After putting around in a Toyota Kluger for a couple of years, I decided I wanted something more sporty and engaging to drive. The Audi A4 with the 1.8 litre turbo engine certainly fit the bill.
I was lucky to score the current shape A4, 2008 model with only 6000kms on the clock. The vehicle was in superb condition, and as I was to learn, built well enough to stand up to the daily abuse of four year olds.
The chassis is extremely balanced, the car loves to corner, and does it surprisingly well for a front wheel drive model. There is rarely any hint of understeer, although gaining traction out of a side street into the flow of traffic can be a challenge. Coupled this with the CVT transmission’s hesitation to engage from a standstill, and it can at times be downright annoying.
These issues aside, it really is a beautiful car. The cabin is of superb build quality, and the paintwork, that has a ceramic clear coat, is almost bulletproof. (It failed to scuff or scratch when my children drop their belt buckles on it)
My only real complaint about the car, aside from the aforementioned CVT is the features list – or should I say, lack of features list?
The base stereo is rubbish, and there is no way to upgrade it once the car has left the factory. (This is what the Audi techs tell me). They tell me the stereo head unit is coded into the car in some way.
So if you are considering the purchase of an Audi, make sure it ticks the “most desired” features list. It’s nigh on impossible to add many extras after purchase. Case in point: my car lacks rear vents for heating. Something easily overlooked until your children start complaining.