First launched in the year 2008 in India, the Audi A4 received its facelift in 2012. The new Audi looks similar to its predecessor, but the redesigned headlight design with homogeneous DRL’s, flat front fog lamps, revised radiator grille, bonnet, front and rear bumper, LED tail lamps with homogeneous light strip and LED license plate lighting give it a refreshing look.
The new A4 is more premium, comfortable and spacious from inside. The chrome element for climate control switch, air-vents, window lift switch and all around interior enhance its appeal. The steering wheel design and new shift knob for automatic and tip-tronic “S” with a shift gate are inspired by the Q3. The glossy center console, volume joystick with integrated skip function and aluminum MMI (Multi Media Interface) button are new add-ons to the facelift A4. The material quality is best-in-class.
The new A4 is available in three engine options: a 1.8-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre diesel and the most powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. The new Audi A4 petrol shares the engine with the old model, and comes powered with a 1.8-litre direct-injection, turbocharged unit that produces a peak power of 170bhp @ 3800rpm- 6200rpm with 250Nm of torque @ 1400rpm – 3700rpm. Audi updated the gasoline engine for better fuel efficiency, performance drivability and less emission. This power-unit is capable to mark 0-100kmph in 8.3seconds with a top speed of 225kmph. It delivers an impressive fuel efficiency of 13kmpl in city and 15.67kmpl on highways.
The 2.0-litre TDI diesel motor churns out a maximum power output of 143bhp @ 4200rpm with a healthy torque of 320Nm @ 1750rpm- 2500rpm. It returns a fuel efficiency of 14kmpl in city and 16.55kmpl on highways. It accelerates 0-100kmph in fractions of 9.1seconds with a top speed of 210kmph.
The most powerful 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine generates a commendable power of 245bhp @ 4000rpm- 4500rpm and a maximum torque of 500Nm @ 1400rpm- 3250rpm. It can achieve 0-100kmph in merely 5.9seconds, which is relatively very quick. But, the prompt acceleration and pick-up take toll over its fuel efficiency. It offers a decent mileage of 12kmpl in city and 14kmpl on highways. A six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed automatic transmission are offered with the new A4 variants.
Audi’s drive select system helps with the ride quality and drivability of the car. The front and rear suspensions are more matured and robust. The electric steering is light and easy to handle, but feels heavy at high speed on highways. Despite its high cost of ownership and maintenance, the new Audi A4 is a great value for money.
The new A4 gets some minor cosmetic changes, and looks identical to the previous model. Having new hexagonal grille, redesigned bonnet, revised headlamps and homogenous LED DLs, its front end appears shaper than before. However, the side profile doesn’t mark any difference. The 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI variants of the A4 are assembled with 7J x 16-inches cast aluminum alloy wheels with 225/ 55 size of tyres. While, the top-end variants powered with 3.0 TDI diesel engine get 7.5 J x 16-inched lightweight aluminum alloy wheels with 225/ 55 R16 size of tyres.
The rear bumper and LED tail lamps with homogeneous light strip and LED license plate lighting are slightly modified. The creases are more defined and neat. The new A4 gets some clues from the A6, and managed to look more premium, refreshing and outgoing than its predecessor. The huge panoramic sun roof and long wheelbase make it a proper saloon. Its dimensions are measured around 4701mm (length), 1826mm (width) and 1427mm (height) with a wheelbase of 2808mm. The new Audi A4 has a kerb weight of 1470kgs to 1680kgs, depending upon the variant.
The new A4 has more lavish and appealing interior. The generous use of the chrome element for climate control switch, air-vents, window lift switch and all around interior add more to its elegance. The steering wheel design and new shift knob for automatic and tip-tronic “S” with a shift gate are borrowed from the Q3, while the MMI (Multi Media Interface) is same as the A6.
The material quality, fit and finish are best-in-segment. The glossy center console, white back-lit instrument cluster, volume joystick with integrated skip function and aluminum MMI button distinguish the new A4 with its previous model. The new Audi A4 is loaded with a numbers of goodies offering more comfort and ease such as dual-zone climate control, stereo system, driver-tilted LCD and more.
The new A4 is equipped with a unique Drive Select Technology that contributes to drivability of the car. The driver seat is electrically adjustable. The premium seat upholstery gives immense comfort. The ingress/egress is easy. The inclined power window switches on driver door are quite accessible. The rear door pads offer some storage space. The boot space is same as its predecessor.
Engine and Transmission
The new A4 is offered in two diesel (a 2.0-litre TFSI and more powerful 3.0-litre TFSI) and a petrol (1.8-litre) engine options. Powered by the 1.8-litre direct-injection, turbocharged petrol engine, the A4 develops a maximum power output of 170bhp @ 3800rpm- 6200rpm with 250Nm of torque @ 1400rpm – 3700rpm. However, Audi tuned it for better fuel efficiency, performance drivability and less emission. It reaches 0-100kmph in 8.3seconds with a top speed of 225kmph. It delivers a fuel economy of 13kmpl in city and 15.67kmpl on highways.
The 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit delivers a maximum power of 143bhp @ 4200rpm and a peak torque of 320Nm @ 1750rpm- 2500rpm. It is the most frugal engine in this line-up that offers a mileage of 14kmpl in city and 16.55kmpl on highways. But, it isn’t prompt as the petrol and diesel engines. It can achieve 0-100kmph sprints in 9.1seconds with a top speed of 210kmph.
The 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine is the most efficient and powerful engine of the A4 line-up. This powertrain makes an impressive power output of 245bhp @ 4000rpm- 4500rpm with 500Nm of peak torque @ 1400rpm- 3250rpm. It is capable to mark 0-100kmph on speedometer in merely 5.9seconds. The new A4 is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed automatic transmission option.
Performance and Handling
The performance of the new A4 is outstanding. The rev-happy engines initially show some turbo-lag, but after crossing 2, 000rpm there is a surge of power. But, for controlling this power spike one need to exert some more efforts, especially in start-stop urban traffic. The electromechanical steering is light and responsive, but feels heavy at high speed on highways.
The transmission is direct and prompt. The five link front suspension and independent wheel trapezoidal rear suspension along with the fully adjustable damping control and speed-sensitive dynamic steering absorb jerks and bumps so well, and enhance its ride quality. Audi’s unique drive select system simplifies its handling and drivability.
The braking performance of the new Audi A4 is satisfactory with technologies like ABS (Anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake force distribution system), brake assist and electronic stability program along with the standard ventilated front discs and rear disc brakes.
The new Audi A4 is 10 percent more fuel efficient and performs better than its older model. The 1.8 TFSI petrol engine delivers a mileage of 13kmpl in city and 15.67kmpl on highways, which is 25 percent higher than its predecessor. The 2.0 TDI diesel engine is the most frugal units that returns a fuel economy of 14kmpl in city and 16.55kmpl on highways. The 3.0 TDI diesel motor offers a decent mileage of 12kmpl in city and 14 kmpl on highways.
The new A4 offers a rewarding and safe driving with advanced safety features such as ABS (Anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake force distribution system), brake assist, cruise control, front side airbags, front and rear fog lights and automatic headlight operation.
The new Audi A4 is substantially more practical and efficient over its predecessor. Receiving some minor exterior tweaks, the saloon managed to look refreshing. The contemporary styling and long wheelbase grant it a proper saloon shape. The interior is plush, comfortable and spacious. It rides so well on urban roads as well as on highways. The robust suspension system, Audi’s drive select system, advanced safety features enhance its overall handling and drivability. The frugal engine range made it more alluring deal for the mileage-driven buyers. The new Audi A4 is certainly a great deal, but the high cost of ownership and maintenance might turn-off some buyers.
Audi A4 Vs BMW 3 Series
The new Audi A4 looks more premium and elegant than its predecessor, while the BMW 3 Series appeals with its aggressive and sporty styling. The side and rear profiles of the 3 Series look much better than the A4. The A4 is longer (4701mm) than the BMW 3 Series (4624mm), whereas the wheelbase of the A4 is marginally shorter than its rival.
The beige black dual-tone interior of the 3 Series with a practical layout, large iDrive screen, tilted centre console and other elements look very attractive. The fit and finish is superb. The 3 Series offers more space for rear passenger with good knee room, which is limited in the A4. The new A4 gets large MMI screen, Q3 inspired steering wheel design and gear knob, but system isn’t user-friendly. The 3 Series has more to offer such as fully functional navigation system and more. The boot space of the both the saloons are same, but A4 is offered with a spare wheel.
Both the cars share engines with their older siblings, but updated for better power and fuel efficiency. In terms of power and torque performance, the 3 Series takes a lead over the A4. When it comes to engine refinement and NVH levels, the A4 scores higher than its rival. The 3 Series powertrain is relatively more responsive and rev-happy than the A4.
In terms of performance, both the cars are equivalent. However, the ride quality and handling of the A4 is better than the 3 Series. It rolls out more comfortably at cruising speed, even on rough roads. The A4 is fun to drive. However, the electric steering wheel of the 3 Series is relatively lighter than the A4, and doesn’t weigh much at high speed.
The BMW 3 Series takes over the A4 in almost at every aspect. The offered rear seat space, handling, engine performance, power and looks of the 3 Series make it more alluring deal.
Pros & Cons
Feature-rich and spacious cabin
Brilliant engine performance
Rev-happy and frugal engine
Excellent ride quality
Advanced safety features
Advanced Audi driver select system
No Navigation system for top-end variant
No glass sun-roof for base variant
Noisy diesel engine
Uneven power delivery
Cost of maintenance and ownership