By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we had the opportunity of driving the updated Audi A4 35 TFSI and we were pleasantly surprised. Not only does the most popular Audi come with new looks and electrification, it also ushers in Audi Connect locally which takes owner and vehicle connectivity to the next level.
The updated Audi A4 looks particularly attractive thanks to the reworked front grille and bumpers. Adding to the party are newly designed LED lights. Even in their standard form, as was the case in our test unit, they look particularly attractive. If buying the car, we would opt of the Matrix LED headlights with fully automatic high beam.
The side profile has also gone under the sculpture’s knife and makes the car appear more athletic. The rear benefits from stylish LED lights that resemble those found in higher models like the A6 and the A8.
Overall, the new look takes things to the level. Having spent extensive time with the previous model, we do feel that the overall design is starting to show its age and we cannot wait for Audi to work on an all-new Audi A4. For now, this will have to do and to a large extent, will keep the A4 up to date with competitors and still make it a popular choice in the Ingolstadt stable.
The interior of the A4 remains one of the most luxurious ones in the segment. The biggest talking point is the introduction of a new MMI touch display running on the third-generation modular infotainment platform. Adopting a screen that measures 10.1 inches, not only is the screen clear but it is also easy to use and gives acoustic feedback. This is useful but we would prefer the rotary button that has been phased out.
The new infotainment is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible but the system with its natural language inputs gives those applications a run for its money. The same can be said for navigation that improves with the optional Audi Technology Package which now includes MMI navigation plus.
Ticking the space, luxury and technology boxes, the Audi A4 interior is one of the best in the segment and buyers would truly enjoy being in there.
Powering our test Audi A4 35 TFSI is a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine with mild hybrid technology (as is the case in the 40 TFSI). The engine in the 35 TFSI makes 110 kW and 270 Nm. Whilst not mind-blowingly quick, the engine carries the A4 effortlessly and is fuel efficient.
What stood out in our time with the A4 was the plush and comfortable ride quality. It may as well be class leading. The same could be said about the comfortable and quiet nature of the cabin. Nothing seemed to make it into the cabin, this proved to be true even on gravel.
Enhancing the Audi A4 experience is Audi Connect. The Audi A4 in fact becomes the first model to introduce the technological innovation. Audi Connect works via an embedded SIM and offers services such as security, infotainment and navigation features that owners/users can access while they are on the move. Audi Connect came in handy in our recent trip to Pietermaritzburg. We were able to plan our trip and then send directions from the App to the car.
During the trip, we were able to also share the details of our trip with our mates who were incidentally in an A4 with Audi Connect. We see this being very useful to users who can keep track where loved ones are when traveling. This undoubtedly enhances the security of travel.
The updated Audi A4 is priced from R644,000.
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