Audi A4 Saloon 35

TFSI Sport S tronic

Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, rear
Audi A4 Saloon, interior
Audi A4 Saloon, front
Audi A4 Saloon, rear
Audi A4 Saloon, rear

AUDI have produced a memorable motor in more ways than one with the updated A4.

The German company's design whizzkids have tweaked the exterior of the compact executive saloon and achieved the impossible by making the cabin even classier - helped by the latest version of Audi's Virtual cockpit which provides hours of fun for people like me who love pressing buttons and messing around with displays.

From mission control - otherwise known as the steering wheel - you can easily change the higher resolution, foot-long, digital instrument display between sat nav, entertainment and driving functions while on the move.

One of the driving displays features something called ‘short-term memory' - something the kids will testify I have very little of, evidenced by the constant question - ‘has anyone seen my keys?'

Audi's infinitely more efficient version gives you a breakdown of each individual journey including the fuel economy achieved - which was consistently around 40mpg during my week with the car - average speed, distance travelled and time taken.

There's also a long-term memory feature (no problems with that, I can recall all of my best goals in a lengthy undistinguished football career - although in fairness there aren't that many to remember...) which provides equally useful information.

A large touchscreen display with super-sharp graphics is introduced boasting a simple-to-use tile layout giving access to all the car's treats. Smartphone connectivity is assured with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fitted as standard.

The Technik version gets the range underway with the Sport model driven here up next before S line, Black Edition and top-of-the-range Vorsprung make an appearance.

Audi include plenty of trinkets as standard with all models boasting heated front seats plus electric lumbar support, high spec sat nav, reversing camera and LED lights.

The sound system I listened to is an at-first-sight expensive £325 optional extra but to be fair gave new life to some very old tunes. Separate controls are provided beneath the touchscreen for the three-zone air conditioning.

A luxury feel is also guaranteed for all with the use of plush materials while the fit and finish are to Audi's usual high standards

There's is plenty of room for four adults - with the two in the rear benefiting from their own air con controls. But the space taken up by this feature, plus the raised transmission tunnel, make fitting a third adult in the back a bit of a squeeze, with legroom particularly compromised.

The extra body also prevents the deployment of a drop-down centre armrest that hides a tablet-sized storage space and neat pop-out cup holders.

The 460-litre boot easily swallows a golf bag, trolley and other odds and sods. The rear seats split and fold when more room is needed - which may be the case for larger shopping expeditions as the gubbins for the mild hybrid system are under the boot floor reducing the depth of space available.

Changes to the exterior are more subtle but if life is proving to be a bit of a drag then rest assured Audi has done its best to rectify the situation with bodywork changes that give the A4 superb aerodynamics. There are also new headlights with natty LED graphics and revamped bumpers front and rear, as well as stylish alloys.

Audi has also refreshed the engine line-up with the mild hybrid tech employed to help reduce fuel consumption.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine is a powerful beast reaching 62mph from a standing start in a shade under nine seconds on its way to a claimed top speed of 139mph.

Rapid response is assured when overtaking with the Audi's light weight and slick seven-speed automatic gearbox willing allies in the battle against wind resistance.

The saloon is a smooth individual on the road - a situation that was obviously helped by Audi equipping my motor with the £1,000 optional comfort suspension with damping control. This will be a little rich for the blood of some - although it is fitted as standard on the Vorsprung version - but I do have it from reliable sources that the ride and handling are far from shabby without the extra expenditure. Audi's Drive Select gives you the option of setting the car up in different modes ranging from comfort to dynamic depending on your mood.

FAST FACTS

Audi A4 Saloon 35 TFSI Sport S tronic

Price:£33,975

Mechanical:150ps, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:139mph

0-62mph:8.9 seconds

Combined MPG:42.2

Insurance Group:20

C02 emissions:127g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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