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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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£38,285 to £52,595
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​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.

Another mild facelift in 2021 saw the A4 Black Edition receive new 19-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, black badging and a black boot-mounted spoiler.

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Like the outside, the A4’s 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 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

Since the 2019 facelift, all A4s have been fitted with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display as standard. The graphics on this system are sharp, and the menu interface uses a smartphone-inspired tile layout. It’s possible to pinch and swipe across the screen when viewing navigation routes which can be displayed in gloriously-detailed Google maps graphics.

In 2021, the infotainment system was updated to the Volkswagen Group’s MIB 3 platform. This introduced a number of operational improvements along with Amazon Alexa voice recognition technology. 

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit also features. The 12.3-inch digital instrument display is high-resolution and provides a wide variety of layouts on the driver’s screen. 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 iDrive setup is arguably slicker to use.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    35 TFSI Technik 4dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £31,470

Most Economical

  • Name
    30 TDI Technik 4dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £35,220

Fastest

  • Name
    40 TDI 204 Quattro Sport Edition 4dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £41,090

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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