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Audi A4 Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2015
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“A beautifully built, refined saloon ”

Best bits

  •  Impressive refinement and comfort
  • Superb interior quality
  • Packed with on-board technology

Not so great

  • Stiff ride on sportier versions
  • No plug-in hybrid option
  • Expensive optional extras

Read by

Audi A4 Exterior Side

Overall verdict

Audi A4 Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Driving Front

Driving

Audi A4 Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Driving Side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"No matter how popular SUVs of all shapes and sizes become, there will always be demand for the good old saloon. But with a wide range of talented opposition, why should you choose an Audi A4? Simply put, it's one of finest examples of the breed, with strong abilities and very few faults."

Audi A4 Exterior Side

Its high price could make the A4 seem poor value when compared with mainstream competitors like the Skoda Superb and Peugeot 508, but the Audi consistently delivers on the promise of that upmarket image. 


The stunning interior, impressive integrated on-board technology and generous kit list make it feel like a more luxurious car. Couple that with superlative refinement and ride comfort, and it's a winning package.


Size-wise, the A4 saloon is bit like Goldilocks' third bowl of porridge - just right. It's big enough to feel like a more substantial car than the A3 saloon, with a larger boot and more space for rear passengers, but not as long, wide and unwieldy to drive on narrow British roads as the considerably larger A6.


Fitting a car seat is easy and you'll be surprised by how well the Audi can cope with carrying anything from bikes to baby strollers when needed.


Our pick of the diesel line-up is the 35 TDI S tronic, which neatly splits the difference between the weedier 30 TDI and more expensive 40 TDI. It has enough power to make the A4 a relaxing, effortless motorway cruiser, but its front-driven layout means it will save you a decent chunk on fuel bills, insurance and tax over a quattro.


By contrast, the entry-level 35 TFSI petrol needs more encouragement to get itself going, to put it kindly. So if the lowest possible CO2 output isn't a high priority, then 190PS 40 TFSI is a better option. It's incredibly refined and should still be capable of returning over 40mpg when driven gently.


The handling, while not a highlight, is also not the weakness it once was. The latest A4 rides with suppleness and composure (provided you avoid the larger wheel sizes) with a secure, planted-to-the road feel. Steering that lacks feedback and a neutral cornering balance suit the car's character, but provides little entertainment.


Audi's egalitarian approach to standard equipment means every model in the range feels equally plush. All A4s get heated front seats, climate control, all-round parking sensors and an excellent infotainment system that leaves you wanting for nothing. It's refreshing to know that spending extra on the Sport, S line or Black Edition models mostly adds visual garnish, rather than genuinely useful features.


When listing the A4's abilities, it's hard to pinpoint any area where it stands head-and-shoulders above its nearest rivals - the Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE and BMW 3 Series. Yet because it gives nothing away, few competitors (with the exception of the BMW) come close to feeling so polished and complete. It’s why it’s so highly recommended by us.

Is the Audi A4 right for you?

If your daily routine involves a long motorway stint an Audi A4 could be the perfect commuting companion. Its class-leading refinement isolates you from the stresses of the daily grind. The beautifully made interior packed with technology ensures that you’ll stay relaxed behind the wheel, even on the longest of journeys.


It’s good to drive, with sure-footed handling, but the A4 is better suited to drivers who prioritise comfort over finely-balanced cornering. With space for four adults inside, it’s relatively practical, but family buyers will be far better with the estate version, which has a much bigger boot that is easier to load.


As with many of Audi’s other models, the A4 has a premium image, with a good blend of sporty styling cues and understated elegance that will have a broad appeal, but the absence of a hybrid or PHEV plug-in hybrid from the current range means it has higher running costs as a company car than several of its competitors.


If you need more practicality there's the Audi A4 Avant plus there's a more rugged version, the Audi A4 Allroad.

What’s the best Audi A4 model/engine to choose?

For the vast majority of buyers, the front-wheel drive diesels will offer the best combination of performance and economy. They also make excellent motorway cruisers. All diesel A4s are badged as ‘TDI’ and (from the 2019 facelift onwards) come equipped with an 'S tronic' seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard. 


The entry-level Technik 30 TDI feels a little underpowered though, so if your budget can stretch up to the 35 TDI it’s a worthwhile upgrade since this engine has a far more relaxed character. It’s our pick of the current range.


For drivers covering lower annual mileages - or keen to avoid diesel entirely - the TFSI petrols provide an excellent alternative, with superlative refinement and smooth acceleration. The equivalent Technik 35 TFSI has more power than its diesel counterpart, plus thanks to its manual gearbox it's also the best value A4.


Choosing a favourite trim is easy since the A4 comes very generously equipped as standard. If you must have leather seats and beefier styling, upgrade to a Sport, but the Technik comes with everything you'll need.

What other cars are similar to the Audi A4?

The executive saloon class is an extremely competitive one, so there are plenty of high-quality alternatives. The BMW 3 Series matches the A4 for interior quality and refinement, but is more entertaining to drive on a winding road, while the Mercedes C-Class has more distinctive styling and a smoother automatic gearbox. 


Unlike the A4, both German rivals are available as plug-in hybrids, with very low CO2 emissions that make them a compelling choice for company car buyers. If reliability is a top priority, the Lexus IS is a touch more expensive, but has a well-earned reputation for its mechanical dependability. Price conscious? Go for the Skoda Superb, which is a lot more practical than the A4 and shares many of the same engines.

Learn more

Audi A4 Interior

On the inside

Audi A4 Driving Front

Driving

Audi A4 Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Audi A4 Driving Side

Prices, versions and specification