Su­perb per­for­mance and com­fort

Cynon Valley - - MOTORWALES - PE­TER HAY­WARD news­desk@waleson­

THERE is a wide and slightly be­wil­der­ing range of mod­els and en­gines to choose from if you’re in­ter­ested in a sec­ond­hand Audi A4, so do your home­work be­fore you head out to look.

The model built from 2009 to 2015 fi­nally caught up with the BMW 3-Se­ries in al­most every way, and sur­passed it in pound-for-pound stan­dard equip­ment.

Per­for­mance is good to su­perb and the ex­cel­lent com­fort and han­dling re­ally are some­thing to ex­pe­ri­ence, while the cars are as beau­ti­fully fin­ished as they ever were.

As well as the four-door sa­loon, there’s an es­tate of course, and an All­road qu­at­tro four-wheel drive, which is de­cently ca­pa­ble off-road.

And as if those choices were not enough, many of the sa­loon and es­tate mod­els were also avail­able with the qu­at­tro sys­tem. But re­mem­ber, 4WD sys­tems add weight, and that means those mod­els are heav­ier on fuel than the front-wheel-drive range.

The range of en­gines in­cludes 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrols with power rang­ing from 120bhp to 225bhp, plus a 3.2 V6 with 261bhp.

Diesel has long been an Audi sta­ple of course, and here, there is a whole gamut of 2.0-litre TDI tur­bos, with power from 136bhp to 190bhp.

There are also 2.7 and 3.0-litre V6 diesels, and they have 187bhp and 240bhp re­spec­tively.

The ma­jor­ity of sec­ond­hand mod­els are likely to be diesels, be­cause so many were orig­i­nally com­pany cars, and lower emis­sions meant they were more at­trac­tive to their driv­ers be­cause they had less to pay in per­sonal tax.

Per­haps the best of all for most peo­ple is the 2.0-litre TDIe, which comes with very low 115g/km emis­sions, and can do 64mpg.

It’s no slouch ei­ther, pol­ish­ing off the 62mph sprint in just 8.3 sec­onds thanks to a power out­put of 161bhp.

Two-wheel-drive mod­els have drive to the front wheels through a man­ual six-speed gear­box, or there’s a choice of two dif­fer­ent au­to­mat­ics, both of which are very good and don’t cost too much in ex­tra fuel.

All have a very good size in­te­rior thanks to a longer wheel­base than ear­lier mod­els, and are quite ca­pa­ble of long jour­neys with four up in com­plete com­fort. The boot should han­dle all their kit too – un­less they want to take four sets of golf clubs!

But if, like me, you value your com­fort, avoid all the more ex­pen­sive mod­els with sports sus­pen­sion. It spoils the oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent ride in the A4 as in so many other cars.

Seats are firm in the Ger­man way but have ex­cel­lent ad­just­ment, and in mid-range SE trim, equip­ment in­cludes an alarm, trac­tion con­trol, steer­ing wheel rake and reach ad­just­ment, al­loys, cli­mate con­trol, loads of airbags, height ad­justable driver’s seat and re­mote au­dio con­trols.

Leather seats were a no cost op­tion and of course, many will have had other equip­ment added from the ex­tras list when they were new.

These are orig­i­nally ex­pen­sive up-mar­ket cars, and they are not cheap to fix. So re­mem­ber, never buy with­out full ser­vice his­tory un­less the price is rock bot­tom and you can fix it your­self.

Pay about £10,700 for a ’13 13-reg SE TDI man­ual, or £13,700 for a ’14 14-reg S-Line auto.

Audi A4

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