Recommended. A supreme car in every way, but it’s not going to excite you much.
If the Germans have a reputation for being brilliant engineers and ruthlessly efficient in their approach to life generally then the Audi A4 is the car to personify that, surely.
Because in many ways Audi's volume-selling saloon is absolutely superb.
If you're after quality you'll find it hard to top the A4.
The cabin is sublime at every turn - wonderful materials, brilliant tech and effortless ergonomics.
If you want to eat up the miles with zero effort, this is the place to do it.
And it's one place where Audi is ahead even of its closest rivals the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class.
There's just something about the Audi quality that the others don't have.
What the others do have, though, is genuine driving excitement.
We can't really say that the Audi has that, but then it depends what excites you.
If making progress effortlessly and efficiently in hugely refined style does it for you, this is the car that you want.
Let's take the 2.0 TDI Ultra that we drove.
First the figures - 99g/km of CO2 makes for free tax for starters, while combined mpg is an impressive 74, with 55+ easily doable in the real world.
You might think that the Ultra engine would lack puff, but it certainly doesn't - with 150ps it's smooth, torquey and thoroughly satisfying to pilot.
If you want more, the 190ps version is practically identical on economy - 72 to the gallon and 102 g/km.
Both are truly astounding feats, it must be said.
Petrol-wise there's a 1.4, but it's average on every level, both in performance and efficiency - the 2.0 petrol is a far better prospect.
There's also the standard 2.0 diesel, which is slightly less efficiency than the Ultra.
For those more interested in grunt, the 3.0 V6 diesel is a cracker.
Handling-wise it's incredibly sure-footed and supremely competent - but, again, Audi is going for brilliance in other areas and isn't pursuing the likes of the 3 Series or Jaguar XE when it comes to driving fun.
And life gets even easier with the smorgasbord of tech available - intelligent cruise control, many safety features that make crashing very hard to do and a superb computer system with an excellent sat nav, as well as great phone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The downside, however, as is usually the case with Audi, is that most of them are cost options.
As a tool to get you around in incredible comfort, unbelievable efficiency and effortlessness, the A4 leads its class.
But, as a driver's car, it doesn't.
1. Excellent quality throughout.
2. Brilliant engines.
3. Great technology.
We don't like:
1. It's not terribly exciting.
2. A lot of kit that's standard elsewhere is a cost option here.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The 3.0 V6 diesel has the most sizzle.
Most sensible: The 2.0 Ultra - whichever output you choose - is a stunning piece of engineering.
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