The A4 Avant has a wide engine line up, kicking off with a 1.6 but this engine doesn't really have the punch to match A4's sports exec image and is best avoided unless you're on a very tight budget. The 1.8T is available with 150bhp, 163bhp and 190bhp, but the 150bhp has enough power for most needs while the 2.0, 2.0 FSI and 2.4 are powerful and refined.
The big V6 3.0-litre engine is very fast indeed but for real performance it's the S4 quattro models that truly deliver with a whopping 340bhp from it's 4.2-litre V8 powerplant. The diesel are very good - although the entry-level 1.9-litre TDI, available in 100bhp, 115bhp or 130bhp variants, is a little noisy. The refined V6 2.5 TDI is available with 155bhp, 163bhp or 180bhp.
Audi's premium saloon is much improved over earlier cars and has been tuned to deliver a pleasing drive that is responsive yet highly composed. Even compared to other German rivals, the ride can be quite firm, but the trade-off is a more sporty drive. It's good through corners with very little body roll and precise, responsive steering. It's not quite on par with the BMW 3-Series but it's not far behind either.