The long-roof Four Ring compact gets a thorough refresh

Audi’s current sedan lineup consists of the A8, the A7, and the A6, followed by the A4 taking up the smallest slot of them all. Among these four-door nameplates, Audi also offers a variety of wagon iterations for added practicality. The A4 Avant takes up that space in the A4 family, and with the arrival of the 2020 A4 Avant, we finally get a good look at Audi’s new entry-level wagon in all its glory. Updates for the new wagon come everywhere, whether it’s the fresh exterior styling or the cleaner center console in the interior. The 2020 A4 Avant also benefits from the latest in Audi technology, not to mention a lineup of gas- and diesel-powered engines — with mild hybrid assist — that should cater to the whims and preferences of all the customers in markets where the A4 Avant is available. The 2020 Audi A4 Avant will be available sometime in the latter half of the year. Unfortunately, the U.S. market isn’t getting the 2020 A4 Avant, as has been the case for a long time.

2020 Audi A4 Avant Exterior Styling

  • Restyled exterior
  • Q8 and A6 Inspired Styling
  • Eyebrow LED lighting
  • New shoulder lines and beltlines
  • Reshaped fenders
  • New bumpers
  • New taillight housings
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The 2020 Audi A4 Avant is a good example of a car that benefits greatly from the aesthetic changes given to its sedan counterpart, the A4. In fact, the entire A4 family — that includes the sedan, A4 Avant, A4 Allroad, S4, and S4 Avant - just rolled into 2020 with fresh styling updates, a redesigned interior, and technological updates. This isn’t the A4 family you used to know, and, in many ways, it’s one that you’re going to have to get used to. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be a problem for the entire lineup. Audi’s plethora of upgrades for the A4 is as impressive as it is important.

The A4 Avant benefits from all of this, and with good reason.

The same exterior changes that we saw on the 2020 A4 sedan also make their way to the wagon counterpart.

That includes the more aggressive front fascia, which really is a step-up from its predecessor’s design. The headlamps, for example, offer a taste of something fresh and new. Gone are the LED lamps that run along the edges of the headlamp casing. In their place are new LED fixtures that look a lot like burrowed eyebrows. I know there are some that are probably taken aback by this new design language. Your reasons are valid. But it also creates an identity for the entire A4 family, the A4 Avant included. When you see this vehicle out on the road, you’ll know it’s an A4 — no mistakes about it.

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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The headlamps are striking, to say the least, but they’re also not the only significant changes in the A4 Avant’s exterior.

Audi’s unmistakable front grille returns for another round in the 2020 Avant. It’s just not as big as it used to be, though it is wider and flatter. Why is this important? One, it takes a bit of the attention away from the grille and distributes it throughout the whole front fascia. That’s why the headlamps look as striking as they are; the grille doesn’t swallow them up anymore. The smaller grille also helps create a sportier look for the A4 Avant. Notice how the hood lines don’t reach the grille anymore? There’s a small section of space between where the hood ends and where the grille starts. That space may look inconsequential to some, but it’s also part of the new aesthetic that Audi wants to convey. The flatter hood means a more sloping hood, and sloping hoods usually result in sporty-looking profiles. Throw in the new intake design with the vertical struts and the sharp creases, and you have a far more aggressive looking Audi A4 Avant, at least compared to its predecessor. Mission accomplished for Audi? I’d say so.

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The side section creates the same reaction.

Audi’s more playful use of the new character lines on the A4 Avant deserve a lot of credit for that, but that’s not all there is to it.

The low-slung stance created by the sloping hood also adds to the wagon’s sporty vibe when viewed from this angle. The roof pillars also look tighter and more cohesive. There’s very little wasted space here, which is an achievement in it of itself considering how long the A4 Avant looks.

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Move to the rear section and the taillights not take center stage. They’re still in the same shape as the ones on the current model, but like the LED eyebrows in the front, Audi threw in a little design quirk in the taillights.

The comb’s teeth effect creates small clusters of red light on the top-half section of the taillights.

The effect doesn’t do much from a functional point of view, but aesthetically, they accomplish the same thing as the LED eyebrows in the front. When you see them, you know you’re looking at an Audi A4 Avant. The lower section of the rear area throws the sporty vibe back on the table. The brake lights are more pronounced compared to their predecessors, and the bumper integration with the exhaust tips add another layer of sportiness to the proceedings. Speaking of which, notice the two rectangular exhaust tips? A lot different from the quad exhausts from the current model, right?

2020 Audi A4 exterior dimensions
Length 4,726 MM (186.1 Inches)
Width 1,842 MM (72.5 Inches)
Height 1,427 MM (56.2 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,820 MM (111 Inches)

2020 Audi A4 Avant Interior Design

  • A6-Inspired Design
  • 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit
  • 10.1-inch digital display
  • Dual-level control layout
  • More digital control
  • Passive safety features
  • 18 cubic feet of storage with all seats up
2020 Audi A4 Avant
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The Audi A4 Avant’s interior comes with a few surprises, but for the most part, most of the details stay true to the previous model.

Arguably the biggest change involves the large rotary knob in the center tunnel, just in front of the gear shifter. It’s now gone. Instead, Audi decided to add a touchscreen with a host of available functions, including audible feedback. The presence of this touchscreen means that the entire A4 family, including the A4 Avant, will feature a similar two-display system that’s already available in much larger Audis, including the A5, A6, and A7. There’s a big difference in the layout, though, as the A4’s other digital display — the 10.1-inch unit — remains in its usual spot atop the dashboard. It’s a different look from what you’ll see in the larger Audi models. The good news is that the new touchscreen eliminates a lot of the hard buttons we’re normally accustomed to seeing in past A4 models. Other than the buttons and knobs that control the thermostat, the A4 Avant’s center console and tunnel look about as clean and as upscale as you can get.

2020 Audi A4
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Overall, the interior doesn’t depart from what we’ve already seen in the current model. The was never any question about an all-new interior, though. The A4 was on the receiving end of drastic updates only a few years ago; it doesn’t make sense to have one again so soon after the most recent design overhaul. The good news is that the most recent aesthetic update also came with the introduction of new technologies.

One, in particular — Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital cluster — is very much available in the A4 Avant. Keep in mind that the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit has come standard in a lot of Audi models since the technology was first introduced in the Audi TT sports coupé back in 2013.

The Virtual Cockpit has been around for six years, and yet, it still feels like an all-new technology every time we see it. Personally, there’s still something exciting and very reassuring about an instrument cluster that can be programmed a multitude of ways to show different information according to your preferences. You can program the display to show map information, including Google 3D mapping if you specced that specific option. You can also program it to show the advanced trip computer, phone book, or even audio information. There’s also a button on the steering wheel that can reduce or enlarge the display’s dials to make more room for any additional information you might need. Speaking of which, the 2020 A4 Avant’s steering wheel stays true to form. It’s still a little big for my liking, but its size isn’t that much of a problem in the bigger picture. The array of buttons contained in the wheel have their purpose, too.

2020 Audi A4
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Let’s move away from the front of the interior and talk about the entire space of the cabin. Audi didn’t specify the interior specs of the 2020 A4 Avant, but since the 2020 model is simply an updated version of the current A4, it’s hard to imagine any seismic shifts in the wagon’s overall interior layout. Overall, the A4 Avant isn’t lacking in space. There’s plenty of room in the front and the rear seat, including the ability to accommodate as many as two adults or there children in the latter.

If there is a discernible issue in the A4 Avant, it’s the cramped legroom in the rear seats. Fortunately, this issue isn’t a specific problem to the A4 Avant one.

Two of its biggest rivals — the 3 Series Touring and the C-Class Wagon — suffer from similar issues created by the presence of a transmission tunnel underneath the model.

The A4 also comes with a decent amount of cargo volume. It’s not as big as the cargo storage you’ll see in a model like the Volkswagen Passat Estate or even the Skoda Superb, but it does compare favorably — 17.5 cubic feet of room with the seats upright and 52.8 cubic feet of room when the rear seats are folded — against the likes of the 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate. For the record, the BMW 3 Series Touring boasts cargo volume of 17.4 cubic feet with the seats up and 52.9 cubic feet of room with the rear seats folded. Meanwhile, the Mercedes C-Class Wagon provides 17.3 cubic feet of cargo storage with the seats up and 52.8 cubic feet of room with the rear seats folded. Those are the key competitors that Audi needed to beat, and, at least in the part of cargo volume, the 2020 Avant can say it can hold its own.

2020 Audi A4 Avant Drivetrain And Performance

  • Six Diesel and Gas Engines Available
  • FWD standard
  • Quattro AWD optional
  • Three transmission options available
  • 12- and 48-volt mild hybrid electric systems take center stage
  • “Ultra” technology = Efficient
  • E-tron hybrid possible
  • Future RS 4 Avant in the Works
2020 Audi A4 Avant
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The 2020 Audi A4 is loaded in the engine front. There are six turbocharged engines available to all versions of the A4, including the A4 Avant. Gas options? Sure. Diesel engines? You bet. Audi’s even throwing in a little hybrid action into the mix courtesy of a 12-volt mild hybrid electrification system or a 48-volt electric system. Audi hasn’t specified which engine will go to which version of the A4 Avant. It’s highly likely that the wagon model will share similar powertrain options with its sedan sibling. That means that we can expect a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine on the A4 Avant. Power outputs will vary, too, depending on the wagon’s spec, but we can at least expect those output numbers to range from 188 horsepower to 248 horsepower. Diesel engines will also be available in the A4 Avant, including the 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI engine that produces 190 horsepower and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder TDI engine that makes 230 horsepower.

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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Three of the six turbocharged engines available to the A4 family will feature the aforementioned 12-volt mild hybrid electrification system. Separate of that is Audi’s 48-volt mild hybrid electric unit, which will also be heavily involved in the A4’s lineup of engines, specifically those that will be used on higher-spec models. These electrical systems are critical in the new ways Audi is trying to distribute the amount of output models like the A4 Avant are capable of. An electrically powered compressor is integrated into the new 48-volt main electrical system, which aids the compressor in delivering gobsmack levels of torque, resulting in the kind of instant acceleration and seamless power build up that’s titillating to the senses. The performance benefits from this setup is impressive in it of itself, but the mild-hybrid ability Audi created for this lineup also results in major benefits to our wallets, especially when it comes to those frequent stops to gas stations that end up with us paying more than we probably should on fuel and the auxiliary convenience store expenses.

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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Obviously, these benefits don’t happen without the proper transmission setup in place. Happily, Audi has three different types of transmissions available for its engine lineup: a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch, and an eight-speed conventional automatic. Either of the two automatic transmission will come standard on all A4 models that come out of production. It’s still unclear, though, if this revelation results in the return of the manual transmission on the A4. Remember, Audi, discontinued the use of the manual transmission on the current A4. Perhaps Audi has had a change of heart? We won’t know until the 2020 Audi A4 hits the market, but, in any event, don’t expect U.S.-spec models to come with one. We’re stuck with the seven-speed dual-clutch for the A4 and A4 Avant and the eight-speed automatic for the S4. Not that these options are less-than-stellar. They’re peppy in their own right, but an option to revert to a manual is probably something most customers, we included, would like to see.

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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No matter the engine or transmission, we can also expect the 2020 Audi A4 Avant to come with a top-shelf suspension setup. You can actually choose between a comfort suspension set-up with damper control — this drops the A4 Avant’s ride height by 0.4 inches — or a sport suspension gig that pushes the wagon closer to the ground by an intriguing 0.9 inches. Like everything in life, this choice boils down to presence. Opt for comfort suspension setup for the more comfortable ride and the sport suspension for the more balls-to-the-wall driving experience. Either option is appealing, though, in my experience, a sporty wagon that can flip its tail into the wind when called upon is a tempting proposition.

2020 Audi A4 Avant Prices

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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Audi has yet to announce pricing for the 2020 Audi A4 Avant. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the model isn’t expected to hit the market for another few months. Pricing for the current model typical starts at around £30,000. That converts to around $38,000 based on current exchange rates. Expect the 2020 Audi Avant to be slightly more expensive on account of all of its updates. Somewhere in the vicinity of £32,000 to £33,000 isn’t out of the question. Based on current conversions, the 2020 Audi A4 Avant could carry price tag north of $40,000, possibly starting at around $42,000. Not that it matters to us here in the U.S. Audi hasn’t said if it’s bringing the A4 Avant to our shores. It’s never done so in the past, so there’s little reason to think that the automaker will have a change of heart now.

Fortunately, we are in the hook to receive the 2020 Audi A4 sedan and the A4 Avant’s high-riding sibling, the A4 Allroad. Pricing for the current A4 starts at $36,000, so expect the new model to cost somewhere closer to $40,000. The 2020 A4 Allroad’s price, on the other hand, should start at around $47,000 to $48,000 when you take into account the current model’s starting price of $45,700.

2020 Audi A4 Avant Competition

Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 300 4Matic Wagon

2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Interior Exterior
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When it comes to compact executive motoring, the C-Class is about as standard as they come, with a variety of body styles to choose from, including a wagon variant. U.S. residents will be pleased to read that Mercedes even offers the long-roof C-Class in the States and equips it with attractive LED lighting up front, a classy grille and fascia, and plus-sized rollers in the corners. Under the hood, the C-Class draws motivation from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, all of which is sent to the pavement via a nine-speed automatic transmission and a standard 4Matic AWD system. Sixty mph arrives in 6 seconds flat, while inside the cabin, passengers will enjoy loads of space, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto support, plus available Wi-Fi. Pricing starts at $46,000.

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2020 BMW 3 Series Touring Spyshots
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The Bavarians also offer a compact luxury wagon in its lineup, namely with the 3 Series Sports Wagon. Like the sedan model, the 3 Series wagon comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which is good enough for a run to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Routing it all is an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the cabin is decked out with automatic climate control, a heads-up display, and a standup infotainment screen on the dash. Pricing starts at $45,000.

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.

Final Thoughts

2020 Audi A4 Avant
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The Audi A4 Avant remains a forbidden fruit in America. That distinction is a big reason it’s difficult for me to properly appreciate the wagon for all of its worthiness. How can I if it’s not even available here in the country? That said, I do know people from across the pond who swear by the A4 Avant as its own multi-purpose vehicle. See, wagons are a lot like SUVs; they’re just not sexy in the eyes of a lot of people. But as far as versatility is concerned, wagons like the A4 Avant are born and bred multi-taskers. They’re as capable in ferrying kids to soccer practice as they are venturing in the outdoors. They’re not as adept in the latter environment as SUVs, but wagons like the A4 Avant can carry their own weight when called upon. The 2020 Audi Avant has all the makings of a vehicle you’d want to have on your side. It’s loaded in tech features, provides ample space for all occupants, and it carries a reasonable amount of power and performance capabilities to have a go on an empty patch of road. It doesn’t hurt that it looks good, too, thanks in large part to Audi’s well-executed visual updates. It’s just too bad that the 2020 Audi Avant will remain well out of reach, at least for the time being. Here’s to hoping that Audi has a change of heart at some point in the near future.

  • Leave it
    • No new engine updates
    • No A4 wagon for the states
    • Plenty of competition

Further Reading

2020 Audi S4 Avant
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Read our full review on the 2020 Audi S4 Avant.

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro.

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A4.

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