The Audi A4 review
What kind of person drives the Audi A4 more so here in Kenya? The Audi A4 driver is usually someone with more discerning taste, one who looks for something that is brilliantly made but rare. You can imagine this to be the kind of person who carries his or herself a bit too seriously. Formality is a way of life, seriousness a means to get through tasking in the day to day life. This is the kind of feeling you get when you look at the Audi A4. This car was designed by its german automaker to compete with the the Mercedes Benz C class, the BMW 3 series and the Jaguar XE. Currently its that distant cousin trying to prove him/herself to the whole extended family. So how is the A4 doing so far, have we given it the recognition it so rightly feels it deserves?
If you are looking for something that stands out and can afford Ksh 1.4 (US$14,000) then this is the car to buy although you would probably get an older 2009 version B8. Too many people on the roads today drive the Mercedes and the BMW making the 4 ringed icon a special car to have indeed.
Since there have been 3 attempts by the automaker into making the car beater since 2000 this article will transition between the 2000 – 2004 versions , 2004-2008 the 2007-2015 versions. All these build on the strength of previous versions hence if you can afford it buy the 2015 version B8.
The Audi A4 is a pretty car to behold. Its new design is based of the beautiful B6 design most of us have seen on the road belonging to the vehicles manufactured in 2000 – 2004. The newer version B8’s come with some very smooth lines that accentuate into the headlamps with the signature LED strips that many of us have come to know and recognise the Audi’s with. In short when it comes to the looks there is no mistaking that this is a premium car and this will accord you as a driver respect amongst other drivers on the road, more so the PSV drivers who are more cautious when approaching such premium looking vehicles.
The Audi interior is a big improvement from its predecessors, while the interior may not be as big as the Mercedes C Class interior the quality of the build is quite impressive. When you get into an Audi A4 and close the door you will be greeted with a soft thud that reassures you that the car is properly bolted by perfectionists who leave no room for error. The soft touch materials inside the car make the cabin feel really premium and the ergonomic design of the dials and buttons make this car easy to control while tweaking the stereo or switching AC settings. In my view its much better that that of the Mercedes Benz that has a million and one buttons and switches and miles ahead of any premium Toyota brands commonly driven here in Kenya.
The A4 can comfortably seat 4 passengers however this is not a car you buy for the practicality. The leg room may be a bit tight for taller passengers but other than that all other aspects of the car including the boot and the door bins and glove box are quite decent.
The Audi a4 is equipped with a tiptronic CVT transmission making it a bit sluggish from a stopping start however the turbo versions have a lot more pep. The car feels a bit heavy at the steering however if you import the newer 2009 onwards B7 and B8 you will notice very light steering that makes parking, turning and those embarrassing 3 point turns quite a breeze. The car is very stable at speed and has a very reassuring feel to it even when driving on some of the rougher roads here in Kenya. The car can achieve speeds of up to 240kph on smooth Kenyan roads with some light road noise being hear at speeds exceeding 150kph. This makes the A4 very comfortable. This car would be a dream to drive up to the Namanga boarder. Key to note is that the car does not deal very well with corners due to the soft suspension however you can remedy this by buying the all wheel drive quattro version which is slightly more expensive. The ride is very quiet and this coupled with the premium sound system will ensure you never feel the need for an amplifier.
Issues to note
- Contrary to popular belief Audi parts are not rare here in Kenya, you can get virtually any part you need from car yards at the Nairobi Industrial Area.
- The Audi A4 also uses the same parts as the VW Passat’s hence if you don’t get the Audi specific parts you could as for Passat parts.
- A4 tend to have notorious gear box issues hence when you import one please ensure that the gearbox is properly checked and the ATF oil changed. Contrary to what anybody may tell you CVT transmissions cannot be fixed reliably here in Kenya. A new gearbox could set you back Ksh 400,000 (US$ 4000).
- The car has also been designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. Any slight change on the body work will increase wind noise as the aerodynamics will be distorted.