Updated: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 10:00:00 GMT | By Sarmad Kadiri, CarIndia

Shootout: Audi A4 2.0 TDI v BMW 320D v Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI

Threatened by their more affordable siblings, the three German luxury sedans reinvent themselves


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Shootout: Audi A4 2.0 TDI v BMW 320D v Mercedes-Benz C 220 CDI (© Sanjay Raikar)

The luxurious Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class executive sedans had been reaping good numbers for the three German automobile manufacturers till they were the most affordable way to own these prestigious brands. However, once more pocket-friendly models like the A-Class, B-Class and 1 Series hatchbacks and the Q3 compact SUV entered the market, the executive sedans started to feel the heat. This time the pressure wasn't just from rival brands, but from within the stable itself. The three executive sedans had to justify their Rs 40 lakh (OTR) tag, and just a bigger body shell wasn't going to be enough. Thus in came special editions and new variants with better features and more powerful engines. The time is ripe to pit the A4 2.0-litre TDI with improved performance against the BMW 320d and Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI, which until now was less powerful than the other two.

DESIGN

Perhaps, one of the most important aspects for this segment is to look the part. Apart from being upmarket and dynamic, the main job is to distinctly personify the brand. One look at the silhouette and it should clearly reflect the brand design, thereby adding to the pride of ownership.

The A4 remains true to this definition the most, as the Audi family design can be easily identified and it closely resembles its elder siblings, the A6 and A8. The clear-cut hexagon grille and a sleek pair of headlamps with snazzy day-time-running LEDs give the A4 distinguishable Audi facial features. The simple alloy wheels shod with fairly tall 225/50 R17 tubeless tyres may not enhance the aesthetic appeal, but, more importantly, improve the ride quality to a great extent. Its sharp creases and high shoulder-line give the car a classy yet understated appearance, which majority of the Audi aficionados appreciate.

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