Mercedes-Benz C-Class C180 CGI BlueEfficiency 7G-Tronic, Audi A4 1.8 TFSI (Attraction) Review
Executive decision

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
11 Jun 2012
 

The updated entry-level Audi A4 takes on it’s the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, one of Singapore’s most popular and best selling cars in recent times. 

Introduction, styling

Since the launch of the B8 model in 2008, the Audi A4 has been a hugely popular choice in the compact executive class. The A4 has been well loved for its well-proportioned looks, powerful turbo engines and premium feel of its interior among other things. With the arrival of the new F30 BMW 3 Series, Audi couldn’t have timed it better to introduce an updated A4 range.

Other than the new 3 Series, another model that Audi hopes the new A4 will steal sales from is the hugely popular Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The C-Class is so popular that it has been at the top of the Singapore sales charts in recent times, outselling even bread and butter models. How will the updated A4 fare against one of Singapore’s most loved cars, the C-Class then, itself also updated just last year?

For this test, we will pit the entry-level A4 1.8 TFSI against the C180 CGI rather than the base model C-Class as the latter is actually in a different Cat A category due to its smaller sub-1.6-litre motor and hence is priced significantly lower than Cat B models due to the huge differences in prices for the two COE categories.

Audi doesn’t call its updated models with the facelift moniker. It actually prefers to refer to them as Product Improvement models. With changes to the exterior, new engines, improved steering and suspension as well as new updates to the infotainment system, the new A4 is certainly more than just a simple nip and tuck exercise.

Outwardly, the new A4 can be easily identified by the revised nose that makes the A4 look more in line with recent Audi models like the A6 and A1 – the new snout features the latest iteration of Audi’s single-frame grille with beveled edges at the top corners, new headlamps with a distinctive ‘paper clip’ pattern for its LED daytime running lights, deeper air intakes on the front bumper and so on. The rear features new LED tail lamps that are more similar to the A4’s bigger saloon brothers’ and a new bumper while new alloy wheel designs complete the exterior changes on the new model. With its new, refreshed looks, the A4 certainly looks more contemporary and smarter than the outgoing model. The new nose’s more chiseled look also adds some aggression to the A4’s overall stance.

The car tested here features the optional S line body kit as well as optional larger alloys that fill up the wheel arches more convincingly for an even more purposeful look overall.

The C-Class’s looks too, were revised last year. The latest model can be distinguished by its redesigned front fascia with a revised bumper, shapelier headlamps, redesigned grille and bonnet in order to give the nose a more pronounced V-shape profile and hence a more assertive and distinctive look overall. The new nose also looks more in line with newer models in the Mercedes range like the CLS, SLK and SLS AMG. At the rear, there is a new bumper and new LED tail lamps. The C180 CGI model is marked out from other C-Class models via the boot lid badges.

Despite the C-Class’s revised looks though, it does start to show its age in its overall profile, especially next to the longer and sleeker looking A4. The latter’s styling details also look more intricate and hence more premium than the C-Class’s. The A4 takes first blood then.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 1595cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 9.3:1
Power 156bhp @ 5300rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1250rpm
Power to Weight 105.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.5s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 225 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.6 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4591 x 1770 x 1447) mm
Wheelbase 2760 mm
Turning Circle 5.42 metres
Kerb Weight 1485 kg
Boot Capacity 475 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 59 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs

Engine

Engine Capacity 1798cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 18.1:1
Power 170bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 320Nm @ 1400rpm
Power to Weight 115.6 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 8.3s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 225 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.4 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed multitronic
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4703 x 1826 x 1427) mm
Wheelbase 2808 mm
Turning Circle 5.6 metres
Kerb Weight 1470 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs