New Audi ditches convention

The mid-sized status sedan and automobile designed to take on BMW’s 3 Series and a Mercedes-Benz C-Class faces increasingly tough foe from a raft of status SUVs, pretender challengers and a likes of Tesla’s Model 3.

Audi won’t move a diesel-powered S4 to Australia.

Audi won’t move a diesel-powered S4 to Australia.Source:Supplied

Instantly informed to behold, a A4 though advantages from an unusually extensive midlife update. The conduct and tail-lights are new, as are all side panels. A new grille takes impulse from Audi’s latest A8 limo and R8 supercar.

Bigger changes are found inside, where a earthy control pad and buttons for a executive infotainment section have been transposed by a revised touchscreen and elementary cubby hole that smacks of cost-cutting.

Audi is austere this is not a case, and that business informed with a latest smartphones and tablets pattern to correlate with a automobile around touchscreens as against to rotary controllers.

The brand’s superb 12.3-inch digital lurch with high fortitude satellite maps pinched from Google stays in place, as does a easy-to-operate meridian control aircon.

Keeping a heedful eye on a change sheet, engineers inaugurated not to replicate a built touchscreens of some-more costly models such as a A8.

The A4 has new side panels among other cosmetic updates.

The A4 has new side panels among other cosmetic updates.Source:Supplied

In a place, a impressively skinny executive shade fits a cabin well, mirroring consumer record by permitting motorists to tap, swipe, corkscrew or use mixed fingers.

At a model’s European launch, a touchscreen valid distracting and frustrating — it’s not as giveaway as a best-in-class Mercedes-Benz infotainment.

A code that once stood head-and-shoulders above rivals for cabin pattern and execution, Audi is during risk. The A4’s interior is beautifully finished though a buttoned-down greyscale palette and grave materials of a exam cars sparked changed tiny fun or curiosity.

The A4 can store particular preferences for adult to 14 users, with entrance gained by required keys, a credit card-like NFC pivotal or new digital keys beamed to a phones of devoted friends and family.

The A4 is installed with reserve tech.

The A4 is installed with reserve tech.Source:Supplied

Practical touches embody wireless preliminary charging adult front and twin USB-C chargers in a rear. Sedans get 460L of load space and a wagons, a Avant and high-riding Allroad, get 495L.

Available reserve tech includes adaptive journey control with trade jam assistance that can assistance expostulate for we during adult to 65km/h.

Traffic pointer recognition, unconstrained puncture braking, self-parking and 360-degree camera also feature. Car-to-car communication that can advise other highway uses of crashes and hazards is also a probability — Audi wants to wait a integrate of weeks before explaining accurately what it can do in Australia.

We’ll skip out on tech that tells we when a subsequent trade light turns immature and advises a right speed to expostulate for limit efficiency.

Audi’s infotainment isn’t as organic as some rival’s tech.

Audi’s infotainment isn’t as organic as some rival’s tech.Source:Supplied

Australia also goes though on a many alluring engine in a range, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel with fuel-saving 48V amiable hybrid tech and walloping 255kW/700Nm outputs.

Audi’s internal arm looks expected to skip diesel appetite altogether in foster of 2.0-litre turbos creation between 110kW/270Nm and 180kW/370Nm. These are pronounced to underline “mild hybridisation”, storing braking appetite in a tiny battery to keep wiring such as steering, lighting and meridian control going while contributing to a 0.3L/100km alleviation in fuel economy.

Even so, these engines are tough to fault, crowned by a A4 45 TFSI. It claims 6.5L/100km to offer adult a same 180kW/370Nm outputs as VW’s sporting Golf GTI.

The A4 is a gentle automobile to expostulate though lacks a rendezvous of some rivals.

The A4 is a gentle automobile to expostulate though lacks a rendezvous of some rivals.Source:Supplied

The intelligent dual-clutch automobile and adaptive all-wheel expostulate award considerable squeeze in a dry. Comfort cessation on a circa-$70,000 exam automobile was impressively stoical on alpine roads shop-worn by oppressive winters, feeling some-more easy than BMW’s sports-minded 3 Series.

That said, a A4 feels mediocre to drive. Composed, mature and no doubt polished, it lacks a aptitude of a new BMW or Alfa’s Giulia, feeling a tiny cold and soulless as it dispatches journeys with cunning if not brio.

Light and delayed steering, a somewhat high pushing position and planted if dead dynamics left us a tiny cold on initial impression. Hopefully a core of a code will uncover a tiny some-more regard when it arrives locally in a initial half of subsequent year.

Want a quick one?

Audi’s S4 sports sedan also gets a mid-life refinement though European examples get a hybridised 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel with 255kW and an eye-popping 700Nm. Claiming 4.8 seconds for a 0-100km/h sprint, this conspicuous chronicle drinks only 6.2L/100km. Australian S4s will use a opposite engine, holding on a revised 3.0-litre turbo V6 — it uses some-more petrol though wins bragging rights by being 0.1s faster to 100km/h. It can’t compare a V8-like flexibility of a diesel, that has a desirable impression identical to that of a strange Audi SQ5 — a pound strike in Australia and beyond. No surprise, it’s a most some-more enchanting expostulate than a unchanging A4.

Pay as we go

Audi is experimenting with permitting business to supplement facilities after holding smoothness of a car. Dubbed “functions on demand”, a use represents a subscription indication for smartphone connectivity, along with digital radio connectivity and modernized navigation. Customers can try facilities for free, afterwards compensate by a month, pointer longer contracts or have a rigging propitious permanently. The code says owners in destiny might be means to go serve and customise factors such as engine performance, also profitable monthly.

Audi A4 45 TFSI Quattro

Price: About $70,000 and on-roads

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo, 180kW/370Nm

Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch auto; AWD

Thirst: 6.5L/100km