URBAN HEAP. REDEFINED.
By: Binky Siddayao
Elegance and economy are what you get on the 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TDI.
The A4 stands out in various aspects that having it as a self-driven corporate vehicle would be a wise corporate decision. Though reliability issues have often cropped up from the past, the gleam and impact of this chariot makes one feel sheltered.
Its fairly muted, fuel-efficient and very pleasurable torquey 2.0 TDI 150 HP engine seems at home with Metro Manila’s traffic. The more light-footed you are the better. A feather tap on the pedal is all you need to make that pass at any slow-moving vehicle up front at below 2,500 revs. “Gunning It” at the green is highly tempting, so expect smooth shifting within the 3,000 rpm range with the dual-clutch, seven-speed S tronic transmission. Thanks to its massive 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque.
Steering it around is not burdensome. It is responsive and precise, thanks to a electromechanical power steering (15.9:1 ratio), it gives one the impression of a quick steering from Audi’s motorsport history. The 18-inch Pirellis wrapped on all four wheels, together with enormous brake rotors, sums up the confidence expected from this vehicle.A cruise control with a speed limiter levels it all up.
Make sure to get acquainted with all its technology as you seat on the crafted leather. The virtual cockpit is an option with a higher technology, but the 12-inch LCD screen presents the driver with all that is needed from the rev counter to speedometer and other appropriate data you require.
Suspension settings can be altered with a twist from a knob on the center console with very coherent instructions. Expect the “devil-may-care smile”, as you suit settings it revises engine tune and response too. This is one paramount affair I have, after the aircon settings are concluded. The hills of Rizal province was hollering, but that’s another story.
Don’t get confused with the shifter, the PARK switch is just a thumb length away. When feeling sporty, mutate with the reachable paddle shifter behind the steering. Other controls can also be achieved from the comfort of the steering wheel aside from the 7-speaker sound system. We didn’t have the optional Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System, unless I was too naïve to notice.
Six all around Airbags, Matrix LED Daytime Running Light and Xenon headlamps, Three-Zone Electronic Climate Control, a 7-inch color control screen, rear parking sensors are all in. A Smartphone Interface that mirrors your phone when it’s connected via a USB cable or Bluetooth connectivity located in the center bin adds up to the goodies.
Drivers visibility on the new A4 is one untold feature that caught our attention. No impeding form keeps you alert of your surroundings. Rear seating is accommodating for the average height passenger until we mistakenly folded down the rear seats and doubled the trunk space for more household commodity from a quick run at a nearby supermarket.
Our fuel mileage asserted an average of 14-16 Km./L that included a few days of the Metro traffic and summer heat prior to a sprint drive up North. The 19-23Km./L average level could have been attained had more road time with the A4 for a ”get-to-know-you” session were obtained. Not bad too for a daily corporate vehicle if those numbers were realized within the Metro. Audi declares a 25 Km./L. average.
Although the A4 Quattro will never set foot on our shores I say the Front-Drive Audi A4 2.0 TDI S-Tronic has just enough comfort needed for a corporate executive to cruise on. To keep its elegance, it should be driven. Not be driven for.
No chauffeur required for this heap.