Us journalists can talk about how a car handles or its steering feel or its performance until we’re blue in the face. But the only opinion that truly matters to car companies is that of the customer. How to people who actually put their money down feel about the car? Car journalists aren’t going out and buying cars we review, we’re much too fickle for that. But what about a car journalist’s mother, who just so happens to be an Audi A4 owner?
In this recent Motor Trend article, we learn what an Audi A4 is like to live with from an actual owner. Francis Gow’s mother recently bought an Audi A4 2.0T. Though, her A4 is a front-wheel drive model with the 190 hp variant of the turbo-four. That’s because it was mainly bought to provide fuel-efficient, yet luxurious A-to-B transportation.
Unfortunately, this variant doesn’t’ really allow the Audi A4 to put its best foot forward. Without the adaptive comfort suspension, which is no longer available for 2018. Gow’s mother found the standard setup to be too stiff after a short while, making her want to borrow Gow’s Honda Accord.
By comparison, Motor Trend’s long-term Audi A4 test car has the Comfort Adaptive Suspension and Quattro all-wheel drive. So do those options improve the A4 any? “A heck of a lot. The upgraded suspension allows the A4 to glide over the roughest of roads like a Rolls-Royce compared to my A4, which lacks the feature. It wasn’t until I drove the long-term A4 that I noticed myself bracing for a noticeable bump I often drive over on my way home.” said Gow.
However, the comfort-oriented suspension does have its downsides. “That said, when pushing the car, I found that the suspension hindered its abilities. A few weeks prior to driving the long-term A4, I was at the track with [Motor Trend] testing director Kim Reynolds, who was disappointed in an all-wheel-drive A4’s understeer.”
So the Comfort Adaptive Suspension adds some serious ride comfort but makes it feel a bit less nimble and takes away some of the fun. Though, it really doesn’t matter, as Audi no longer offers it as an option.
Everyone has their own preference for ride quality and comfort but I’ve actually felt that the standard A4 suspension is too soft and allows for far too much body roll. In fact, I actually make the claim that the Sport Suspension (bundled in the ‘Sport Package’) is necessary on all A4 models. Though, I’m a bit insane.