The new Audi A4 Avant has yet to be put through its paces by most journalists. Audi has been pushing its sedan (or saloon, depending on where you’re from) models mainly, and has shown little love to the Avant. However, in the UK, where Auto Express hails from, the A4 Avant is a very popular vehicle, indeed, and deserves testing. So they went out to test the new Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDI Ultra150 Sport.
The Ultra 150 Sport is Audi’s most frugal A4, using a 2.0 liter TDI engine that develops a measly 148 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a six speed manual, the A4 Avant Ultra 150 can get from 0-60 mph in a glacier-like 9.2 seconds. BMW’s 320d can do the same sprint in 8.2 seconds, so the A4 is properly slow. However, the manual can allow you to make the best of its small horsepower numbers, by keeping it in lower gears, where the small diesel engine likes to make power. But on the highway, during passing maneuvers, the little engine struggles mightily. However, performance isn’t the name of the game, frugality is and the A4 Avant Ultra 150 can average around 70 mph on the EU cycle (around 58 mph US) during mixed driving. Impressive.
Performance aside, though, the A4 Avant is a fantastic thing to drive on a daily basis. The suspension is smooth and taut, it handles well and has a lovely interior. The interior on the new A4 and A4 Avant could very well be the best in class, outshining even the Mercedes-Benz C Class. If there can only be one thing for the A4 to hand its hat on, it’s the interior. But it also has tons of storage space, with the largest trunk opening in the segment, and has a load of interior room. It’s also very quiet and comfortable inside the cabin, even at motorway speeds. So while it isn’t the fastest A4 out there, this is definitely a quiet, comfortable and efficient way to get around.
This model isn’t coming to the US market, and for good reason, as it wouldn’t sell. Americans simply don’t like nor understand the benefits of small diesel engines. However, it’s likely we will get at least one diesel engine in the future, here in the ‘States. As it stands now, though, the only engine us Yanks will get for the new Audi A4 (no Avant planned for the US because we can’t have nice things) will be the 252 hp 2.0 liter turbocharged gasoline engine and will only be paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. So out A4’s will be the least practical and the least efficient models in the entire lineup. But they will be fast and fun and, let’s be honest, that matters more anyway.Auto Express]