The A4’s new fresher face and spruced up appeal makes it a strong contender for success in the middle-ranking executive car market.
Comfort and Refinement
Comfort has been improved in the new A4, it is more refined than the previous model and the upgraded cabin looks a feels more luxurious than before. Engine noise is low, and although there is a bit of mild road rumble permeating the interior it is never obtrusive. Refinement is excellent, there is occasional evidence of mild road rumble but the body cuts cleanly through the air and mechanical noise is pretty subdued.
Cabin ergonomics are good, with everything placed for easy reach, and a nice touch is the window switches grouped on a door panel that is sloping and angled towards the driver for ease of use.
There is a good range of adjustability on the driving seat and steering wheel to help achieve a comfortable driving position, but it is disappointing that the pedals are slightly out of alignment with the steering wheel so that you do not sit completely straight in the driving seat. Driving for some hours over a long distance, this can be a little fatiguing.
Safety and Security
A Euro NCAP 5-star rating confirms the A4’s safety credentials. Security provision is well up to standard with a Thatcham category 1 alarm. There is a standard fatigue detection system to alert the driver and urge him or her to take a break from the wheel if the car detects signs of tiredness. The system monitors the way the controls are being used and automatically flags up a deterioration that suggests fatigue. Lane departure warning is available as an added protection against the driver’s attention wandering, and there is a new automatic braking feature to protects the car if its closing speed towards an obstacle flags up the risk of a crash.
The car’s Audi audio system gives good sound quality, and the car has a reasonable level of standard kit. This version has part-leather upholstery, cruise control and separately adjustable climate control. Parking sensors and the excellent Volkswagen Group satellite navigation system are available.
- BMW 3-Series
- Mercedes C-Class
- Jaguar XF
- Volkswagen Passat
- Ford Mondeo
What We Liked
- Smart executive looks
- Premium quality cabin
- Excellent instrument design and clarity
- Good rear legroom
- Engine refinement
- Intuitive MMI (Man Machine Interface) control system
- Good sized boot
What We Disliked
- Gearchange just a touch notchy
- Driving position alignment, pedals slightly offset from steering wheel
- Ride quality on S Line models a bit on the firm side
What We Would Like To See
- Driving seat, steering wheel and pedals lined up better
The A4’s new fresher face and spruced up appeal makes it a strong contender for success in the middle-ranking executive car market. Audi says it has “stretched every sinew” to move the car up to the top of its class. It has a very elegant cabin, with exemplary instrument clarity, and very good refinement. There is a lot to like about the new A4, not least the way it drives. The latest BMW 3-Series is right at the top of the class, but the A4 is hard on its tail.13 June 2012
Audi A4 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Audi A4 S Line 2.0 TDI|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||70.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Warranty||3 years / 60,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 13/06/12)||£29,110|