2013 Audi A4 2.0 TDI – A solid car that does everything perfectly

Mumbai just loves Audi. Go for a short drive at any time of the day and its close to impossible that you would not have a pair of Audi’s signature LED running lights stare at you. Look a bit closely and most of the shiny white lights are of an A4. Launched in 2008, the Audi A4 is now in its eighth generation and makes up for a bulk of the company’s sales in the extremely competitive entry level luxury car segment. Audi offers three engine options on the A4, a 3.0 liter TDI quattro (only available on order), 2.0 liter TDI and a 1.8 TFSI (front wheel drive), the 2.0 TDI Technology pack trim was the model we tested.

Exteriors –
From the outside the A4 captures the design ethos of the Audi brand, Xenon headlights, Audi’s insignia daytime running LED lights, hexagonal single frame grille punctuated by Audi’s four circle logo. Wide air intakes, 17 inch five spoke alloys and sharp corners give the car an overall sporty and aggressive look.

Interiors –
The A4 takes advantage of Audi’s exceptional eye for sporty yet functional design, with intelligent placed controls and premium styling. The cabin beautifully comes to life with subtle hues of red in everything from the dials to temperature displays to switches and the ambient lighting. The front seats offer a host of electrical adjustments including lumbar, providing plenty of flexibility for getting your seat position just right. Memory function is limited to the drivers seat only. A generous use of chrome, premium leather upholstery and a hint of wood on the dash further add to the plushness of the cabin.

The car comes with a CD / DVD player, 20 GB internal hard drive, Bluetooth, USB, GPS with turn by turn navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot and voice control, Controlling all of the above and more is the refreshed MMI interface. Audi actually made way for a couple of buttons to make the MMI more easy to use. Along with this there are some subtle changes like the inclusion of a knob for adjusting the volume and skipping across tracks. The MMI is linked up to a 7-inch eye level screen which offers an easy to use interface with simple scroll wheel interactions. The graphics are very crisp and easy to understand although the interface is not as intuitive as the BMW’s iDrive and does take some time getting used to. There are a couple of 12 inch outlets but Audi does not offer USB port as standard on the A4, instead it comes with an MMI interface which lets you connect to a variety of devices. Except for the 30 pin iOS connector the other cables USB, Lightning are sold separately.

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The Audi A4 comes with dual zone climate control, rear view camera with park assist, sunroof, power sunshade for the rear window and manual sunshades for rear windows.

Everything in the cabin is where it should be and feels top quality.

Like with a majority of rear wheel drive cars the backseat is a strictly two seater. The rear seats are comfortable and offer excellent back support, although tall passengers might find the rear legroom a bit limited.

Driving and handling –
Our Audi A4 was powered by a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder diesel or as Audi calls it the 35 TDI, it churns out 177 BHP. In our tests the turbocharged horses took the car from a standstill to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds. It may not be the quickest but it is quick, and for those seeking performance can go for the 3.0 liter TDI.

The engine is paired with a 8 speed CVT gearbox which uniformly blends the 380nM of torque for a smooth acceleration with an almost negligible turbo lag.

You can personalize your ride with ‘Audi select’ which offers two preset driving modes – Comfort and Dynamic, which adjusts the engine, transmission and the steering accordingly. Auto mode chooses the best setting as per your driving habits while you can mix and match the Comfort and Dynamic settings in the Individual mode.

I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car in the city, and it felt as if the car was particularly adept to driving in urban everyday situations. Start / Stop bumper to bumper traffic, the occasional empty highway, parking in tight spots, etc etc. Handling is smooth and comfortable, overtaking in tight corners was rather fun thanks to minimal body roll and the responsive engine. However on full throttle the CVG is a bit slow in shifting gears, but that can be put behind by using the Tiptronic feature.

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The A4 features a five-link front suspension and an independent trapezoidal-link axle at the rear. Over the bumps the dampers soaked up most of the potholes thrown at them by Mumbai’s infamous roads.

If you are looking for a daily commuter with a bit of driving pleasure, then the A4 is just for you.

The new electro-mechanic power steering just feels right for the vehicle, the inputs are direct and immediate and on-center feel is good. The leather wrapped steering was a joy to wrap my fingers around, but it was not as communicative as the 3 Series and the C-Class.

Safety features include six airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake assist and ESP.

Verdict –
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the A4, Ingolstadt clearly has a winner here. The specs sheet or the brochure might not grab your attention as it would for a performance or a premium luxury car, but the key to understanding what the A4 has to offer is the aggregate or the sum of its parts. It has the right amount of engine power, tech, and comforts that makes it ideal to drive or to be driven around.

The Audi A4 is every bit the best seller that it deserve to be.

Except for the fiddly MMI interface, its a great entry level luxury sedan, with sporty styling and a silent and plush cabin for both driver and passengers.

Specifications –

Engine4 cylinder, 1996 cc turbocharged diesel
Torque380 nm at 2200rpm
Power177bhp at 4200rpm
Transmission8 speed automatic
City10.2 kms/liter
Highway12.5 kms liter
0 to 100 kmph 8.8 seconds
Pricing39.74 lacs (Ex showroom Mumbai)

The Luxe factor is

8 Looks
9 Handling
8 Comfort
9 Value for money
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