A closer look at the newly upgraded Audi A4 range
JOHANNESBURG - While it's true that a large percentage of buyers are opting for the bulkier, higher standing SUV option nowadays, it's also refreshing to know that good old fashioned saloons are still very much part of manufacturers' plans and indeed for many they are still the mainstay of their business.
Such a car is Audi's ever-popular A4 which has gone through something of a metamorphosis and looks a little more stylish and has also had a major revamp to the interior, especially in terms of connectivity.
You'll notice from the outside that the new flatter and broader Singleframe grille gives it a more aggressive look, as do the new front and rear bumpers. The shoulder line has been lowered and quattro-style wheel arches make it stand out significantly over previous models.
Owners now get LED headlights as standard in different variations. The TFSI features low beam, high beam and daytime running lights. The 40 TFSI and S4 get a higher version of LED with different daytime running light design and dynamic indicators for the rear. If you feel the need there's the option of Matrix LED headlights with automatic high beam.
The equipment line is also new. Standard, Advanced and S line are now available for the exterior along with the independent look of the S model with the standard high gloss styling package. There are 12 colour variations to choose from including a new Terra Grey.
It stands on 17-inch alloys in Standard spec, 18-inch alloys on the Advanced and S line trims while the S4 boasts 19-inch wheels.
Inside you'll notice the large 25.6cm MMI touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Gone is the "clickwheel" so everything is now done via the touchscreen. I liked the simplicity of the wheel and it will be interesting to see how it performs in real life when we get to test it.
If you're in the market you can choose the optional Audi Technology Package which includes MMI navigation plus, MMI touch and the whole impressive Audi connect ambit that among a host of impressive features allows you digital access to vehicle information no matter where you are.
It comes standard with an analogue driver information system with colour display or as an option, Audi's virtual cockpit plus with a 12.3 inch display that can be controlled from the multifunction steering wheel to give you three different views.
Currently there are three petrol engine choices. The 35 TFSI comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged mill pushing out 110kW and 270Nm, the 40 TFSI has the same engine but is tuned to deliver 140kW and 320Nm.
Top of the pile is the S4 Quattro with a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 pushing out 260kW and 500Nm that Audi says will get to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds and is limited to 250km/h.
A diesel plant will be available in the first quarter of next year.
In keeping with Audi's aim to reduce complexity when ordering a new vehicle, options are classified to specific needs according to certain packages.
They include Comfort, Technology, Sport, Lights (35 TFSI only) and Assistance/City Assistance/Lane assistance.
AUDI A4 PRICING
35 TFSI S tronic: R644,000
35 TFSI Advanced S tronic: R663,000
40 TFSI S tronic: R681,500
40 TFSI Advanced S tronic: R700,500
40 TFSI S line S tronic: R 726,500
S4 TFSI quattro tiptronic: R 944,500
All models come standard with the five-year/100,000km Audi Freeway plan.