What is it?
This is the latest version of Audi’s veteran, dyed-in-the-wool, business-friendly Audi A4. We drove the first of the eighth generation in Europe last year, but now the full range is in the UK ahead of its official on-sale date later this week (March 1st).
As generational gaps go, the disparity between seventh and eighth is faint. The exterior differences are limited to a reworked bumper and revised headlights, along with similarly minor changes inside, and equipment updates.
The real beef occurs in the engine bay where Audi has tweaked, toned and refined much of the range for efficiency gains. Along with the introduction of an overhauled 1.8 TFSI petrol motor, the most significant new entry is the higher-powered version of the 2.0-litre TDIe - expected to carry the carry the vast bulk of sales in its established 134bhp guise.
The 160bhp edition, driven here as an Avant (the 134bhp motor is saloon only) is intended to go toe-to-toe with the forthcoming 320d Efficient Dynamics as the increased output puts the A4 almost on par with its outright performance, even if can’t quite compete with the BMW’s prospective 109g/km CO2 emissions and 68.9mpg economy.
What’s it like?
With the latest addition to the range included, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI is now available as four distinct variants. The 141bhp and 174bhp are not badged TDIe because, apart from their marginal power advantage, they offer buyers the chance to spec bigger alloys - the efficiency-focused models come standard with 17-inch wheels and low resistance tyres only.