Cargiant Reviews the Audi A4
The Audi A4 has been around since 1995, with its current model having been launched in 2011.
While that may seem like some years ago now, the Audi A4 comes with a lot of great benefits including a range of petrol and diesel engines and adjustable steering, throttle and suspension, a blind-spot monitor and lane assistance (amongst others). It was also given a makeover last year to include features such as LED daytime running lights for models with xenon headlights and boost the efficiency of the A4.
The Audi A4 is a compact line of spacious saloon cars that compete highly with BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz’s C-class. Its exterior is frequently being updated so while the line itself may be older, the outside still and will continue to look very smart with an air of class. This is mirrored on the inside, with the recent revamp installing new assets like in-car Internet in some models and a break recommendation fatigue system in all Audi A4s.
So, while the thrill seekers among us may not be blown away with the safe and competent driving of the Audi A4s, if you want a comfy and reliable car with plenty of oomph then come down and give it a test drive!
Driving and Performance:
The Audi A4 these days are predominantly sold with diesel engines, which makes them both powerful vehicles to drive and more economical.
Recent changes to the suspension settings have improved both the handling and comfort of the Audi A4, giving it a well-balanced feel with lots of grip. Features include adjustable steering settings, lane assistance, a blind spot monitor, comfort-cooled front seats, active steering, Bang and Olufsen sound systems and three-zone climate control. These features help keep tyre noise to a minimum inside and make the Audi A4 an extremely easy and reliable drive, even in tougher conditions.
However, if it’s a thrill ride you’re after, then the Audi A4 might not be the one for you. While it scores highly in most departments, it does not present the lightness of sports cars such as a Jaguar or the engagement of the BMW 3 series. That said, the diesel engines offer an excellent mix of both performance and economy, and a comfortable drive.
MPG, Running costs & emissions:
Although the costs and CO2 efficiency of the Audi A4 is higher than the BMW for example, the latest model of the A4 has seen a 21% improvement to enconomy. The diesel engines still provide sufficient power and good economic value and the A4 came 10th in the Auto Express 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey for reliability.
The most efficient version of the Audi A4 is the 2.0 TDIe diesel, which averaged 65.7mpg in official Government tests which is only marginally less than the equivalent BMW 3-series and the Mercedes C-class. However despite this, even the most efficient Audi Audi A4 sits in a higher tax band than its rivals, so it is fair to say if you are feeling frugal, this type of car might not be what you’re looking for.
The Audi A4s frequently undergo makeovers, which means that apart from their engines, they continue to improve and maintain the sleek look that we know Audi for.
Audi is known often for the quality of its interior. The Audi A4’s is both spacious and comfortable with adequate leg and headroom and sizeable, practical boots. It is also valued for the low level of outside noise when driving and a simple, more intuitive dashboard. The most recent A4 comes with a number of accessories like Bluetooth, cruise control, climate control, blind spot monitors and even in car Internet, making this an excellent choice for the average businessman.
That said, by aiming to keep the Audi A4 consistent with its older models the styling can be seen as quite dated, with the changes to the look being very subtle. The inside itself has barely changed over the years and some of the storage spaces have decreased in size and quality.
Others however, such as the glovebox, console cubby and cup-holders remain a reliable and useful size, and the standard-fit split/fold rear seats are easy to fold down and create even more space in the back.
The Audi A4 ticks most of the boxes for safety and reliability. It comes equipped with 6 airbags (front, side and window) and standard stability control. Most models also come with lane assistance for lane departure and a blind spot monitor systems, as well as a secure locking system to protect against potential theft.
The Audi A4 has earned a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP crash test rating and scored higher than the Mercedes C-class for adult and child occupants and pedestrian protection. While it failed to topple the BMW 3-series in 2 of the 3 categories, it did at least match the child protection score.
The Audi A4 has unfortunately gone down in the Drive Power customer satisfaction survey results for its safety and reliability over the last couple of years, due to it’s braking and ride quality. However Audi’s Quattro system makes driving the Audi A4 feel even more secure, and the anti-whiplash head restraints further decrease the risk of brake injury.