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How much? £29,500
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 2967cc 32v V6 turbodiesel, 237bhp @ 4000-4400rpm, 369lb ft @ 1500-3000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Performance: 6.1sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 40.9mpg, 183g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1655kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4703/1826/1427
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 3 out of 53

Performance

Rated 4 out of 54

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro (2008) CAR review

By Glen Waddington

First Drives

20 May 2008 10:09

Pick the optimum combo for a compact exec and the Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro might spring to mind: V6 diesel grunt and smoothness, the handling promise of four-wheel drive, suave looks and finish and a tempting equipment level. It costs nearly £30k (more like £42k, optioned-up like the test car) – and there’s stiff competition at that level, so the Audi A4 3.0 TDI will have to be good to get noticed.

Forget Quattro, it’s an Audi, so does it handle?

Let’s get the disappointment out of the way first: in a word, no. Jump out of the old A4 into this and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its poise and alacrity. Problem is, if you’ve jumped out of a 3-series or a C-class (even a Mondeo) you’ll be gutted. There’s just no fun to be had punting this Audi hard, and that’s a real shame.

It feels leaden. You might think that's just impressively solid build quality until you enter a corner and find the A4 strangely reluctant to turn in. The ride is firm too, even in ‘comfort’ mode, yet still it tends to bobble and lurch over long-wave imperfections, so it never feels truly tied down, even if you accept a numbed spine and shift the Drive Select mode to ‘dynamic’. Yes, Quattro keeps it all secure through the twists, but the numb steering (too light at a canter, too heavy once you turn it in anger) thwarts any engaging interactivity you might otherwise have enjoyed.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our Audi A4 3.0 TDI first drive

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Average rating: Rated 3 out of 53 (69 votes)

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Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro (2008) CAR review

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Selby

Selby says

RE: Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro (2008) CAR review

Had the estate version for a year - much more fun than BMW drivers would have you beleive, but  needs to be driven hard with confidence to get the best out of it.  Simply having to point it to go in the direction you want may not be fun for rear-wheel drive fans, but works for me. And it still does this on wet roads and even on snow; with winter tyres, I can keep up with full sized 4X4s and with the very low ratio 1st gear, coming back down hills is also possible.  Snow depth is the only problem - it is not that good as a snowplough.

Only niggles are that I did not choose the hill-hold assist option and that the 2011 sat-nav did not allow full UK postcode entry.  Voice recognition struggles with regional accents (and even my wife's attempt at a German one).  Otherwise near perfect and would have one again. Fast, economical and practical.

 

03 May 2012 16:22

 

mjs1

mjs1 says

RE: Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro CAR review

Consistently from the first A4 the quality of the materials used in the interior have dramatically reduced. After test-driving this new one I was so disappointed I am going shell out the extra few thousand and purchase a Jaguar XF. This is a bit of a sad day as I have driver Audis all my life.

19 May 2009 22:45

 

Brand0

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Brand0 says

RE: Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro CAR review

Interior quality is going down, their cars still don't handle like BMWs or even Mercedes, who were kind of behind Audi for a few years, and now they release one of their flagships - easy torque and all that - with a manual gearbox only! What next, an Audi umbrella with a ruddy great hole inthe top?

20 May 2008 16:53

 

Glen Waddington

moderatorstaff

Glen Waddington says

RE: Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro CAR review

Fair point, V12 Migaloo. I've always loved cars with great ride comfort: the Series III XJ, Citroen DS and my own NSU Ro80 spring to mind. But making a car that both handles and rides extremely well is the most difficult challenge. I love the way the new XF rides. Yes, it may be firm by Jaguar standards, but it's never harsh, thumpy or brittle. Rather, it's extremely taut and beautifully damped, and it steers superbly. Take one over an undulating road and compare the way it rides to a 5-series, a Lexus, you name it. My problem with the Audi is that it neither rides nor handles well: firm suspension does not necessarily make a sporty car, and that's where Audi is going wrong. And it's not just the current crop. Can you name any Audi with good ride comfort?

20 May 2008 16:31

 

parsifal_71

parsifal_71 says

RE: Audi A4 3.0 TDI SE Quattro CAR review

Just bought an Audi A4 3.0 TDI. This car is a piece of junk. Read my post at audiworld and the responses from the Audi fans. http://forums.audiworld.com/a4b8/msgs/6815.phtml (initial post) http://forums.audiworld.com/a4b8/msgs/6945.phtml (responses from the fans)

20 May 2008 15:40

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