Interior and Features
If you’re ever in an argument about who makes the best interiors in the business, you can comfortably propose Audi as your answer and use the A4 as your trump card.
There’s a premium air to the cabin that lets you see where your money went, and the materials used feel high-quality and expensive. Switches feel good and click or slide into place beautifully, too, beginning with the Start button that rouses the engine.
Cars in Singapore get the virtual cockpit plus system (Audi’s name for its digital instruments), and here the displays are brighter and sharper than ever. Their clarity and versatility make them class-leading (BMW, in particular, could learn from this), and this time around there are new display modes in case you get bored with classic round dials — the Dynamic one uses gimmicky sliding bars instead.
There’s an impeccable logic to the way the controls are laid out, too. Most of the car’s functions are accessed by the MMI (or ‘multi media interface’) system’s touchscreen now, but the important ones (such as air-con controls) are still physical buttons, so you seldom have to jab at the screen to do something simple like lower the cabin temp.
Yep, we said “touchscreen”. The facelift brings major change to the MMI, but definitely for the better, with the rotary controller gone (and a shallow storage bin in its place). Instead of playing with a knob you now jab at the screen, and its clear graphics and logical menu system make operating it a doddle. Its size (10.1 inches versus 7 inches before) helps there, too.
There’s also handwriting recognition now, so entering a navigation input has never been easier — if it can read my medical-grade scrawl, it can definitely read yours. There’s some artificial intelligence involved in making it happen.
Beyond that, because the A4 has a built-in 4G connection, the navi system can return Google-powered hits, so open-ended searches like “Laska” can actually bear fruit. It’s also linked to a service called Parkopedia, so the MMI will be able to suggest nearby parking while letting you know how many spots are available and how much it’ll cost to bung your A4 there while you slurp down a bowl.
Real-time traffic data apparently lets the navi know not to guide you straight to a jam, too.
Then there’s the myAudi companion app, which lets you keep tabs on your car with your phone. That’s worth a section by itself, but if you ask us the most handy functions are checking whether your car is locked and setting a speed limit warning or geo limit when you loan your Audi to someone. What price peace of mind?
WATCH: The CarBuyer team the latest Audi Connect digital services through a test that’s entirely Singapore-focused…
The connectivity features are genuinely useful, and a nice taste of what motoring will be like when cars are part of the Internet of Things revolution.