Audi A4 Review: Snob Appeal
Mercedes Benz C Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 have always been competing with each other. If it is comfort you seek then you shall be impressed by the C Class and if it is about outright performance, the 3 Series might get your pulse racing. Then, there is the Audi A4.
The A4 which has been selling for over 40 years now has been the Audi’s longest and best selling sedan. With its sharp and aggressive looks, this sedan has gained high popularity and has also elevated Audi’s position in India. The car maker claims that with its progressive design, efficient driving dynamics and class defining interiors, the A4 can take on most cars in its space.
Audi recently beefed up the A4 with a more powerful 177hp 2.0 TDI engine. It also gets Audi Drive Select to improve driving comfort and overall performance. The new sedan can reach a speed of 100 km/h from standstill in just 7.9 seconds. We decided to see if it is as impressive in the real world as it seems on paper.
We were very fortunate to get the premium S line version for our review. On any other day, I would have chosen the Brilliant Red because it is the trademark S4 colour and it simply looks brilliant but then the Scuba Blue is not bad at all. In fact, the colour does the make the car look very ravishing.
The front face of the A4 looks angry and aggressive. The angular lines above the headlight meet the trademark radiator grille. The grille is finished with a chrome surround and is very prominent and bold in nature. Since this was the S Line, it gets fancy body work too for example the lower air splitter under the front bumper looks very sporty. Even the fog laps now sport an angular design.
It gets option Xenon lights with daytime running light strip. The bonnet appears stretched and flows subtly to the radiator grille. The detailing done on the front bumper like the chrome linings make it look very neat. Even the redesigned side air inlets look sporty.
The silhouette looks very balanced with equal proportions everywhere. The stretched bonnet line clubbed with the constant shoulder line make the A4 look like a mini limousine. Adding a dash of sportiness is the 16" cast aluminium alloy wheels with 5 spoke design. The ORVMs are equipped with turn indicators. It also gets a very prominent running board on the side.
See it from rear and it draws some inspiration from Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale at least the angular tail lights. The rear section has been left clean and tidy without any unnecessary lines. The twin exhausts combined with the muscular mesh under the rear bumper look very rugged.
So why do I call is the “Snob Appeal” review? When it comes to design, people get impressed with characteristic features. The violent aggression of the 3 series shouts about its character while the relaxed stance and flowing lines of the C class speak about its elegance. Contrary to this is the Audi A4 which has a real snob appeal. The A4 makes sure you like her for sure without it taking any efforts to impress you.
The cabin space feels very plush and upmarket with fine quality leather stitched seats. The driver and front passenger seats get electrical controls and also have memory settings to store different positions of seats. The lumbar support can also be adjusted electrically.
Front row legroom is decent with the driver feeling confident about the cockpit. The levers and controls are placed at an easy distance and are very convenient too. The steering wheel feels similar to other Audi models with controls mounted on it. These controls do the basic functions but for the rest one has to juggle with the music system.
Rear legroom is not impressive and especially for taller passengers who would often complaint of being cramped. But then it is not just the A4 which has this issue, the same being the cases with the C Class and 3 Series too where the rear passenger comfort and space have been ignored completely.
One of the most impressive features of this car is its fantastic music system. With its amazing sound distribution inside the cabin, it scores really well. The music system can play music via Bluetooth and CDs. Our variant did not have a USB plug in but instead it had IPod connectivity jack inside the glove box. We believe a conventional USB port won’t have harmed the cabin.
It gets conventional storage options under the seat, glove box and on the door trims. It also has cup holders on the central console. If the storage options in the cabin are not enough then perhaps the 480L of huge boot space shall be sufficient for anyone to just pack the necessary and head out for a month.
The Audi A4 is powered by a 2.0 TDI engine which has been revamped to perform better and deliver a better fuel mileage. The in-line 4 cylinder engine produces a power output of 177hp at 4200 rpm and delivers a torque of 380Nm at 1750 – 2500 rpm. It comes with a multitronic transmission.
The A4 has its own individual character when it comes to performance. The new 177Hp motor which produces 27% more power than the earlier version surely offers a lot of punch compared to its earlier version.
The 8 speed transmission box is very smooth and shifting is seamless. The S line kit surely peps up the ego but then lack of paddles discourages you to do a pedal to metal type of driving. The constant shuffling of hands from the steering wheel and the gear stick is so not cool.
The TDI engine has a variable geometry turbo meaning it really kicks in strong at low engine speeds. The torque output is strong too at these engine speeds. Even at high speeds, the diesel unit does not feel exhausted at all.
The steering wheel feels light. Push the A4 around corners and it feels slightly on the heavier side. It takes some time before resuming its original stance. In city traffic it handles well and manoeuvring the car in bumper to bumper traffic is very easy. It delivered a mileage of 15 kmpl in our test run.
The new 177Hp motor has it s share of pros and cons. The best being it is smooth refined and very mellow in its response. It is also an efficient engine but then the motor is not a rev friendly motor. It lacks enthusiasm. The very fact that this engine feels much matured goes against it. It is not a motor which impresses you with its athletic prowess.
|Dimensions in mm|
|Claimed fuel efficiency in KMPL||16|
|Tyre size Front||225/55 R16|
|Tyre size Rear||225/55 R16|
|Top speed KMPH||202|
|Tank capacity in Liters||63|
|Kerb Weight (Kg)||1590|
|Turning circle Radius||5.5M|
|Trunk Volume in L||480|
|Ex showroom Mumbai in Rs||3,174,000|
|4 Way Lumber support||Yes|
|Electrically adjustable driver seat||Yes|
|Folding rear seat||Yes|
|Center arm rest front and rear||Yes|
|Leather covered multifunction steering wheel||Yes|
|3-Zone deluxe automatic airconditioning||Yes|
|Cup holders in center console||Yes|
|Reversible luggage compartment floor||Yes|
|Driver information system||Yes|
|Loud speaker front and rear||Yes|
|Audi music interface||Yes|
|Xenon plus including headlight cleaning system||Yes|
|Interior lighting system||Yes|
|LED rear light||Yes|
|Front fog lights||Yes|
|Headlight cleaning system||Yes|
|Exterior mirror with LED indicator||Yes|
|Central locking system||Yes|
|Slide and tilt glass sunroof||Yes|
|Heat Insulating glass||Yes|
|Anti Slip Regulation||Yes|
|Electronic Differential Lock||Yes|
|Electronic Stabilisation Program||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||2.0 TDI||Luxury Line|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Claimed fuel efficiency in KMPL||16||18|
|Tyre size Front||225/55 R16||225/50 R17|
|Tyre size Rear||225/55 R16||225/50 R17|
|Top speed KMPH||202||235|
|Tank capacity in Liters||63||60|
|Kerb Weight (Kg)||1595||1595|
|Turning circle Radius||5.5M||5.6M|
|Trunk Volume in L||480||480|
|Ex showroom Mumbai in Rs||3,174,000||28,90,000|
|4 WAY Lumber support||Dakota leather upholstery with exclusive stitching|
|Electrically adjustable driver's seat||Fog lights|
|Folding rear seat||Antiglare interior and exterior mirrors|
|Center arm rest front and rear||Park distance control|
|Leather covered multifunction steering wheel||Rain sensor with automatic driving lights control|
|3-Zone deluxe automatic airconditioning||Xenon headlights with 4 LED light rings|
|Cup holders in center console||Brake energy regeneration|
|Reversible luggage compartment floor||Light alloy wheels with multi spoke style|
|Driver information system||Dynamic Stability control|
|MMI Navigation||Six Airbags|
The New Audi A4 was launched at Rs. 31,74,000 (ex-showroom Mumbai). At the time of its launch, Mr. Joe King, Head, Audi India said “The Audi A4 has been Audi’s longest and best selling sedan for close to 40 years now. With its progressive design, efficient driving dynamics and class defining interiors, the Audi A4 enjoys a very wide customer base. The powerful new 177 hp Audi A4 with the Audi Drive Select offers 27% more power and offers 3% more fuel efficiency than it’s predecessor. This car packs a powerful punch with its on-road performance which will appeal to both our discerning customers as well as the enthusiast,”
The A4 strikes the perfect balance between a dynamic and comfort sedan. It does not excel in one particular section but then at the same time the A4 makes sure you get the “good” of all worlds.