In this specification, the Audi A4 Avant is a very expensive car. But your money buys a beautifully made cabin, plenty of standard equipment and an absolutely superb engine.
The 272PS (268bhp) V6 diesel is the same one used in the two-tonne Audi Q7 SUV. So, in the relatively light A4 Avant it delivers staggering performance, needing just 6.9 seconds to go from 30-60mph.
It stops as well as it goes, with a braking distance from 30mph of just 10.2 metres.
For the most part, the Audi’s stability lives up to its speed. At 60mph it felt secure, but at higher speeds and in crosswinds the A4 moved around a little more than the Land Rover Discovery Sport or the Volkswagen Passat Estate.
Surprisingly, it couldn’t complete the third and fastest attempt at the lane-change manoeuvre, with the caravan sliding and dragging the car wide.
Inside, the A4 is beautifully made, and there’s more rear-seat space than in some compact executive estates. That said, there are more practical estate cars in this class, and we couldn’t quite squeeze in the last bag from our typical load of holiday luggage.
Strong resale values help offset the high purchase price, and 53.3mpg on the combined cycle promises good economy for such a high-performance car.