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Audi A4 1.9 TDI

I was back at the Sheffield dealer’s, Peter Gilder Audi, not knowing the subject of the test drive. The weather wasn’t exactly brilliant, and the times for the test drive were not ideal: I had just two hours with the car, driving in and around Sheffield on a busy Saturday lunchtime. Upon arrival, the showroom was exceptionally busy, and Chris had just one vehicle left that I could take out. The car in question is the A4 110bhp 1.9 litre Tdi. I had wanted to have a try of one of the diesels anyway, the fact that it would be an A4 would add yet more interest.

Finished in Ming blue metallic, with the alloy wheels, the car looks nice, but as usual, understated.

Upon starting the engine, you hear the familiar diesel rattle, but that is the only noticeable part between this oil burner and a petrol that you can notice- with the exception of fuel consumption!

The car is exceptionally well mannered, and very stable. Audi have done a magnificent job with the new suspension arrangement, and I can understand what all the motoring hacks were raving about. Not too harsh, with no wallowy ride, the car goes exactly where you want it to go, and does not give you any nasty surprises on undulating roads. Saturday lunch time traffic, in Britain’s fourth largest city, with the Supertrams to contend with, is not any drivers idea of enjoyable driving, but after the hour or so behind the wheel, I must honestly say that it was an enjoyable experience. The engine is superb: it pulls like a train, gives my 90 quattro a run for it’s money on paper with the 0-60 times, has no noticeable turbo lag, and has absolutely bags of torque. Couple to that the 50+ mpg, and the car looks like it’s got everything going for it.

The car has the SE package, which includes the Sport Rader alloy wheels, walnut effect interior trim and centre arm rest. To be honest, the trim looks tacky compared to the rest of the car, and the centre arm rest looks as though it is made out of cheap plastic, and belongs in a Citroen AX or the like. These are the only negative aspects of the car. There are electric windows to play with (front only), and there is a panic button on the drivers side door, which locks all four doors from the inside. There is no auto check computer, either, which was somewhat of a surprise, as I was on the understanding that this is now fitted as standard to all models.

The boot is a fair size, making the boot’s of its predecessors look like glove boxes in comparison! In fact, on the boot lid is the only visual indication to the cars powerplant. Audi do two versions of the 1.9 TDI: the 90 bhp and 100bhp. The 110 is distinguishable by the red I.

All in all, I was very impressed with the car, especially the performance and fuel consumption. In years to come, I would definitely consider a diesel, which isn’t bad coming from someone that is sometimes regarded to as something of a petrol head! Mate the engine to the quattro drivetrain, encompassed in an Avant body, and the used car market will find me as a buyer in years to come!

Since the drive early in the year, circumstances have changed, and this car was nearly a “club car”:- member Simon Lee’s brother’s circumstances have changed somewhat, requiring him to find something more economical and less flashy than his Cabriolet 2.8 V6. Needless to say, he actually purchased the car on my recommendation, only actually seeing it the day he picked it up. Is he happy with the decision? All the way to the bank!

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