• The updated Audi A4 was launched at the end of 2020.
• The unit on test was the 35 TFSI Advanced S Tronic model.
• The A4 is the first Audi model to feature 'Connect' services.
• For more motoring stories, go to Wheels24.
South Africans love cars. That's a fact. We enjoy driving them, tweeting about them, and owning them. For many people, cars serve as an extension of our personalities.
There's no shortage of choices for consumers, and for an extended period, the choice for those making a statement with a premium car was a compact sedan. It's hard to believe that 15 years ago BMW and Mercedes flogged around 1000 3 Series, and C-Class models per month. The duo, along with the Audi A4 was the entry into German luxury cars.
The Audi is the topic of discussion as the Ingolstadt-based company has recently launched its updated A4 in South Africa during late 2020.
It's an essential model for the brand as it introduces 'connect' services to local customers for the first time. We've had the latest version of A4 on a test and got to grips with the 35 TFSI Advanced S Tronic model over the festive period.
It's powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged motor, with 110kW and 270Nm, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends exclusively to the front wheels. It has a standard price of R663 000.
Our test model was still fitted with several optional extras including, but not limited, to a Bang and Olufsen sound system, sunroof, virtual cockpit plus, and keyless entry.
As far as Audi's grouped extras go, the A4 had every package available, including the Black Styling package, Lighting package, Technology package, Comfort package, and Sports package. Wearing a Glacier White Metallic hue, body colour contrasts nicely with the black mirror housing, black windowpanes, black touches to the grille, and front and back bumpers.
The 18-inch wheels complete a clean-cut exterior that looks sophisticated and expensive. At 4.7-metres long, it cuts a regal figure despite not being fitted with huge wheels. On a practical level, the A4 boasts a 460-litre boot opening electronically via a button inside, or a double press on the key fob.
The large luggage capacity came in handy on a trip to the Cedarberg and quickly gobbled luggage for four adults and several other bags.
The A4's exemplary ride quality is arguably one of its best traits, and it feels as if it's gliding on the road and soaks up ruts and bumps. The damping is merely superb. The 'softness' of the ride can be attributed to the relatively small 18-inch wheels' fitment.
One might think a compact executive sedan is not an ideal choice for long-distance driving. The A4 shoots a hole in that theory by offering space for four adults and impressive fuel consumption of 7.3-litres per 100km over our test duration.
The motor never feels hurried or overstressed, and because of the build quality, it's near-silent from inside the cabin. The one blight from the driving experience is a slight jerkiness displayed by the seven-speed automatic gearbox. In first and second gears, the transmission struggles to find a gear. It's something most dual-clutch 'boxes suffer.
And while sedans don't dominate the sales charts like they used to, the A4 is a gentle reminder that a conventional body style with a big boot and comfortable seats is sometimes all you need.
*This is the first article in a two-part series about our time with the A4.