Superb performance and comfort
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.