Audi 2016 A4 TDI quattro sport review

Audi 2016 A4 TDI quattro sport review

Back in 2008, I tested the $251,000 Audi RS6. Of course, it was suitably epic with a 430kW 5-litre V10 motor and 650Nm of torque. Why am I even mentioning this in the same review as the humble A4?

Audi A4 TDI quattro sport 2016 frontIt’s because of the pace of change of cars. Back then the RS6 was an effortless tourer and crammed with Audi’s latest technology (including an in-dash TV). Now? Well, it’s like that kid at school who was good at sprinting but not at physics; it’s always going to be fresh and appealing in its muscular sort of way, but science Audi A4 TDI quattro sport 2016 instrumentsrules the world.

The A4 I’m bringing to the hypothetical fight is the top spec $106,400 200kW, 600Nm TDI Quattro sport. It’s nicely fast with 100kph coming up in 5.3 seconds. Four-wheel drive means wet weather acceleration is no Audi A4 TDI quattro sport 2016 dashboardproblem, and it has all the electronics you need to keep you from inadvertently exploring off the tarmac, such as electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.

Fuel consumption is excellent when cruising. You should get over 1000km out of a tank of diesel on a long journey given that it sips an average of 5.2l/100km on the combined cycle and has a Audi A4 TDI quattro sport 2016 front interior

‘RS6 and ‘laughably agricultural’ have never been uttered in the same sentence, but the rate of technological change demonstrated by the 2016 A4 makes it valid. I’m pretty sure the RS6 didn’t even have Bluetooth to connect your phone (which even the most basic vehicles have nowadays), and it didn’t have any of the semi-autonomous driver assistance features the A4 is packed with.

Talking of autonomous features, let’s get one bugbear out of the way first: Audi pre-sense city. At up to 85kph it looks at the road up to 100m away and warns you if you’re going to have a crash, at first with noise, then a brake warning jolt, then full automatic emergency braking.

Good in theory, but still needs some refining as turning right from Surrey Crescent into Richmond Road with no visible traffic it decided to activate full emergency braking without any warning, nearly sending my face into the steering wheel.

Who knows why this happened?

As we hurtle towards fundamentally autonomous cars, features like ‘traffic jam assistance,’ which allows you to drive hands-off and without touching the accelerator or brake in very slow traffic, are a demonstration of where we’re heading with ceding control of our cars. It’s a change which will ultimately cut our road toll.

The A4 is quite a bland looking car in sedan form – a real sleeper with the performance to embarrass most of what you’ll meet on the road. The Avant station wagon has a bit more allure. If you’re a student of Audi design, you’ll notice the minor changes to make it look wider and longer. 19-inch wheels add a touch of sport to the side view, while from the front and back it’s unashamedly middle-of-the-road.

The driving experience is beautifully quiet and comfortable. It’s possible to change the driving modes, firming up the suspension and steering response, but there’s not that much point because in normal mode the Audi excels; I have no complaints at all about the ride.

Boot space is reasonable for a sedan at 480 litres, and rear legroom is adequate. The cabin feels spacious with more head and shoulder room. There are a lot of different surfaces on the dashboard leading it to look a bit messy.

The Virtual Cockpit instrument panel is essentially a screen where the speedometer and rev counter would be which can show an enormous amount of data, including changing the whole display into the GPS – much better than it being on the screen in the dashboard.

It should be no surprise that Audi’s marketing slogan is Vorsprung Durch Technik, which means advancement through technology. The technology is not used for technology’s sake – it gives the Audi some serious safety functionality – but it does give it another individual Audi characteristic: clinical aloofness. It is perfect in its execution, yet somewhat lacking in soul. The geeky kid in physics class just happened to be able to run fast, but he’ll still have no luck with the girls.

Price: $106,400

Pros

  • Packed with features
  • Plenty quick enough
  • Sleeper performance

Cons

  • Some wrinkles need ironing out

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