2017 Audi A4 35 TDI first drive

Published On: 13 February 2017 | 1142 Views

New Audi A4 2.0 diesel

  • Performance of the diesel car is a highlight
  • Boot capacity is 480 litres.
  • No way to tell it's the diesel from the front
  • 35TDI badge on the boot to indicate it's a diesel
  • Like the petrol car, the ride is impressive
  • The 2.0-litre diesel engine makes 190hp and 400Nm
  • Like all Audis, the A4's cabin is fastidiously put together.
  • The all-digital Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster looks high-tech and can be customised in a host of ways.

The A4 needs no introduction. It’s Audi’s offering in the luxury sedan segment which sees incumbents like the Mercedes-Benz C-class, the BMW 3-series and the Jaguar XE. In its recently launched all-new avatar, the A4 seems to be a brilliant car. It looks quite smart, fastidiously built and is more spacious than the car it replaced. Only that the car introduced in India came with only a petrol engine. Now, however, Audi is all set to bring in the much anticipated diesel-powered version of the A4, and here’s what it’s all about.

From the outside, one way to tell that this is a diesel A4, by the '35TDI' badge on the bootlid; the only other way, of course, is to fire up the engine. Speaking of the engine, it’s a high-tech 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit that was originally designed to run only on Euro 6 grade diesel. But since that’s not available in India, Audi had to make expensive modifications to it so that it could run on the lower quality Bharat Stage IV grade diesel. The re-engineering is the reason why the diesel has arrived late in India.

The motor makes a strong 190hp and an impressive 400Nm, which is quite at par with the likes of the diesel BMW 3-series, while the Mercedes-Benz C250d diesels is slightly more powerful. What’s nice is that unlike the older A4 diesel that came with a CVT automatic gearbox, the new model gets the Volkswagen Group’s high-tech seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

On the inside
The diesel carries forward the superbly put-together interior of the petrol car. It’s packed with features like Audi’s highly customisable, all-digital virtual cockpit instrument cluster, a wireless charging pad for Qi compatible phones and an MMI infotainment system. A really cool detail here is the touch-sensitive haptic buttons for the air-con system that preview the function as you run your finger on them.

Like on the petrol model, the front seats are nice and comfy and offer electrical adjustment for height, lumbar support, under-thigh support, to name a few. Chauffeur-driven owners will be happy in the back seat too, but the rear bench is best left for two people.

From behind the wheel
Refinement has always been the diesel A4’s forte, and the new model is no different. You can hardly tell that it’s an oil-burner, unless you really push the engine to high revs, and even then, it never gets noisy or loud.

Plus, the diesel engine’s 190hp is significantly up on the petrol’s 150hp, which really helps performance. Yes, its 0-100kph dash time of 8.08sec is slower than the BMW 320d M Sport’s time of 7.25sec, but you will never be left wanting for power. The engine is responsive from get-go, and really comes to life post the 2,000rpm mark. What adds to the driving experience is the slick-shifting dual-clutch gearbox that swaps gears quickly and seamlessly. Plus, if you want a more involving drive, you can even change gears manually via the steering-mounted paddle shifters.

You can choose from four drive modes – Normal, Dynamic, Auto and Individual – which allow you to change the characteristics of the engine and steering. Of these, it’s best to opt for the Individual setting with the steering in Dynamic and engine in Normal. This way, the steering offers good feedback, while power delivery from the engine is smooth too. It’s worth pointing out that even though the car’s suspension is not adjustable, the standard setting works rather well. The car smartly tackles our bumpy roads, feels well-damped at all times and overall ride quality too is impressive.

Is it worth the money?
The new A4 was already a brilliant package, and now with the addition of a powerful diesel engine, it’s become an even better all-rounder. Not only is it a good performer, the car claims to deliver an impressive ARAI-tested fuel economy of 18.25kpl. It’s likely to cost about Rs 45 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom, Delhi), and at that price you get a lot of luxury car for your money.

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