Audi A4 review
Audi has listened to customer feedback and made the A4 softer and more comfortable, 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 real thrills you’re still better off with the 3 Series or Jaguar XE.
Few of the A4’s rivals can compete with its beautifully crafted interior, and it’s a place than 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.
The A4 range was facelifted in 2019 when improvements included interior infotainment upgrades and the introduction of updated engine tech featuring mild-hybrid assistance – a 48-volt system in the most powerful S4, but a simpler 12-volt arrangement in the rest of the line-up. A combined alternator/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.
Trim levels start with the Technik model which has an attractive spec featuring 17-inch alloys, LED headlamps, 10.1-inch colour Navigation Plus MMI display, Parking System Plus, cruise control, heated seats, three zone climate control and Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
Next up is the Sport Edition which adds 18-inch alloys, a Black Styling Pack and part-leather front sports seats. S-Line trim gives you a special exterior styling package and sport suspension with 19-inch alloy wheels and Alcantara upholstery. Black Edition is an S-Line upgrade that brings a stealthy ‘blacked out’ effect to exterior brightwork, while the luxury Vorsprung trim is no longer offered.
There is a broad range of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Technik trim is available with 148bhp 35 TFSI petrol power or the 161bhp 35 TDI unit, while the 134bhp 30 TDI variant is no longer available.
Move to Sport Edition and a 201bhp version of the 2.0-litre petrol is added, badged 40 TFSI, while the 201bhp 40 TDI quattro is the first four-wheel drive choice in the line-up. Previously, combining a petrol engine with four-wheel drive would mean opting for the 261bhp 45 TFSI quattro in S line trim, although this model has been taken off the 2022 price list.
The 35 TDI diesel is the engine that makes the most sense for buyers: it manages 54.3-55.4mpg in official tests 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.
2019 marked the introduction of the latest S4. The significant change came under the bonnet: gone was the old petrol-powered V6, replaced by a V6 diesel with 48-volt mild hybrid tech. The new unit doesn’t quite have the outright power of the old engine but it makes up for it with a thumping 700Nm of torque.
The Audi’s toughest rivals are the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, while the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia shouldn’t be ruled out. Then there’s the Volvo S60, as well as upmarket versions of family cars such as the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508, the Vauxhall Insignia, Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb.
For an alternative review of the latest Audi A4, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk…
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