Our Fleet: Audi A4 Avant - Final Report
23 January 2007
Audi A4 Avant - boot lid
Either our departing Audi needed running-in, or it knew we didn't like its noisy engine so fixed the problem itself, writes Tristan Young
Sentiency is not something you normally associate with cars, but sometimes they make you think.
Our long-term test Audi A4 Avant powered by the maker's 170PS 2.0-litre diesel started life as a loud engine. Loud enough to make us take it to the local dealer and get everything checked out as normal.
However, as soon as we wrote in our first report that we weren't that impressed by the noise, the engine quietened down. One theory is that the car knew we were unhappy, and sorted itself out. But far more likely is that the engine takes longer than expected to run-in and become quieter. This running-in probably coincided with our first report.
Audi maintains no special driving, cautious or otherwise, is needed in the car's first few miles and that it should perform perfectly straight from the tin. However, if the engine noise is anything to go by, there may be changes with mileage. Previous experience tells us that fuel consumption and overall performance improve with mileage (to a point). So we would have expected the already impressive 38.4 mpg to improve a touch over the next few thousand miles.
Over three months in our hands the A4 never missed a beat (even if we did worry about the engine noise) and the estate boot proved essential on numerous occasions.
We specifically picked the SE trim for the A4 over the sporty S-line version we had on an Audi A6 Avant earlier last year because not only does the trim set the equipment, it also changes - in this case for the better - the way the car rides. This is due to the larger wheels that come with S-line and the stiffer suspension. While our A4 might not have looked quite as good as the S-line car, we were at least smug in the knowledge it was comfortable in all conditions, something our A6 Avant wasn't. Maybe we're starting to get old?