2018 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0 TSFI – random thoughts on long term ownership

2018 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0 TFSI

I’m feeling rather smug these days, thinking what an excellent choice our 2018 Audi A4 Quattro 2.0 TFSI has been.

After seriously considering various other luxury premium brands (Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic and BMW 328i X-Drive), I took the leap and ordered the A4 exactly how I wanted it.

The main ‘big’ option packages I wanted were the S-Line package (with 245/35-19-in. high performance summer tires), Comfort Seats (with lower bolsters than the S-Line’s sport seats and with ventilated seats), and Driver Assistance packages (lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control), and finally Audi’s superb adjustable suspension (with Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual settings.)

2018 Audi A4 is superb premium luxury sport sedan; comfortable, quiet and it delivers outstanding fuel economyFuel Economy

I’m a fuel economy geek.  Like other car enthusiasts, specs are important.  Audi’s 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is matched perfectly to a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, and even with Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, the A4 delivers outstanding fuel economy.

On a two-week trip to Vancouver Island in warm near-20 degree Celsius temps, driving from Kelowna, B.C. to Calgary, the Audi used a paltry 39.5 l of premium unleaded gas (Esso) to cover 594 km, delivering a phenomenal 6.66 l/100 km (42.4 Imp mpg/35.3 U.S. mpg.)  That’s as good, if not better, than the best fuel economy we ever achieved on our 2007 front-wheel-drive Mazda3 GT (5-spd automatic transmission, 2.3-litre 4-cylinder!)

Comfort

After suffering with the super stiff suspension of our previous 2015 Subaru WRX, the A4 (with optional adjustable suspension) is a wonderfully quiet and comfortable car.  I use the Individual suspension setting (which I’ve set:  Suspension – comfort; Steering -dynamic; Engine/Trans – Auto) and this suits me perfectly.  The Audi’s adjustable suspension in Comfort soaks up the myriad of giant potholes, broken pavement, and corrugated asphalt that Edmonton is famous for.

The optional Comfort Seats (heated and ventilated) are the best seats we’ve had in any car.  (These Comfort Seats beat the long term comfort of our 2000 Mercedes-Benz E430 4Matic by a long shot.  We can (and have) driven for 8-9 hour stretches in total comfortt.

At highway speed, the A4 is extremely quiet.  (When Car and Driver magazine tested the 2017 Audi A4, which is the same as the 2018, using a dB meter, they found the A4 was quieter on the highway than even Audi’s flagship A8 sedan.)

Glitches

No car is perfect, but since new, the A4 has exhibited only a couple of very minor glitches.  A couple of times the in-car GPS system has frozen.  I tried exiting the GPS and switching to the radio/audio mode, but the frozen gps screen remained.  I then turned the car off and restarted it, and the GPS returned to normal functionality.

Also, the driver assistance systems seem to get ‘spooked’ and unnecessarily emit a warning and slow the vehicle.  I’ve had a couple of instances when reversing from my garage the parking assist ‘beeps’ and applies the brakes, and there is no obstacle behind the car.

Finally, there’s a section of freeway near my home where, when the car’s cruise control is set, the car ALWAYS slows even though the road is open and clear.  Weird.

Like any car enthusiast, my eyes wander, and I frequently wonder if my next car should be the sportier version S4 with 3.0-litre turbocharged 354 hp V6, and I almost always end up thinking, ‘Why would I give up a car that perfectly suits my needs today?’

As the old saying goes, if I have to explain it to you, you won’t understand.

 

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