2016 Audi A4 First Drive

New C-Class segment saloon from Ingolstadt enters the fray!

By Shahzad Sheikh

Watch our first drive impressions video by clicking below

This is the all-new rival to the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series, not to mention Cadillac ATS and Lexus IS from Ingolstadt – the new 2016 Audi A4 saloon.

It certainly looks familiar but viewed from head on it has a flatter and broader grille with a more horizontal attitude and those distinctive slashes under the headlights certainly stand it apart from previous editions.

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

The car comes in multiple flavours, initially you get a 30 TFSI which is a 1.4-litre engine putting out 150bhp (compared to the previous 1.8 120bhp), is priced from AED138,000 ($37,600) and will accelerate from 0-100kph in 8.7seconds compared to 10seconds for the 1.8.

For the mid-spec there’s a 40 TFSI which is a 2.0 with 190bhp capable of 0-100kph in 7.2seconds (supplanting the previous 1.8 170bhp 0-100 in 8.3seconds) and priced from AED146,000 ($39,800).

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

At the top of the tree (for now until the V6 S4 arrives) is the 45 TFSI with a 252bhp 2.0 capable of 0-100 in just 5.8seconds and yours from AED178,000 ($48,500). This comes in Quattro AWD guise whereas the others are front-wheel drive.

You also have multiple trims including Design – identifiable by a shiny grille, chrome bits and comfort seats and a rectangular steering wheel hub inside. Then there’s Sport with a matte grille and sports seats with a round steering boss. And once you’ve figured all that out, Audi will confuse you even further with the S-Line that combines elements of both!

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

Inside you’re greeted by new-age Audi including – on upper spec models – the ‘virtual cockpit’ instrument panel, entirely digital like in the TT, R8 and indeed the Lamborghini Huracan (Audi owns Lambo) which is highly configurable.

They’ve now gone for a tagged-on tablet effect  (like Mercedes and Mazda)  for the centre screen on the new floating-style dashboard. It also features a full-width vent system. I particularly loved the sweet response of the capacitive touch buttons on the climate control.

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

In the centre console there’s that new e-lever for the 7-speed dual clutch auto – standard in all models. There’s also the Drive Select mode where you can set up the car to your preferences.

Plus the 2016 Audi A4 features a ton of safety kit and autonomous driving gadgets as you’d expect on a new Audi, including the ability to not only stop-go and lane-keep in heavy traffic, but even follow the flow of traffic around an obstacle – gosh!

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

When you’re doing the driving yourself, rather than the car, it certainly feels slightly better in every way compared to the already competent previous Audi A4, and certainly a bit more livelier, particularly in 45 TFSI guise thanks that plentiful performance putting this into sportscar territory. The handling and grip is obviously there to urge you into spirited driving, whilst passengers will benefit from the new 5-link rear suspension.

2016 Audi A4 first drive video review

Verdict

Another fantastically capable and competent package from Audi that seems hell bent on putting out a range of cars that are all extremely desirable. Certainly plenty of showroom and show-off appeal in these new A4s especially if you get the well-specced models.

We look forward to giving it a longer run and certainly await with eagerness the S4 variant, but overall it’s a thumbs up for this car. It’s well worth putting on your short list if you’re looking for a classy compact saloon – the only proviso being that you check out the neat little A3 saloon first – particularly the riotous 296bhp S3 for us AED150k!

2016 Audi A4  – The Specs

 

30 TFSI

Price: AED138k (US$37,600)
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder 150bhp @ 5000rpm, 184lb ft @ 1500rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 8.7secs, 210kph, 5.3L/100km
Transmission: 7-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1320kg

40 TFSI

Price: AED146k (US$39,800)
Engine: 2-litre four-cylinder 190bhp @ 4200rpm, 236lb ft @ 1450rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 7.2secs, 240kph, 5.6L/100km
Transmission: 7-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1380kg

45 TFSI Quattro

Price: AED178k (US$48,500)
Engine: 2-litre four-cylinder 252bhp @ 5000rpm, 273lb ft @ 1600rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 5.8secs, 249kph, 5.9L/100km
Transmission: 7-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1510kg

 

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