Audi A4 Sedan 1.4 TFSI S Tronic Review
The A in A4

Story and Photos by Alvan Sio
23 May 2016
 

Introduction, updates

This is Audi’s most important car.

The executive sedan offering in most manufacturers’ line ups tend to be their best selling one and Audi is no exception. For most people, when the word ‘car’ comes to mind they think of a sedan, and if you look around the roads sedans are still king. 

And if you don’t have a lot of money or status, you don’t typically think about buying anything bigger than a “regular” sized car. Which brings us back to the A4 – while it may not be the most accessible Audi from a price perspective, it certainly is the one that comes to mind first for most.

So when Audi goes and churns out a brand new version, you can see why it’s an important piece of kit to test out. Even more so when your boss could decide that it’s on his new car shopping list at a snap of fingers, which is why we have to give it a serious going over lest you’re stuck in traffic with him with nothing better to talk about.

Launched at the Singapore Motorshow 2016 earlier this year, we got our first look at the car during a sneak preview Audi held in conjunction with a media appreciation event. And because we feel appreciated, we’ll endeavour to point out as many good things about this car as we possibly can.

Exterior

And now I have dug myself a hole, because I don’t think the A4 looks particularly special.

Audi has never gone radical or outlandish with its styling; even the R8 is tame by super car standards. This is not to say Audi doesn’t churn out some handsome pieces of automotive creations, but it certainly means that you have to take time to appreciate the finer details put into the final product you see here.

Let’s start with the front. Here Audi’s new Singleframe grille takes centre stage, balanced beautifully by two horizontal chrome stripes on either side that fill up what used to be the place fog lamps went. This is because Audi has integrated the fog lamps into the main cluster, which is now all LED and sports a new daytime running light design.

Quite unlike other brands that stick to one main design for all their cars, Audi has been changing up its daytime running light designs with each new model which can either be seen as inducing novelty or progressively holistic styling that matches light and body design; the latter being more likely because of Vorsprung durch Technik.

I have to say the car looks quite small in the flesh; it reminded me of an A3 sedan when I did my initial walk-round assessment of the car. Yet if you go on inside you’ll see that’s actually very misleading. There’s not a whole lot to describe about the way it’s styled; it’s pretty much instantly recognisable as an Audi and looks like a smaller version of the A6 which looks in turn like an A8 that’s gone on a diet.

So let me just point out these two things that stand out. One, the light design on the rear clusters is modern and sophisticated, courtesy of a good blend of horizontal and vertical LED bars that vary in length. So there’s good depth and dimension about it. Two, there are dynamic turn signal indicators too, which has now become pretty standard Audi fare with the newer cars.

Interior

This is one of few Audi’s I’ve driven lately that doesn’t come with anything. Much anyway; but that’s no bad thing. I’ve noticed that with some cars the options and wizardry can all be a bit too much and if you’re the sort that likes to maximise all the functions of a car you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed or disappointed that you can’t use everything all at once.

With this entry level A4, what you get is basically all that you will need sans GPS navigation. It’s awesome to see Audi put paddle shifters in the base model because so many other entry level offerings lack this; there’s also most of the MMI available to you minus the drawing input which is really quite redundant anyway (be honest – how many of you actually use handwriting inputs).

And the steering wheel comes right out of the TT without of course the controls for Virtual Cockpit, because it isn’t optioned on this particular unit. Not that I mind, because there’s something to be missed once the needles and numbers of the physical rev counters all go the way of the dodo.

What comes standard here is the Audi smartphone interface. Basically, think Apple Carplay. Android support is coming, but for now you’ll have to wait a little while longer.

Otherwise there’s nothing to distract you from the quality cabin that Audi is so proud of, and spaciousness is as I mentioned deceptively good if you’re judging the A4 by its sheet metal. Oh and there’s independent rear climate control, so three zones for this car which is unrivalled at the moment.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1395cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Power 150bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1500rpm
Power to Weight 103.4 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 210 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 19.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4726 x 1842 x 1427) mm
Wheelbase 2820 mm
Kerb Weight 1450 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 54 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs