Mercedes-Benz C250 2014 Review
Mercedes-Benz is making a bold attempt to package similar levels of luxury and features in the C-Class as you'll find in the E-Class and S-Class.
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Audi was really the first to bring all-wheel drive quattro systems to their cars, wagons and SUVs, with others following suit, particularly Subaru. The first quattros soon dominated world rallying and the all-paw systems were quickly adopted by other manufacturers.
Today Audi and Subaru are among the few offering a wide range of all-wheel drive vehicles in their ranges from small cars through to large SUVs. While the A4 is also offered in front drive, it is a better car with the quattro.
The A4 was updated last year with the review car, the 2.0 TFSI quattro coming with satellite-navigation, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, keyless entry and push start button, electric front seats and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Other goodies are front and rear parking sensors, 10-speaker sound system, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, electric front seats, power windows, mirrors and steering, leather upholstery and steering wheel, Bluetooth and climate airconditioning.
Options on the car included very expensive metallic paint ($1650) and a $5800 S-Line sports package with sports suspension and front seats, special alcantara fabric and five-spoke alloy wheels. On the road it is $78,973 as tested.
The 2.0 TFSI quattro is the pick of the range. Audi lopped a nice $8000 off this variant and, while the engine is unchanged, its 155kW/350Nm outputs were hardly an issue.
For the extra outlay over the base model you get the rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system and, as good as Audi's front-drive system is, the four-wheel-drive set-up feels safer, with tenacious levels of grip when the going gets trickier.
The turbocharged engine is a gem and the double clutch gearbox is a delight except at low speeds. The quattro should return 8.8L per 100km. I saw 10.3 in a mix of spirited driving, highway cruising and around town.
All A4s are now fitted with an electro-mechanical steering system that cuts fuel use by a claimed 0.3 litres per 100km. While the improvements to economy are great, the steering is still too light at lower speeds around town.
Also on board is is the good S tronic dual-clutch automatic, which is much better than the "multitronic'' CVT, always revving to the redline in sport mode and changing down when braking hard into a corner.
But there are still moments of hesitation at low speeds, particularly when reversing out of angle parks and the fear the car will slide into the kerb until the transmission engages.
The A4 is a handsome and contemporary sedan with subtle changes inside, including new headlights with LED daytime running lamps incorporated in the design.
Up front, the A4 is roomy and the driving position comfortable, but it's tighter in the rear seats for tall people, although about standard for the segment. Boot space is voluminous.
On the safety front it's packed with passive and active systems, including eight airbags, stability, traction and various braking electronic devices, ABS brakes, an electronic parking brake and tilt and reach adjusting steering wheels.
On the open road it's better, with more weight and artificial feedback dialled in, while levels of grip from the surefooted quattro drivetrains proving confidence-inspiring on twisting and soaked roads such as the Kuranda and Rex ranges. It sits flat on the road.
On my favourite piece of tarmac between Walkamin and Oaky Creek Farms the Audi quattro was fantastic and I was able to string together a series of the bends well, with plenty of grip and grin. In fact, the chassis could do with more power. Bring on the S4.
The suspension is pliant, and road noise is subdued on most surfaces except coarse bitumen. Engine noise is low as is wind roar.
The Audi 2.0 TFSI quattro is a nice all-round package offering sportiness, luxury and practicality. It can be driven hard and be a lot of fun or a pleasant cruiser. At just under $80K as tested it's a competent and quality package.
Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro
Price: from $64,500
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Service interval: 12 months/15,000km
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo, 155kW/350Nm
Transmission: 7 speed double clutch auto, AWD
Thirst: 7.0L/100km, 159g/km CO2
Dimensions: 4.70m (L), 1.82m (W), 1.42m (H)
|1.8 TFSI||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$14,998 – 21,999||2013 Audi A4 2013 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|1.8 TFSI Sport Edition||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$19,990 – 24,888||2013 Audi A4 2013 1.8 TFSI Sport Edition Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI||2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO||$16,888 – 29,888||2013 Audi A4 2013 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TDI Quattro||2.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO||$25,990 – 26,990||2013 Audi A4 2013 2.0 TDI Quattro Pricing and Specs|