Long-term report: Time well spent with the Audi S4 Avant

The miles have been racking up with the S4, but what has been happening along the way? Jack Evans explains.

Audi S4 Avant
Audi S4 Avant

As Ferris Bueller famously said, ‘life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’. I must admit that, for the past few months at least, I’ve barely been looking around and now I’ve lifted my head, it’s already June somehow.

It’s funny how time flies away like that, isn’t it? One minute we’re complaining about the wind and the rain and the long, drawn-out nights and the next we’re taking umbrage with the heat. But we Brits can never be happy with the weather, can we?

Audi S4 Avant
The estate layout means you get a good-sized boot

One area where I’ve been rather happy is with the S4 Avant. As you may recall, the Navarra Blue estate arrived with me before Christmas, only to be shuttled off for a few weeks to repair some damage inflicted to its side. And now – just like that – I’m nearing the point where the S4 is going to head back to Audi.

So needless to say I’ve been going pretty hard with the miles, what with the ability to travel and venture further afield being allowed and all. Those long-distance journeys are where the S4 absolutely excels itself, settling down into an effortless cruise which really does take the legwork out of bigger trips. A recent jaunt down to Dorset – and into the seemingly never-ending traffic – saw a real mixed bag of single lanes, dual carriageways and motorways thrown at this S4’s direction and not once did it emit even the merest hiccup of a mechanical issue. But you’d expect that, right?

There have been a couple of gremlins, mind you. I tend to go straight for Apple CarPlay when I’m driving – and it’s wireless in the S4, which is handy – but sometimes it won’t display on the screen properly. The other day I launched Google Maps and it just wouldn’t load on the main display. The old turn-the-car-on-and-off-again trick did the job but, again, you shouldn’t have to do this. I also get this strange anomaly where my Spotify songs will get stuck on a loop of the same five or six tracks. It’s really odd and I can’t work out why it’s happening.

But other than that, the S4 has been bomb-proof. It’s exceptionally handy having a performance car with a decent boot and the Audi’s 505-litre luggage space – larger than that you’ll find in the BMW 3 Series Touring or Mercedes C-Class estate, I’ll have you know – is the perfect size for all of the things two people and a dog can take along for the ride. Which, as it turns out, is quite a lot.

Audi S4 Avant
The S4 is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel V6

A full set of golf clubs, two weekend bags and a veritable tonne of dog accessories all found their own place in the S4’s boot recently – and I even managed to get the parcel shelf to cover properly. In fact, the Audi’s automatic parcel shelf is a great feature as it allows you to fully load the boot with it retracted, before sliding into place – hiding away all of your prized possessions in the process – after you close the boot door.

And when it comes to economy, the S4 has really been excelling itself. Audi claims just over 39mpg, but I’ve been getting well over 43mpg on longer trips. It might be that now the car is properly bedding in that it’s more efficient – or I’m driving more carefully to see how I can better the car’s MPG – but it’s a welcome positive to the driving experience. Certainly, it makes a solid case for diesel-powered performance cars, even if the black pump has been getting a bit of a bad rep of late.

So what’s next for the S4? Well, for starters it needs a really good clean and, with all the miles it’s been doing recently, I think it deserves it. From there, who knows. Audi is going to come and pry the keys from my hands at the end of the month, so I’m going to be making the most of the precious few weeks we’ve got left together. After all, if you don’t stop to look around these things, you might miss them.

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