Audi India have been quite a busy lot but then most of their models in India are instant hits save for a few of them. The best amongst the lot is the Audi A4 in India. It is actually the bread and butter model and gives an insight of what is in store with the higher up models. Since I had the BMW 3 series for a review recently, I thought why not go for its rival, the Audi A4. Both this Germans have commanded immense respect in India and are fast moving the goal post away from Mercedes. So, we have an Audi A4 in the office for a test drive and here is the point by point narration of the same.
I was always a sucker for Audi’s designs just because of the fact that each and every Audi looks the same. The wide goatee grille with those four interwined rings make for a good statement. Much more than BMW’s kidney grilles. Another style statement if you want to make one is the day time running LEDs. The bumper gets two separate air dams and the fog lamps attached to them. The hood is long and sinuous and features only two kinks.
The big wing mirrors are body colored and the side profile actually looks very much like its German compatriots. The base variants carry 225/55 R16 size alloy wheels whereas the top end variants have tyre size as 225/50 R17. The rear actually looks much like the Skoda Superb that we tested recently. The boot splits the rear tail lamp assembly. The bumper features a hold on which houses twin tail pipes.
Opening those body colored door handles reveal what I am actually now bored of – German interiors. The 4 spoke Audi embossed steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has audio and Bluetooth controls. What I loved best was the multi information instrument cluster which has red needles. This makes the car look sporty from inside. The LCD for the music player has been tilted towards the driver. The MMI display handles music, navigation as well as parking assistance. The front seats are 12 way adjustable with memory functions and serve as a great tool for drivers of all size and shape. Somewhere down the line, I felt that the Audi doesn’t seem to be as driver focused as the BMW 3 series. The back seats actually prove it. There is marginally more space here than the BMW 3 series. This would be a great chauffer driven car for even taller passengers. The boot space is also good and comparable with the 3 series.
The Audi A4 in India boasts of front axle four link suspension at the front and for the rear suspension, trapezodial axle with stabilizer. This can be controlled based on one’s preference and the ride height can be increased or decreased. The ride quality of the Audi is sublime and this car has been tuned a bit softly than the BMW 3 series. The ride quality is typical German which means there is some sort of uneasiness at low speeds however get the speeds upto a respectable mark and the car will take you into another dimension of luxury. The handling isn’t that bad either but then it really cannot compete with the BMW 3 series while giving that pure driving pleasure. The cabin boasts of really low NVH and this means that this is an utter silent car to live with.
The Audi A4 in India is available with 5 engine options. There are 2 diesels and 3 petrols. The diesels are the most preferred ones here. The 2.0 TDI multitronic diesel engine has a power output of 140 Ps @ 4000 rpm whereas 320 Nm of peak torque is generated from as low as 1750 rpm. The top speed of this car is 210 kmph whereas the dash from 0-100 kmph is achieved only in 9.6 seconds. The other option is the 3.0 liter TDI which produces 220 Ps @ 4400 rpm and the torque generated is 500 Nm @ 3000 rpm. This is enough to launch this car from 0-100 kmph in only 8.6 seconds whereas the top speed is 231 kmph. Just like the Bimmer, these engines are mated with six speed automatic transmissions.
As regards the petrol engines, the base 1.8 TSI engine makes 158 Ps of power whereas the peak torque is 250 Nm. This car races from 0-100 kmph in 9.1 seconds whereas its top speed is 214 kmph. The second engine is the 2.0 TFSI. Its peak power is 172 Ps and the torque generated is 320 Nm. This is enough to take the car from 0-100 kmph in 8.8 seconds whereas the top speed is 220 kmph. The last of the petrol motors is the 3.2 FSI engine which has a power output of 235 Ps and torque of 340 Nm. This stonker of a car reaches the 100 kmph mark from standstill in only 7.7 seconds whereas the top speed is also much higher at 241 kmph.
Braking and safety are well taken care off with all wheel disc brakes, EBD, ESP, traction control, ABS, 4 air bags, reverse parking systems and seat belts with pretensioners. Fuel efficiency for all these engines hover in double digits for the highway figure.
Now, the Audi A4 in India is one glamorous car. It will grab eyeballs wherever it will go(after having driven the 3 series, I can vouch for it). Go for the royal white color and the eyeballs would be flying around. It doesn’t promise to be a real fire cracker like the 3 series in terms of pure driving pleasure but then if you still want an Audi, the top end diesel and petrol motors are the ones to go for. The Audi A4 price in India starts at Rs 27,58,000 and goes all the way upto Rs 37,09,000 (ex-show room, Delhi). Now, that quite a moolah to throw away for in face of the BMW 3 series.