Car tester Reinhold Deisenhofer says Audi's designers have shown how less is more: the new Audi A4 Avant weighs less, but has more storage space. Other than that, the design has hardly changed, because: why mess with a good thing?
The new Audi Avant is 120 kilograms lighter than its predecessor and comes with a choice of 7 different engines. The 2-liter TFSI ultra produces 140 kilowatts and accelerates the car to 100 in 7-point-5 seconds. Audi says this variant needs 5-point-6 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.
When it comes to the interior, says Reinhold, Audi's craftsmanship and ergonomics are the industry benchmark. He's impressed by the intelligent "Adaptive Cruise Control" with its predictive efficiency assists: the cruise control and the sat-nav work together. For example, the system knows that a town is coming behind the approaching hill, so that it makes no sense to step on the gas. The car knows it's time to slow down. And that saves fuel!
On a country road, the system autonomously brakes and accelerates, for example before and after a curve. It also recognizes traffic signs and, depending on whether the suspension is set to sporty or comfortable, it calculates how to take a curve without boring or scaring the driver, respectively. Reinhold says this step toward autonomous driving takes some getting used to, but then it's a lot of fun.
A lever on the steering wheel activates the assist systems. If the efficiency assistant is running, the driver can take his foot off the pedals and concentrate on steering. In cruise control, the car autonomously adjusts its speed to the circumstances.
Reinhold says the A4 Avant is almost as brawny as its big brother, the A6 -- at least when viewed from the back. The trunk has grown to encompass 1,510 liters. Its floor has two areas: the outermost is carpeted for expensive luggage; the inner area is fine for your rubber boots or garden implements. The electrical hatchback closes automatically. And Reinhold wouldn't want to do without the predictive efficiency assistant -- but it comes only in the Tour package, which costs an extra 1,640 euros.