The A4 is possibly the most famous nameplate of Audi—in India as well as globally—and one of its highest selling models. Having driven its last two generation models, I must say it’s a very practical sedan, too. On January 5, Audi India will launch the new A4. We recently drove it in and around Delhi.
What are the exterior changes?
It gets the company’s new design language—new headlights and Singleframe grille, and a lot of horizontal design lines all across the body, which on the sides make the car look longer and at the rear and front make it look wider (than it actually is). Although at 4.76 metres long and 1.85 metres wide, the A4 is quite a big car. There will be two trims on offer (Premium Plus and Technology), with five exterior colour options, including the new terra grey colour.
How luxurious is the cabin?
Luxury also means ease of doing things. The new A4 is quite practical as a sedan—doors open wide so getting in and out is easy, sitting on the driver’s seat you have easy access to all buttons and controls, the plastic and leather and metal quality is great inside the cabin, four adults can be very comfortable inside, the cabin is quite insulated from outside noise, boot space is great … in other words, everything inside the cabin appears well put together.
At the same time, there are some put-offs. For example, while the sunroof (the glass) is automatic, the sunblind opening and closing is manual (which is not really expected of in a luxury sedan). Also, the central touchscreen is static—it doesn’t retract inside the dashboard like it happens in some other luxury cars. Lastly, on a personal note, the inside door handles look like these are from Volkswagen Polo!
How does it drive?
The new A4 will only be available with a petrol engine (there is no diesel engine option). This 1984cc engine develops peak power of 190bhp and torque of 320Nm, mated to 7-speed S tronic gearbox. However, it’s a front-wheel drive car (not a quattro), which is okay for regular driving. The performance is simply exceptional. The new A4 accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds, and acceleration through the gears is ‘wowsome’. Cornering at high speeds, going over poor roads, cruising on six-lane highways, navigating urban Indian traffic … everything is comfortable, and easy.
Is it the best car in its segment?
Well, the A4 has some tough competitors: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and the new Volvo S60 are icons in their own right. Also, these aren’t the ‘glorious years’ of Audi in India, so for the new A4 to find substantial number of buyers, it needs to be priced maybe lower than Rs 40 lakh (ex-showroom).
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