Audi A4 review
The Audi A4 is a smart and sophisticated executive saloon that impresses with its build quality and improved levels of comfort
Audi has listened to customer feedback and made the latest A4 softer and more comfortable than its predecessor, and as a result it's easier to live with. There’s still plenty of performance on offer to keep you entertained, but if you’re after driving thrills you're still better off with the BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE.
Few of the A4’s rivals can compete with its beautifully crafted interior, and it's a place that can transform the most arduous journey into an enjoyable one. If you're happy cruising and prioritise a particularly classy-looking cabin, the A4 could be for you.
About the Audi A4
The fifth-generation Audi A4 has been on sale since 2017, available in either saloon or Avant estate form. The A4 range received a facelift in 2019 which included improvements made to the infotainment system, plus the addition of a 12V mild-hybrid assistance to every model. The A4’s combined alternator and starter recuperates up to 5kW of energy while coasting, helping to boost acceleration or to allow the car up to 40 seconds of ‘electric only’ coasting with the engine off.
A further update for the 2022 model year saw Audi revise the A4’s selection of trim levels. Volkswagen Group’s MIB 3 infotainment system was also introduced, along with Amazon Alexa voice recognition technology, while more sustainable interior materials were brought over from the e-tron EV range. Black Edition models also received a number of exterior styling tweaks including new alloy wheels.
Trim levels start with the Sport model which has an attractive spec featuring 17-inch alloys, LED headlamps, 10.1-inch colour Navigation Plus MMI display, a 36-month subscription to Audi Connect services, cruise control, three zone climate control and a Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Next up is the S-Line trim which gives you a special exterior styling package, lowered sport suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and embossed sport seats. Sitting just above at the top of the A4 lineup is the Black Edition. This is a further upgraded S-Line model with stealthy ‘blacked out’ effects to the exterior brightwork, as well as piano black interior trim.
A more luxurious Vorsprung specification was also available for a time, but it’s no longer part of the A4 trim structure.
There are two petrol and two diesel engines available in the current A4 range. All trim levels can be fitted with either a 148bhp 35 TFSI or 201bhp 40 TFSI petrol, while diesel buyers can choose from a 161bhp 35 TDI or 201bhp 40 TDI.
The 40 TDI quattro is now the only four-wheel drive choice in the line-up. Previously, you could combine a 261bhp TFSI 45 petrol engine with four-wheel drive, but this powertrain was axed in 2022.
The 35 TDI diesel is the engine that makes the most sense for buyers: it manages 51.4–60.1mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and its 161bhp output is more than enough. It lacks the quattro four-wheel drive system used by the 40 TDI and is a little down on power, but the lack of complexity and weight means that it’s almost as quick and more frugal – all the while coming in cheaper, too.
The Audi A4 as we know it is set to be axed as part of Audi’s radical restructuring of its model names. Even-numbered names will soon be allocated to fully-electric models only, so the next generation of Audi’s compact executive car will be given the A5 name instead. The existing A5 Coupe and Sportback will be replaced with a new Sportback and, for the first time, an Avant estate variant.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Audi A4 is a smart and sophisticated executive saloon that impresses with its build quality and improved levels of comfort
- 2Engines, performance and driveNot the sharpest to drive in its class, but the A4 is a leader in terms of long distance refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsEfficient but powerful engines help the A4 deliver strong performance without sky-high running costs
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe A4 has the best interior in its class by some margin. It’s crammed with tech and beautifully crafted
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFeaturing a decent sized boot and generous passenger space, the A4 is more practical than you might think
- 6Reliability and SafetyA raft of safety tech ensures you’ll be safe on the road, but three-year warranty cover is only average