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Audi A4
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 9/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / Unlimited kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
41.47 Lakhs-46.94 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Blistering performance
  • Modern style and design
  • Class leading interior quality
  • Exceptional driving dynamics
  • Superb diesel and petrol engines

Weak Areas

  • Pricey propositions
  • Gearbox city responsiveness ?mark
  • Understated styling lower snob appeal
  • Ride quality an issue due soft suspension
Audi A4
 
 

Exciting German Saloon with Oodles Of Luxury

The 1.8 litre petrol engine of new Audi A4 is very refined and churns out 168 bhp at 3800-6200 rpm 


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ecardlr.com National

Audi’s longest running and highest volume player in luxury sedan markets around the world, the A4 is also the leading Audi in India. Based on Volkswagen’s B platform, this car has been around in four generations. It does have strong German competitors in the form of BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C class though. And to maintain a good position in the market, a mid life nip and tuck was called for. The facelifted version of Audi A4 was launched in 2012.
 
                                               
Available with both diesel (2.0 TDI) and petrol (1.8 TFSI, S4 3.0 TFSI) engines, the A4 has been known for its soft ride, spacious cabin and smooth engine. Let’s delve into the features and performance of the newest avatar to see the kind of improvements Volkswagen’s luxury car wing has to offer: 
 
Exteriors
 
At first quick glance, the new A4 does not look very different from its predecessor. But there are some evolutionary styling changes. So, watch closely and you will see the changed headlamps that seem like more sculpted version of the ones on Q3. They now have a continual band of LED daytime running lights. The new honey-comb grille with Audi rings, a re-chiselled front bumper and the streak lines on the hood are some subtle changes. These modifications may not be very evident if viewed in isolation but they do give the new A4 a sharper and more angular profile.
 
                                               
 
 
A clean and elegant side profile augments the beauty of this saloon’s looks. There are three wheel sizes for different trims: 225/55 R16, 225/50 R17 and 245/40 R18.
 
                                              
 
The subtleness of changes in features also reflects at the back with dexterously changed two-piece tail lamps and a modified rear bumper. 
 
Built on Audi’s Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLP) the A4 has a lot of aluminium in its front suspension. The steering rack is positioned low and forward, closer to the front wheels. At the rear suspension design comprises sporty & short springs and the dampers are tall for luxury car-like ride. Audi A4 gets specific massive disc brakes for both front and rear. The new quattro or four- wheel-drive system is split biased towards rear for more neutral handling and less of under-steer. 
 
Interiors 
 
The cabin of facelifted A4 also looks refreshed with few styling changes. Inspired by the Q3, the new steering wheel now has four spokes. There is more of chrome garnish on the vents and dials highlighting the functional spots in the cabin. And there is a new MMI system with voice dialogs and colour monitor.
 
A4's interior has a premium finish and exudes a feel that you are inside a smartly fabricated cabin where it's easy to reach out for important things. A lot of cubby holes have been neatly sculpted around the space to hold knick knacks. Instead of a regular lever for handbrake, there's the space saving electronic parking brake switch labelled 'P'. 
 
                                                 
 
For entertainment you get the same clear-sounding Bang & Olufsen audio system with 10 channels and 14 speakers, including the subwoofer. All other features inside the cabin also remain unchanged. Since this is a routine mid-life facelift, the German automaker has not been very lavish in transforming the interiors of A4. But the quality and design do seem upgraded and the refinement reflected by the cabin is admirable.
 
With regards to safety, the A4 comes with practical features that subsume 6 airbags, ABS, ESP and Traction control. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
Instead of just stopping at the refreshed style and some feature changes, Audi has a gone that extra mile to significantly upgrade the A4 in terms of powerband.
  
The direct-injection, turbocharged, 1.8-litre petrol engine was also used in the old version of car, but it has now been comprehensively revised. There are many changes in this 4 cylinder unit particularly in the injection system - it now has two injectors for each cylinder, one for direct and the second one for indirect injection. While the direct-injectors work at start-up and with big throttle inputs, the port ones work under periods of low loads and speeds, and this helps in reduced particulate emissions and better fuel efficiency. The ARAI certified fuel economy has increased to 15.6 km/litre. 
 
                                                     
The petrol engine now produces 168 ps of power 32.6 kgm of torque. And with that the 0-100 km/hour dash comes in 9.4 seconds. However, the bigger impact of torque is on the driveability with the A4 pulling cleanly in almost all gears and moving along in traffic with hardly any fuss. The electronically controlled turbocharger wastegate responds quite fast and improves the engine’s response to throttle inputs.
 
There is no dual clutch gearbox in the 1.8 TFSI variant. What it does have, though, is an 8-step continuously variable transmission (CVT) to send power to the front wheels, and this combo works very well for a relaxed time in the driver's seat.
 
When it comes to performance, the facelifted A4 leaves you quite pleased. As you turn on the ignition, the refinement of the engine is surprising. There is hardly any noise at idling. An initial lag is felt when you feed in the throttle but when the rpm needle goes past the 2000 mark, there is a gush of power that sends the front tyres chirping. In stop-start traffic, you will need to control this surge of power. Once past the initial reluctance, the motor does pull strongly, cleanly and efficiently up to the 5900 rpm mark. 
 
Audi A4’s performance is optimised by a CVT that acts as if it is a regular torque converter. It switches its preset ‘steps’ like a gearbox with suitable gear-ratios, and so the rubberband impact is minimum. The transmission acts in quite direct and responsive manner. You will also enjoy using it in manual mode where it truly responds to requests for downshifts like a regular gearbox. The CVT’s irksome rubberband impact comes into play only when you hit the kick-down switch. The revs go up to a steady 5000rpm and the car then catches up with it.
 
This luxury saloon feels the best on open highways because when you drive it at cruising speeds, it loves to stay there for long. The motor’s beautiful refinement adds to its long legged nature. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
The most significant change to the A4, which is also related to the quest for ‘better fuel efficiency’, comes in the form of a new electro mechanical power steering system that replaces the old hydraulic unit. The German car maker claims that this can improve the fuel economy by “saving 30ml of oil per 100 kms”! But what a driving enthusiast will actually be interested in is its effect on the dynamics of the car. And this new steering is a boon in traffic – it feels light and instantly transfers all inputs to the wheels. It is easy to maneuver the A4 through traffic and into parking lots. The unit weighs up as you go faster and at cruising speeds, there is adequate communication from the road filtering through to keep you comforted. The 225/50 R17 tyres have a nice grip. And the electronic diff lock unobtrusively applies the brakes on the wheel that is slipping - this tightens your line and quells the understeer while cornering.
 
                                             
With regards to ride quality, the A4 was already a leader in its segment but the facelift package has given a further boost to its efficiency in this section. At low and medium speeds you hardly feel any road imperfections under those wheels. The suspension absorbs most of the bumps pretty well. As the speed increases, there is a little wobble and pitching over long undulations but not to the extent of causing discomfort inside the cabin. 
 
You may not notice this at first but the ORVMs are bit smaller in the facelifted A4. Now this does not quite impact visibility but thanks to their shrunk size, the wind noise gets reduced.
 
Fuel Economy 
 
The German automaker has worked well on some engineering aspects to improve A4’s performance and one of the attributes is the fuel efficiency of this car. While the manufacturer claimed figure is 15.6 km/litre, the car has actually returned 8.5 km/litre in city and 12.5 km/litre on the highways during road test – this is appreciable.
 
Verdict 
 
Some changes and touch ups for styling elements have made the facelifted A4 more elegant. Even if it is not obvious at first quick look, the car looks fresh with better interiors and then of course the performance is ‘oh so delightful’. With more German horses under the hood, this saloon has a lot to impress enthusiastic drivers. The cabin is also more spacious than some of its rivals and therefore the chauffeur driven too will admire it.  
 
The A4 1.8 TFSI costs 27.69 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi) and this makes it more affordable than rival variants of BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class in the segment. 
An exciting, clean and well performing car, the A4 was already a classy option for luxury car buyers and with the latest facelift Audi has really made it a very strong player for the market. 
 
Comfort:  4/5
 
Refinement: 4/5
 
Safety: 4/5 
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 3.5/5
 
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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