Audi A 4 for the last 6 years and still running. I would rate this this vehicle ahead of almost all it's competitors. Suspension, Cabin Noise, Audio system and travel comfort is unbeatable on the Audi when compared to any of it's peers, in the same segment. The gearbox again is unbelievably smooth. With the dual clutch automatic gearbox, gear change and it's lags are a thing of the past. The drive can be best enjoyed on triptronic.
The drive, I am sure the BMW would steal the show. I think both the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C class are more powerful with their standard engines. They are both rear wheel drives as well when the A4 is the only car in it's segment which is a front wheel drive. Audi could have done better with the steering as well, the A4 steering is too light and does not give one the feel we would expect from a car in this segment. Audi also could have done better with the mileage, I get between 8-10 kilo meters for a litre of diesel within city and about 12 Kilo meters per litre on the highways.
However as an Indian family man, Audi is a great choice, given the comfort and luxury it offers co passengers, especially the back seaters. The suspension is soft and can soak up most of the bumps and jerks our Indian roads have to offer. I feel there's more space and usable cabin room in the Audi A4 when compared to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class. The boot and the glove box are spacious enough. With the window and the rear glass blinds, the rear seat environment can be transformed to a much lighter evening feel even at noon with the scorching sun and light. The B&O speakers and the symphony audio system, I believe are the best in class.
As an Audi owner maintenance would be the least of your concerns. You would rather feel lucky of having made the choice of buying the Audi. The tyres, brake pads, suspension and pretty much everything else lasts longer than you would expect. each set of tyres have lasted me at least 25000 kilo meters or more and they are not too expensive compared to the run flat tyres on the BMW. My car's done about 100000 kilo meters and the only real maintenance I have had to do was replacing few bushes on the suspension. The A4 comes with a 2 years 40000 Kilo meters warranty which can be extended to 4 years and 80000 kilo meters at a nominal cost, well worth it. I don't know if they still offer this, but they did when I bought mine.
As far as safety is concerned, the car is feature rich. The road grip, balance and the confidence it gives the driver is awesome. The braking is excellent. The build feels heavy and you are firmly on the road. The cars has 6 air bags and 2 side curtains.
I am due for an upgrade and the obvious choice seems like the A6. Audi is an unbeatable combination of luxury, performance and value.
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