AUDI A4 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO
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.