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Exterior: Not much to say here. It's a nice looking car. Smooth lines, tasteful badging, and a lot less common on the road than the 3-Series. Interior: This car has one of the most beautiful interiors I have ever seen. The leather is gorgeous, the wood trim elegant, and everything was shaped very well. The gadgetry was a mixed bag. I liked the way to sunroof operated: There is a dial by the map lights that controls it. Turn the dial 180 degrees, the sunroof opens all the way (you don't have to hold a button down for once... I'm surprised no one has thought of this sooner). Turn it 90 degrees, it opens halfway, etc. You can also push/pull the dial to tilt the sunroof. The audio/climate controls were quite intimidating. I never thought anyone could make more complicated controls than Mercedes-Benz, but Audi can. The display in the center of the gauge cluster was ugly. It's like 2 inches wide and 4-5 inches tall, and it's ugly. It has a red background, with red illuminated text/pictures, and basically serves no purpose but to tell you which door is ajar and which gear you're in (and I hate to be picky, but the numbers look like something a 6 year-old makes in MS Paint).
Well, time for a new car since my Bora has covered over 40k in the last 12 months and the value is dropping like a brick. For some strange reason, my firm limits the choice of car based on engine size and not price (within reason), so I'd been told I could upgrade my 1.6 to a 2.0. A few of my colleagues have the 1.9 BMW 318i, which I'd had a bit of a play about in. I was reasonably impressed, more so with the rear wheel drive, making it a "proper" car and have owned Bimmers in the past. The first thing that struck me was that they'd lost the sporting feel somewhat and seemed to be aimed at the older driver, that and the fact there's so many of the bloody things about and I wanted to be let out at junctions, put me off. I'd always had a thing about Audis though, I'd love an S6 but the budget won't stretch, so the A4 was an obvious choice. Looking at the range I had the choice of the entry-level 2.0 of the 1.8T in either 2 wheel drive or Quattro. Comparing the performance the 2.0 pushes out 130bhp with the 1.8T raising this to 150bhp, simple choice then. Comparing this with the 3 series, the 318 offers only 112bhp, with the 320 jumping upto 170bhp, though the new model increases capacity to 2.3 litres. After test driving both variants I decided on the 2 wheel drive, though the brochure gives the same 8.4sec 0-60 time, the 2 wheel drive seems quicker, probably as the Quattro has the power being put out to all 4 wheels. I must say though that the Quattro definitely has the edge in terms of handling and the 4 wheel drive is definitely a safer bet. The downside for company car drivers like myself is that the Quattro bumps the emissions levels up considerably, resulting in a bigger tax bill. Looks wise, the Audi is impressive, curvy but with those sharp shoulder lines, it seems lower than the 3 series, which is further exaggerated with the sports pack that lowers the suspension a further 20mm, which also provides a
stiffer, more responsive ride, without compromising comfort too much. The interior is functional but stylish, especially with the optional aluminium inlays and generally the whole car is well equipped. There are a few items I'd like to see that I have on the Bora, such as the rain sensor wipers and the interior lights that are only available as part of an expensive electric pack but on the whole I can't complain. Throw in a few options, like metallic paint, sports pack, CD, computer and I have a car I can't wait to get my hands on, I take delivery on Sept 1st and am counting down the days. Comparing the 3 series again, to get a car with less performance and the same level spec I'd have had to spend approx £2,000 more. Noticed some people have asked for an update when I get the car, well I picked it up on Saturday 1st September and have had the hugest grin ever since and already clocked up 700 miles. In terms of fuel economy, according to the computer I'm averaging about 32mpg, though I can't say I've been easy on the throttle since I got it! ;) I'll keep updating the opinion when I have time but I have to pop out and get some milk. Think there's a 24hr Tesco in Leeds, which isn't that far from Manchester!! Had my first long distance drive today, from Manchester to London and back again, all for a 3 hour meeting. I had some concerns about the sports seats as part of the optional sports pack as they seemed considerably firmer than the standard. I had visions of being crippled by the time I arrived but can honestly say that after a 3 hour drive with only 1 quick pit stop I arrived feeling as though I'd just driven round the corner. The A4 is a great motorway cruiser, even with the stiffer suspension the ride is smooth, road noise is noticeable but not intrusive, except with the window down! Even in 5th gear, the engine has enough pull to accelerate out of any sticky situations. In term
s of fuel economy, according to the computer I averaged 34.3mpg on the trip. I've already arranged my next meeting in London for next month and can't wait to head off down there! So far I'm well chuffed with the A4 and honestly can't think of any negatives. If I do I'll stick them up here, but don't hold your breath!
The Audi A4 T Sport truly is a fantastic vehicle. The Audi A4 looks very sleek, very sporty and very solid. The small headlamps and large grille give the front a slight aggressive look, while the rear is tight and compact. My uncle has been delighted with his A4 for the 2 and 1/2 years he has had it and it has never let him down. Through about 25,000 miles, he has never broken down or anything like that. The brakes are pretty solid, even if their abruptness takes some getting used to. The slick gearshift makes you want to swap cogs just for the fun of it, the brakes have that reassuring Germanic efficiency while the well-sorted suspension handles bends with ease and cushions the bumps… even when these happen to come along at the same moment. The 1,800cc turbo-charged engine can be very frugal if driven correctly; I achieved over 45 mpg on several tank fulls while on holiday in France, and is powerful enough to achieve 0 – 60mph in 8.3 seconds and give a top speed of around 140mph (I can vouch for that on the German Autobahns!!). There is negligible turbo lag, and the very torquey engine give excellent pulling power. I opted for the climate control in lieu of a sunroof (only around £300 extra) which is well worth it, even in the British summers! You can set the temperature control to the desired temperature and the car then decides whether put the heaters or air-conditioning on and at what speed – no more fiddling about with the heaters trying to get the car comfortable. The only downside I’ve come across so far is the rear leg room, however at 6’3” most cars would have limited leg room behind me. If I could choose again the only change I’d make was to get an Avant (the estate version) as that is even better.
Quattro is Audi's system which continuously provides power to all four wheels to side to ensure the best grip of the road. Technical advancements in the unique four-link front suspension of the A4 requires less vertical clearance than the previous layout that used coil spring/shock absorber struts, thus helps the hood/fender lines. The use of a carefully packaged V6 under the hood also aids styling freedom. The A4 1.8T offers nearly all the virtues of its V-6 brother, and its torque band is remarkably broad. Still, Americans who are frequently taught the sloppy habit of shifting early, (just about the time the engine starts developing power), will be more comfortable with the solid V6.