Audi A4 Avant (2008 – 2015) Review

Audi A4 Avant (2008 – 2015) At A Glance

4/5

+Solid build quality throughout. Huge range of engines and specifications. Available with quattro four-wheel drive. Frugal diesels. Well designed and user-friendly boot.

-Poor ride quality with earlier S line models. Doesn’t handle as well as rear-wheel drive competition. Dashboard design a little fussy.

Insurance Groups are between 19–36
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

The Audi A4 B8 Avant is a ‘lifestyle’ estate, meaning it’s less about outright practicality and more about being a cargo-hauler that looks a bit rakish and drives with panache. It does indeed look the part too, not quite the generic oblong block that some estate cars end up being.

That said, with Audi retaining longitudinal front-wheel drive as the standard layout for the A4 (four-wheel drive quattro is available too), the A4 Avant is inherently less engaging than its rear-wheel drive alternatives – namely the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and BMW 3 Series Touring. 

That’s not to say it doesn’t handle well. It does, with a predictable turn-in and - if you specify quattro - a uniquely thrilling blend of grip and composure, especially in wet weather. The problem is that prior to 2010, when Audi launched the A6 and showed everyone that it was able to make a car ride comfortably, the company generally conflated 'sporty handling' with firm suspension.

As such, an early A4 Avant S line on big wheels is a pretty juddering estate car and no friend to potholes, although after the model’s 2012 facelift things became altogether smoother for an A4 Avant driver.

One thing that has never been lacking with this A4 Avant, though, is choice. Every base is covered, from the frugal 120PS four-cylinder 2.0-litre TDI diesel version, through the fine 3.0-litre V6 diesels, a couple of smooth TFSI turbo petrols, a rapid supercharged six-cylinder S4 model. And finally the brain scrambling RS4, with its 450PS 4.2-litre V8.

Over its seven-year lifespan Audi constantly tried to keep the car fresh with trim, engine and specification updates, though there have been some mainstays throughout. Base model SE cars feature continuously, as do sporty S line versions, while post-2012 Black Edition models are catnip to a certain demographic, coming with huge-looking 19-inch alloy wheels and gloss black trim inside and out.

The innate feeling of quality is something that all A4 models come with. Aside from some of the trim surrounding the instrument binnacle, which is a little flimsy, the A4 Avant feels as solid as can be – rarely will you encounter one with any squeaks or rattles, which is a huge part of the A4 Avant’s enduring popularity. 

Audi A4 2012 Facelift Road Test 

Real MPG average for a Audi A4 Avant (2008 – 2015)

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

79%

Real MPG

22–58 mpg

MPGs submitted

607

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Are engine cleaning products any good for high mileage diesels?
"I have a B8 Audi A4 Avant diesel which has done 80,000 miles. My garage is recommending an engine treatment called Terraclean and I'm aware that there can be big bills on a high mileage diesel. Are these engine cleaning products any good?"
Terraclean is to clean the valves and combustion chambers on a direct injected engine, which you have, without taking it apart. But there may be more pressing issues such as a partially clogged EGR and/or a DPF filling up with ash, and Terraclean won't fix them.
Answered by Honest John
Dealer hasn't sent me V5C after six weeks - is this normal?
"I bought an Audi A4 Avant TDI six weeks ago from an independent Audi dealer. I am happy with the car but I have not received my logbook from the DVLA. The garage told me that they had not yet sent the log book back yet as they sent them in batches to the DVLA. What are your thoughts on this?"
Cobblers - and extremely highly suspect. Tell the garage that if it does not get you your V5C immediately you will use form V62 to get one and charge the garage for it.
Answered by Honest John
Buying a second hand estate for £10k - any recommendations?
"My wife and I are in the market for a second hand estate; we want a car that's three to five years old and costs up to £10k. We are happy to have a fairly high mileage car (up to circa 100k). We've just test driven the Mercedes-Benz C200 BlueEfficiency Exec SE (2012 plate, 93k, £9450), Audi A4 Avant SE 2.0 (2012 plate, 104k, £9750), and Skoda Octavia SE 2.0 (2013 plate, 77k, £8995). All three seemed reasonable to drive and each has pros and cons - which would you recommend? Are there significant differences in running costs and likely resale value?"
Any high mileage diesel that has not already had a recent diesel particulate filter replacement is heading for one and that alone could cost £3000. Of the cars you list, the Mercedes at least has a well proven, chain cam 2.1 litre diesel engine that is fitted to millions of Mercedes cars and vans, so of the three that's probably your best bet.
Answered by Honest John
Are all Audi automatic gearboxes unreliable?
"I have read that there have been a number of faults with Audi automatic gearboxes. Can you please let me know if these faults are still to be found in cars built from 2014 on wards? "
In the A4 B8 up to 2015, these were Multitronics. They were replace with seven-speed wet clutch 's-tronics' in the A4 B9 from September 2015. See the entries in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Audi A4 Avant (2008 – 2015) cost?

Buy new from £23,950 (list price from £31,109)