In recent years Audi have been competing with the big players of the saloon car industry, principally this has been with the Audi A4 and A8. These two cars can be seen as the bread and butter of the Audi range and should be a major consideration when looking into the purchase of a new saloon car.

It is estimated that the Audi A4 makes up half of all the vehicles made by Audi and is probably the most important car in the Audi range in terms of profitability; subsequently it is key that Audi get the formula right when developing this model. Now in its fourth generation it is a principal component of the Audi range and is packed with technology that seemingly defines the modern saloon car market place.

Technologically speaking the new Audi range is jam packed with boy’s toys and impressive safety features. The latest reincarnation of the A4 has LED daylight running lights as well as a full host of protective airbags. More impressive however is the lane departure and blind spot warning systems, these systems work by detecting your lane during motorway travel and give warnings when you drift across the carriageway. The technology has been in development for a long time but is an essential component that adds a great deal of safety for the driver.

In terms of boys toys the A4 is as impressive as any in the range, with Audi’s ‘Drive Select’ system the driver has ultimate control of the driving experience. With the ability to change the suspension, the shift speed on automatic cars and the steering ratio, the system allows drivers to set the car up to their own personal taste, be that for comfort or hard driving.

The flagship of the Audi range is the A8; the car oozes luxury and prestige and is somewhat larger than the A4 model. It is a widely held belief in the motoring fraternity that the diesel models in the A8 range are some of the best in the world. They generate awesome power whilst also keeping a good fuel economy record. If driven frugally it is believed that A8 can make 590 miles on a single tank, which is impressive and a serious financial incentive in today’s world of ridiculous fuel prices.

This fuel economy was proven on BBC’s Top Gear show when Jeremy Clarkson drove a diesel engine car in the A8 range from London to John’O’Groats on one tank. The impressive feat meant some extremely frugal driving and even some ‘coasting’ down larger hills but stands testament to this cars economical nature.

The reliability of all the cars in the Audi range means that they make brilliant used cars. Although depreciation is not a major concern it is still possible to grab a bargain and drive away with a luxury saloon that will be good for hundreds of thousands of miles.

There is no doubt that the Audi range contains some exquisite motors, the A4 and A8 are in direct competition with Audi’s German rivals. The company’s attempts to break into the German saloon market have led to a raise in reputation worldwide. Due to the hard fought nature of the saloon car market in Germany there is little surprise that the Audi range has become so appealing. Competing with two companies that have dominated the German car market for so long has bred a range of cars that not only excel in performance but also in terms of sumptuous styling.

These two models can be seen as the biggest battlefield for Audi. The company has succeeded in building up a reputation for reliability and luxury. The A4 and A8 are not cheap but are worth every penny; a lot has been said about German efficiency in the past but Audi lives up to the old adage. The new range of cars is wholly underestimated by buyers, some however have realised this understated luxury can make the driver stand out in a market place dominated by Mercedes and BMW.

Motoring expert Thomas Pretty looks into two of the most popular models in the Audi range. To find out more please visit