The Advertiser - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD LEXUS IS350 V AUDI A4 -


The top-spec mem­ber of the A4 clan comes fit­ted with an 8.3-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen with sat­nav, dig­i­tal au­dio and 10-speaker au­dio. A $2100 op­tion pack adds the brand’s su­per dig­i­tal in­stru­ment panel and head-up dis­play. The war­ranty runs for three years, dur­ing which time the Audi will need ser­vic­ing ev­ery 12 months or 15,000km. Capped pric­ing for the first three trips will be $1620.


No one’s go­ing to ac­cuse the A4 of be­ing overtly de­sign driven but it does look clean with far fewer creases than ri­vals. That ex­tends to the in­te­rior which matches the Lexus for qual­ity but opts for smoother, flow­ing sur­faces in place of the dou­ble-decker cen­tre con­sole that dom­i­nates the IS. The in­fo­tain­ment soft­ware is among the best around.


Audi adopts the high-spec (185kW/370Nm) vari­ant of its 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo en­gine and de­liv­ers the urge to all wheels us­ing a seven-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic. Of­fi­cial 0-100km/h time is 5.8 sec­onds and fuel use is 6.3L/100km. You’ll have to push it or do a lot of city driv­ing to reach dou­ble fig­ures.


The A4 earned top marks from ANCAP and al­most matches the Lexus in the airbag count with eight. Stan­dard driv­ing aids in­clude auto emer­gency brak­ing, exit warn­ing to pre­vent “door­ing” cy­clists, rear cross-traf­fic and blind-spot alert. Spend an­other $1900 for adap­tive cruise con­trol with stop and go, turn as­sist to en­sure you can pull right be­fore the on­com­ing traf­fic col­lects you and ac­tive lane-keep­ing as­sist.


Light weight has its re­wards and in the Audi that is bet­ter feel­ing from be­hind the steer­ing wheel. The A4 is the best-driv­ing main­stream Audi on the road and in this in­car­na­tion it al­ways feels solid and sat­is­fy­ingly fast. The Lexus has a bet­ter ex­haust note … but it’s guz­zling hy­dro­car­bons while do­ing it.

VER­DICT Audi has done just enough with the A4 to keep in front of the ever-im­prov­ing Ja­panese con­tender. The fru­gal turbo en­gine

will re­duce weekly run­ning costs and that gives it the edge.

$69,900 19pts

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