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Audi first launched the A4 sedan in India in 2008. Back then, the A4 was one of the brand's most affordable luxury sedans in the Indian market. Even in 2008, the sedan came packed with a host of features and strong performing engines, instantly making it an attractive offering in the luxury car market since then.
Fast-forward to 2021 and Audi has now introduced the fifth-generation iteration of the A4 The new (2021) Audi A4 gets subtle updates to its design, interiors and the engine as well.
We got our hands on the new fifth-generation A4 sedan for a couple of days. We drove the latest-iteration of the entry-level Audi sedan around the city and on the highway, leaving us impressed. Read more to find out what all has changed in the new A4 and how is it to drive around in it.
Design & Style
Starting with the front design, the very first thing that will catch your attention is the new sets of headlights that the car gets. The headlights get a sleek design and are a full LED unit. It gets the DRLs that look extremely fantastic and also act as indicators. The visibility from the headlight is excellent offering good intensity and throw.
The new A4 also gets a slightly bigger grille that looks good and has chrome inserts in the form of horizontal lines. The car also gets front parking sensors on the grille but unfortunately, it does not have a 360-degree parking feature.
The bumper of the car has also been tweaked and now looks much more sporty. It receives functional vents on either side that channel air towards the tyres. The new Audi A4 features dummy fog lamp housing on the bumper. Customers can opt for fog lamps, however, considering the good visibility from the headlamps, It doesn't feel necessary.
Coming to the side profile of the car, the new A4 now gets a set of 17-inch alloy wheels that are finished in a single tone. We wished that the alloy wheel could get a darker paint job or a dual-tone scheme, which would have added a sportier character. There is chrome all around the windows and on the door handle as well.
Speaking of the door handles, they look like conventional door handles, but when you go to open it, they open upwards, which is a nice-touch, but does take a few tries to get used to. The car also gets lines and body creases that are split into three parts joining the headlight to the taillight.
Coming to the rear of the car, the new set of sleek-looking LED taillights look fantastic and the elements present on it match the ones on the headlight. Joining both the taillights is a strip of chrome and the chrome part does not finish there. The lower half of the bumper also has chrome garnishing around the dual exhaust tips.
By the way, both the sides of the exhaust are functional and that is what makes the A4 look sporty from behind. Overall, Audi has done an excellent job on the exterior of the all-new A4.
Interior & Features
Step inside the car and you will be welcomed with a fresh airy cabin. The new Audi A4 now comes with a more premium look and feel to the cabin. It gets soft-touch materials on the dashboard, doors and other parts as well. Taking the centre stage is the 10.1-inch touch-screen infotainment system.
The touch on the infotainment system is sensitive and has a 'click' sound to it every time you touch the screen for some information. It also features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and gives out a lot of information about the vehicle.
The new A4 gets a 12.1-inch instrument cluster, also known as the ‘Virtual Cockpit'. The display on the instrument cluster can be configured according to the driver's needs. If you want to see the map on it, with the help of the 'View' button on the steering wheel, you can get almost the entire screen to display the maps.
The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has got a good grip to it. The steering mounted controls are placed in the correct order, which helps the driver navigate easily through the instrument cluster and the infotainment system without keeping his eyes off the road.
Now speaking about the seats, they are wrapped in premium leather upholstery. The front two seats are 12-way adjustable but only the driver's side gets the seat memory function. The seats offer good side bolsters that hold the driver in place while he is cornering hard. It also gets headrests that are manually adjustable.
We drove the car for two days, which was more in the city, and the seats did not tire us out at all. Now coming to the second row, it is also comfortable but is ideal for two passengers. The third person can accommodate but will face issues on a long trip due to the transmission tunnel that runs in between.
The second row has a dedicated lock and key system through which the folding down mechanism of the seat can be restricted. This is a safety feature so that just in case someone tries to break open the trunk to get in, they will not be able to fold down the seat and enter the cabin.
The new A4 has a big boot that can easily accommodate luggage for four people. Still, need space? The second row can be folded down and more room for luggage can be made. However, the car does not feature an electronic boot, but the boot lid is extremely light to open and close.
Engine & Handling
Powering the all-new Audi A4 is the new 2.0-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine. The engine churns out 188bhp of power and 320Nm of peak torque. The unit is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) that has lightning-fast shifts. The new A4 can catapult from 0 to 100km/h in under 7.5 seconds.
There are four driving modes on offer: Efficiency, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual. In the Efficiency mode, the steering becomes light and the throttle response becomes very laggy but saves fuel. In the Comfort mode, the steering and the throttle response improves a little and this is the mode that we will recommend buyers to drive in around the city.
In The dynamic mode, the throttle response becomes sharp and the steering stiffens up and one can use the maximum potential of the car in this mode. The gearbox, on the other hand, has the D and the S mode. The D mode can be used for normal city and highway driving, while the S mode can be used when you want the gearbox to perform the best. In this mode, the car holds the gears till a slightly higher rev range.
The power delivery is linear, but post 3,000rpm, there is a sudden boost in power if you floor the car that will throw you back to your seat. Yes, when you want the car to be fast, it is. However, the paddle shifters are really useful and came in handy when you have to downshift suddenly in manual mode.
The suspension setup on the A4 is slightly on the softer side and this is because the company wanted to offer a comfortable ride. The suspension setup is not bad, it absorbs all the bumps and potholes easily and very less if felt inside. Also the NVH and insulation level is excellent and when you are inside with all the windows shut, it just cuts you from the outside world.
Yes, the A4 can cut through corners but you will feel some amount of body roll due to its soft suspension setup. As far as the fuel efficiency goes, the A4 delivered us a mileage of around 7.4 to 9.2 km/l in the city. Unfortunately, since we had the car for a short time period we could not do the highway run. But if you keep a light foot, we expect you to get somewhere between 12 to 14km/l.
Prices for the all-new Audi A4 starts at Rs 42 lakh ex-showroom pan-India, which is not very expensive for a luxury car that offers comfort, power and all the necessary features. We wish that Audi had provided a few extra features such as a darker or dual-tone shade for the alloys, a heads-up display and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other than that, the new A4 is just fantastic and Audi has done an excellent job on the fifth-gen model.
The new Audi A4 is the first product to go on sale from the brand in 2021 and it will go up against the likes of the latest-generation BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Jaguar XE in the Indian market.