How to Appreciate your Car - The Audi Experience

So back to my story from Part II

Once I was handed the keys to the Audi A4, I was excited to see what this little beast could do. It was going to be four awesome days of education in German engineering. I was looking forward to it's speed, anticipating it's change of pace, how fast could I go before having to consciously stop myself from enjoying it? 

So I got in and found myself instantly expecting to step into a higher standard of a car. I was coming from a midsize classed car and stepping into a luxury sedan. As such there should be some level of difference that sets them apart. Right? In my mind, it made sense to compare and contrast my daily driver with what seems like the car people dream to own.

How do we turn this thing on? Push to start is almost standard these days, so nothing particularly exciting about that but nothing to be disappointed by. The Audi A4 had it right by the stick shift, pretty good placement in my opinion. You can also start the car by putting the key fob in the ignition and pressing it down. 

Thumbs up for that.

What is the phone connectivity like? The first thing I do once I get in a car is connect my music and my phone so that I can properly enjoy the drive. I will start here before talking about driving dynamics.

In the trim of the A4 that I had, the bluetooth only takes calls, music could not be played via bluetooth. Dear Audi, this is shameful on your part there should never be a reason to allow a car with bluetooth ship out of your factory and not be able to play music. Speaking of, the phone navigation for handsfree connectivity is atrocious at best.  I have to use the volume rocker to roll through options to pick a number, see last dialled, dial a number, answer or ignore. Why can't answer and drop/ignore have their own dedicated button? Seems like bare minimum was done for that really. 

As if that wasn't bad enough, the only way to connect an an iPod or iPhone requires a 32 pin port. There is also no USB  port or AUX jack. For that alone, there needs to be an apology etched in the dashboard. A $40,000+ car should never need a special upgrade, dongle or package to be able to connect USB, or lighting ports or ordinary iPhone. The funniest part was when it was asking me for a CD or SD to play my music, excuse me, it's 2016. I had to carry a wireless speaker around to listen to music in the car.

The volume knob on this thing pissed me off separately, I have never seen a volume knob that small, I actually didn't know it was for volume till the last day I had the car. Instead, I used the volume rocker on the steering, which is also not so great to use daily. 

Can you imagine? In an Audi.

What is the interior like?  The first thing anyone who came into the car with me noticed was the quality of the seats, fantastic leather everywhere. The seats just caress you as you find your comfortable position. It's a similar experience for most luxury cars really but when you get that on a daily basis, it's easy to unconsciously spend more time with the car. The A4 is in the small car class in terms of size so I won't knock it for feeling small but it does feel a little claustrophobic in it. I don't know if that's a design plan or not. The car is also closer to the ground than I'm used to, but that's a bonus until you hit a bump in the road. All in all, the interior fits the sticker price, it could do more to add more value for the price but it works as is. *Cough* heated rear seats. 

Not Impressed, not Disappointed.

But Tolu, how does it drive?  Let me just say for a fact, the thing drives like a dream. Smooth in as many possible ways really. However, the things that make it so good to drive take away from the driving experience. The car feels appliance like, give it some gas and it flies with little effort. I continuously found myself above 130Km/hr with the same pressure I needed to be at 100 on my car. The acceleration on it is also pretty good, so good I felt like a character out of fast and furious; I can barely touch it and I'm already at 80Km in a residential area. Cornering with the car is also pretty awesome, I was looking for scenic back roads on each journey just so enjoy the turns. 

My complaint about the driving dynamics of this thing, there is random speed boost that just happens out of nowhere. I'll hit the pedal, the car is moving and then next thing some spike in acceleration. The first time it happened in traffic, I stopped to be sure I wasn't rear ended.

The speedometer markings also does not go round the full circle, who is Audi saving the space on the speedometer for? The digital display in the dashboard also looks like something out of a Hyundai(I would remember that). At the very least, it should look like we are in a luxury car but I guess that is another design choice. 

Dear Audi, fix yo' shit. (Pardon my french).

So will I get one some day? Based on my experience with this one, No. It is an amazing car no doubt but you can not imagine the speed with which I returned the A4 once my car was ready for me. The entertainment system is way too 1990's for me to consider it, and the trims with the systems I would like to have seem quite unnecessary for what I'd like to drive on a daily basis. The differences that ought to set this car apart from the other non-luxury brands are slim to minimal. Everything I thought I'd like about it don't impress me really; the seats, the headlights, the badge, finishing, fine details, german engineering. They are just hype at this point and past glory, the rest of the competition has caught up. 

Moral of the story: "all that glitters is not gold"

All I'm saying, I thank God for my moving boombox.