Good on pa­per

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Review -

thebmwand Benz. It didn’t han­dle as well as the 3 Se­ries and wasn’t as comfy as the C-class.

But the B8 was im­proved on most fronts. Un­like the ob­vi­ous ri­vals, most Audis are front-wheel drive with some premium all-wheel drive mod­els. There was quite a se­lec­tion of petrol and diesel en­gines, rang­ing from a 1.8-litre di­rect in­jec­tion turbo petrol four to a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel with more torque than many petrol V8s.

The base petrol and diesel fours came stan­dard with a six-speed man­ual or con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion, the sixes with a sixspeed auto. With its en­gine moved back a lit­tle and the steer­ing rack eased for­ward, the A4’s han­dling was im­proved, though no match for its rear-drive ri­vals.

The ride was also found to be a lit­tle too hard for the class. In­side, the cabin was well fit­ted out and nicely re­fined, with lit­tle road or wind noise to up­set the in­ner peace.

The seats were com­fort­able and sup­port­ive and there was plenty of head and legroom for those in the front and the back. As be­fits a car in its class, the A4 came with a de­cent list of gear, such as cli­mate­con­trol air­con­di­tion­ing, auto head­lights and wipers, leather trim, fog lights, al­loy wheels, 6.5-inch colour info screen and a split­fold­ing rear seat.

IN THESHOP

The eighth-gen­er­a­tion A4 is rel­a­tively new to the mar­ket, so there’s lit­tle to re­port in the way of nig­gles or se­ri­ous flaws. As ever, it’s im­por­tant to find a car that has been well cared for and ser­viced ac­cord­ing to the book.

Most on sale will be fresh out of a lease so should have been main­tained but check for a ser­vice record any­way. Oil changes are im­por­tant with modern en­gines so make sure the oil and fil­ter have been re­placed at the cor­rect in­ter­vals.

Vwand Audi en­gines tend to con­sume a lit­tle oil, which makes it im­por­tant to keep an eye on the dip­stick at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals. The oil use is mi­nor and not an is­sue but has caught out some peo­ple who never bother to lift the bon­net. Make the usual checks for panel dam­age, poor panel align­ment etc. Over­all the A4 is a sound ve­hi­cle and not one to give se­ri­ous trou­ble.

INACRASH

Five stars says it all. The A4 had eight airbags, anti-lock brakes, trac­tion con­trol and sta­bil­ity con­trol.

ATTHEPUMP

The petrol and diesel op­tions give buy­ers plenty of choice. The best of the bunch is the 2.0-litre turbo diesel, which uses 5.8L/100 km and the thirsti­est is the 3.2-litre with a claimed 9.0L/100 km.

NEW$ 50,900-$88,500 USED: $30,000-$37,000 for 1.8 TFSI sedan; $31,500-$40,000 for 2.0 TDI sedan; $51,500-$48,500 for the 2.7 TDI sedan; $52,500-$67,500 for 3.2 Quat­tro sedan; $42,000-$52,500 for 2.0 TDI Quat­tro sedan; $51,500-$64,000 for 3.0 TDI Quat­tro sedan (wag­ons add $1500)

1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo petrol, 118 kw/ 250Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 105 kw/320 Nm; 2.7-litrev6­turbo diesel, 140 kw/400nm; 3.2-litrev6petrol, 195 kw/330 Nm; 3.0-litrev6 turbo diesel, 176kw/500nm

6-speed man­ual, CVT, 6-speed auto. Fw­dand Qu­at­troawd

7.2 litre/100km(1.8 TFSI); 5.8 (2.0 TDI); 6.9 (2.7 TDI); 9.0 (3.2V6Q); 7.4 (2.0 TDI Q); 6.9 (3.0 TDI Q)

4-door sedan, 4-door wagon

1.8TFSI, 2.0TDI, 2.7TDI, 3.2 FSI Quat­tro, 2.0 TDI Quat­tro, 3.0 TDI Quat­tro

5-star ANCAP Not as sporty as the 3 Se­ries or as com­fort­able as the C-class, but the A4 is still worth a look.

Im­proved steer­ing, smooth en­gines, roomy and re­fined cabin.

Bland looks, CVT lag.

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