Fleet News, the magazine that assesses every new car as much for its ‘on-paper’ financial viability as its on-road appeal, has pronounced the all-new Audi A4 Best Premium Car in its annual awards, held recently in London.
The experts presiding over the annual awards honouring the best options for fleet managers and company car drivers reach their conclusions with the help of a complex scoring matrix. This factors in fundamentals such as efficiency, performance, driver appeal and safety, as well as important considerations such as P11D pricing, BIK implications, residuals and running costs and manufacturer support.
The compact executive saloon which has been one of the linchpins of the Audi range since 1994 has turned another corner in its fifth generation, striking out into new realms of refinement, efficiency, technological sophistication and dynamic ability. The very tangible advances have been sufficient to push the new car ahead of its premium sector rivals and to clinch the award, according to Fleet News Editor Stephen Briers: “The old car was good, but Audi has addressed every single niggle, no matter how small, and put it right – the attention to detail is astonishing,” he said. “The A4 is class-leading in refinement, specification, breadth of range (saloon, estate, engines – even 4x4 quattro) and looks. Low running costs and strong residual values are the icing on the cake.”
James Douglas, Head of Fleet Sales for Audi UK, emphasised the particular significance of the award: “My team and I are absolutely delighted that the Fleet News judging panel has recognised the new A4 as the best premium fleet car, particularly as this award is of course not simply made on the strength of the car in its own right but also acknowledges the many other factors behind it that need to stand scrutiny by our fleet and business customers. This is a ringing endorsement of the car’s all-round appeal to business users for which we are extremely grateful.”
Twelve Ultra Variants
The all-new A4 Saloon and Avant ranges are available to order now with a wide choice of TFSI and TDI engines, the latter powering a total of twelve acutely efficiency-focused ‘ultra’ variants offering economy returns of up to 74mpg combined with tax-efficient CO2 outputs of as little as 99g/km. The low running costs to which these figures contribute are complemented by typically robust residual values that, according to leading trade guide CAP Monitor, are either strongest in the premium compact executive class or unbeaten in the class.
With a quality of finish that palpably exceeds its predecessor’s already widely acclaimed standard, a degree of refinement that genuinely merits comparison with cars in the luxury class and a cabin that artfully blends supreme comfort with subtly integrated, state-of-the-art technology, the latest A4 saloon doesn’t constantly remind its driver of its cost-effectiveness. Its appeal as a ‘business tool’ can also be further enhanced by a raft of innovative options, from Matrix LED headlights to Audi traffic jam assist and a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. Prices start from £25,900 OTR for the 150PS 1.4 TFSI six-speed manual, rising to £40,350 OTR for the 272PS V6 TDI Avant with quattro all-wheel-drive and eight-speed tiptronic transmission.