As the Indian automobile market stepped into the BS6 era last year, Audi India discontinued its A4 sedan. And now after a brief break, it's back in an updated guise. Its launch also marks the start of the brand's product offensive strategy for this year. We have already shared our first-drive impressions of this 2021 Audi A4 and now, here are the five advantages and two disadvantages of this car in its comprehensive makeover.
1. Good performance
Gone is the old 1.4-litre petrol engine for this new 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI mill, which is silent and very refined. Well, the competitors have more powerful engines and this one's 190bhp and 320Nm of torque might not seem very impressive. But that's not really the case, as there's quite a lot of pep from the word go to provide a good push and make this car sprint from 0-100kmph in just 7.3 seconds. Now, that's quite a striking performance for a car that doesn't look fast but indeed is! And you don't always have to be in the sport mode to do this as there's enough torque for never lugging around in any driving mode. It's fun to drive and enjoyable, be it in any mode.
2. Silent ride
You'd be fascinated by how the surrounding noises are cut out once you're in and you pull up the windows. Audi has done an excellent job in cutting down the NVH levels of the cabin. The suspension is quite absorbent too and tuned to not sweat a bit, even in the horrid conditions some of our roads have to offer. I was pleasantly surprised how efficiently the car managed to do this and without the tyre or suspension noise inside. It does give a nice plush ride and will provide the occupants with peace of mind even on a rough road.
3. Comfortable cabin
The nicely contoured seats in the front get an electrical adjustment and provide the perfect driving position for individuals of any size. There's a generous amount of space in the first row and it’s quite adequate in the second too. The body-hugging seats provide good support and even the thigh support in the second row isn't bad either. Not a very cramped up space, snug seats, and a good view of the surroundings mean the passengers are going to a very comfortable cabin, even on a long-distance road trip.
4. Modern features
All the new-age Audis are known to be well-equipped with modern features and the A4 is no different. Apart from the usual stuff, it gets a virtual cockpit with navigation, three-zone climate control, and a quick and responsive 10.1-inch infotainment system with MMI touch. Then, there's an Audi phonebox with true wireless smartphone connectivity and charging. It also gets a gesture-based boot opening, which is an electronically operated luggage compartment that opens by just swiping a leg under the bumper. What's more, there's park assist and a unique comfort key for different users to personalise and store their requirements and settings in a particular profile. And, these are just some noteworthy ones from the comprehensive list of features.
5. The delightful things
The Audi A4 certainly has a well-put-together dash and interior that gives a premium feel. Even the materials are of solid quality, giving everything a built-to-last feeling. And when you pay closer attention to the details it will put a smile upon your face. There are touch-sensitive AC controls despite having that conventional look and feel of an old transistor type button. The menu pops up on the small screen as soon as your finger touches the button, highlighting the particular assigned function, press to select it. This nicely brushed aluminium look and feel continues to many places across the dashboard, contrasting and complimenting the piano black surfaces. Apart from the navigation available on the infotainment screen, one can have a digital map on the instrument cluster with driving-aids. If the dials seem too big to interfere with the map details, you can reduce their size and eventually enlarge the map for clarity. Well, Audi certainly knows how to add to the delight with such small yet quite tasteful level of customisations.
1. Best suited to four
We said earlier that it’s a comfortable cabin and it surely is. However, it's best suited to four occupants on-board as the fifth one will not be the most comfortable one. The second row can accommodate him/her, but the middle section of the seat isn't the most relaxing. And, then the air-con vents console along with the tall transmission tunnel eat up into the middle passenger’s leg-space as well.
2. Not very charming
The nice clean lines and not overtly styled design of the A4 gives it quite a sophisticated and smart look. Audi has even made subtle efforts in making this facelifted car look more upmarket. This unassumingly attired or not over-the-top styling might work with some in this day and age. However, this car doesn't have the knack to turn heads or catch your attention. And if that's what you think your luxury car should be able to do, this one's not for you.
It's a good thing for Audi that many buyers in this segment might actually appreciate an understated design. And after all, apart from the looks the A4 still has a luxurious cabin with solid built quality, all the right tech and gizmos, provides exciting performance, and all that with a well-sorted ride and handling. It's quite a capable package to compete with its rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE, and the upcoming Volvo S60.
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi