What is it?
There are few mid-life changes to the Audi RS4 Avant – and that’s a good thing. Few, if any, cars manage to combine such urgent response, secure handling, outstanding interior quality and overall versatility with quite the same degree of success as the latest incarnation of Ingolstadt’s performance estate.
Like its RS5 Coupé and Sportback siblings, the facelifted fourth-generation model receives some small exterior styling changes to help distinguish it from the car it replaces. However, none of them is what you would describe as being particularly significant.
At the front, there’s an altered front bumper with newly styled air ducts and an additional air inlet along the leading edge of the bonnet, above a reworked high-gloss black single-frame grille. The angular headlights also get new graphics in a move that gives the daytime running lights a more technical look than before: instead of the single bar of light, there are now six individual elements.
The changes to the rear are even more subtle, with new tail-light graphics similar to those used for the headlights and an altered bumper with a revised diffuser element.
It remains a purposeful-looking car with a fittingly muscular stance that’s arguably at its aesthetic best on the new optional 20in wheels and 275/30-profile tyres, as worn by our test car. They come in place of the standard 19in rims and 265/35-profile rubber.
Inside, the new Audi has the same excellent interior as before. It’s a great driving environment that is not only big on quality but also offers a level of everyday practicality matched by few rivals.
Despite the apparent similarities with the interior that has graced the RS4 since the introduction of the fourth-generation model in 2017, though, a few changes help to lift its appeal by making various functions more intuitive to operate.
Prime among these is a new high-definition touchscreen display for the infotainment functions. As with other recent new Audi models, it features the firm’s MMI touch response system in place of the rotary controller of the pre-facelifted model, as well as new gesture and speech control functions.
The clear draw card, though, remains the 495-litre boot, which can be extended to 1495 litres with the split rear seats folded away. Along with the car's five-door layout, it provides the RS4 Avant with a level of practicality missing in the mechanically identical RS5 Coupé and RS5 Sportback.