I agree with a lot on here but not everything. I came from a BMW F31 335d to my A4 and the difference is night and day. The S-tronic gearbox is OK, it's vastly smoother than the ZF but yes it's slower, especially when cold but the gear changes, they're just so smooth. It's not a racer it's a cruisy diesel and it excels. In the BMW I too was frustrated with the reversion to comfort, the lousy i-Drive where "back" rarely returned you to the previous page, the non automatic auto wipers, the useless sat-nav, the runflat noise, the runflat harshness, the runflat fear of not having a spare, the wind noise, the ***** headlights, the Tandy quality stereo (was it even stereo?), the oil leaks and everyone thinking you're a c**t cos you drive a BMW.
Yes, the box is slow, I drove a manual Q2 last week and it really shows how slow it is but I can live with that for the comfort, refinement, build quality and just a nicer place in which to commute.
Totally agree on the above. My wife has a 430d Gran coupe and I had a 330d before my current a4
The stock bmw stereo was dreadful but the standard one in my a4 s line I’m my view isn’t far off the upgraded Harmon Kardon one in my wife’s 430d.
We always take my car when we go out as a family as the road noise and firm ride of the 430d is not ideal. I actually posted a review of my old 3 series vs my new a4 on a bmw forum a while back and most people agreed with the bmw’s shortcomings particularly the interior and refinement.
Audi just don’t do responsive auto boxes (certainly on non S and RS cars) but for me that’s ok given the overall strengths of the a4. From what I’ve read recently it’s the same with Mercedes and Volvo.