A4 35 TDI

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Review: Audi A4 35TDI

Driven February 2017

Review: Audi A4 35TDI

Finally a diesel A4. What took Audi this long?
With this new diesel engine, it took some time to adapt to Indian fuel quality, and also allowed some time to judge the demand for diesel. But it's here now, right on the tail of the new A3 cabrio launch.

Tell me more about the diesel engine.
The block displaces 2 litres of volume and is assisted by a turbo charger that kicks in early to reduce the turbo lag. It churns out 188bhp and 400Nm of torque. All of that torque is on offer right from 1,750rpm, right till 4,000 revs. This makes the A4 feel punchy. In terms of refinement, the guys at Audi have done a good job to keep the vibrations away and the diesel clatter is audible only once you near the redline. With the A4, Audi have decided to offer only the 188bhp spec, and not the lesser powerful version that are available in the European markets. With plenty of horsepower and Newtons available, this A4 feels brisk. Especially in the mid rev range.

The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that does the job of shifting cogs swiftly. It has a tendency of upshifting quickly to get the top gear asap in a quest to boost the fuel efficiency, but shift to Sport and it holds the gears to offer the best that engine can.

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How quick is this A4?
It'll take eight seconds to hit the 100kph mark and if you keep the throttle pushed all the way, it'll do 210kph on an empty road. That said, the A4 35TDI is approximately a second slower than the 320d and the C250 CDI. The primary reason for that delay in cracking a ton is the lack of the quattro system. Yes, this is a front-drive drive A4.

What's it like to drive?
The A4 had never been at the forefront of being sporty and this one is no different. Yes, it has a torquey oil-burner under the hood, but it is biased towards comfort than sportiness. With the lack of an AWD system, it tends to be a bit more vague. The steering is light and void of much feedback. Yes, there are drive modes, but they don't alter the car's characteristics to a great extend. The ride, though, is really good. It soaks up bumps well and can deal with Indian road conditions rather neatly.

What's new in the cabin?
It's exactly like the petrol one, and that means all of it new and different compared to the previous gen. It has a nicely laid out dashboard and it offers what Audi calls the 'virtual cockpit'. The instrument cluster is all digital and capable to showing up all the information that you need. And that includes navigation too. Apart from that, there's a large screen at the centre for your multimedia needs. The air vents run the length of the dashboard and give the cabin a big car and premium feel. The backseat space has increased, too. It now offers more leg-space and will appeal to a market like ours where this segment is primarily chauffeur driven.

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What do you think of the design?
It's more edgy than the previous gen and the clink in headlamp is an instant differentiator from the yester generations of the A4. This one looks far more modern with the earlier roundy look making way for more sharp creases. The proportions are just right. But the only issue with the new design is that it looks awfully similar to the new A3.

How much will it cost to own one of these?
With the price tag at Rs 40.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the A4 undercuts the C-Class by Rs Rs 3 lakh for the C220CDI and Rs 5 lakh for the C250CDI. Where C-Class tries to be a jack of all trades, the A4 is very clearly biased towards comfort. And it does that well.

Specs
2-litre, turbo diesel, 4cyl, 188bhp, 400Nm, 7A, FWD, LxWxH: 4726x1842x1427mm, Price: Rs 40.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), 0-100kph: 8 seconds, top speed: 210kph

Verdict
Brilliantly designed cabin, spacious and comfortable even at the backseat. The diesel engine is torquey and refined.

Words - Agasti Kaulgi
Photography - Adwait Kulkarni

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Agasti Kaulgi

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