Detaching trim detracts from the appeal of our saloon’s cabin
2 December 2016

Not so long ago it was easy to choose between Germany’s big three prestige brands.

You bought a BMW if driving pleasure was your top priority, a Mercedes-Benz if you were more interested in comfort and an Audi if you wanted to spend your time in one of the classiest cabins around.

Then things got confusing. BMW started making front-wheel-drive MPVs, while Mercedes started pushing its AMG Line trim, with the big wheels and stiffer suspension that brought a firmer ride. Only Audi stayed true to its traditional strength, with all of its cars featuring interiors built to the highest standards. Or, at least, that’s what I thought.

Don’t get me wrong: the materials in the A4 feel extremely plush from carpet level upwards, while the crisp on-screen graphics and beautifully damped switchgear add to the feeling that no expense has been spared. However, after less than three months, the gear selector gaiter has started coming loose, revealing the mechanicals beneath. And while you can click it back into place, it quickly works free again.

This is far from the end of the world and could happen in any car, but it’s still disappointing, given Audi’s reputation.

About the same time that the gear selector started doing its striptease, I got a tyre pressure warning on the dashboard, and sure enough the nearside rear tyre was pretty underinflated. Yet, with little visible sign of it and a long motorway journey planned for the next day, there’s a good chance that I wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the tyre pressure monitoring system. It’s not really something I’ve given much thought to before, but I’m realising just how important such safety systems are and that they should really be a legal requirement.

As a bonus, while I’ve heard many people complain of getting continual warnings after they’ve had a flat, the A4’s system is easy to reset through the MMI infotainment screen.

Steve Huntingford

AUDI A4 3.0 TDI 218 SPORT S TRONIC

Price £34,700 Price as tested £41,450 Economy 46.2mpg Faults None Expenses Tyre inflation 50p Last seen 14.9.16

Read our first report on the Audi A4 here

Our Verdict

Aud A4

All-new Audi A4 zeroes in on efficiency, technology and quality but is it enough to drive buyers away from the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

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Comments
29

2 December 2016
Take it to an Audi dealer to be fixed. Bet they would say, but they all do that, its a special feature. They are almost as arrogant as Apple as if thier products can do no wrong.

2 December 2016
Got to love those haphazard staples. Sums up VWAG products to a T. Lovely on the outside and lots of money spent on things you can feel, dig a little deeper...

2 December 2016
I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 92 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-Something different. 2 years after...I can say my life is changed completely for the better.H#3.

Check it out what i do>>>>>>> W­O­R­K­J­O­I­N­3­0.C­O­M

2 December 2016
I thought type pressure monitors WERE a legal requirement on all new cars since Nov 2014?

2 December 2016
tdm1999b wrote:

I thought type pressure monitors WERE a legal requirement on all new cars since Nov 2014?

They are!


2 December 2016
Good to see Autocar experts fully up to speed on car technology and law (probably too busy discussing MPV and SUV handling details in the office to follow what really matters in the real motorists world!!)

 

 

 

2 December 2016
This is commonplace on many German cars. While the quality of the interior materials are generally excellent, the way everything is put together is far from excellent. Reliability and build quality issues are more widespread among the German brands than is thought, one of the worst in the industry.

2 December 2016
Saucerer wrote:

This is commonplace on many German cars. While the quality of the interior materials are generally excellent, the way everything is put together is far from excellent. Reliability and build quality issues are more widespread among the German brands than is thought, one of the worst in the industry.

after Merc and BM ownership 100% agree

2 December 2016
Saucerer wrote:

This is commonplace on many German cars. While the quality of the interior materials are generally excellent, the way everything is put together is far from excellent. Reliability and build quality issues are more widespread among the German brands than is thought, one of the worst in the industry.

Out of interest, do you have figures or access to info to back that up? Not a criticism of your post but genuinely interested? My brother-in-law is a senior Interior Quality Control Manager within VAG. I was discussing this very subject with him on a visit to my in-laws in Germany last week.

2 December 2016
The only real indexes we have in the UK for quality and reliability are the annual Driver Power Survey by Auto Express and those car's are at least two years old.In this survey VW rarely come above the 50% mark,although Skoda are always top five. It's a pity that we do not have the JD Power Survey on reliability as they do in the States which in my opinion is wasted on the Americans. What do they care.
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