Car Review: Ninth gen Audi A4 launched; here is everything you need to know

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New Delhi | Updated: September 9, 2016 4:40:31 PM

The new A4 gets a subtle, sophisticated makeover, loses some weight and is powered by a more efficient petrol engine.

The highest selling Audi sedan, globally as well as in India, the A4 is a car that best reflects the two most important strengths of the company—sportiness and efficiency. (Express Photo)The highest selling Audi sedan, globally as well as in India, the A4 is a car that best reflects the two most important strengths of the company—sportiness and efficiency. (Express Photo)

The calm Bay of Bengal has a rhythmic pulse to it, unmatched by any other force of nature. The scenic Puri-Konark marine drive is a perfect setting for driving the all-new Audi A4, which cruises effortlessly on the smooth tarmac. The cabin, just like the sea, is undisturbed by a bump here and a pothole there. Floor the accelerator, however, and the car turns into a mean machine—a storm brews under the bonnet.

The highest selling Audi sedan, globally as well as in India, the A4 is a car that best reflects the two most important strengths of the company—sportiness and efficiency. Luxury is a given.

Lighter, aerodynamic body

The new A4 is 95kg lighter than the one it replaces. Audi says it is because of ‘intelligent material mix’ used in the body. The car is 4.73 meters long and has a wheelbase of 2.82 meters, both more than its predecessor. The front and rear design is characterised by horizontal lines, making the car look wider than it really is. It gets the trademark Singleframe grille. Wing mirrors are installed on the doors, like in the TT sportscar. The door handles are grab-type, but which move both horizontally and vertically, at the same time.

Aerodynamics play an important role in driving—wind resistance slows speed and kills mileage. In the new A4, engineers have brought down the drag coefficient to the best-in-class figure of 0.25—the result is a flowing design with concise lines. The rear turn indicators are dynamic—like disco lights, these light up sequentially from the inside out.

The upper edges of the dashboard and the door trim border the interior in a wraparound style, with a continuous air vent strip. (Express Photo)The upper edges of the dashboard and the door trim border the interior in a wraparound style, with a continuous air vent strip. (Express Photo)

More usable space

All occupants enjoy generous space, even at the rear—the scooped out roof at the rear creates extra head-space. The dashboard features a broad band of air outlets. The upper edges of the dashboard and the door trim border the interior in a wraparound style, with a continuous air vent strip. The well-shaped boot can hold up to 480 litres of cargo.

The 31.24-cm LCD displays the most needed information in high-resolution graphics—clearly visible even under bright sun. (Express Photo)The 31.24-cm LCD displays the most needed information in high-resolution graphics—clearly visible even under bright sun. (Express Photo)

Loaded with technology

The dashboard, called Audi Virtual Cockpit, is driver-focused. Every information is directly in front of the driver—from navigation arrows to dynamic animations and infotainment features. The 31.24-cm LCD displays the most needed information in high-resolution graphics—clearly visible even under bright sun.

The car gets the new MMI (Multi Media Interface) display. MMI control, which is located on the centre console, has been redesigned and serves as the main control element. The Audi smartphone interface lets you plug an iOS or Android phone into the USB port, so that the phone content—navigation, calls, music, apps—can be accessed in a separate MMI menu. An interesting feature is Audi phone box—it connects your smartphone to the on-board antenna and charges it wirelessly.

There are two keys—key 1 for you, key 2 for your spouse. It has a memory function. If you unlock the car with key 1, it will adjust the seat and outside mirrors to your favourite position. If you unlock with key 2, the car will adjust seat and outside mirrors to your spouse’s favourite position! Each key also remembers the concerned person’s media preference and AC settings.

There are four driving modes—Auto, Comfort, Individual and Dynamic—which change suspension and steering settings, providing a unique driving experience in each mode. (Express Photo)There are four driving modes—Auto, Comfort, Individual and Dynamic—which change suspension and steering settings, providing a unique driving experience in each mode. (Express Photo)

Efficient, potent engine

The 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine (turbo fuel stratified injection) generates peak power output of 150bhp, with best-in-class fuel consumption of 17.84kpl. In part, good fuel-efficiency is achieved by the start-stop system—it shuts the engine when you press the brakes and the car comes to a standstill, and as you let go of the brake pedal, the engine starts automatically. At the same time, there is enough grunt—at full gas, the car shoots from 0-100kph in just 8.5 seconds, with a top speed of 210kph.

The engine is mated to new 7-speed S tronic transmission. One of the best things about the transmission is a fuel-saving free-wheeling function, called ‘coasting mode’—another reason for its excellent fuel-efficiency.

There are four driving modes—Auto, Comfort, Individual and Dynamic—which change suspension and steering settings, providing a unique driving experience in each mode.

The car is available in two grades—Premium Plus for Rs 38.1 lakh; Technology for Rs 41.2 lakh. (Express Photo)The car is available in two grades—Premium Plus for Rs 38.1 lakh; Technology for Rs 41.2 lakh. (Express Photo)

Should you buy it?

The car is available in two grades—Premium Plus for Rs 38.1 lakh; Technology for Rs 41.2 lakh. We suggest the latter, which has all the unique features described above, and some such too which are not available in competitor cars—Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE—some of which are priced higher than the A4. In case you want a diesel version, that would be launched early next year.

Specifications

Engine: 1395cc
Power: 150bhp
Torque: 250Nm
0-100kph: 8.5 seconds
Top speed: 210kph
Mileage: 17.84kpl
Fuel type: Petrol
Length: 4726mm
Width: 1842mm
Height: 1427mm
Wheelbase: 2820mm
Fuel tank: 54 litres

Key notes

1.4-litre TFSI petrol, with 7-Speed S tronic gearbox
Generates a peak power output of 150bhp
0-100kph in just 8.5 seconds; top speed of 210kph
The new A4 is up to 95 kg lighter than predecessor
It has a best-in-class fuel consumption of 17.84kpl
Audi virtual cockpit is completely driver-focused
Audi phone box wirelessly charges smartphone
Alternatives: Merc C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Jag XE

(Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi & Maharashtra)

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