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17 Jul 2019

Facelift (What's New)
Newly-designed daytime running lights
New 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system
Rotary knob is a thing of the past
Engine now comes with a 12V mild hybrid system
Better fuel consumption than before

The ninth generation Audi A4 sedan is undoubtedly the most comfortable car in its class.

You would think that premium carmaker Audi wouldn't mess too much with a successful car like the A4. After all, over a whopping seven and a half million units have been manufactured since the car was created 25 years ago - and messing with a successful formula has proven to be quite destructive.

But it seems Audi did exactly the opposite.

The revised A4 has a wide stance, thanks to the continuous chrome that connects the taillights

Unostentatious sheet metal

And that is definitely not a bad thing. Unlike the usual facelifts that we regularly experience, you do not need a keen eye to tell the differences between this car and its predecessor.

The front end sports the biggest visual change, with full LED headlamps and newly-designed 'eyebrows' daytime running lights that set the design standards. Other changes include minor nips and tucks, as well as design artistry along its side to help change the car's profile.

Still, nothing looks out of place on the car, and it's immediately recognisable as an A4 even from afar. In fact, in this writer's eyes, elegance seems to be the key defining characteristic - something that Audi has managed to pull off without coming across as pretentious or exaggerated.

Like all Audi cars, the cabin of the A4 is elegant

Unassuming cabin

The elegant theme continues on the inside... and then some. You see, more than just being elegant, Audi has somehow created a cabin that has been simplified, yet upscaled and modernised.

This has largely to do with the removal of the central rotary knob and its surrounding buttons, which clears up space on the centre console. Thus, operation of the new crisp 10.1-inch infotainment is done via touch inputs, although it doesn't feature haptic feedback like the system on the flagship A8.

Elsewhere, as you'd expect from Audi, the A4 comes with a level of attention to detail that's so high you'll otherwise be hard pressed to argue that the German carmaker is a step ahead against class-leading peers like the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Boot space of 480 litres will serve your family's needs

Such simplification and luxury, while common in cars in its class, clearly shows how Audi stands apart by mixing material goodness with technological superiority.

Quality aside, the Audi A4 doesn't disappoint when it comes to space and comfort. Roomy seats are available for three Asian adults at the back while the luggage capacity remains at 480 litres, which means three Callaway golf bags will fit without much fuss.
Unpretentious drive

On the move, it's clear that the Audi has been engineered with comfort in mind. It doesn't mean that the car isn't agile or dynamically sound, it just isn't playful enough to inspire speedy exercises around twisty roads even if the steering is quick to change direction.

The car is capable of completing the century sprint in just 7.3 seconds

Where the A4 excels, instead, is delivering extreme composure and refinement. It will allow you to swallow up kilometres of broken tarmac without sending any of the harshness that come with it to the cabin.

The calm and quiet ride, the updated engine with a 12V mild hybrid system, and the smooth-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch all add up to provide the perfect isolation from the relentlessly deafening outside world.

This said engine, on one hand, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that's capable of pumping out 188bhp and 320Nm of torque, which helps the A4 accelerate from rest to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 210km/h.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot engine comes with a 12V mild hybrid system

On the other hand, the powerplant comes with a 12V mild hybrid system that will not be used to boost the car's performance, but will instead be used to reduce the fuel consumption.

And reduced it did. During my time with the car, which arguably consisted more of highway rather than around town driving, I managed an impressive 18.2km/L - better than the suggested on-paper figure of 17.2km/L.

Honesty is the best policy

There's no doubting that if you're looking for a comfortable and refined executive sedan, the updated Audi A4 will be right up your alley. It's far more sophisticated than its predecessor, with obvious enhancements that will surely give its peers a run for their money.

The car doesn't inspire you to drive fast, but it does provide an extremely comfortable ride

More impressively, this car here is outrightly honest, in the sense that it doesn't pretend to be something it's not. And in a time where there's a deluge of overhyped marketing bullshit just to sell that extra unit, we can certainly appreciate honesty.

The Audi A4 is expected to arrive in Singapore in the first half of next year.

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