Long term report: Our Audi RS4’s nasty boot-lid surprise
When powered boot lids first arrived on new cars I must admit I was a bit of a sceptic – who needed a motor to do something your arm could already do faster, I asked anyone who dared to listen.
Turns out, the answer is almost everyone. Powered boots that shut themselves at the touch of a button are now nearly as common as electric windows.
You’ll find them on everything from Bentleys to Kias these days, and my long term Audi RS4 is no different. So, it’s time to eat a slice of humble pie, because I must admit I’ve become somewhat of a fan.
You see, these days whenever I’m getting something out of the boot it requires 13 hands and a helper. Babies come with a lot of equipment and, add in a weekly shop to the mix, the chances of being able to shut a boot lid by hand without a return trip falls to zero.
Problem is, I’ve got an issue with our Audi’s boot and that’s its tendency to clobber me on the head. Twice now, I’ve been extracting baby paraphernalia from its deepest recesses to be surprised by a warning beep and before I know it the boot lid smacking the back of my head.
I couldn’t work out why it was doing it at first, until one day I realised it was my feet that were the culprit. The RS4 has one of those sensors just under the bumper that when a foot is waved underneath, it closes the boot for you.
My size 12s clearly protruded too far under the bumper and were inadvertently setting off the mechanism resulting in the boot-bonce interface. I was rather pleased with the discovery, thinking this would help my boot-emptying efforts, but can I get it to work when I want it to? No chance.
Despite whatever Michael Flatley dance moves I try to perform behind the Audi, I can never find the sensor when I want to. Typical.
Anyway, enough about bootlids. It’s actually a very minor gripe with what I’m discovering is a truly brilliant car. Fast estates fit my lifestyle perfectly, and the RS4 is one of the best.
In the past I’ve taken real issue with sloppy Audi automatic gearboxes, usually paired with their diesel engines, but there’s no such problems with the RS4. Changes here are brisk and without hesitation as it rapidly fires through the ratios.
Under the bonnet, the 444bhp 2.9-litre twin turbo engine is a delight. On the road it’s got power whenever I need it and the 4.1 second time for the benchmark 60mph dash is seriously impressive.
I am a huge fan of the ride quality too. I’ve mentioned in previous reports about the RS Sport Suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (£2,000) specified on this car, and the more I live with it the more I can’t recommend it highly enough. Yes, it’s expensive, but on our potholed roads it still manages to deliver a comfortable ride.
Over the Christmas period I was also very glad to find a first aid kit in the boot. First on the scene of a nasty road accident, where a car had knocked a pedestrian five metres down the road, I used the kit to patch up a poor woman before taking her to hospital myself, as an ambulance was a two-hour wait away.
The kit’s dressings, bandages and sterile wipes came in very handy and I was very glad to find it in the boot. I later found out she had broken her hip and shoulder, something the kit wasn’t prepared for, but A&E fortunately was.
And on a separate note, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the compliments the Audi gets. At petrol pumps or from visitors who have spotted it on the drive, it often receives words of praise. People love a fast Audi, especially those with the iconic RS badging, and the RS4 is certainly iconic. After three months behind the wheel, I’m also starting to understand why people love them so much.
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