The new Audi A4 promises an outstanding efficiency. It is enough to beat the rival C-Class from Mercedes-Benz?
Definitely, the design is not the strength of Audi. The company from Ingolstadt preserves the conservative style seen also on Audi A8 and A6 facelift.
On the other side, Mercedes C-Class creates a lot of emotions with the design lines inspired from the S-Class.
But the new Audi A4 has a lot of other qualities which will impress the potential customers. We try to analyze the new Audi A4 vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The new Audi A4 does not use a completely new platform. We speak about the MLB Evo platform used also for the Audi A8 facelift. So, the new Audi A4 continue to use the front multilink suspension with 5 links which is now 6 kg lighter while the rear suspension walso with 5 links is completely new, replacing the old trapezoidal 4 link suspension. Mercedes C-Class uses also a sophisticated drive train with the new 4-link front axle and the multilink 5-link rear axle.
Both cars offers an adaptive drive train but there are huge technical differences. The CDC (continuos damping control) shock absorbers in Audi uses electromagnetically controlled valves in their pistons which allow hydraulic fluid to flow faster or more slowly as required. Mercedes C-Class features the air suspension unique in this segment, similar cu that of Mercedes S-Class.
Standard, Mercedes offers a comfort suspension, an Avantgarde suspension (sport suspension) or a sports suspension lowered by 15 mm. The Airmatic suspension is available in combination with Avantgarde or Exclusive lines.
Audi A4 came standard with a classic steel suspension, while the adaptive CDC drive train is available in option.
Both Mercedes and Audi offers also a system which adjust the settings of the steering, gearbox and engine. Agility Select from Mercedes C-Class offers the choice between Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, while Drive Select from Audi offers also 5 modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency and Individual.
Audi A4 offers already from the start a borad range of engines. The petrol range starts with 1.4 TFSI/150 HP and 250 Nm. A4 1.4 TFSI accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and the top speed is 210 km/h.
The range is completed with two 2.0 TFSI engines with 190 HP/320 Nm and 252 HP/370 Nm. No V6 is available for the start of sales.
C-Class petrol range starts with 1.6 liter turbo/ 115 and 156 HP in C 160/C 180 followed also by two 2 litre turbo engines with 184 HP/300 Nm and 211 HP/350 Nm. The 3 litre turbo V6 in C 300 4Matic offers 333 HP and 480 Nm.
Audi diesel range is even more larger: two 2.0 TDI with 150 and 190 HP plus two 3 litre V6 with 218 and 272 HP from the new generation launched also in Q7.
A 2.0 TDI/122 HP will be offered after the launch together with two ”ultra” versions for the 2.0 TDI with 150 and 190 HP.
The diesel range in Mercedes C-Class starts with two Nissan origin 1.6 turbodiesel engines with 115 and 136 HP, while the 2.1 litre turbodiesel well known Mercedes is available as C 220 BlueTec (170 HP) and C 250 Bluetec (204 HP). A C 220 BlueTec Eco with 2.1 litre/163 CP will compete with future ultra versions from Audi.
What Audi A4 does not have are the hybrid versions and Mercedes has two: a diesel- Hybrid C 300 BlueTec Hybrid (2.1 litre/204 HP plus 27 HP electric engine) ready for a fuel consumption of only 3.6 l/100 km and a full Plug-In Hybrid version C 350 e (2 litre turbo 211 HP and electric engine with 82 HP for a total of 279 HP).
All 4 cylinders Audi engines are mated with six speed manula gearbox while the V6 TDI/218 HP has the S-Tronic in standard and V6 TDI/272 HP uses the 8 speed automatic Tiptronic.
The smaller engines in C-Class are mated with the new 6 speed manual gearbox, while from C 250 and C 250 BlueTec Up, the 7 speed automatic gearbox is standard equipment. Mercedes will replace gradually on medium therm the actual 7 speed automatic gearbox with the new 9 speed automatic gearbox.
4Matic is standard at C 400 and C 450 AMG and is available for C 200, C 220 d and C 250 d. Quattro is standard for A4 3.0 TDI/272 HP and is available in option for the most powerful 2.0 TFSI petrol engine and for the 2.0 TDI/190 HP.
A sport differential will be offered in 2016 for the A4 3.0 TDI/272 HP while in case of Mercedes a differentiasl is reserved for AMG version: mechanically in C 63 and electronically controlled in C 63 S.
Both cars has a similar footprint. Audi A4 has a length of 4,726 mm (plus 25 mm) while the wheelbase is 2,820 mm (plus 12 mm). Mercedes C-Class has a 20 mm longer wheelbase (2,840 mm) at a length witth 40 mm smaller (4,686 mm). Mercedes C-Class saloon offers a 480 liter boot while Audi only communicate for the moment the volume of boot for the Avant version.
Audi declares that the Avant has the biggest boot volume in the segment with 505 litres and reach 1,510 litres with the rear seats folded down. Mercedes C-Class T-Model is very close with 490-1,510 litres.
Audi also insist on the lightweight construction and claim a 1,320 kg kerbweight for the A4 1.4 TFSI. It is the only data for the moment related to the kerbweight. By comparison, C 160 weighs 1,395 kg.
Above the standard equipment line, C-Class come with Avantgarde or Exclusive Line plus AMG Line. Audi offers the option for the well known S-Line and the new design line.
Both cars delivers the latest multimedia systems: MMI with 8.3 inch in the top form MMI Mavigation Plus and Comand Online with 8.4 inch. Head-up display is available in option for both cars. Audi has also the option for a configurable 12.3 inch display in the style of Audi TT, while the classical display in the instrument cluster has 5 inch (standard) or 7 inch with MMI.