Road Test: Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TDIe 163 SE
Sector: Upper-medium Price: £28,775 Fuel: 62.8mpg CO2: 120g/km
Following on from its facelift earlier this year, the Audi A4 range is now offered with four versions of the ubiquitous 2.0 TDI diesel engine.
Power outputs range from 136 to 177bhp and there are also two economy-focused TDIe versions. The lower case "e" on the end of TDI is significant as these models offer increased fuel economy and lower emissions than the regular TDI versions.
While all diesels use start/stop technology, energy recuperation and a gearshift indicator to boost fuel economy, the TDIe models use a space saver tyre to save weight, have low rolling resistance tyres and 20mm lower Sports suspension to reduce drag.
The result in our test car’s 163bhp guise is claimed average fuel economy of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 120g/km. Confusingly, a lower-powered 136bhp TDIe version is also available, returning 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km.
But our test car is more closely aligned on power to the range-topping 2.0 TDI 177, which emits 126g/km and returns 58.9mpg. In SE trim it costs £28,775 – exactly the same as the TDIe 163 version on test.
Away from the engine bay, the revised A4 features a reworked bumper with ne-look angled air inlets and fog lights, revised single frame grille and restyled headlights, while at the back the light units and bumper have been redesigned.
Inside, it is much the same as before bar a few trim and function tweaks. Importantly, the A4 still feels first rate in terms of quality.
What’s less impressive is the confusing range structure with four 2.0 TDIs all closely matched in terms of fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
A better bet would be the lower powered and more economical TDIe 136 in the new SE Technik trim. Priced at £28,855 (£80 more than the car on test), it comes with leather seats, DVD-based satellite navigation, Audi music interface and parking sensors as standard.
In 2.0 TDI 163 SE guise, the A4 Avant is a fine car but slightly misses the point. For economy-focused drivers the lower-powered version is a better bet, especially when specced with the generous SE Technik trim.