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Old 8th September 2016, 12:52   #1
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Default Driven: Audi A4

The Audi A4 has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 38.10 - 41.20 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:
  • Clean & timeless design. Very classy styling
  • Well-packaged, high quality interiors
  • Suspension offers a good balance between comfort & handling
  • Slick 7-speed AT is nicely mated to the 1.4L TFSI. Adequate power + fuel efficiency
  • Loaded with features & tech (smart MID, triple-zone climate control, wireless phone charger etc.)
  • 5-star safety rating & equipment

What you won't:
  • 1.4L is 'adequate', but not special. Will be smoked even by cheaper siblings like the Octavia & A3
  • No diesel engine on offer. Period
  • Is best suited to 4 onboard (and not 5), thanks to the tall transmission tunnel
  • Looks a lot like the older A4! Layman won't be able to tell the difference
  • 7-speed DSG has a notorious reputation for breakdowns & unreliability
  • A FWD, when all of its competitors are RWD

Driven: Audi A4-1.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th September 2016 at 12:54.
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Old 8th September 2016, 12:52   #2
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Driven: Audi A4-2.1.jpg

No great surprises here. Audi has retained those clean lines that gave the car an understated and elegant look. But what has really changed are those clean lines have gotten sharper, while retaining the elegance that has been the mantra of the brand. The side profile has become sharper as well, thanks to well-defined character lines running from front to back on the flanks of the car. Lighter metals being used has resulted in saving about 95 kilograms from the vehicle! And let me assure you, it does not in any way compromise the solid feel of the car.

Driven: Audi A4-audi-a4-comparo.png

The hood looks more aggressive giving it a sporty stance from the front. The grille has been changed and is in line with the latest hexagonal designs from Audi, making it look more integrated with the car's overall styling:
Driven: Audi A4-4.1.jpg

Rear end also gets some subtle changes, including the boot spoiler. This becomes prominent on the brighter body shades:
Driven: Audi A4-3.jpg

The new A4 gets a different design to the DRLs and those two separate rows arranged in the shape of '7' look really cool in person. Audi claims this "adds to the safety aspect”, I feel it makes the car look menacing in the rear view mirror:
Driven: Audi A4-5.1.jpg

Funky rims. It's all round discs that do the stopping duty on this car. Rides on 225/50 R17 Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 rubber:
Driven: Audi A4-10.jpg

Coefficient of drag comes down to ~0.23. The wing mirror / ORVM is now attached to the door and not on the A pillar - this helps in reducing wind noise and drag forces at high speeds (according to Audi):
Driven: Audi A4-8.jpg

Unique arrangement for the door handle, unlike the pull out type you expect in this design, fold these up to release the lock:
Driven: Audi A4-7.jpg

Sunroof doesn't open all the way in (to liberate more headroom for rear passengers):
Driven: Audi A4-img_6323audia4.jpg

Rear LED indicators are the progressive sweeping type, which again aids in getting more attention from drivers behind and improves the "safety aspect":
Driven: Audi A4-6.1.jpg

The chrome-lined single exhaust end piece:
Driven: Audi A4-9.jpg

This isn't your common McPherson up ahead, but a 5-link suspension with a track rod, aluminium transverse link, sitting on the subframe:
Driven: Audi A4-11.jpg

There is an opening in the front bumper which directs air into the wheel well (probably to aid aerodynamics....or to cool the brakes?):
Driven: Audi A4-12.jpg

Low drag coefficient means super clean underbody, with no unwanted projections that would create turbulence:
Driven: Audi A4-13.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th September 2016 at 12:55.
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Old 8th September 2016, 12:53   #3
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Interior - Front

Audis have always had great interiors. The interior quality was always considered as a benchmark for the competition in India. Audi has upped the ante this time around; the material quality, finish and the way in which the whole interior has been put together can be summed up as excellent. The choice of materials is up there along with the best, and Audi remains one of the last few manufacturers to stick to real leather instead of those leatherette themes that seem to be gaining popularity these days. The car that we drove had a beige and black theme that would be the most popular in India. For enthusiasts, an all-black interior theme is also available which goes very well with the tango red colour of the car.

If you ask me, the major changes are on the inside, this includes the smart 3 zone cooling system. This system provides individual settings of temperature control for the driver, passenger and rear seat passengers.

Those long horizontal air-con vents / slats that run across the dash are functional and crucial to the smart 3 zone cooling system. I can vouch for their effectiveness too, the humid 30 degree Orissa weather was handled very well and without any fuss:
Driven: Audi A4-1.jpg

A full view of the dashboard. Rich in textures, and the upper part is made of soft plastics and non-reflective materials which helps while driving on a hot sunny day in India:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6245audia4.jpg

Dual tone door pad for the beige interior theme, bottom half is black to keep the smudges away. Simple door mirror and seat memory setting on the driver's door. All glasses have one touch up and down:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6229audia4.jpg

Door mirror also has a setting for defogging, as well as the standard adjustments. They auto-fold after the vehicle is locked:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6230audia4.jpg

Audi says they have preferred to retain leather and has an interesting type of material intermingled in different areas:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6235audia4.jpg

Wide range of seat adjustments. Yes, the passenger side also gets a full set of controls:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6234audia4.jpg

I like this swede kind of material used near the seat belt area (to arrest wear and tear from seat belts?):
Driven: Audi A4-img_6238audia4.jpg

The ORVMs are decent in size and offer sufficient visibility:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6329audia4.jpg

The bezel-less rear view mirror is quite functional. Not the perfect shot, but you can see the scoop in the headliner for the rear passenger's headroom:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6328audia4.jpg

Rearward view is crowded with the headrests up:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6331audia4.jpg

Tunnel is wide and features the new MMI controls, programmable buttons (8), and the yacht-type drive selector. Park button is placed on the lever itself:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6269audia4.jpg

Mood lighting strips, front cabin lights and controls for the sunroof are all clustered in one place:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6325audia4.jpg

Simple elegant key fob, with boot unlock built in. Boot does have its own release button outside:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6237audia4.jpg

Interior - Rear

The A4 is going to see lot of use as a chauffeur driven car. Rear seat comfort is something crucial. The smart scoop on the headliner meant the dropping roof line was taken care of, without compromising the head space. Seats are flat and the cabin is wide enough to keep three average built adults in comfort. But there is a glitch! That tall transmission tunnel and projecting AC vents make the car strictly a four-seater in real life. This would be a deal breaker if you do lot of long out of town drives with five adults. Further, the under thigh support could be little bit more (but definitely not a big bother).

Doors open wide for you, but the seating is on the lower side:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6251audia4.jpg

The seats are perfectly reclined and supportive for long drives for the average Indian build. Yes, the neck restraints as usual would need to be lifted so they do not clash with your collar line, but otherwise, the seating was spot on:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6254audia4.jpg

Seen here is the space available in the rear behind my driving position (I'm 5'10"). Left side shows the maximum legroom:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6249audia4.jpg

Enough knee room with a setting of a 5'10" driver at the front:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6263audia4.jpg

With a taller dude on the seat:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6299audia4.jpg

Problem area! Strictly a four-seater if you plan on long drives:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6253audia4.jpg

To give you a better perspective of how the 5th person will be seated:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6262audia4.jpg

Rear passengers get temperature controls and a cigarette lighter. Air flow control is manually operated:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6247audia4.jpg

No fuss rear hand rest; just a flat padded storage area:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6267audia4.jpg

All handles (except the driver's) get hooks:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6260audia4.jpg

A close look at the parcel tray & neck restraints:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6257audia4.jpg

Rear windows get manual sun shades, these are very much welcomed after the sunfilm ban:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6256audia4.jpg

LED reading lights at the rear, individual switches and a decent throw:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6259audia4.jpg

ISOFIX attachments for child seats:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6264audia4.jpg

View from the rear with the sunroof shade open:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6276audia4.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 8th September 2016 at 12:56.
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Old 8th September 2016, 12:53   #4
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Features, Other Points & The Boot

The MMI system has improved and is a lot more intuitive. Two new context specific buttons have been added at the bottom of the dial and on the steering. The system also supports the mirroring options from Apple and Android operating systems. The system is fast and lag free, and the screen resolution is good. Also, the screens themselves are of the non-reflective type offering great readability. Parking the car is very easy with the rear view camera working off the 8.3" central screen, along with the proximity buzzers.

The controls fall perfectly in hand, the steering wheel has almost all the relevant control options on it, yet it is not too overcrowded with proper spacing of stalks:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6242audia4.jpg

Left flank gives you the miniature version of an MMI joy stick and scroll wheel for easy navigation through the options:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6349audia4.jpg

Right flank is mostly phone, navigation and audio related options:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6350audia4.jpg

The control stalk is smartly placed behind the paddle shifter on the left:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6345audia4.jpg

Wait, there is one more stalk below for the cruise control options, which we never got to use during the drive:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6346audia4.jpg

The typical German exterior light controls; press the small adjuster and the stick pops out for you to adjust the brightness of the displays and mood lighting:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6353audia4.jpg

The climate control module is clean and simple, the louvres open throughout to aid the cooling efficiency:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6351audia4.jpg

The quality of the vent controls is excellent. They click like a precision time piece and are well weighed:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6294audia4.jpg

Two SD cards, CD cartridge plus SIM card for the MMI module. If you plonk in a dedicated SIM card with data connectivity, you can use the system to be a WiFi hotspot as well:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6296audia4.jpg

Simple but well thought out controls. These are toggle type, so you can move back and forth through the selections. The temperature control is the conventional dial type (press the dial to quickly select Auto mode):
Driven: Audi A4-img_6309audia4.jpg

And this is where you park your mobile device. Yes, it has wireless charging facility in there for supported devices, two USB ports and one Aux-in connection as well:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6317audia4.jpg

Welcome screen. Only the coolant temperature and fuel gauge sit separate, rest of the info is fully dynamic like any smart device:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6200audia4.jpg

The screen shows a whole lot of information including vehicle data, trip data, phone, navigation etc.:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6210audia4.jpg

Your phone book will look like this when pulled up on the main view:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6215audia4.jpg

Similarly, navigation will show up (you can zoom in or out):
Driven: Audi A4-img_6217audia4.jpg

But if you want a bigger display area for the maps, you can just pull it in front and move the dials to the background:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6218audia4.jpg

Media from your device:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6219audia4.jpg

Same information displayed (bigger) on the centre MMI screen:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6224audia4.jpg

You get warned if you try to move away from the driver's seat, while the engine is running:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6342audia4.jpg

Boot is wide and flat and can do the airport duties without a fuss. Plenty of storage nets, hooks and clips. The chrome hooks on the floor look classy too:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6277audia4.jpg

Space saver good only for 80 km/h. Unlike some competitors, it's great to see a spare wheel well:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6279audia4.jpg

Sized 125/70 R19:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6280audia4.jpg

This one was nifty. I lifted and accidentally let it fall - the clip just fell into place and held the board in place. Well engineered!
Driven: Audi A4-img_6281audia4.jpg

That I think is the bass! And the reason why low volume bass output is not up to the mark. Only gripe with the otherwise brilliant entertainment system:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6284audia4.jpg

Set of hooks to hang bags, wet stuff and all:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6285audia4.jpg

Seems to be buzzing with activity on the connectivity front:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6287audia4.jpg

That cover is another elegant touch; it sits flush when the boot is opened and opens up for the lock assembly when the boot is shut:
Driven: Audi A4-img_6290audia4.jpg

Last edited by Jaggu : 8th September 2016 at 15:48.
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Old 8th September 2016, 12:53   #5
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Engine & Transmission

A lot of discussion has been going around regarding the logic of launching a smaller engine'd car; this comparison gets all the more complicated when the likes of the cheaper Skoda Octavia & Audi A3 offer the bigger 1.8 TSI motor. Internationally, the 1.8L has been retired and Audi had a choice of bringing in the 1.4L or a 2.0L TFSI. Audi chose the former for obvious reasons - cost, and the fact that the 1.4L is already available in the Octavia. Skoda itself considers this engine as an 'economy' engine - proof? It's available only in the base Ambition variant.

"Are we being shortchanged by Audi?" was the question I had in mind when I went for the drive. The presentations before the drive mentioned that the motor is more efficient & greener (downsizing is here to stay) with 30% less CO2 emissions. The ARAI certified rating is 17.84 kmpl! Power ratings are 150 BHP and 250 NM torque; not too impressive for a luxury sedan. The official 0-100 time is 8.5 seconds; adequate, but certainly not 'special'. In fact, its baby sibling - the Audi A3 - has a time of 7.3 seconds.

The 1.4L direct-injection turbo is silky smooth. A gentle press on the engine start button and the motor fires into a refined idle - the insulation provided is very good and one can easily forget that the engine is running. Slot into Drive mode (I chose 'comfort' mode to begin with), a soft dab of the throttle and you can feel that this li'l TFSI isn't all that bad. The 250 Nm torque starts at merely 1,500 rpm and this really aids driveability. Within the city, performance is adequate and helped no doubt by the 7-speed DSG which shifts effortlessly & quickly. The DSG helps tremendously & seems to be in perfect sync with the TFSI engine - both seamlessly working together. It's a lot better with the MT gearbox that the Octavia uses. Driving in the city is easy. The car is easy to manoeuvre and the tranny is responsive enough to close in on gaps. Chauffeur-driven owners who only experience the backseat will be just fine.

We get to some four lane highways and it's time to move it into 'sport' mode and give her some gas! Let's make one thing clear - power on tap is 'adequate', but it's certainly not explosive like the Octavia or A3 1.8s which will leave the A4 in the dust. The 1.4L doesn't provide that 'premium' experience you'd expect after cutting such a fat cheque, but it is certainly not slow either. The 1.4L seems eager to climb the rev counter and harder pedal inputs mean the DSG holds the gear in the meat of the power band before progressing onto the next ratio. The DSG is quick & smooth, without any unwanted jerks. Kickdown response times are acceptable and if you really want to go aggressive, use the paddle shifters or the sequential shift of the drive selector to play around. As expected, braking is progressive and the pedal feel offers a lot of confidence (even with late moves). One has to be careful not to get rear ended.

There are two more modes on the Audi drive select; 'Auto' and a user-programmable one. After playing with all the combinations, realization was to leave it in 'Auto' and let the ECU do its business so that I can focus on the driving.

A small motor, turbo-charging & 7-speed DSG should bring good fuel economy. Even after putting it through all kinds of city + highway driving tests, the MID was still showing a respectable 10.5 kmpl overall.

To summarise, the engine will do just fine for the sedate driver or chauffeur-driven owner (who will undoubtedly be lured by the badge). Enthusiasts should look elsewhere. The A3 is quicker, and so is the Octavia. In terms of direct competitors, the Mercedes C200 has 184 horses & 300 Nm torque on tap (0 - 100 in 7.3 seconds). The BMW 320i's ratings are almost identical to the C200 - 184 horses & a 0 - 100 time of 7.3 seconds, although its torque rating is lower @ 270 Nm.

Also keep in mind that the 7-speed DSG has a notorious reputation. It has been prone to breakdowns and is known as the most unreliable automatic transmission around.

Ride & Handling

The new A4 offers a good balance between ride & handling. A couple of fast sweeping turns revealed the excellent grip offered by the chassis. It's very neutral in handling and has no nervous twitch. That electro-mechanical steering felt direct and at high speeds, it weighed up nicely. No nervous off center antics from this one. She's a FWD though, while its direct competitors from Mercedes & BMW have the more satisfying RWD layout. The independent multi-link suspension is well suited to Indian roads. Only on the absolutely broken ones (read as deviation due to road construction), the car felt bouncy. Here, I could also hear some minor protest sounds from the suspension. The limited time meant I couldn't ride as a rear passenger, but feedback from others pointed toward a sorted ride for rear occupants too.

Road noise is well controlled till about 120 kmph, beyond which there is a little wind noise creeping in. The insulation is otherwise good. In city traffic, those horrible diesel autos and two wheeler horns were kept neatly at bay. In fact, the parking sensors alerted us more inside, than the actual vehicles at close presence.

Disclaimer: Audi invited Team-BHP for the A4 test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by Aditya : 8th September 2016 at 12:57.
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Old 8th September 2016, 12:59   #6
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th September 2016, 13:19   #7
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Yikes. The pricing is a bit of a bummer for me. Makes the Skoda Superb look so VFM!

Wonder who would buy this over the C200 and the 320i. It's not even like it's VFM in pricing.

Loved the LCD in the cluster. Looks so premium as compared to it's competitors.

But seriously Audi, you messed up the pricing. This actually makes the base variant of the 320i look cheaper, and that too with the better engine, gearbox and RWD layout!

The the cherry on the icing though, 250 NM of torque from a 7-speed DSG, which is the rated limit of the 'not-so-reliable' gearbox!?

Impressed, but not blown away. Why would anyone spend 38 lakhs ex-showroom for this?

Last edited by AbhisheKulkarni : 8th September 2016 at 13:29. Reason: changed a word
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Old 8th September 2016, 13:28   #8
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

And the pricing is a disappointment indeed, was expecting low to mid 30's but at 38 Lakhs Ex showroom, suddenly seems too much to pay for a 1.4 Liter engine. Yes it is good, but 38 Lakhs seems to be a downer.

Attaching the brochure that will give more details of the car including colors available and other specifications.

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Old 8th September 2016, 13:32   #9
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

This car has the advantage of being new and having a fancy instrument cluster. The competition is better and the 1.4 being adequate won't do for the majority of customers. Performance is something expected after paying premium prices, green with less CO2 is about as enticing as "real artificial leather", the 320i and the C200 are easily better, larger engines, better performance, reliable automatic gearboxes, the last being a deal breaker for the Audi.
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Old 8th September 2016, 13:41   #10
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

No way man!! 1.4TFSI!? Thats it! The engine is the most important thing in a car. Oh Audi dont do this to us Indians! Please give us your massive TSIs with awesome power. Please let me drive crazy in your beautiful Audi cars. Not doubting the luxury or the quality but we gotta drive fast! At 41 lakhs i want to go fast!!
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Old 8th September 2016, 13:53   #11
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post

The Audi A4 has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 38.10 - 41.20 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
Crisp review Jaggu and thank you for the same

Audi is all about the Gimmicks and Show-off. The new A4 30TFSI is SUPER Good, but probably not SUPERB good !!

I have sat in the old Superb and it surely feels like 2 segments above. With a Huge Price difference, Power difference, Space on offering difference and not too many features to distinguish, Skoda offers much more and many cars for the price.

For me, its either the BMW or the SKODA that is a better deal.
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Old 8th September 2016, 14:07   #12
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Thanks for the nice review. Isn't this all new generation A4? Yet no official T BHP review? Real proof that the A4 is not a car enthusiasts are that interested in. And more so if you launch it with just a 1.4L engine under the hood!

The car looks classy all the same and the gizmos will be appreciated. But that engine, howsoever good, smooth and economical it is, is a complete turn off .

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 8th September 2016 at 14:09.
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Old 8th September 2016, 14:45   #13
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Nice review jaggu

This car works well on all angles except the engine they have plonked in it. Clean lines, new grille & headlamps will be enough to show this is the newer model. Also, the new screen and that digital instrument cluster is super attractive for most buyers and is refreshing to see compared to other cars of this segment. The car has lots of features for daily use and that is where people will spend most of their time during the period of ownership.

But, why would they even opt for this 1.4L engine. Many buyers today who are going for A4 and the 3-series etc are people who would prefer driving their cars than being chauffeur driven. This could be chosen for the A3 to keep the price under control and also differentiate A3 from the A4, while still offering Audi badge value. If I were AUDI, I wouldn't opt this engine spec for my flagship seller.
With pricing like this, they're only pushing buyers towards the higher segment A6/5-series/E-class, all of which can be had in similar price bracket due to huge discounts on outgoing models.

Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
The typical German exterior light controls; press the head-lamp level adjuster and the stick pops out for you to adjust the beam height:
Attachment 1550205
I think this click button is to adjust the ambient interior lighting and not beam adjustment.

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Old 8th September 2016, 14:48   #14
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Originally Posted by AbhisheKulkarni View Post
The the cherry on the icing though, 250 NM of torque from a 7-speed DSG, which is the rated limit of the 'not-so-reliable' gearbox!?
You are right if Audi has used the DQ200 version of the DSG with this 1.4 TFSI engine.

DQ200 has a torque limit of 250 Nm and DQ250 has a torque limit of 400 Nm (the one used with 2.0 TDI engines like in Q3 with 380 Nm torque).

Do we know which one has been used with the A4 1.4 TFSI? If it's the DQ200, it will be running at its maximum torque load and that is not good for the gearbox that is already infamous for its reliability. I hope Audi has used DQ250.
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Old 8th September 2016, 15:07   #15
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Default Re: Driven: Audi A4

Awesome Drive Report Jaggu

The car has got a well deserved interior upgrade. I specially love the instrument cluster. But that will be short lived as the A3 facelift will be having this cluster too.

38L starting price for a Audi A4 sounds OK till you dont know the engine specification. As soon as you get to know its a 1.4L its such a JOKE.

@ Audi, the '30TFSI' nomenclature gimmickry may win you sales but not RESPECT !

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Last edited by karan561 : 8th September 2016 at 15:35.
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