If you cast your mind back a few years, it is fair to say that premium car manufacturers didn't see fuel consumption as a major selling point. It is therefore a welcome sign of the times that the Audi A4 is not only a fuel efficient premium saloon but it can actually compete with mass market offerings too.
Audi's achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that at 4.7 metres long the A4 is a good chunk bigger than its competitors here, is comparatively quick and despite Audi's assertion, is no featherweight. If you are looking for space the A4 will happily carry five adults and with 480 litres of boot space it will take their stuff too.
Power comes from the excellent 1.8-litre TFSI engine whose combination of direct fuel injection (FSI) and turbocharging (T) is state-of-the-art. The result is excellent fuel consumption and great flexibility. Peak power is available over a very wide 3,800 - 6,200 rpm and the bottom end is taken care of courtesy of 236 lb.ft of torque between 1,400 and 3,700 rpm.
The latest styling tweaks keep the A4 up to date; depending on your view the interior is either mature or lacking a bit of design flair, but whatever your take the material quality is first class. On a less positive note the A4 is sure-footed rather than genuinely fun and feels detached whilst the ride quality is questionable and can be ruined by large wheels and 'S line' trim.
The A4 offers a fine combination of maturity, quality, space and efficiency. It isn't perfect though, in particular keen drivers will be disappointed, the ride quality is a weak point and it isn't exactly cheap especially if you start ticking options. None of this has stopped previous generations of A4 selling in large numbers and the addition of an excellent engine is a major bonus.