So, you are looking for a mid-size luxury car and you are considering a new 2016 Audi A4.
Straight off the bat there are plenty of good reasons to choose the Audi offering, not the least is the fact that Audi has got the pricing pretty much spot on.
You then jump up to $60,900 as the starting point for the Audi A4 that is also front-wheel drive but with the more powerful 140kW/320Nm 2.0 litre turbo-petrol engine.
The diesel range starts at $66,900 and only comes with quattro all-wheel drive and the 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine gives you 140kW/400Nm.
Of course, wagon versions are available as well, prices range from $63,900 to $72,000.
This diesel A4 sedan was where I got my first taste of the all-new Audi A4.
I mentioned that there are some good reasons to choose the Audi over its rivals, these include driving dynamics, fuel efficiency of the diesel engine and the solid/quality feel of the car.
On the road it has quite a low and planted feel and the ride and steering are pretty much perfect.
The 35 Series tyres on the standard 19” alloy wheels do a reasonable job of soaking up the bumps, though you do feel the more serious road imperfections (typical of low profile tyres).
Nice brakes and a good seating position with plenty of visibility make the Audi quite an enjoyable, safe and easy car to drive.
How efficient was the engine? I averaged an excellent 7.4L/100km in my week of city/suburban driving.
There is also plenty to like about the standard features that the Audi A4 2.0TD quattro boasts, including:
- 19” alloy wheels
- 10-speaker stereo (with Digital Radio)
- Tilt and reach steering adjustment
- Reverse camera
- DVD player
- Electric seats (front row)
- Push-button ignition
- Crash mitigation
- Blind-spot monitor
- Adaptive cruise control
- Cooled glove box
- Leather steering wheel
- Electric park brake
While other nice additions include manually adjustable under-thigh support on the front seats and the Audi Virtual Cockpit.
Cabin space is generally quite good too, though the rear seat looks like it would be a bit of a squeeze for three adults (in width).
Legroom is reasonably good front and rear and the boot, while fairly narrow, is long and deep.
There are mixed reports however in regards to the cabin storage areas. I really like the adjustable centre arm rest, this is such a nice addition as you can get the height just right.
The arm rest covers a relatively large centre storage area in the Audi A4.
Unfortunately, beyond that, door storage spots are pretty small and there really isn’t an obvious place to store your phone around the infotainment control knob/buttons on the centre console.
I found myself leaving my phone in the cup holders, that works alright until you want to carry a couple of drinks!
Quite similar to the recently recalled Chrysler/Jeep T-Bar, it doesn’t move into different positions, you simply push it forward or back to engage drive or reverse.
While there’s a park button on the actual selector.
I didn’t have any issue with the system fitted to the Audi, but it’s probably not my favourite transmission selector design (give me an old fashioned notch type please).
There also a couple of things that I need to point out with the Audi.
Firstly, I can’t put my finger on exactly where it was coming from, but on a couple of occasions where I was performing slow speed acceleration (predominantly crawling in traffic or reversing), I felt a noticeable shudder/vibration in the driveline.
It was noticeable because this an otherwise very smooth and well-sorted car.
Also, I must say I wasn’t terribly comfortable in the driver’s seat and this was due to the width of the transmission tunnel.
So where you would normally rest your left foot in a RHD car you generally have a certain amount of free space and a foot rest.
In the new Audi, the tunnel seemed to eat up this space and I found myself feeling like I was sitting somewhat on an angle.
Another thing that I felt was a bit strange was that all the toggle switches/dials don’t rotate the options completely around.
What I mean for example is the drive mode select. One button only goes up the menu, the other button only comes down, this is at odds with most designs which allow you to scroll all the way through on just the one control.
Also, I picked the Audi up around midday, was driving along and glanced at the fuel gauge, but I couldn’t see how much fuel I had because the sun was shining on the gauge.
The fuel/temp gauges sit outside of the virtual cockpit and when the light shines on them the display can’t be seen. You find yourself then blocking the sun with your hand so you can see how much fuel you have!
While I also felt a bit disappointed that the Audi didn’t come with heated seats as standard – seems like a glaring omission in a vehicle pushing $67,000.
You can add these, along with the ventilated/cooling function, for an additional $2,000.
As with all Audi cars there is a comprehensive list of extra features available, these range from the $338 High Beam Assist to the $3,600 Audi Rear Seat Entertainment Pack.
A maximum safety score features across all variants of the 2016 Audi A4 range.
Summing it up; I have the 2.0 litre petrol version of the new A4 next week and I’m looking forward to comparing that with the diesel.
The driveline shudder was of concern though (and very unlike Audi) and the driving position, for me at least, had me somewhat scratching my head.
I will bring you more on the new 2016 Audi A4 next week.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Audi A4 2.0TD quattro
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-diesel producing 140kW/400Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $66,900