The end of each year is also a new beginning and can also be a popular time for people trying to lose weight, but very often those resolutions don’t last very long. Weight is easier to control when you are working on a new car and Audi say the weight of their revamped A4 has been reduced by 110 kg.
As with humans less weight in a car means better economy and lower running costs. Audi claim that you should be able to get up to 72 mpg. Most of my driving last week was in the city and I honestly couldn’t verify that figure, but what I can say is that the fuel gauge in my 2.0-litre diesel model dropped very slowly.
In addition to the weight loss, Audi has made a few tweaks to the exterior design, but you would need to be wearing your anorak to spot them all. I know that the A4 is very popular with females, but some of the older females in our house found the new car was slung a bit too slow for access and egress.
The seats are very comfortable and while you could get three adults into the back seat the middle person could have leg room problem. So it would be probably be more comfortable with just two people in the back.
The front lights are very attractive and I liked the way the amber rear lights moved horizontally when I applied the central locking. I called to a friend, who was wearing his usual ‘car anorak’ and he pointed out that the door handles open up rather than out.
So not a whole lot of exterior change and the interior looked familiar also. There is the usual impressive infotainment screen on the dash, which doesn’t fold down. You can choose five driving options, comfort, sport, eco, etc. The screen can also be used for Sat Nav and of course for the important radio controls. And the button to choose the radio stations can be controlled by the driver or front seat passenger. And while it didn’t have heated front seats, the heating was very good.
Overall a very smooth drive and while it’s fairly expensive when new, you can always pick up a good bargain in a second hand Audi. No doubt Audi fans will love it, but extras like reversing cameras, which are standard on some other models, will cost you extra in the Audi A4.
The boot is huge and the good news is that you get a ‘mini’ spare wheel rather than that dreaded repair kit. I drove a silver version, which looked well, but then one day I saw a red version and it looked even better. Once again colour makes such a difference when choosing a new car.
Existing Audi fans will not be disappointed and the company seem to have avoided the bad pass that parent VW group has received. Time is a great healer and the emissions controversy doesn’t seem to have affected sales of VW products in Ireland. So it’s still a German cat-fight between Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Available in petrol and diesel, the Audi A4 range start at €35,800, while the top of the range S Line version I drove starts at €44,200. Then there are is a plethora of extras available, if you have cash to spare. With low emissions road tax is only €190.
by Seán Creedon