2012 Audi A4 SE Technik 2.0 TDI

Summary:

Classy and comfortable car. More for passengers than drivers

Faults:

Nothing yet. Keyless ignition fob has thrown a tantrum once when it fell out of the hole on the dashboard whilst the car was in motion (it's supposed to lock in position!) - doesn't exactly inspire confidence in this new fangled technology.

General Comments:

First impressions very good. Owned the previous generation B7 A4 before, and it's a wholesale improvement over the old.

Good Points - engine refinement and sound insulation a lot better from the common rail engine compared to the old PD (Pumpe Düse) unit used in the old shape A4 - the 143 BHP engine is punchy and fast enough for most people. You are never aware it is a diesel except when it is ticking over when the radio is turned off. Handles better than my old A4 - less nose heavy, but still not as good as a 3 Series. Impeccable build quality and finish inside, MMI system for working the stereo, satnav and phone connectivity is very complex, but you learn quickly. Comfortable and classy - it's got a great "feel-good" factor whenever you get in it.

Bad Points - fuel economy nowhere near what Audi claim it to be. Over a long journey, expect an average of 47-48 MPG; short journeys seem to kill it completely with averages of 41-42 MPG. Don't take any manufacturer economy claims at face value. Plus the much touted auto start/stop system rarely activates... so what's the point??? Cramped driver's footwell caused by the design of the gearbox; the transmission tunnel is fatter on the RHS and forces your feet across to an offset position. It isn't a problem obviously if you have an automatic transmission, but on the manuals make sure you can live with it. Automatic handbrake isn't to everyone's taste, although you get used to it.

SE Technik spec is great value as you get satnav and full leather interior thrown in for free - Audi optional extras aren't cheap, so this is effectively a £3k saving over buying the standard SE and specifying those items separately.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2015