Audi introducing a diesel variant of its popular selling A4 in the country has further intensified competition in the segment. The new A4 diesel does not get major design upgrades except for a new diesel engine under the hood. The premium sedan is pitted in straight line of competition against the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series. All three German automakers offer an interesting line up in petrol as well as diesel engine options.
The petrol version of the Audi A4 is powered by a 1.8-litre TSI petrol engine, while the diesel version gets a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo-diesel engine. The petrol version of the A4 generates 148bhp of power and 250Nm of torque, while the diesel version generates 188bhp of power and 400Nm of torque. The fairly powered engines come mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz C-Class C 200 petrol is powered by a 2.0-litre engine mated to seven speed automatic transmission to generate 184bhp of power and 300Nm of torque. As for the diesel variant of the C-Class, it is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine in two tunes - 220d which generates 170bhp at 3000rpm and 400Nm of torque at 1400rpm, while the powerful 250d generates 204bhp of power at 3800rpm and 500Nm of torque at 1600rpm. The standard diesel comes mated to 7-speed automatic while the powerful version comes mated to 9-speed automatic. BMW 3 Series is powered by 2.0-litre engines in petrol as well as diesel guise. The 320i generates 181bhp of power and 270Nm of torque, while the 320d generates 188bhp of power and 400Nm of torque. Both the engines comes mated to 8-speed automatic transmission.
Audi A4 is the most humble of the lot, the vehicle gets LED headlamps with rear dynamic turn indicators. The automaker claims that the new model weighs 120kgs lighter than its predecessor that goes on to offer 7 per cent boost in fuel efficiency figures and power output figures. Inside, the A4 gets premium upholstery, LED interior lighting and three zone automatic air conditioning. To stand strong against competition the vehicle gets 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display with display modes that supports MMI Navigation Plus, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Mercedes-Benz offers tablet-like screen, climate control, panoramic sunroof and the latest version of the COMAND infotainment system. The infotainment system has been integrated with Garmin navigation system and 3D-visualisation for enhanced outputs. Passengers at the rear seat get individual temperature zones along with other features. BMW 3 Series offers cruise control, power adjustable seats with memory function, electrically operated sunroof, automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers. Moreover, customers also get dual-zone climate control with vents for rear passengers. The infotainment system gets a display screen and can also be accessed through the steering mounted audio controls.
All three cars are well equipped in terms of safety and all three are a good choice in their own terms. However, the C-Class from Mercedes-Benz scores additional brownie points in terms of higher performance figures and additional convenience features. The A4 from Audi might miss on a few features here and there, but then it offers a reliable machine that has its own unique charm with impressive drying dynamics and sleek visual appeal.