2016 Audi A4 2.0 TDI Ultra – Review

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INFOTAINMENT AND SAFETY

Behind the wheel, Audi introduced numerous new technologies for the A4 models. The highly improved Multi Media Interface (MMI) has the potential to set a new benchmark in the premium mid-size car segment. The instrument cluster of our A4 featured the optional virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch LCD screen that displays all relevant information in a high-resolution in the driver’s dashboard. According to Audi, the virtual cockpit, first introduced in the TT and Q7, is ordered by more than two thirds of Q7 customers and might become a best-seller for the A4 as well.

Next to the virtual cockpit, an 8.3-inch screen in the center console serves as the main interface between the driver and the car. Information can be entered via a touchpad and a rotary controller. Further connectivity is made possible with the Audi Phone Box which easily connects iOS and Android devices to the car. A high-speed LTE hotspot comes standard with MMI Navigation plus.

State of the art safety features, such as Audi’s adaptive cruise control, the Audi side assist and a parking assistance system are also available. The completely reworked adaptive cruise control system with stop & go function operates now within a speed range from 0 to 155 mph (250 km/h) and offers semi-autonomous driving up to a speed of 40 mph (65 km/h). The previous version disengaged at speeds below 18 mph (30 km/h) and didn’t offer stop & go functionality.IMG_2248 (1)

Additionally, the Audi pre sense city braking system comes standard on every A4 model. The system operates up to a speed of 53 mph (85 km/h) and scans the road for other vehicles and pedestrians using a windshield-mounted front camera. For the first time, a head-up display can be ordered for the new A4 as well. It displays information of the navigation system, the current speed and the maximum speed limit onto the windscreen. However, after spending one week with the A4 and the virtual cockpit, I would see no necessity to configure an A4 with a head-up display and the virtual cockpit. The virtual cockpit is more than sufficient to display the most relevant information to the driver.

BOTTOM LINE

The all-new Audi A4 is a big deal for the Ingolstadt-based automaker. The A4 model line accounts for a large part of Audi’s worldwide sales and when a car manufacturer introduces a new model it needs to be made right. In this respect Audi succeeded. While the exterior design was only carefully updated, the technology of the A4 improved significantly. Digitalization behind the wheel, such as the virtual cockpit, and the latest safety technologies, were introduced. The excellent fuel economy we experienced with the 2.0 TDI ultra model was merely a bonus. All in all this makes the all-new Audi A4 a tough opponent against the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class.

THE DETAILS

Base price/price-as-tested € 39,600 / € 56,190
Drivetrain Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4
HP/Torque (combined) 150 hp / 236 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual transmission
Curb weight (lbs) 3,152.6
Wheelbase (inches) 111.1
Length x width x height (inches) 186.0 x 72.5 x 55.2
0-62 mph (seconds) 8.9
Fuel Economy (mpg) (city/hwy) 52.3 / 69.2

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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