September 3, 2012 1:34 PM |
Posted By: Peter Tomalin
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by 2 members
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...