Audi A4 Review< Back to blog
Not much has changed in the past 12 years with regards to the Audi A4 exterior. However, last year saw a massive restyling of the exterior, and in came new LED lights, smarter front and back bumpers and even a revamped grille which allows for greater air intake.
So, does the A4 have what it takes to challenge the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series? Read our full review to find out more about standard features, how practical it is and what it’s like on the road.
For any car with Audi pedigree, you’d perhaps expect it to come with leather seats as standard. However, you’ll either need to consider a mid-range S Line model for Alcantara/leather upholstery or pay an additional £850 to swap out the standard cloth ones on the entry-level Technik vehicle.
Seating aside, you’ll feel somewhat compensated by the array of good-looking soft materials on display inside the A4. After opening the doors, you’re greeted by smart aluminium inlays on the door sills. A standard high gloss package is included with the car too, backing up the metallic trims along the dashboard and around the gearbox.
You won’t struggle to get comfortable in the front of the A4. There’s plenty of manual adjustment for the front seats and the front spaces have four-way electric lumbar support for extra cushioning. On top of this, each seat has a heating function which comes in handy for the winter months.
While you won’t be settling down into leather seats in the base model, you will have a three-spoke multi-function leather sports steering wheel. Its robust design means that the steering is nicely weighted and makes driving the A4 a very refined experience.
Infotainment and tech
Audi’s ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digitises all the driver information (speedometer, rev counter etc.) and places it on a crisp 12.1″ infotainment screen behind the steering wheel. Not only this, but you also get an accompanying 10.1″ high resolution colour touchscreen on top of the dashboard. Despite all this advanced tech, at no point does it feel too complex or cluttered. Instead, the German manufacturing giant has done what it does best with its engineering, which is producing clean-looking systems that operates with notable ease. Granted, it’s not as responsive at times as the iDrive system on the 3 Series, but it’s more than good enough for everyday use.
A 3D satnav is standard, as is the ability to link your smartphone up to the interface. To control it all, you only need to hold the voice assistant button on the steering wheel and tell it to play your favourite station or tell it to take you to a waypoint you set.
There are a plethora of driver convenience technology features on all versions of the A4. Some of the key ones which define the whole experience are:
- Automatic start-stop with efficiency programme and coasting functionality.
- Audi drive select with five different driving modes (Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dyanmic and Individual).
- Parking system plus with sensors in the front and rear.
- Cruise control with speed limiter.
- Rain sensors and automatic headlights.
- Hill hold assist.
- Pre sense city (scans the road ahead using windscreen-mounted front camera and automatically brakes if required).
- Multi collision brake assist (onboard safety computer automatically brakes following an accident to reduce chance of skidding or further collisions).
Technology and appearance aside, the A4 has a lot going for itself when it comes to practicality. In the back there is three-way folding rear seats across all models. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to loading the boot, which has a massive 480-litre capacity that almost doubles when the rear seats are folded down. The practical square shape of the boot and the absence of a lip demonstrates how Audi have made the most of the A4’s space.
In the A4’s cockpit you’ve got a great deal of opportunity when it comes to storage space. Large door bins either side, two cupholders and a cubby space big enough for a smartphone mean you’ll never have to juggle and drive.
Step into the back, and storage doesn’t quite scream the chauffeur experience. There’s enough space in the door bins for a one-litre bottle of drink, but you’ll need to upgrade to the £195 storage pack for nets on the back of the front seats and cupholders in the centre armrest. Quite a big ask for such a simple concept.
On the road
Like most Audi models, there’s a great amount of option when it comes to picking an engine and gearbox which suits your needs. The automatic gearbox comes with a shifter that can be temperamental. Overlooking this, the 1.4 turbo petrol or the more powerful 2.0 turbo diesel with 190bhp speak volumes.
The A4 isn’t as much fun to drive as the rear-wheel BMW 3 Series. But for all-round driving the A4 can’t really be faulted. It’s comfortable. It’s quiet and smooth on the road (so long as you avoid opting for the sport suspension). And the handling is down to a tee like most Audi cars.
Corners aren’t taken that great. However, if want that full effect there’s the option to choose the four-wheel drive Quattro. True traction!
All in all, despite some unnecessary and pricey car tech and a rather monotonous appearance, the Audi A4 is undoubtedly one of the top of its class in terms of feel and performance.
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