Comfortable and capable, but lacking the versatility of the more powerful 2.0 TDI

What is it?

The entry level diesel version of the new Audi A4, which promises excellent fuel economy and reasonable performance from the 118bhp unit.

The common rail, four-cylinder engine is the least polluting and most efficient in the range producing a tax-friendly 134g/km of CO2 and returning a claimed 55.4mpg on the combined cycle.

What’s it like?

Comfortable and capable, but lacking the finesse of its more powerful 141bhp 2.0 TDI sibling.

The A4 shines on the motorway, but with peak torque only available between 1750rpm and 2500rpm there isn’t sufficient flexibility to pull into faster traffic without the need to change down the six-speed gearbox.

Crucially, power appears lacking in third and fourth gear which can inhibit overtaking. The ride is smooth, and cabin comfortable, while engine and road noise are kept to a minimum too.

Should I buy one?

As the starting point in the A4 range, the 118bhp diesel proves a more economical proposition than the petrol alternative. However, the 141bhp TDI offers greater versatility and a marginally quieter ride at motorway speeds.

George Barrow

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kr38 8 October 2008

Re: Audi A4 2.0 TDI 120 SE