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Audi A4 Avant review: Real estate investment
WHETHER you call them estates or, in Audi's case, Avants, you don't see many station wagons here for some reason. What's peculiar about that is that Singaporeans are a pragmatic lot, and a wagon is arguably the most pragmatic kind of car.
Some people in conservative circles seem to think that wagons look like hearses, and thus consider them unlucky, but that seems like a tenuous argument at best. It's not like you have to lie down in the back of one.
Whatever it is, those who shun wagons are missing out, as Audi's A4 Avant demonstrates. What you get here is a standard Audi A4, one of the nicer-looking executive cars out there and certainly one of the smartest, with the benefit of extra space and practicality.
With the rear seats up, the A4 Avant's boot offers 495 litres of cargo space, which is 35 litres more than the sedan can carry. It doesn't seem like a lot of difference, but the advantage of a wagon is that you can maximise the space by loading above the window line.
A wagon also has a large opening hatch that makes it easier to load bulkier items. And of course, if you fold the rear seats down, you get a whopping 1,495 litres of room, enough to squeeze in a couple of mountain bikes.
Aside from that, the Avant is pretty much just like your regular A4. This means that you get the same well-appointed interior as the sedan, complete with the clever new tech that appears on the recently facelifted model.
These include the 10.1-inch Multimedia Interface (MMI) touchscreen with which you can scrawl written instructions for the Google search-powered navigation system, as well as the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit instrument panel.
It drives pretty much the same as its four-door sibling too. A4 Avants in Singapore only come with one engine, a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol that develops 150 horsepower (whereas the sedan has the option of a more powerful 190 horsepower variant).
It may not sound like much, but truthfully, it's more than enough for Singapore. Officially, it sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 9.2 seconds, but the unit's sprightly and energetic nature makes the Avant feel faster than it really is.
But even if you're not stretching the engine, the Avant offers quite a nice drive. The car is geared more towards comfort, with excellent refinement and a well-controlled ride making it a nice way to slowly cruise home from Ikea with your newly-purchased flat-packed furniture.
It's a shame that relatively few Singaporeans will see the appeal of a car like the A4 Avant. In some European markets, the wagon versions of a car actually outsell the four-door ones.
But those who appreciate the added space and flexibility a wagon offers will find the Audi A4 Avant worth considering. Some people wouldn't be caught dead in one, but I'm sorry for their loss.
Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI
Engine 1,984cc, in-line 4, turbocharged
Power 150hp at 4,000-6,000rpm
Torque 270Nm at 1,300-3,850rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h 9.2 seconds
Top Speed 210km/h
Fuel Efficiency 6.4L/100km
Agent Premium Automobiles
Price S$192,540 with COE