The Volkswagen Group is on a high at the moment, and nowhere is this more true of its engine development. Audi's position within the group means it is usually the first recipient of the latest powertrains. The A4 is the latest benefactor of its common-rail diesel technology.
The 2.0 TDI is the biggest-selling A4, and its buyers should be broadly pleased with their purchases. In mid-range 141bhp form, this is a very smooth diesel, with an impressively revvy accelerator response, a wide power band that runs to 5400rpm (although the engine’s maximum effort lies between 1750 and 2500rpm), little extra noise from cold and general refinement sufficient to mask almost entirely its oil-burning diet.
It pulls vigorously enough in the mid range to feel sportingly brisk, and a well cushioned clutch, a light gearshift and six gears all ease exploitation of its capabilities.
A gear indicator in the dash display suggests early upshifts for lower fuel consumption, but performance in sixth is, as you’d expect, slothful. Use the ’box more fully and this Audi serves up more assertive performance, with 60mph coming up in 9.2sec from a standstill.