeable. The front end is supposedly a bit lighter and nimbler feeling than in the diesel variants which allows for sharper handling and a bit more fun.
Overall, the A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S-Line is just as excellent as the TDI models. It might not have the same efficiency or torque as the TDI models, but it’s smoother and quicker overall. It’s even a bit more fun. When compared to the 3 Series Touring and C Class Estate, the A4 Avant isn’t as fun as the 3 Series or as luxurious as the C Class, but it strikes an excellent balance between both. It also has the best interior of the bunch. We’ll see what happens when the Jaguar XE Estate makes its debut but, until then, this A4 Avant S-Line might be the wagon to beat.