Luxury Car - Audi A4 30 TFSI
The entry-level luxury sedan segment in India is a fiercely battled one. Luxury car makers are constantly updating their models in this segment, trying to outclass one another. Being complacent in this segment can make your car obsolete in a jiffy and pull you out of the race.
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BMW 3-series rules the roost in this segment and the updated Mercedes-Benz C-class and the recently launched Jaguar XE gives a tough fight to the BMW to the top slot. Audi with the new A4 will be definitely eying that top slot with the recently launched A4 TFSI.
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The 1.4 TFSI is the entry level model of the all-new Audi A4 range. The car is based on the new MLB-Evo platform as per the Volkswagen platform strategy, announced in 2012. Does it have the ammo to give a shot in the entry-level luxury sedan segment?
For an untrained eye, the new A4’s new design may pass on as a heavily reworked facelift of the outgoing model, however, it’s an all new car constructed grounds up.
The car has grown in size, 25mm longer with 12mm increase in wheelbase. The car gets a sharper and matured face compared to the older one and resembles the bigger A6 from many angles. The reworked signature Audi grille is flanked by the sharp headlamps with Matrix LED units. The side profile is more rounded and larger than the outgoing model. The rear lamps also get LED treatment and carry the Volkswagen family design outline at the rear. The car gets 22/70 R17 alloy wheels and has an edgy design that exudes sportiness.
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Step inside and you are treated to a top notch and well-designed cabin. Audi has lifted materials from the higher class variants such as the A6, TT, and even the R8, to strap on the A4. The car has good legroom at the front and the rear, where it offers the best rear legroom in its class. A 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit behind the flat-bottom steering wheel displays a whole host of information including navigation. The car also gets an MMI touch infotainment system at the center.
Engine and Performance
On paper, the 148 bhp output from the engine may not excite you. However, this 1.4-liter turbocharged fuel-stratified injection in-line four cylinder engine has loads of practical power and torque. The car has a peak torque 250 Nm at a very usable revv range of 1600-3000 rpm. Audi has tuned this small 1.4 Liter engine to near perfection for highway cruising as well as for some weekend track day performance.
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The TFSI is an extremely refined and silent motor. The transmission duties are taken care by a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic system. There are four drive modes - Comfort, auto dynamic, and individual. The drive modes not only change the engine character and shift times, but it allows to play around with the suspension setup on the fly.
Ride and Handling
The suspension has a great balance of agility and ride comfort. The car soaks up medium road undulations with aplomb. Also, the car sticks to its lines even on some of the hardest twisties thrown at it. Coupled with improved steering feel and weight, the new A4 is a great car to drive.
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The car is priced at Rs.38.10 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
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The new A4 in its new avatar is an improved machinery than the already good car it replaces in all aspects. With the popularity of petrol cars rising, can this TFSI Audi make a dent in the sales of the BMW 310i, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Jaguar XE?