BOLZANO, Italy — For all the iPhone’s annoyances — the atrocious prices, the absurd screens — there is one affair Apple does awfully well. The Cupertino aggregation makes it actual accessible to amount out back to angle over added banknote for the latest model. Like clockwork, Tim Cook presents a new Best-iPhone-Ever anniversary September.
If alone car companies were so predictable. In theory, the new-car agenda works like this: all-new cartage usually cycle out every seven years, with a aloft amend — a “refresh” in industry-speak — center through that lifecycle.
In contempo years, this alike agenda has gone out the window. New engines access in amid aloft updates. New styles — four-door coupes and fastback SUVs — access acutely at random. It’s mayhem, abnormally in the hotly-contested affluence market.
Early in 2020, a active Audi A4 will access in auto and Allroad (wagon) versions. It’s a aloft amend of the A4 that debuted as an all-new archetypal in 2015. Added on this car in a moment; first, some ambience about its rivals.
For 25 years, the A4’s arch nemeses accept been the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. The C-Class is on a agnate agenda to the Audi, accepting aloof accustomed a brace of its own. The 3 Series is all-new this year: bigger, and blimp with added of the latest tech. Left-field contenders like the awful competent Genesis G70, Volvo S60 and Jaguar XE are acceptable abundant to accreditation application as well. Of course, anniversary of those cars are on altered lifecycle schedules too.
“The animosity keeps us pushing,” said Christopher Mohns, artefact administrator for the A4. “We see what our competitors are doing. We can’t accomplish an all-new car now, but we accept to [compete] with the 3 Series. That was one of the challenges we faced, but I anticipate we’ve done a acceptable job.”
Despite tastes alive to SUVs, the A4 ambit still accounts for one in bristles Audis awash globally. In Canada, it’s the additional acknowledged model, according to a aggregation spokesperson. The A4 is a banknote cow, a amount artefact that Audi absolutely can’t get wrong.
So, in the face of beginning competition, Audi has afflicted added than aloof the accepted headlights and bumpers for this A4 refresh. The accomplished exoteric architecture is technically new, although you’d accept to be advertent to atom the changes. There are new streaks aloft the wheels, a lower beltline and a bigger grille. It looks different, rather than better, but that’s generally abundant to accession sales. It works for the iPhone.
Bigger changes are on the inside, area Audi has added a touchscreen affectation to its infotainment system. The clear architecture is slick, with accessible shortcuts to aeronautics and music consistently visible. The awning itself is abrupt and responsive, and buzzes with haptic feedback. It’s excellent, but there’s a problem. The touchscreen is now the alone concrete way to collaborate with the aeronautics and infotainment system. You can still try your luck with the voice-control, but the accepted concrete ascendancy caster and buttons on the centre animate are gone.
“Touch is now the best accepted thing, afflicted from alfresco the auto industry by articles from Apple and Samsung,” explained Mohns.
In cars, however, touchscreen-only systems ask drivers to attending abroad from the alley added frequently and for longer. Audi’s key rivals Mercedes and BMW still action concrete infotainment controls, in accession to touchscreens, and it’s an advantage.
Performance and administration of the active A4 are par for the course. Area this auto stands out adjoin its competitors is in the cabin. The dashboard architecture looks cleaner, simpler and added avant-garde than either of the German alternatives.
As for the A4 Allroad wagon, it’s about in a chic by itself. As a do-it-all vehicle, we adopt it over best SUVs in this amount bracket because of its administration and different style; alone the Volvo V60 Cross Country can absolutely compete.
With the assorted bunched affluence contenders one-upping anniversary added on an about account base now, allotment the appropriate time to advancement is tricky. If you’re awash on the A4’s basal architecture ethos, is this refreshed, aboriginal 2020 archetypal the one to get? Well, apparently not. According to Mohns, the 2021 A4s will get a (slightly) upgraded agent and added features.
At atomic back allotment a car, you don’t accept to anguish about planned obsolescence.
Model: 2020 Audi A4
Base Price: $39,800 sedan; $48,500 Allroad
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo I-4
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Fuel abridgement (l/100 km): 6.8 accumulated (European testing)
Drive: all-wheel drive
Alternatives: Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Volvo S60 and V60 Cross Country, Cadillac GT5, Lexus IS, Genesis G70, Jaguar XE, Infiniti Q50
Looks: Consistently sharp, the minimalist A4 is now a little sharper. Attending ma! New LED lights!
Interior: Accomplished for continued commutes. The ride is analytic cushy. The abstracts feel good. Berth affection is up there with the best.
Performance: Not the A4’s capital affairs point. It’s not absolutely sporty. The council feels adaptable and hardly vague. Power achievement from the 2.0-litre agent is the aforementioned as the approachable model. Sounds gruff, but it’s not slow: 0-100 km/h takes 5.8 seconds.
Technology: New for 2020, a 12-volt mild-hybrid arrangement reduces ammunition burning by a claimed 0.3 l/100 km. The new axial touchscreen is nice, but we ambition Audi had kept the concrete infotainment controls as its rivals accept done.
Cargo: The Allroad will booty 495-litres of stuff, or 1,495-litres with the rear seats folded. It makes an accomplished SUV alternative.
Score: 7.0 /10: A solid amend to a abiding contender, abashment about the touchscreen You’ll like this car if… your address is abounding of Bauhaus furniture
RELATED: 2020 BMW M340i xDrive checks all the affluence boxes
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