German luxury car maker has a pretty impressive and exhaustive portfolio of cars in India. It’s a portfolio that has sedans, SUVs and iconic sports cars like the R8. But the one that has been amongst the highest selling Audi cars in India is the A4. The company launched the new A4 in 2016 but that time the car came in just a petrol variant. The missing Diesel model probably kept a lot of buyers away from the A4. Earlier this year Audi launched its most affordable car in India the A3 in both Petrol and Diesel variants and now finally the A4 also has a diesel mill. A4’s rivals in India from Mercedes and BMW already had Diesel variants so to compete with them the A4 had to better equipped. A Euro 6 compatible engine was downgraded to be made Euro 4 compatible and the A4 Diesel was set to run on Indian roads.
This is an area where the A4 clearly falls behind competition. The similarity with other sedans means the car doesn’t really stand out when compared to competition. The design is subtle and while some may like it that way it surely can become more striking. However there are a few things that do make the A4 attractive. These include the Headlamps with daytime running LEDs and the sweeping indicators. The only visible change outside when compared to the Petrol A4 is that this has a twin exhaust set up and of course the TDi batch gives it away.
Inside the A4 truly impresses. Be it features, design or quality everything is top grade. A lot of time the car feels from a higher segment. The highlight is the virtual cockpit that apart from looking very futuristic gives the driver a lot of information. In the process the driver’s sight never goes away from the steering wheel. It can also be customized for different visual impressions. There’s also Audi’s signature Multimedia interface housed in the centre of the dashboard. It now gets a touchpad rotary dial and is compatible with Apple car play and Android Auto. However unlike the other of sedans it’s not retractable. Another highlight is the AC vents that run along the entire dash from one door to the other which looks very unique. The second row is spacious and proves good comfort for the occupants.
The A4 Diesel has certainly made the car more appealing as the car has a wider variant base. The curious thing about this segment is that no single car ticks all the boxes. Some look good, others drive well while the some are big on features and interior space. The A4 Diesel is a good mix of specially the last two points.
The company had earlier launched the A4 with a new 1.4 liter 150 PS Petrol engine. The Diesel is a more powerful 2.0 liter mill that churns out an impressive 188 bhp. 400 Nm of torque is available from as low as 1800 rpm. A 7-speed Dual clutch gearbox now replaces the CVT which was seen on the car earlier and that makes the drive more seamless with hardly any jerks. The gearshifts are fast and smooth just the way you want them to be. And then of course the Sport mode and the paddle shifts take the game to a whole new level. The car comes with 4 different driving modes namely Normal, Dynamic, Auto and Individual. You can expect a maximum mileage of 18 kmpl on the car. Another good thing is the refined engine that doesn’t make the noise you fear from a Diesel engine. A 0-100 kmph speed can be achieved in 7.7 seconds.
Ride & Handling
A lot of Aluminum has been used in the making of the new A4. That has made the car lighter than before and that directly translates in to a set of wheels that’s quicker and handles better than before. Be it taking corners at high speeds or changing lanes in emergency situations the A4 just does not disappoint. As for the ride quality, the suspension feels a tad stiff initially and even the driving modes do not alter the suspension setup of the car. Aluminum has been used in the suspension as well and overall the weight of the car has gone done by 120 Kgs.
The A4 Diesel has certainly made the car more appealing as the car has a wider variant base. The curious thing about this segment is that no single car ticks all the boxes. Some look good, others drive well while the some are big on features and interior space. The A4 Diesel is a good mix of specially the last two points. A price tag of Rs. 40.2 lakh isn’t really aggressive but isn’t expensive either. That makes the A4 Diesel an option worth considering in the executive luxury sedan segment.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars