Look at this thing, its beautiful – Audi design is really quite stunning and I’ve still got a very soft spot for the wagon in any vehicle quite frankly. But I don’t want to talk about design, power, ride or handling. This is all about the tech.
Ok, so I will give you some top-line info here, the car I’ve been driving is priced at $72,900 – it’s the Audi A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI tronic quattro Sport. 185W of power, 370Nm torque, 0-100km/h in 6 seconds and around 6.6 litres per 100 (though we saw a figure a bit higher than that).
Sadly, to get the stuff I’m about to tell you about, you’re going to need to shell out a bit more. $95,324 is the as-driven price because of a range of very cool options.
Assistance Package: $1,900
This adds Audi active lane assist, adaptive cruise control with stop go in traffic, distance indicator, Audi pre-sense and a bunch more.
All said, that $1,900 is the best money you’ll spend. This car is basically autonomous. I was able to drive the M2 from Beecroft to the City with just a finger on the steering wheel. I chose the middle lane (because I trust car computers as much as I trust my kids with sharp knives) and set the Adaptive Cruise to 110km/h. Then I chose the middle of three distance settings to let the car maintain a clear gap from me to the car in front.
Driving along the M2 motorway the car made its way around bends and turns like I was in control – but in reality I was just the supervisor. You must keep your hands on the wheel or it alerts you and switches off those assists, but for monitoring traffic and crawling around the traffic jams, this is a life-saver.
In deep bumper to bumper traffic too it’s exceptional. Just focus on the road and let the car work out how fast to go. If you’re stopped for 3-4 seconds you need to manually “resume” the journey, but otherwise it will creep along for km after km just following the speed of the car in front while you control the steering.
Parking assistance package: $950
Again, sensational value when viewed on its own. 360 degree cameras with what I tell my kids is “drone view” and cameras front and back for those parallel parking spots. Of course, you don’t need too much skill, the car will help steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spaces
Technik package: $2,100
For what you’re getting – take it! This is a virtual cockpit – full LCD screen dashboard with mapping built-in, customisable dials and head-up display on the windscreen.
There’s a bunch of other options too in the car I drove, like Audi Matrix LED lights ($1,700), S line Sport styling ($3,200), Adaptive sport suspension ($1,100), Load area rails system ($350), Metallic paint ($1,420) and a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system (amazing sound!) ($1,500) .
But it’s the rear seat entertainment system that really blew my mind.
Rear Seat Entertainment System: $3,600
At first I thought there were two “DVD” screens on the rear of the front headrests. But then I thought – strange that they kinda stick out so much?
Reason was they are actually Audi tablets. Two 10.1 inch android tablets that aren’t just your standard tablets.
Using in-built connectors they can tap directly into the vehicle’s on-board computer to show service intervals, and trip computer details – like how fast you’re going.
My kids loved this – and while I think sure they’ll bore of that, the fully integrated tablet is a premium over a standard tablet, but with charging linked to the car automatically and access to FM, AM and Digital Radio as well as other media and any apps you install – they are fantastic.
All in all, this car is as high-tech as you need – it’s not the most high-tech, but for driver and passengers it offers more options and gadgets than almost anything else and while the price seems high – the value of those few options I’ve pointed out is sensational.
This car is a vision to the future of car assistance, safety and entertainment.