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Reader Test: Sporty Audi A4 Avant

2007-08-10 09:26

Warren Bartram, Durbanville

Audi A4 Avant 3.2 FSI Quattro S line

Engine: 3.2 litre V6
Power: 188 kW at 6 500 r/min
Torque: 330 Nm at 3 250 r/min
Transmission: six-speed manual

Is this a family car? Yes! Is this a performance car? Hell yes!!

Just looking at it suggests it's a "family car" (being an Avant), but knowledgeable may notice the 18-inch wheels, the dropped sports suspension, the deep front grille and of course, the badging on the rear and the front.

Exterior

The car has subtle changes to a standard Avant. The biggest difference is the nose job - the front grille is deeper and the intakes more aggressive. There is a larger tailgate spoiler incorporating the high level brake light that seems to complete the back of the car compared with a standard Avant.

I bought the car pre-owned from Audi with 13 000 km on the clock with about R100 000 knocked off the original price. I just couldn't bring myself to spend over R420 000 on a car this size.

I must admit though, the looks played a large part in my decision to purchase it. I am yet to see another A4 Avant that looks like mine and that's just the way I like it. The RS4 Avant is pretty neat, though.

Interior

The interior is an unusual colour scheme - the seats and trimmings are black, but the pillars and roof are a deep dark gunmetal. I love it but it will not appeal to everyone. There is some wood finish as is standard on A4 Quattros.

I am now up to 25 000 km and I can honestly say there is not one rattle in this car, but that is a testament to the build quality of Audi. I am, however, not happy with the load area's pull out cover that sometimes jumps out of the hooks and retracts, which can give you quite a fright.

The Drive

If you have never driven a Quattro, do yourself a favour and test drive one, you will not be sorry.

I don't know the limits of this car and don't care to find out, but the Quattro works well for me. I have given the sedan a good run around Killarney and I was very impressed.

Safety features in this class of vehicle are impressive. With 235/40 ZR18 Bridgestone's wrapped around the rims, traction is superb and it stops mighty quickly too. The sport suspension is hard, but that's the price you pay. I have experienced ample grip driving on Chapman's, even in the wet.

I don't care for performance figures and comparisons with other brands because this car does what I want it to do. I don't care for dicing or top end, but the exhaust note - torque growl to kilowatt howl - is something else.

Will I buy another Quattro when I replace this car? Yes, an A5 should do nicely, thanks.

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