The compact executive saloon which has played a pivotal role in the success story of Audi across five generations has been richly rewarded with one of the automotive industry’s most highly prized awards: the all-new Audi A4 Saloon is What Car? Magazine’s Car of the Year for 2016. The compelling newcomer took the top honour, along with the Best Compact Executive Car category award, at the magazine’s annual presentation event, staged last night in London. The latest TT also notched up its second award in the Coupé category, and in the process took the total number of category trophies bestowed by What Car? on the three generations of the much loved Audi sports car to eight.
In the What Car? awards issue the magazine’s road test team praises the advances made by the all-new mid-size saloon, and singles out the mid-range 218PS V6 TDI model with its six-cylinder sophistication and remarkable frugality as the version which secures the top honour.
In its awards citations for the A4 the road test team points to the new ground that has been broken by the latest A4 as a key contributor to its win, writing: “Audi deserves congratulations for the new A4. It brings new standards of refinement, interior quality and technology to the compact executive class.”
Manners Like An A8
The team goes on to applaud the benefits the new A4 reaps from a multitude of cutting edge aerodynamic, aeroacoustic and operating efficiency measures which are brought into especially sharp relief in the V6 versions: “With fuel economy and CO2 emissions barely any worse than those of smaller-engined models, the A4 3.0 TDI 218 is the most impressive car we’ve tried of late. It’s only fractionally less efficient than the 2.0 TDI 190 model (officially and in the real world), and delivers the sort of creamy performance and whisper-quiet driving manners that would shame some luxury limos. Put simply, it feels more like a baby A8 than a 3 Series rival.”
The impressive showing for Audi, which began with a total of 14 category nominations, also includes an award that has become something of a tradition – the Coupé class accolade for the latest TT. This is the newcomer’s second from What Car?, but collectively the three generations of the acclaimed sports car have been honoured by the magazine a total of eight times, underscoring the enduring appeal of this Vorsprung durch Technik brand hallmark.
The What Car? team succinctly pinpointed the reasons for the TT’s evergreen appeal by writing: “Yes, there are plenty of other sleek-looking offerings in this class, but all of them demand some form of compromise from you – either in the way they drive, how easy they are to live with or how much they’ll cost you to buy and run. In contrast, the TT is not just the best coupé on the market, it’s one of the best cars you can buy, full stop.”
Commenting on this important recognition for the scope of the advances made by the all-new A4, Director of Audi UK Andre Konsbruck said: “ The compact executive class is arguably still the hub of the market in terms of the sheer pace and scale of progress, so for the A4 to be ranked most highly in this environment is gratifying enough in itself; for it then to be elevated above every other car the What Car? team tested last year is a truly momentous achievement of which we are all extremely proud.”
He went on to acknowledge the What Car? editorial team’s unerring support of the TT: “For a title such as What Car? that is so inherently trusted and respected in its judgement to be so firmly and consistently behind one of our cornerstone models is an incredible endorsement that is highly valued by Audi UK,” he said. “The TT has won an outright category or price point award, and mainly the former, for the past ten years and that’s a run of success to which only a very select few models can lay claim.”