The Audi A4 has improved in leaps and bounds and rivals are all set to wake up and take notice, says Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com.
The Audi 80 was the car that marked the automaker's foray in the entry-level luxury car segment. The A4 has grown ever since. The A4 B7 was launched in 2007 while the B8 version came out after a few years. The 2016 Audi A4 is known as the B9 variant.
The 2016 Audi A4 may pass off as a minor refresh to the casual observer but look closely and you notice that there are more than a few changes.
The styling feels more premium now and the body line looks sleek. The A4 carries a much sharper face now that is accentuated by the redesigned grille and the Matrix LED headlights which are a party piece of the vehicle.
The side profile is classy as ever which is also the case with most Germans. The rear is again simple and neat and the LED tail lights look striking at night.
The dashboard, centre console, door pads and all the other panels are made up of soft-touch materials which feel extremely premium. The steering wheel feels great to hold but it is a tad large in size. The gear selection knob, which is shared with the Q7, also feels nice.
There is premium leather all around and Audi has definitely taken the interiors of the A4 a couple of notches ahead. You get the MMI infotainment system that also offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also a neatly integrated reverse parking camera which is pretty useful in a car of this length.
The seats are very supportive but the rear seats are a bit on the stiffer side. However, the seats are suited for people of all sizes. You also get a large and comfortable arm rest at the rear. The air conditioner is a 3-zone unit and does a good job of cooling the insides.
You get a memory function for only the driver's seat and not for the front passenger. You also get two convenience keys with the car (one each for the owner and chauffeur).
Apart from all this, there is a sunroof on offer along with manual window blinds at the rear. The well-shaped boot can hold 480-litres of cargo.
The 2016 Audi A4 comes with the same 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine that also powers the Volkswagen Beetle and Jetta. The turbocharged mill produces 150 horses between 5000-6000 RPM and pumps out 250 Nm of twisting force between a wide band of 1500-3500 RPM.
Audi has gone down from 1.8-litre to 1.4-litre but this power plant is still quicker than the larger engine by 0.1 seconds in the 0-100 km/hr run which stands at 8.5 seconds.
The engine has good punch and once the initial turbo lag has passed by, the A4 accelerates with good enough urgency and touches triple digit speeds pretty quickly for a 1.4-litre unit.
The mid range feels very strong but most of the fun is near the red line, this being a petrol car. The engine also sounds super sweet as the revs increase. In 7th gear, the A4 cruises at 100 km/hr at approximately 1700 RPM.
The 2016 Audi A4 has an electric steering which feels very light in the city and it weighs up superbly as the speeds increase. It also feels very direct and precise, thus making the A4 a very pleasurable car to drive.
However, the wheel lacks any sort of feedback and seems quite neutral most of the times. The A4 is a good handler though and body movement feels controlled and predictable.
On the ride front, the suspension is softly sprung which results in a very plush ride at low to medium speeds. High speed ride is also excellent and the sedan can tackle even the nastier bumps without much fuss. The A4 comes with disc brakes all around and the pedal has good bite while stopping power is indeed impressive.
Progress is definitely intense and the 2016 Audi A4 proves just that. The car has evolved a lot and has improved significantly in many areas. The overall package is very promising and the A4 excels in most departments.