Car tested: 2010 Audi A4 3.0 TDI Quattro
Price OTR Mumbai: 41,29,034/-
The days of recession and global slowdown are well over and cars in the premium luxury segment are selling like hot cakes. With Mercedes-Benz and BMW doing record sales so far, Audi have come out with a winner yet again in the form of the new Audi A4 Quattro, which is surely going to give its German rivals a good run for their money. Though the Audi A4 has been around for sometime, the new Audi A4 promises the best of luxury and performance. We drive the top of the line Audi A4 Quattro and find out whether it lives up to the expectations.
Exteriors – The A4 has evolved since it was first launched in 1994. The latest version (B8) looks anything but ordinary and is larger than it previous models. An aura of luxury surrounds the car and is enhanced by the LED headlamps. One can’t miss the headlamp cluster, which personifies the appeal of the car to a great extent. The parking lights are a chain of LED’s which are in a distinct curve accommodating the headlamps. The daytime running lights (parking lights) can be turned off but it is a standard feature in Europe and we thought we rather stick to the norm (concept of daytime running lamps was introduced in Europe as some countries, closer to the north pole, have day for 6 months and night for 6 months, hence daytime running lamps make sure the car is noticed and is an added safety feature).
The front grille is outlined by a chrome rhombus shaped border which houses the Audi logo and a closer look also reveals Quattro on the front left side. The side profile is rather similar to most premium sedans with the alloys being the only things that stand out besides the long wheelbase, which is longer than the competition. The rear of the car deserves a mention, as once again, the taillight cluster stands out with neatly placed LED’s, which do a fantastic job. The twin exhaust adds a bit to the sporty feel and the rear spoiler is integrated with the boot which looks very good indeed.
Interiors – Open the door and step inside. You don’t need to press the unlock button on the remote, if you have the key on you, the sensor will detect that and the driver side door will automatically unlock. Once seated, the interiors look sporty and luxurious, the quality being one of the best available. One may be forgiven for mistaking the A4 for its elder sibling the A6, as there is a huge similarity in the way the interiors are done. The driver side has memory seats and both the front seats are equipped with 4-way electrically adjustable lumbar support and electrically adjustable seats with height and angle adjustment.
The multi-information screen is directly in the line of sight and besides the regular functions, the Multi Media Interface (MMI) doubles up as a reversing camera display which also shows the direction in which the car will go based on steering input. TV reception can be relayed here too. The 4-spoke steering has volume and phone controls. The instrument cluster is neat and we can’t help but mention, again, that the quality is superb all around. Audio system had provision for iPod connectivity along with an option for memory card. CD player is housed just below the MMI. A 6-CD changer is provided in the glove box which has a light for better visibility at night. Bang and Olufsen speakers provide good sound quality.
Rear passengers have their own means of entertainment. Behind the front passenger seats are LCD screens for an all around multimedia experience with individual earphones for each of them. Legroom and headroom is good, owing to the longer wheelbase but the rear seats are strictly for two people if you want to travel in an envelope of luxury. The air conditioning is very effective, in this 40 degree Mumbai summer it did a fantastic job. As seen with most premium cars there is dual-zone air conditioning for the front with individual temperature setting, and single zone AC at the rear. Audi has gone a step ahead to provide cooling seats (or heating as per the requirement).
The front seats have small vents which blow air onto your derriere. Very thoughtful and a relief once you step into the car in this scorching heat. Electrically adjustable ORVM are standard and electrical sun blinds for the rear window are provided with manual sun blinds for the door windows. Attention to detail is great and an example of that would be that on engaging reverse gear, the rear sun blind will automatically go down for better rear view visibility.
Built Quality – Audi is known for superior built quality and the A4 is in sync with that. The car is well assembled together. It is very difficult to find the slightest of faults with the keenest of eyes. Drive over potholes and the A4 sails over them. The ground clearance is on the lower side hence one has to be very careful over speed breakers. No rattles of any sort are present and the cabin is well damped to the extent that one is unable to figure out even when the engine is idling.
On the Move – Buckle up and dab the ‘Start’ button. The 3.0-liter V6 engine roars to life with an aggressive grunt and settles down into a silent idle. Slot into Drive and floor the accelerator, after a ultra short pause, one is pushed back hard into the seat. The V6 oilburner punches out 240 BHP of peak power and a breathtaking 500 NM of peak torque. The performance is impressive and the gearbox is extremely slick. The new A4 is lighter than the previous generation model. The car accelerates without much effort and the steering is extremely light, which is not really good considering the brutal acceleration of this mammoth engine. Even though the steering is light, its very responsive, which means you can drive this car hard around corners and it will obey. A perfect balance between sporty performance and luxury.
Ride, Handling and Braking – The Audi A4 has exceptional handling thanks to its full time all wheel drive “Quattro” system. The A4 stays on line and even on the sharpest steering inputs with the ESP playing its role. Handling has improved from the previous versions. 225/50/17 tires offer good grip and ride. The car sails smoothly over bumpy roads but as we mentioned earlier, the ground clearance is low and one needs to be careful over speed breakers. Braking is not the greatest we have seen and that is thanks to the huge torque the car produces (reducing engine braking). The brakes are working overtime with so much power on hand and manage to do a decent job in the end.
Performance – The Audi A4 is the fastest diesel sedan in India as yet and the Common Rail TDI produces 240 BHP and 500 NM of torque which can put most of the competition to shame. It does 0 – 100 km/h in less than 8 seconds, which is faster than its German rivals. Gearshift is slick and the tip-tronic gearbox is silky smooth in automatic mode. Manual shifting is an option by flicking the gear lever left and right for downshift and upshift respectively but paddles are something which we would have liked. Driving in city traffic is comfortable with extremely good low end torque. The A4 returned a mileage of about 9 kmpl, which was a combination of city and highway driving combined.
Conclusion – The Audi A4 Quattro is an all around package but at Rs. 37 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai), its at par with the entry level A6, which is a class above and is considerably expensive compared to its rivals from Germany. Having said that, the A4 3.0 TDI Quattro can’t be classified into an entry level premium sedan as the entry level A4 is cheaper by almost Rs. 10 lakhs. Pricing aside, the A4 Quattro is a fantastic drivers car, its sporty, luxurious and offers superb engine performance with decent fuel consumption. Its really hard not to like this one.
- Quattro – full time all wheel drive
- Strong performance
- Build quality
- Lack of paddles
Audi A4 3.0 TDI Quattro Specifications
Engine: 2967cc, 6-Cylinder DOHC TDI direct injection with VTG turbocharger
Power: 240PS @ 4000rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 1500rpm
Transmission: 6 speed tiptronic
Top Speed: 250kmph
0-100kmph: 7.1 seconds
Fuel Consumption: 9-10 kmpl (City), 12-13 kmpl (highway)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Suspension: Four link, upper and lower wishbones, tubular anti-roll bar (Front), Independent, trapezoidal link, anti roll bar (Rear)
Tires: 225/50/17 Tubeless Radials
Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Discs ( Rear), ABS, EBD
Safety: ABS, EBD, Front, side, shoulder Airbags, Quattro permanent four wheel drive, LED day time running lights, Immobilizer
EURO NCAP Rating: 5-star
Audi A4 3.0 TDI Quattro Dimensions
Overall length x width x height: 4703mm X 1772mm X 1427mm
Front/Rear Track: 1519/1514 mm
Ground clearance: 128mm
Turning Radius – 5.6m
Boot Volume: 460 liters
Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 litres
Kerb Weight: 1690kgs