Newly updated, the latest generation Audi A4 is making a big impact in the South African compact-saloon playground. Standing a firm ground against serious competition in this segment, the new Audi A4 Sedan rests on its predecessors wins by retaining all that worked previously while adding greater innovation, increased efficiency, dynamic new engine offerings plus a bit of a fresh appearance.
Changes on the outside include a more aggressive front-end design with a tauter nose, updated company grille and headlamp design with the optional solid LED daytime-running lamps. Audi is very sure of what works and they are sticking to it here by adding just a touch of natural evolution to the new exterior. The tail lights reflect the same shape of the front headlights and there is a redesigned back bumper with a diffuser insert and double exhaust pipes emphasising the vehicle's power and performance.
Inside, there's a sense of familiar quality and sophistication. The 'Attraction', 'Ambition', and “Ambiente' models of the previous generation have been replaced with the S, SE and Quattro options. In a move to simplify and neaten up functionality of the cabin, fewer buttons and switches for the climate control and MMI infotainment systems can be found and there is a standard-fitted multifunction steering wheel which comes in a selection of different designs. Buy a car in the S trim and you'll get all the basic specifications like air conditioning, on-board computer and CD player, 16-inch alloys and also a 6.5 inch MMI colour display. The slightly better SE gets you 1- inch alloys, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, Audi Music Interface and automatic headlights and windscreen wipers. Quattro versions add 18-inch alloys, Milano leather, sports suspension and three-zone automatic air conditioning. Electromechanical power-steering is new in all models of the range and requires no energy for straight-ahead motion. This helps reduce fuel consumption and also equates to a reduction in CO2 emissions. There is an optional Audi drive select system offering four modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency which gives drivers choice of driving style and the opportunity to save on fuel, power and emissions when desired.
Consumption levels have dropped by 11 percent on average, despite increased power and torque in many of the new engines. Several petrol and diesel engines with a variety of engine transmissions are offered with all variants including supercharged direct-injection systems with stop-start and recuperation systems as standard throughout the range. There is a new entry-level 1.8 TFSI with an output of 88 kW and 230 Nm of torque with a CO2 figure of 149 g/km. The top of the petrol range is the 3.0 TFSI with an output of 200 kW and 400 Nm of torque. In diesel there is a 2.0 TDI 105 kW efficiency model and topping the diesel range is the powerful six cylinder 3.0 TDI which generates 180 kW with 500 Nm of torque and 189 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The average consumption in the new Audi A4 Sedan is a claimed 5.6 litres/100 km.
With safety in mind, the Audi A4 Sedan offers a combination of full-size driver and front-seat passenger airbags with a side airbag system too. There is an Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) which networks the ABS, EBD, ASR and EDL with special sensors. The Audi Braking Guard functionality, new to the Audi A4 range, provides an advanced warning of imminent danger approaching by applying the brakes for a millisecond, giving added security and confidence.
Buy a car like this in South Africa and you join a large family of Audi drivers. If success can be measured by emotions felt when driving one of these beauties, Audi certainly has a winning recipe. In terms of pricing, the baby of the range the 1.8T FSI will set you back around R306 500, while the 3.0 TFSI 200 kW Quattro S tronic is priced at around R499 500. (Prices are subject to change according to various factors so please consult your dealer for the latest price).