- Audi virtual cockpit
- Fuel economy
- Technology integration
- Learning Curve
- Audi virtual cockpit not standard
2017 Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S tronic ReviewThe new Audi A4 Avant looks to have finally brought futuristic technology, and great interior design together. This has been a day that I have looked forward to for a long time. With the Audi A4 Avant, to get fully acquainted, it takes a little bit of time after jumping into it. Despite being more tech present than a home of the future display, the seamless integration makes more it elegant and sophisticated though.
Audi and the other models they have launched following the A4 manage to bring what was just a proof of concept or found in a Tesla, to the general population. How Audi have implemented the technology will have you forgetting how frustrating your peak hour commute was, even if it is a little overwhelming in the beginning.
Audi themselves said ‘The all-new A4 is a landmark vehicle for Audi’, and that statement rings true. The exterior brings styling updates to sharpen angles and to modernise the classic Audi look. Most importantly the technological revolution begins when you settle into the driver’s seat, but we’ll get to that a little later.
Under the Hood
Audi has introduced a new generation of four-cylinder TFSI engines reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and increasing performance. Our review model, the 140kW 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder, sitting in the middle of the engine range. The 185kw 2.0 TFSI S tronic, with Audi’s all-wheel-drive Quattro system, is also available if you’re wanting a little more pep. Performance increases and fuel consumption reduction, is helped with 70kg (65kg for the sedan) in overall weight savings through the use of new materials and construction methods.
However, like I said at the start of this review, it’s not the construction materials or the engines that have made this generation Audi A4 Avant special or noteworthy. The 12.3-inch LCD screen that replaces the traditional instrument cluster that is called Audi virtual cockpit, in addition to the MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch that acts as an 8.3-inch infotainment screen is what makes the car standout from most others on the road.
The Audi virtual cockpit gives you a wide range of information, including the basics like speed and revs. Information that is usually buried or simply not available can now be brought forward and displayed in new ways thanks to the fully digital display. Google Maps has been integrated into the system, providing real-time traffic information and route updates, a handy satellite view, and more.
The availability of a wide range of driver assistance systems creates a new benchmark for the segment. The Audi A4 Avant stops just short of being an autonomous vehicle with predictive efficiency assistant for fuel saving, to keeping in your lane thanks to active lane assist, and managing the perfect gap between the car in front with Stop&Go adaptive cruise control.
It was these systems that made each journey from Brisbane to the Gold Coast a breeze. As you begin to trust the car, you settle in and allow it to think for itself while keeping the presence of your hand on the wheel. Unlike previous driver assistance technologies I’ve used, including earlier versions of Audi’s technology, I was able to have the car reliably use the systems to keep the car on the road, and my passengers safe. Information regarding the individual systems and their status was communicated through the virtual cockpit and heads-up display.
Exploring back roads and mountain passes, even our 2.0 TFSI S tronic front-wheel drive model behaved like a European car should. The power and handling gave enough thrill that would satisfy most drivers, and passengers alike, eating up sweeping bends and accelerating with enough oomph to let you know that there are indeed a few horses kicking under the hood. On big stretches of road, we got a glimpse of just how easily the Audi A4 Avant will travel very quickly along unrestricted areas of the Autobahn in Germany.
Fuel economy was just as impressive, with our mixture city and highway driving we saw a 5.6L/100km result. From a single tank, you should be able to travel 900km-1000km easily. In contrast to measuring acceleration times, you just might find yourself seeing how far you can stretch that tank (like we eventually did).
The Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI S tronic we drove starts off from $63,900 before on road pricing, and before you start adding any of the options we had. The Technik package ($2,100), and S line sport package ($5,000 or $3,200 depending on model) are two must have options. The Technik package adds the Virtual cockpit and Heads-up display, the very thing that makes this generation of Audi A4 most notable.
The S line sport package is purely a personal choice, as it changes the visual styling and swaps the standard alloy wheels for 19-inch Audi Sport rims, adds sports suspension, stunning Leather/Alcantara upholstery, and black headlining.
With the Audi A4 Avant competing against a swag of new entrants into the segment plus the traditional rivals, there is more choice than ever. Audi had to deliver something that gives an experience like any other for you, the owner.
Audi took the approach of smart integration of driver assistance technology. The car is safer and creates a much more enjoyable driving experience. It boasts a sophisticated, smart persona with just a hint of sportiness that attracts the admiration from people of all ages, including this reviewer.