Quick car review – 2010 Audi A4 Avant 2.0TDi

Audi A4 AvantThere are more of these Audis on the roads in the country where I live than you can shake a stick at. A sign of quality or badge-snobbery uber alles?

– That engine. It’s not hard to fathom why the 2.0 TDi equips everything from VW Golfs to Audi A5s, because it’s a sublime piece of engineering. It’s the best of both worlds, with very economical performance in town (thanks to Stop-Start tech) to blistering motorway behaviour thanks to that superb 6-speed manual gearbox.
– The inside was above-par, with a lot of quality materials, fit, finish and design. Though very good, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it crowns Audi the king of interior design like a lot of motoring journalists insist on doing.

– The harshness of it all. Between the rock-hard seats and the rock-hard suspension, the ride was unbearable after a while. I spent a week in agony from the constant stupid jolting and shuddering I was subjected to in that f**king car. Every passenger I had in the Audi complained about the ride without me asking them, even my daughter. It was awful. I was pining for my old Volvo the whole time I drove the Audi.
– The equipment. Air-con and Bluetooth phone calls. That’s it. No USB input. No cruise control. No streaming. No heated mirrors. For a car that’s premium-branded and that expensive, it’s unacceptable. But then again, as I said with the Polo, it’s a very normal German thing, but what makes me scratch my head is just how willing most people are to be thrifted for a Teutonic product.
– The absurdly stupid user-interface. What a load of s**t. Where to start? Trip information is browsed via a button (obscured by the steering wheel) on the right stalk that has “RESET” written next to it. “RESET”?! How is anyone supposed to guess what it does?! This was also a problem in the Polo, hence my reference to stupid VAG-group interfaces. Then the trip computer itself has way too many options, where you scroll through what seems a never-ending combinations of display options. The central swivel wheel is counter-intuitive, since what most people think is the direction in which to turn the knob to go up goes down and vice versa. The high-beams lock when pushing the stalk away from you, not towards you as in every other car. The steering wheel had those pathetic finnicky scroll wheels where I had to guess what they did. What’s wrong with buttons? Rubbish.

In conclusion: One thing that puzzled me about this car was how ready everyone was to pardon its many faults just because it was an Audi. And we’re talking about people who have never ridden in an Audi, they’re just seduced by the badge. When I told them the ride was bone-shatteringly s**t, they’d reply “But it’s a good car, though.” If I had a Citroen and I’d say how excellent it was, I’d get a bunch of sarky comments on reliability.
I didn’t mention anything regarding the car’s looks because I’ve talked about them before. Audis aren’t that bad-looking, the problem is they’re such a common site and all so similar to every other Audi in the range that it ruins any sort of aesthetic impact any of them may have.
In sum, it’s an OK car whose main appeal is to be flashy while it does no more than equivalent offerings. Just isn’t worth the huge price tag unless status is everything to you.


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