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Audi A4 2.0-litre TDi (177PS) : Review

We drive the 177PS version of the Audi A4 diesel to find out whats new

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Front
The new Audi A4 was launched in India in 2012 and has been a favourite of the young urban Indian looking for an entry into the luxury car segment. One of the highest selling luxury cars in India, cities like Mumbai and India are teeming with this practical, stylish and easy to drive luxury saloon. The Audi A4 sedan is available with a four engine options, a 2.0-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre diesel, a 3.0-litre diesel and the top of the line, 3.0-litre petrol supercharged Audi S4. The Audi A4 2.0-litre diesel is the best selling option and now is available with either a 143PS option or the more powerful 177PS option that we have tested here.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Wheel

On the face of it, the Audi A4 adheres to Audi’s design philosophy to the T. With sharp and edgy design reminiscent of the other bigger Audis like the A6 and A8, the Audi A4 looks much bigger and luxurious than it appears. The large trapezoidal radiator grille painted in gloss black with a chrome surround still looks as attractive as it did two years ago. Combined with the fibre optic LED headlights, the LED taillights and the large 17-inch wheels, the A4 looks particular attractive, especially in the sporty shade of blue seen here.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Interior
The Audi A4 is quite a good place to be in. With beige leather seats that exude quality and strategically placed dark wood inserts, the Audi A4’s cabin definitely the best in its category. The aluminium switches and knobs combined with Audi’s well-planned control panel make it easy to go through radio, navigation and multimedia options. The seats offer decent support and space both in the front and the rear. The Audi A4 feels airy and spacious on the inside and the simplistic white dials add to the blend of sportiness and luxury that Audi offers.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Engine
The Audi A4 has always been down on power as compared to its German rivals. While the BMW 320d makes 184PS and the Mercedes-Benz C250 makes a whopping 204PS, the Audi A4’s 2.0-litre TDi engine made only 143PS. Now though, with a new state of tune, the 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine makes a respectable 177PS. The A4’s diesel is mated to possibly one of the smoothest CVT gearboxes we have ever driven. With an immense 380Nm of torque at as little as 1750rpm, seamless shifting and a manual Tiptronic option, the Audi A4 is one of the easiest luxury saloon to drive around in. The A4 is also the only car amongst its German rivals that gets front-wheel-drive (All-wheel-drive Quattro offered on the A4 3.0-litre diesel and the S4) making it the lightest amongst its main rivals.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Badges
As we mentioned earlier, the CVT gearbox that Audi offers in the 177PS option is one of the best engine-transmission packages we have driven recently. With excellent low speed response, the higher-powered 177PS diesel suits the CVT even better than the 143PS version. The gearbox not only responds quickly, it also ensures that the engine is in the optimal rev-range at all times, in turn returning excellent torque and good fuel economy. In fact, the CVT gearbox is so sorted, in both regular Drive and Tiptronic mode, it feels like a conventional automatic gearbox.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS Rear
Mechanically, the higher-powered engine is the only difference between this and the lower powered A4. With identical suspension components, this Audi A4 feels quite well balanced in the bends. The biggest advantage of the A4 though is the way it rides at slower speeds over bumps and generally substandard roads that our country has in abundance. While the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class feel more planted at higher speeds, the Audi A4 has a more comfortable ride making it easier to drive around a crowded city like Mumbai.

Audi A4 Diesel 177PS
The difference between the 143PS and the 177PS 2.0-litre TDi engines is just a smudge under Rs 4 lakh. For that, you get a faster, easier to drive, diesel powered luxury sedan which looks stylish and is a dream to drive in heavy traffic situations. The Audi A4 is also a spacious, luxurious and feature rich and comfortable car that is damn near faultless. Yes, it might not have the poise of the BMW 3 Series or the looks of the soon to be launched 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but for someone looking for a sensible luxury car, the 177PS Audi A4 2.0-litre TDi at Rs 33.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) is a brilliant buy.


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