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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Paddy McGrath
# Review
Review: The Audi RS 4 Avant goes laugh-out-loud quick - but it's practical too
You’ll have fun behind the wheel, while still getting the whole family where they need to go.

SPEEDSTERS, BEHOLD THE fourth-generation Audi RS 4 Avant.

This is the performance version of the A4 estate, meaning it offers the same spacious cabin and boot, but with a sportier setup and a 450hp V6 engine.

For those updated features, there’s also a higher price tag, of course. The RS 4 Avant starts from €101,500, but this rises quickly as soon as you start checking those option boxes.

My test car came with €27,049 worth of optional extras, including Navarra Blue metallic paint, 20-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, and eye-catching red brake calipers.

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

The RS 4 does come with 19-inch alloys as standard, however, and the car really doesn’t need much in the way of exterior extras to make it look better as it is a fabulous looking piece of machinery.

Those boxy wheel arches give the car a muscular and athletic look. The chunky huge air intakes are menacing and the abundance of honeycomb grille make the front look wide and imposing. It is a great looking car from all angles.

Inside, the cabin is spot on in terms of ergonomics from the driving position to the smart positioning of the controls. In terms of onboard tech and connectivity, Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus, an 8.3-inch infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument set-up come as standard.

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

The whole infotainment system is slick and modern looking, responds quickly and is very easy to use, with lots of personalisation options.

Obviously, with a performance orientated car like this, the most important aspect is how it handles out on the road. My verdict? The RS 4 Avant goes like the clappers and is laugh-out-load quick. I’m smiling just thinking about it as I write this.

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

The first thing you notice is that the steering is light, but pleasingly accurate. But what really sets the RS 4 apart from many other high-powered cars is just how accessible it makes that performance.

In the horsepower stakes it isn’t top dog, but that 450hp does the job. The RS 4 distributes that power to all four wheels, resulting in a mostly balanced if sometimes a little too neutral feeling.

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

The grip levels are phenomenal, especially in the dry where it seems that nothing can unsettle it. As a driver you have more confidence to fully depress the throttle on the exit of corners, relishing the explosive nature of the acceleration.

Although the RS 4 is low slung, it soaks up surface imperfections with ease, making it more than suitable for longer drives. Even the elaborate looking sports seats provide all the right support in all the right places.

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

With an ability to crack 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds, and enough torque to level the steepest of inclines, you sometimes have to remind yourself that this is still a five-seat estate car.

Of course, it doesn’t always have to be flat-to-the-mat motoring in the RS 4 – that engine will happily cruise along with minimal revs and the majority of the time those exhausts remain hushed.

The Audi RS 4 Avant will transport you, four passengers and a whole lot of cargo to whereever you need to be, and it’ll do it fast. But it also has a stylish exterior and effortless performance.

All in all, the RS 4 Avant provides a grown-up way of still having fun behind the wheel when you have your family, the dog and the kitchen sink in tow too.

READ: 5 of the best coastal routes around Ireland and the perfect picnic pitstops along the way >

READ: Review: Think Tesla make the best electric cars? Jaguar’s I-Pace SUV is here to change that >

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