As much space as a mid-sized SUV, with the driving dynamics of a sporty sedan. There’s lots to like about Audi’s new wagon.
Photos Joel Tam
Other than Volvo, Audi is about the only other brand that does station-wagons well. They do them so well, they’ve even made their upper range models wagons! Take the latest RS4 and RS6 models for example, they are top-of-the-line variants that are only available in Avant form, and we simply love Audi for being quirky like that.
The car we have here today is no RS model though. In fact, it’s the base model engine spec available for the A4 Avant. This 2.0-litre turbocharged estate pushes out a decent 148 hp and 270 Nm of torque and is the only model available for the A4 Avant.
In an SUV-crazy market, wagons have been sorely neglected. But wagons have always been a rather compelling choice – you get sedan-like driving dynamics and the cargo space of an SUV. What’s not to like?
Handsome and sleek, the face-lifted A4 Avant now bears the new Audi face with a tapered design for the headlamps and lower side housings. It’s sleeker but not necessarily nicer, to me. I still prefer the outgoing model’s chunky and geometric cut lines.
Despite being a ‘face-lift’, many of the body panels are new. There are fresh cut-lines that break up the once streamlined side profile of the previous Avant. The front and rear fenders now have a slight bulge to them, giving the Avant a mild-RS4 look.
Inside our test car, the otherwise clinical and minimalistic Audi interior is spruced up with some classy brown leather. As someone who likes tan and saddle brown leather tones, this is a simple but nice touch for me.
The new 10.1-inch MMI touchscreen is larger than the old one and the touchscreen interface is intuitive and easy to use.
So just how big is the boot? After all, the draw of a wagon is ultimately the cargo space. Well, with the seats up, the Avant’s boot is sizeable 495-litres. But bring down the rear seat and you’ll open up 1,000 more litres! Enough to fit your bike, groceries, football gear and more.
Concerned that your gear might be visible to prying eyes? An electric tonneau cover comes with the Avant as standard and can be removed if needed. There’s even a curtain that blocks off the rear cargo area from the rear sets.
This increases privacy and controls the cabin temperature on hot days for more efficient cooling – a useful feature I would have appreciated when living with my Skoda wagon for eight years in this tropical island.
Take the A4 Avant out on the road and it shows off its other strength; being a really nice car to drive. The road tax-friendly 1.4 TFSI unit in the old car has been swapped for a cleaner and more efficient 2.0-litre unit, but the 148 hp power plant is perfect for Singapore roads, it feels punchy when you need it to be, and relaxed when you just want to cruise.
The new car also features a 12V mild-hybrid system, making the already efficient TFSI even more economical through a coasting function.
All in all, the A4 Avant is a splendid proposition if what you’re looking for is space and style but don’t want to compromise on the driving part. Sure, it’s no RS4, and this 148 hp variant is the only one available (no 190 hp or 250 hp options). But it’s really all you need in a city like ours!