Audi A4 (2015-present)

This premium family saloon offers class-leading comfort, the latest in-car technology and sharp design

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Spacious interior
Choice of powerful and efficient engines
mid-level cars are well-equipped

Weaknesses 

Looks a bit bland
Expensive options list
Warranty not as generous as BMW's

The new Audi A4 is thoughtfully designed and well-built, with the latest technology that makes it feel more special than similarly-sized cars such as the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat, which are cheaper.

Along with rivals BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the A4 offers a premium-quality feel that buyers are increasingly looking for. It looks sharp on the outside and the interior has wonderful ergonomics and comfort levels.

For a family car, designed to be relaxing over long journeys, the Audi A4 does an exceptional job. It’s more involving to drive than previous A4 models, too: you can feel the wheels turning by the resistance of the steering wheel, and get a good idea of the level of grip. If you're trading up from an older A4, you'll notice a palpable improvement, although it's still not as responsive or nimble as a BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE. The ride quality is firm, but comfortable enough until you opt for larger wheels and stiffer Sport suspension (on S line cars).

Audi has built a reputation over a number of years for offering high-quality cabins and the A4 does nothing to undermine that. The dashboard layout is practical and logical, with a large, slim 7-inch colour screen for the satellite navigation and the other infotainment functions. The materials all feel as if some money has been spent on them and the lighting is subtle and sophisticated. In the rear, even six-foot passengers should be able to get comfortable, while the 480-litre boot is identical to the C-Class and 3 Series in capacity. The rear seats fold separately as standard, which allows you to load up bulky luggage, while still carrying up to two passengers in the back.

For more luggage space, the Audi A4 Avant offers more practicality and loadspace.

When it comes to optional equipment – and Audi does like to make some its best features optional – you will need deep pockets. The Audi A4 comes with a number of features as standard – smartphone integration, climate control, cruise control, multifunction steering wheel – but you’ll have to pay extra for the likes for the very usable virtual cockpit (which turns the instrument dials into another infotainment system controller) head-up display and wireless phone charging.

When it comes to luxuries that you want, though, you have to pay more. You might be surprised to find out that Audi will charge you more for electrically adjustable seats, leather upholstery and rear airbags that offer greater side-impact protection - even on expensive models (the only exception is the sporty - and pricey - Audi S4).

Many of the options that Audi offers on the A4 are good additions to the car, adding practicality, safety or connectivity – but they will quickly add to the price of the car and increase the cost of finance payments. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have similar approaches to equipment, so all their models ate much of a muchness in assessing value of rmoney.

With a five-star rating in independent crash testing from Euro NCAP, the Audi A4 is one of the safest family cars you can buy and has Isofix mountings for child seats in the rear.

                   
                     

Last Updated 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 16:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
480 litres
Width: 
1842mm
Length: 
4726mm
Height: 
1427mm
Tax (min to max): 
£100-£1,200 in the first year, £140 thereafter

Best Audi A4 for... 

Audi A4 SE 2.0 TDI 150 Ultra
The best A4 for economy, thanks to special tyres and other enhancements, this Audi has an official fuel economy figure of 74.3mpg and is exempt from car tax.
Audi A4 Sport 2.0 TDI 190 Ultra
This A4 is almost as economical as the TDI 150 Ultra but is more powerful, which is useful when the car is fully loaded up, and makes longer journeys quieter. Sport trim brings a sat-nav.
Audi S4
The fastest A4 has a different name - S4 - to highlight the difference between it and the rest of the range. With 354 horsepower - more than twice as much as the least powerful A4 - the S4 can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.7sec.

Audi A4 History 

  • September 2015: All-new Audi A4 saloon goes on sale 
  • 2016: Audi revises official CO2 emissions levels of A4 Sport and S-line 3.0 TDI quattros. 
  • June 2016: Audi introduces embedded SIM card to the A4, to take advantage of new online infotainment services
  • May 2017: Black Edition models introduced to line-up, while other variants receive specification enhancements.

Understanding Audi A4 car names 

  • A4
  • Engine
    3.0 V6 TDI 272
  • Driven wheels
    quattro
  • Gearbox
    Tiptronic
  • Trim
    SE
  • Engine
    There are four petrol and six diesel engine options available, with different power ratings.
  • Driven wheels
    Most versions of the Audi A4 are front-wheel drive, meaning only their front wheels are driven by the engine. The A4 is also offered with four-wheel drive, a system Audi calls quattro. It’s reserved for more powerful versions of the A4 where it helps prevent the wheels slipping when accelerating. It also offers more control on slippery surfaces,
  • Gearbox
    Depending on the model, buyers can choose from six-speed manual, seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearboxes.
  • Trim
    There are four trim levels, which increase in price as the amount of standard equipment increases – SE, Sport, S line and Black Edition Body style: The A4 is available as a five-door saloon and five-door estate, called Avant.

Audi A4 Engines 

Petrol 1.4 TFSI, 2.0 TFSI 190, 2.0 TFSI 252, 2.9 TFSI 450PS, 3.0 TFSI 359 Diesel: 2.0 TDI 150 Ultra, 2.0 TDI 150, 2.0 TDI 190 Ultra, 2.0 TDI 190, 3.0 TDI 218, 3.0 TDI 272

The A4 is offered with a bewildering array of engines but strip away their varying power outputs and they boil down to four petrols (including the high-performance RS4’s 2.5-litre unit) and three diesels. Having done that, it’s simply a question of focusing on the most important.

Of the petrol engines, the 1.4 TFSI will be the choice for the majority of buyers. It’s a good choice, with a flexible, economical and quiet character. The 2.0 TFSI engines are smooth, and the 252PS version offers some grunt, but against the powerful, economical and tax-efficient diesels, they just don’t cut it. The S4’s engine is purely concerned with performance and will be the preserve of buyers who prioritise speed above economy. The RS4, introduced in early 2018, is even quicker and a true performance car, with its 4.1-second 0-62mph time and top speed of 155mph.

Of the diesels, the super-efficient 2.0 TDI Ultra versions are most likely to appeal to company car drivers with an eye on their tax bill. The 150 Ultra should satisfy most drivers and the manual version costs £120 to tax, but the more powerful 190 Ultra adds an extra helping of performance, is almost as economical and costs just £140 to tax. However, bear in mind that all diesels will move up a band (compared to petrol engines emitting the same levels of CO2) from April 2018 under new rules aimed at improving air quality.

The range-topping 3.0 V6 TDI diesels give the A4 the feel of a performance car when it comes to acceleration. They are also smooth and quiet on motorways, but feel extravagant, when the 2.0 TDI engines lower down the range offer similar qualities, if not the performance.

Type

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.4 TFSI

Petrol

52.3 - 53.3mpg

150hp

0-62mph: 8.7sec

130mph

2.0 TFSI 190

Petrol

47.9 - 55.4mpg

190hp

0-62mph: 7.2-7.3sec

149mph

2.0 TFSI quattro

Petrol

44.8 - 47.9mpg

252hp

0-62mph: 5.8sec

155mph

3.0 TFSI 

Petrol

-

354hp

0-62mph: 4.7sec

155mph

2.0 TDI 150 Ultra

Diesel

72.4 - 74.3mpg

150hp

0-62mph: 8.7-8.9sec

130mph

2.0 TDI 150

Diesel

65.7 - 70.6mpg

150bhp

0-62mph: 8.7-8.9sec

136 - 137mph

2.0 TDI 190 Ultra

Diesel

70.6 - 72.4mpg

184bhp

0-62mph: 7.7sec

130mph

2.0 TDI 190

Diesel

61.4 - 67.3mpg

190hp

0-62mph: 7.2-7.7sec

146 - 149mph

3.0 V6 TDI

Diesel

58.9 - 67.3mpg

218hp

0-62mph: 6.3-6.6sec

155mph

3.0 V6 TDI 272

Diesel

54.3 - 55.4mpg

272hp

0-62mph: 5.3sec

155mph

Audi A4 Trims 

SE, Sport, S line, Black Edition

There may be a lot of engines to choose from but when it comes to trims, the Audi A4 is surprisingly straightforward: there are just four. SE kicks off the range and comes loaded with equipment including 17in alloy wheels (shod with low rolling resistance tyres on Ultra models), bright xenon headlights, three-zone climate control, a 7.0-inch colour display and a digital radio.

There’s also cruise control, rear parking sensors and a wealth of safety features including ‘pre-sense city’ which applies the brakes at low speeds in an emergency, stability control and six airbags. An optional sat nav is £550.

Sport trim only brings sports front seats and a sat nav, plus some smarter finishes and an upgraded sound system.

S line adds 18in wheels, lower and stiffer suspension (fortunately it’s possible to specify the standard set-up at no charge) and additional finishes. However, it also brings LED headlights and tail-lights with dynamic rear indicators which considerably enhance the A4’s otherwise conservative looks.

Range-topping Black Edition models offer additional styling elements and special paint colours.

Audi A4 Reliability and warranty 

The A4 appears in the 2017 Driver Power survey, placed in 53rd place (out of 75) in the list of best cars to own. It fares a little worse in the list of most reliable cars, coming 62nd.

Audi, as a brand, is 18th in the list of most reliable manufacturers, a disappointing showing for a premium manufacturer, in the table of 27 carmakers.

The A4 is backed by Audi’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is comparable with its premium German rivals, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Elsewhere on the market there are warranties with longer cover (Kia offers seven years, Hyundai offers five), but carmakers at the premium end of the market don’t feel that they need to offer something competitive at the moment.

Used Audi A4 

Most new A4s are company purchases that will be maintained regardless of expense before being disposed of, typically after three years. The bulk of these are likely to be 2.0 TDI and TDI Ultra models in SE spec. As a result of their high numbers, you're more likely to get a good deal on these cars.

Indeed, two-year-old cars are now on the used market offering good deals: 1.4 TFSI Sport models are available on BuyaCar for 46% less than a new model, suggesting that buyers can find cars at significantly reduced prices.

Even nearly new cars with just a few thousand miles on the clock can be picked up with hefty discounts: we found a 2.0 TDI Ultra 190 in S line trim on BuyaCar with over £9,000 off list price.

Other Editions