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CAR REVIEW (LAUNCH REPORT): Audi A4

This is the guy you settle down with

If there is one thing that most parents require when it comes to buying a car, it’s space. More often than not, thoughts go toward SUVs and/or Crossovers and we’ve seen negative growth in the South African premium sedan segment. I am hoping this changes, if just for the Audi A4!

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It’s not often that I would make such a statement, but if I had children and needed a new car, the new Audi A4 is something I would seriously consider. And it appears I am not the only person who feels this way, if the previous sales are anything to go by. Internationally, 12 million have been sold since 1972. In South Africa, we have seen 110 000 sold since 1994. And just a little side note and something to look forward to in 2017, we will see the arrival of the new Audi Q5, A5 cabriolet, A5 sportback and A5 coupe.

Ok now back to the new A4.  This is one of the most important global launches in seven years for Audi and Audi is confident its built something that will take the B segment (sedan) to another level. It doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor in terms of looks, but this is not to say the changes are insignificant, sometimes you just need to dig a little deeper to find them.

Step inside and you are met with a typically beautiful Audi cabin. This is where I will stand my ground, Audi knows how to do a cabin and how to do it right. It feels premium, classy (did the C-Class just pop in your head?), uncluttered and clean. Someone mentioned the words clinical, I don’t know why this is seen as a bad thing, if you look at it from an efficient point of view and not a cold one. But I would rather something that works than something that is warm and fuzzy only to look at. It’s understated yet elegant and quintessentially Audi.

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Hands down, my favourite feature of an Audi interior, even if it is optional and will cost you a fair penny, is the virtual cockpit. We first saw this in the new TT last year but for some reason it stood out for me only in the A4 as we drove along the beautiful mountain passes of the Garden Route. If you can afford it, you should get it!

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I mentioned space being key to parent’s buying decisions, the new A4 has plenty. In fact its 17 mm longer overall with 23 mm more rear legroom and 11 mm more shoulder and head space.  The boot is a generous 480-litres, which is the same as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

So what’s on offer in terms of engines? Well, first off the new entry-level 1,4T FSI is worth testing. It produces 110 kW and 250 N.m of torque and is mated to either a manual or S tronic transmission. If you need a car that is light on fuel but isn’t sluggish then this is your best bet, Audi claim a fuel consumption of just 4,9-litres/100 km. If you want the grunt, then take a look at the 2,0T FSI which boasts 140 kW and 320 N.m of torque. This is only available with an automatic transmission. Later in the year your options increase to include the 2,0T FSI quattro which will be tuned to deliver 185 kW and 370 N.m of torque. We will also see the 2,0 TDI arrive near the end of the year.

If there is one negative comment I have it is to do with the tyre noise, it was rather intrusive. We also had a slight glitch with the passenger window that wouldn’t open or close, but I am almost certain this is a once off, or an optional extra I am unaware of…and no, the window lock was not on, I checked, twice! Being blonde means I have learnt my lesson far too many times before.

For every day premium driving, the Audi A4 is near the top of my list. Others may prefer a more dynamic drive but for me, and many of my readers, it’s about comfort, space and practicality…three things the new Audi A4 houses effortlessly. If you want a bad boy, this is not your guy. This is the nice guy, the one you want to settle down with. And he ain’t bad looking either!

Standard equipment on the 1,4T FSI manual and S tronic includes:

16-inch alloy wheels
Xenon plus headlights
Keyless go
S tronc gear selector with multi function steering wheel
MMI Radio plus with Bluetooth
Drive information system
Tyre pressure monitoring
Partial leather
Cruise control
Rain sensor
Automatic air conditioning
Space saving spare wheel

The 2,0T FSI tronic adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Audi Drive Select

You can opt for either the Sport or Design line.

Pricing:

1.4T FSI manual – R441 000

1.4T FSI S Tronic – R459 000

1.4T TSI Design S Tronic Design- R488 000

1.4T FSI Sport S Tronic Sport- R492 000

2.0T FSI S Tronic – R496 000

2.0T FSI S Tronic Design – R513 000

2.0T FSI S Tronic Sport – R517 000

2.0T FSI Quattro S Tronic Sport – R616 000

 

 

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