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In-depth reviews

Audi A4 review - Interior, design and technology

The A4 has the best interior in its class by some margin. It’s crammed with tech and beautifully crafted

The A4’s exterior styling is pretty conservative – no-one is going to be offended or shocked by the way it appears. Although it’s a familiar look, a lot of work has gone into the bodywork and every line and crease is there to improve the aerodynamics of the car.

The bodywork sets a class record for low drag. Clever developments include side mirrors that are mounted directly on the door panel rather than at its junction with the quarter light. This means more air can glide smoothly down the side of the car.

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Styling revisions in 2019 appear subtle, but a large portion of the exterior metalwork is new. Up front, there are new headlights with revised LED graphics, a fresh bumper, and a fake vent at the base of the bonnet, inspired by the original Audi Sport Quattro. There’s a new rear bumper, too. Even the side is updated: the shoulder line, which previously ran straight from one wheel arch to the other, now drops down to the level of the door handles in the middle in order to give a lower, broader stance.

Like the outside, the interior is no longer a revelation in this class. What’s impossible to fault, however, is the quality. The materials are soft and everything feels plush and well screwed together. There’s isn’t a cheap or nasty piece of plastic to be found in the cabin and everything has a real premium feel to it. It all looks similar to before the mid-life update, but the infotainment system is new and improved.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The new-for-2019 infotainment set-up ditches the old car’s small display and console-mounted clickwheel. In its place is a new 10.1-inch touchscreen display. The graphics are sharper than ever, and the new menu interface replaces the wheel-like on screen home page with a smartphone inspired tile layout. It’s possible to pinch and swipe across the screen when viewing navigation routes which, as before, can be displayed in gloriously-detailed Google maps graphics.

Audi’s latest generation of Virtual Cockpit also features. The 12.3-inch digital instrument display has a higher resolution than before, and introduces new dial layouts. The screen is controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, allowing the driver to easily switch between driving, entertainment and nav functions on the move.

A subscription to Audi’s Connect Infotainment Services means you can access info on weather, car parks and petrol prices from your car. Smartphone connectivity is good, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto fitted as standard. Buyers can also opt for LTE mobile connectivity to turn their car into a wi-fi hotspot.

Overall it’s an excellent system, but BMW’s setup is arguably slicker to use, while the Jaguar XE’s is at least as pretty to look at.

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