What is it?
You've probably noticed some change in the company car park of late. Jaguar's XE is already a fairly common sight on our roads and - even if it's hard to recognise - a facelifted 3 Series will soon be joining it. There's more change afoot, though, because Audi's A4 is not long for the UK, too.
While Audi's premium badge and superb cabins have ensured that the previous A4 sold reasonably well, its dynamics and emissions have always played second fiddle to the BMW. With the XE now with us, the A4 was starting to look even longer in the tooth.
No such issues with the new one. Company accountants will like the fact that the new A4's emissions start at 99g/km and that (official) fuel economy is as good as 74.3mpg, while its completely new MLB-evo chassis, which features five-link independent suspension front and rear, should ensure better ride and handling characteristics.
It's a bigger car than it was but it’s lighter, too. Overall it’s longer, while front head room and rear leg room are improved. Audi has also worked hard to ensure that refinement is better than ever, claiming that its class-leading drag coefficient helps to keep wind noise down to A8 levels of silence.
We're yet to try that headline economy figure-wielding 2.0 TDI 150 Ultra, but here we're driving what should still account for a decent proportion of UK sales: the 187bhp version of the same engine. It still features Audi's 'Ultra' technology, so despite its extra performance, it remains good for CO2 emissions as low as 102g/km and thus an 18% BIK rate in entry-level manual form.