September 3, 2012 1:34 PM  |  Posted By: Peter Tomalin
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by 2 members  |  15 Comments  |  6362 Views
Related Categories: random car stuff

How do you Audi drivers cope?

There we were, cruising up the M1 towards Derbyshire on a Tuesday morning, and I slowly became aware of the sheer ubiquity of the marque from Ingolstadt. A3s, A4s, A5s, S5s, A6s, and loads and loads of TTs. At one point - and I'm not exaggerating here - we were in the middle of a two-lane convoy of at least eight Audis. All in various shades of silver, dark grey or black. The bloody things are everywhere - on your televison, up your high street, and swarming all over the M1. I swear they're now as common a sight as Escorts and Cortinas used to be in the 1970s and 80s. No wonder companies like Renault are feeling the squeeze.

Thing is, the car you bought to show you were a cut above the common herd, has now become the herd. And a monochromatic herd at that. Don't you ever feel the urge to stand out from the crowd? Never feel the niggling onset of some sort of identity crisis? Guess not.

But then it's damned hard to argue against them. Take the A4 Avant 2.0 TDIe that the ever-helpful Audi UK press office had lent us for a week. This is the model designed to compete with BMW's 320d Efficient Dynamics. No, it's not very evo - the handling, and the steering in particular, appears to have been subject to some sort of general anaesthetic - but boy is it a good car.


The 163PS turbo-diesel is not just smug-makingly economical (62.8mpg combined, which equates to 120g/km), it's also unfeasibly rapid, with a mid-range punch that's almost shocking in such an unassuming workhorse, and uncommonly smooth with it. Refinement is top notch. It's roomy, comfortable, well made, and at £29K I'd say pretty decent value too. No it hasn't got quattro, but most drivers are never going to miss it, and yes the standard spec is pretty basic – there's no satnav for example, but then a hundred-quid TomTom is more than a match for most built-in systems. It does, however, have excellent aircon.

In short, it might not be all the car you want, but I've got a strong suspicion that it's all the car you actually need. As half the population seems to have already discovered...

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Aussie Ben at 9:06 AM September 19, 2012

Downunder is a similar story as cash-up bogans (you call 'em 'chavs') are jumping into Q-series stuff in particular like its going out of fashion. Ingolstadt has inherited many ex-Camry drivers here and it seems that some Aussies might just be attracted to blandness.

PAFC OK at 2:51 PM September 13, 2012

Are there any decent used RS4's about these days? Looking to swap my cars and one of these might fit the bill. Yet another Audi to be sure but, I've always felt, a cut above the masses? Seriously, if anybody knows of any please make it known.

Mclovin at 3:57 PM September 12, 2012

I really don't get the Audi attraction. To me they are nothing more than VWs with fancier sat-navs and they are all as dull a dishwater, which might explain why they apparently only come in shades of grey. As far as I can see Audi engineering is basically just a couple of blokes who figure out how to fit the same stupid lights and MMI gear into the latest VW so they can charge a premium for it, they simply do not have the engineering integrity of BMW and Mercedes. Even the R8 is just an exercise in fitting Audi trinkets to an existing VW group car. Buying an Audi in 2012 is possibly the most boring, predictable, marketing led car purchase you can make. It shocks me when Audi owning friends act smugly about their "premium" cars, most of them have never even set foot in a BMW or Mercedes showroom. Also, have you noticed how they all seem to be driven very aggressively? Every time I look in my rearview mirror these days it's an Audi stuck to my rear bumper, not a BMW.

Si_ at 2:15 PM September 12, 2012

If only the Japanese cars were more interesting.

Country_Member at 9:06 PM September 11, 2012

I picked up a hire car at London City Airport on Saturday - had booked a Polo or similar, but the guy on the Hertz desk said they'd had a load of new A4s in and were giving them to everybody. And yes, they were all grey.

Clarence Sale at 9:03 PM September 11, 2012

I'm with Bezza. Low miles (once you've found one) Octy VRS estate with a cheeky Jabbasport remap and a few tweaks. 200 brake and 12-15k all in. In THAT blue. Mmmm. Petrols even cheaper and arguably, not much more to run (so I tell Mrs. Clarence Sale).....

Bunta at 3:14 PM September 8, 2012

Dont get me wrong, I am sure they make good cars but the fact that they are so common has diluted them from a premium brand to a bland brand imo. Still, I'll let VAG off as they have Lambo and Ducati for fun stuff these days.

Bezza at 8:40 AM September 8, 2012

Its ridiculous that here we are in a recession and one of the best selling car brands is a premium brand marque. Where do all these people get the money from?!! Id save the cash myself and buy an Octavia VRS. Does everything as well, just doesnt have the interior quality but I could live with that!

Gavin at 3:44 PM September 7, 2012

If £29k is good value for a low spec not very large estate car then fair play to you! :)

John G at 9:36 PM September 6, 2012

Well, on our little close in Suburbia: two 3 litre e46 BMWs, an Octavia VRs, two Focus, pug 306 HDI, a Freelander, a Westfield XTR, and a Sherman Tank. Oh an my neighbour has an A3 2.0 TDI, but it's a company car, and he says it's very boring.

Bunta at 8:58 AM September 6, 2012

So is the R8 common then?

Cameron Hill at 8:53 PM September 5, 2012

lots of avants going down the M42 aswell. Spotted two RS5s on the M5 aswell which imo was a highlight :)

RichardMajor86 at 2:19 PM September 5, 2012


pilouil at 5:28 PM September 3, 2012

I'm pretty sure you can get a better value for money from another brand (including Skoda if you want to stick to VAG) - and I'm not sure anybody actually needs an Audi. To me it's rather marketing genius, selling "exclusivity" to everybody - similar to Swatch overpricing its watches "because they are for cost conscious people".

Bunta at 4:21 PM September 3, 2012

Something about sheep and herds? ;)

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