Audi A4 breathes quality and refinement
T HE A-4 is the proud bearer of its marque’s imprimatur, a car that is unmistakably an Audi. The car breathes quality and refinement, from its distinctive V-shaped bonnet to its sculpted bootline.
It’s not surprising that the Audi A4 and BMW’s 3Series have carved out a niche for themselves as drivers’ favourites.
The A4 is a great drive and I was more than a little sad to see the gleaming black beauty depart into the mist of a foggy morning at the end of the test drive weekend.
The steering was precise, the roadholding excellent and the A4 was well-mannered and without flaw.
I thought the ride was a little softer than an equivalent 3-Series, but that is no criticism as it was easy to live with and comfortable in the extreme.
The roads were damp during the test weekend, but the A4 dealt with wet, slippy surfaces with aplomb while soaking up the bumps which are now so familiar on our country roads.
The current A4 is slightly longer than its predecessor with the front axle moved forward to optimise axle load distribution.
As Audi says the ride is powerful. agile, directionally stable and more dynamic - senitments I would certainly agree with.
The car was fitted with a 2.0 litre 120 BHP diesel engine, the oil burner returning well over 50 mpg with a mix of driving and more than 60 mpg on the open road.
Given the way fuel prices are going, getting the best mpg from your car has never been so important.
The A4 is helped in its Green aspirations with its stop-start technology, lengthened gear ratios and improved aerodynamics.
The on-board computer provides a display of when you need to change gear to get the best fuel consumption.
The car came complete with the top-spec S Line package which includes 18 inch, five-spoke alloys, S Line badges and chrome plated front fogs and exhausts and other little touches that make your desriable motor all that more desirable.
The cabin of the A4 is beautifully styled and fin- ished - it’s is a very nice place in which to be with excellent all-round vision and with all the driver information you need literally at your fingertips.
The multi-function steering wheel controls were a blessing and very easy to use, the roller switches tactile and comfortably functional.
As will all Audis there is a wide range of optional extras, which come at a price.
However Audi are currently offering the (€4,000) S Line exterior package for only €750 on top of the new price of an SE or Sports model.
The road test car was provided by Joe Martin from Audi Waterford.
With new car prices a lot more realistic than they were and the added value provided by low-emissions cars with their lower rates of VRT and annual tax, the Audi represents seriously-good value for money.
A4 prices start at €32,065 for the 1.8 TFSI and €34,060 for the 2.0 TDI.