After a long wait, the ninth-generation Audi A4 has finally found its way to our shores with the tagline Progress is Intense. However, one might question whether the A4 entered the market a little too late.

Audi Malaysia explained that this is to secure a better deal for the A4 (that indirectly means pricing the A4 a little more competitively) with parent company that’s based in Ingolstadt. The negotiations delayed Audi Malaysia’s plans to introduce the A4, which was supposed to take place as early as the second quarter of this year. However, good things are worth the wait. 

In this case, the biggest winner from this exercise are the consumers. Audi Malaysia has managed to bring in the Audi A4 B9 as a CBU unit (built in Ingolstadt itself) yet maintained an extremely competitive price positioning. Just how competitive, you ask? Allow us break it down for you.

For starters, the Audi A4 is a premium compact executive priced at RM249k. In this analysis, we shortlisted models that competes in the same price, power and segment bracket. This greatly narrowed the number of candidates for this comparison.

Naturally, the two other German contestants come into play – the BMW 320i Sport and the Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde. Other left-field choices include the Swedish Volvo S60 and the Japanese Infiniti Q50. Before jumping into the analysis, here are some quick facts:

QUICK FACTS

Name BMW 320i Sport Volvo S60 2.0 T6 Drive-E Infiniti Q50 2.0T GT Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde Audi A4 2.0 TFSI
Engine 2.0-litre 4-cylinder BMW TwinPower 2.0-litre 4-cylinder TwinCharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, TFSI
Transmission 8-speed ZF automatic 8-speed automatic 7-speed automatic 7-speed G-Tronic Plus automatic 7-speed S Tronic dual cutch automatic (Wet)
Max Power 184 hp @ 5,000 rpm 306 hp @ 5,700 rpm 211 hp @ 5,500 rpm 184 hp @ 5,500 rpm 190 hp @ 4,200 – 6,000 rpm
Max Torque 290 Nm @ 1,350 – 4,250 rpm 400 Nm @ 2,100 to 4,800 rpm 350 Nm @ 1,250 – 3,500 rpm 300 Nm @ 1,200 – 4,000 rpm 320 Nm @ 1,450 – 4,200 rpm
0-100km/h; Top Speed 7.3 seconds; 235km/h 5.9 seconds; 230km/h 7.2 seconds; 245km/h 7.3 seconds; 235km/h 7.3 seconds; 210km/h
Fuel Economy Rating 5.8L/100km 6.7L/100km 7.3L/100km 5.3L/100km 5.0L/100km
Price (OTR without insurance) RM231,800 RM238,888 RM239,800 RM248,888 RM248,900
Assembly Malaysia Malaysia Japan Malaysia Germany

As you can see from the table, all five cars share the same formula under the hood – a 2.0-litre forced induction engine. The Audi A4 edges the competition by being the only one to offer a dual-clutch transmission. In case you are wondering, this S Tronic adopts a wet clutch that works more reliably in our hot climate.

Performance wise, hands down the Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E takes the most powerful car title. Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder Drive E engine is boosted by a supercharger and a turbocharger, which helps extract a mind bending 306 hp and 400 Nm, making it the most powerful car of the lot. In the century sprint, the others are brisk but none dip below the 7-second mark, but the S60 obliterates the course in just 5.9 seconds.Volvo S60

The A4 is being advertised as the most slippery car in its segment, and it is far from a marketing gimmick because it yields some real world benefits too. With a drag coefficient of just 0.23, the A4 is able to slice through air much efficiently. Coupled with its improved S Tronic gearbox, the A4 is the most frugal of the bunch, consuming only 5.0 litres of fuel for every 100km travelled.

Among its German rivals, the A4 is the most expensive at RM248,900. Though, it is only marginally costlier than the RM248,888 C 200 Avantgarde. But don’t forget, the Audi is fully imported from Germany, while the BMW, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz are all locally assembled in Malaysia.

Now that we have laid out the quick facts about the car, Audi’s facts and figures are very competitive. Audi Malaysia has done a great job bringing in the ninth-generation A4 at a reasonable price point. This usually comes by sacrificing equipment. Did Audi Malaysia make that compromise? Let’s find out.

EQUIPMENT

Name BMW 320i Sport Volvo S60 2.0 T6 Drive-E Infiniti Q50 2.0T GT Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde Audi A4 2.0 TFSI
Rim Size

17-inch

18-inch 17-inch
Tyre Size 225/50R17 235/45R17 225/55R17 225/45R18 225/50R17
Keyless Operation

Keyless entry and start

Keyless start only Keyless entry and start
Interior Upholstery

Leather

Powered Seats Driver side only with memory function Both driver and passenger. Memory function for driver only Both driver and passenger with memory function for both Both driver and passenger
Infotainment System 6.5-inch BMW iDrive with 9-speakers 7-inch touchscreen navigation with 8-speakers 8.0-inch Infiniti InTouch with 6-speakers 7-inch Audio 20 CD 7.0-inch Audi MMI with 10-speakers
Rear Blinds Powered rear windscreen blinds Manual rear passenger windows N/A Powered rear blinds and manual rear passenger windows Manual rear passenger windows
Steering Wheel Leather wrapped multifunction Leather wrapped multifunction with paddle shifters Leather wrapped multifunction Leather wrapped multifunction with paddle shifters
Parking Brake Handbrake Electronic parking brake with auto hold Footbrake Electronic parking brake with auto hold
Airbags

6 airbags

7 airbags 6 airbags
Parking Sensors

4 front, 4 rear

6 front, 6 rear 4 front, 4 rear
Reverse Camera

N/A

Available

Autonomous Safety Features N/A Autonomous braking, lane keep assist, blind spot radar monitoring and pedestrian detection N/A Collision prevention assist. N/A

From the comparison chart above, the A4 fares very well in-terms of equipment. Despite being a CBU-unit, Audi Malaysia did not skim on features to bring the price down. Essential features such as keyless entry and start, leather powered seats, Audi MMI and reverse camera are all standard affair.

As expected from Volvo, the S60 is the only one here that comes with a suite of autonomous safety features. Otherwise, the A4 is on par with the rest of its rivals in the premium compact executive sedan segment.

CONCLUSION

Audi Malaysia is without a doubt late to the game. Its rivals have been charging full steam, with Mercedes-Benz consecutively smashing monthly record sales. As mentioned earlier, Audi Malaysia worked their best to secure a fair price for its latest model offering. Although priced slightly steeper than its competitors, thanks to their efforts, the A4 still offers great value for your money.2016 Audi A4 B9 2.0 TFSI Launch in Malaysia - AutoBuzz.my

Bear in mind that the 320i, S60 and C 200 are all EEV-incentivised. As a CBU import, the A4 cannot be entitled for the same incentive, but things may steer in favour of the Four Rings in the near future when they get the green light for their CKD operations.

To be fair, the A4 offers great value for money; unrivalled build quality, perfectly aligned body panels (be sure to inspect the gaps between panels yourself) achieved thanks to laser welding, premium interior, generous equipment list and best of all, 10 different exterior colours to choose from.

This is of course just an on-paper comparison based on facts and figures. To really know how the A4 stacks up against the other offerings, stay tuned for our review of the Audi A4 B9!


IMAGE GALLERY


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Adrian Chia
He believes that the perfect remedy to Monday blues is a mixture of 4 wheels, clear roads and a pinch of twisty tarmac. A hot hatch is the icing on the cake.