The Audi A4 is an improvement over the previous version, but isn't good enough to topple the BMW 3-series
Audi began fitting the 168bhp TDi engine into the A4 a couple of months ago but this is the first chance we’ve had to drive one.
This engine is an addition to the range rather than a replacement. We tested a two-wheel drive saloon S-line manual, but you can also have the motor in regular or SE trims, with quattro four-wheel drive and S-tronic twin-clutch auto gearbox — which brings the total number of A4 derivatives in the range to more than 80.
What’s it like?
The engine’s very good. It’s a tad noisier than the best four-pot diesels, particularly at cold idle, but it’s quieter here than in the A3, and its delivery and response are both fine.
Piezo-electric injectors allow fuel to be delivered in very precise doses, helping broaden a power band that is often tight on some high-powered diesels. The rest of the A4 package is left alone — it has a good quality interior and is quiet, but lacks dynamism or B-road ability.
Should I buy one?
Accept that dynamically this is far from the best car in the class and you could do worse.
This is a comfortable high-mileage car and it now has a responsive, powerful four-pot diesel.