Audi A4 Review

The Audi A4 is beautifully made and comes with a high level of technology and standard kit. If you value edgy design or a thrilling drive, though, there are better options.

8/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • High-quality interior
  • Quiet and comfy to drive
  • Standard equipment

What's not so good

  • Alternatives are more fun to drive
  • Restrained design inside and out
  • Hesitant automatic gearbox

Audi A4: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

Are you currently at work? If so, go and have a little peek out of the window at the car park – you’ll almost certainly see an Audi A4 parked out there. Together with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, this German trio is a dominant force among executive saloons.

But it’s fair to say that the latest A4, despite this facelift, is more restrained inside and out than its alternatives in terms of design. There are new LED lights and bumpers front and back, a flatter single-frame grille and bigger air intakes, but the A4 is still less in-your-face than the BMW or Mercedes.

Inside the A4 remains simple, intuitive to use and stylish. It’s not quite as sporty as the Jaguar XE’s wraparound design but the Audi’s numerous aluminium and soft-plastic trims look classy and feel absolutely bulletproof. No other car this size is quite as well built as the Audi A4. What is different to the pre-facelift version is the infotainment. Every model gets a bright, high-definition 10-inch widescreen atop its dashboard, DAB radio, Bluetooth, built-in sat-nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

You won’t have any trouble getting comfortable in the Audi A4’s front seats. There’s loads of head- and legroom and plenty of seat adjustment as standard. Space in the back is very nearly as generous as up front. There’s enough room for a six-foot-tall passenger to stretch out behind an equally lanky driver and more headroom than in the C-Class and XE. And the A4’s 480-litre boot is exactly the same size as in the C-Class and 3 Series and it’s easily big enough to carry a set of golf clubs or a large baby buggy.

It’s business as usual among the German trio: if you want a fun drive, buy a 3 Series. Love a stylish design? It’s the C-Class. But for great tech and quality, you’ll need this Audi A4.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

There will eventually be seven engine choices (three petrol, four diesel) for the A4, all turbocharged and most of which with a mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy. If you do the majority of your driving in town or don’t like the idea of diesel, then the 150hp 2.0-litre 35 TFSI is the best bet. It easily has enough power and low-down pull to haul the A4 along and is exceptionally smooth and quiet.

If you’re buying an A4 as a company car or often travel long distances on the motorway then you’re probably better off buying a diesel. In which case the 163hp, 2.0-litre 35 TDI is the better choice. It feels eager to surge forward when accelerating, yet will return around 50mpg if driven carefully.

The Audi A4 is an easy and comfortable car to drive in town, doesn’t wander about in its lane on the motorway and there’s very little wind and road noise heard inside at higher speeds. Where the A4 isn’t quite a good as its alternatives is when pushing hard on country roads. Sure, the A4 grips hard and has precision to its steering, but a BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE are more communicative and ultimately more fun on the right road.

So, aside from it being fairly restrained to behold and not huge fun to thrash through bends the Audi A4 has a lot going for it. If you’re sold on its great tech, quality and space, then check out our deals pages for the best prices.

What's it like inside?

You’ll love climbing into the Audi A4 each morning the quality of its interior is fantastic. Its infotainment system is great too, although BMW’s iDrive continues to be even easier to use.

Read full interior review

How practical is it?

The Audi A4 is spacious inside for four adults and offers a decent boot too. 

Saloons aren’t the most practical cars at the best of times, but the Audi A4 puts in a decent showing. Still, if you want more space, there’s always the Audi A4 Avant estate.

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
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Boot (seats down)
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You won’t have any trouble getting comfortable in the Audi A4’s front seats – even if you’re very tall. There’s loads of head- and legroom and plenty of seat adjustment as standard, including four-way lumbar adjustment to save your lower back on long journeys.

Electric seat adjustment costs extra depending on which model you pick, but it does come with a handy memory feature so you won’t have to fiddle around with the seat’s settings each time you lend your car to someone else.

Space in the back is very nearly as generous as up front. There’s enough room for a six-foot-tall passenger to stretch out behind an equally lanky driver and more headroom than in the C-Class and XE – even in models fitted with the optional panoramic glass roof.

Your passengers will have plenty of space to tuck their feet under the front seats too, and the Audi A4’s wide cabin means there’s more shoulder room for three adults to sit side-by-side than in the C-Class, 3 Series or XE. Okay, the central seat’s not quite as comfortable as the outer two but it’s still reasonably soft and there’s only a slight lump in the floor to get in the way of your middle passenger’s feet.

The wide rear door openings make it pretty easy to lift in a child seat and the Isofix anchor points come with clearly marked plastic caps – just be careful not to lose them. The Audi A4’s relatively low roof means you’ll have to duck down slightly to strap in a child but it’s no more difficult than in the 3 Series, C-Class or XE.

All the Audi A4’s door bins are big enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle and there’s space for an equally large bottle in the glovebox. 

You get a pair of large cupholders in the centre console up by the dashboard and a roomy storage bin under the flip-up front armrest that’s perfect for hiding small valuables safely out of sight.

The Audi A4’s 480-litre boot is exactly the same size as in the C-Class and 3 Series and it’s easily big enough to carry a set of golf clubs or a large baby buggy. It’s slightly easier to load items in the Audi than the Mercedes or BMW thanks to its wider opening and lower boot lip, however.

You get a few handy fold-out shopping hooks to hold your groceries securely in place but you’ll have to pay extra for the Storage Pack if you want some handy netted cubbies and a 12V socket.

Unfortunately, the Audi A4 doesn’t come with underfloor storage, but you do get three-way (40:20:40) split rear seats as standard so you can carry up to three passengers and some very long luggage at once.

Need to carry even more luggage? Flip all three back seats down and you’ll have access to a roomy 965-litre load bay – that’s exactly the same size as the Mercedes and a little more than the BMW. The seats don’t fold completely flat so it’s a little tricky to push heavy boxes right up behind the front seats but there’s just enough space to lift in a bike with both its wheels attached.

What's it like to drive?

Great engines, quiet and comfy to drive

Audi gives you lots of engine choice and the A4’s quiet and comfy drive is impressive. If you want driving thrills, though, you’re better off with a BMW 3 Series.

It’s easy to get carried away with such an amazing amount of choice, but even the A4’s lesser engines are punchy, saving you money when buying and running it.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

There will eventually be seven engine choices (three petrol, four diesel) for the A4, all turbocharged and most of which come with a mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy. This starts with the 136hp 30 TDI diesel, and ends with the 245hp 45 TFSI petrol, although there’s also the sportier 347hp S4 diesel and 444hp RS4, which we’ve reviewed separately.

Ultimately, a couple of engines standard out. If you do most of your driving in town or don’t like the idea of diesel, then the 150hp 2.0-litre 35 TFSI is the best bet. It easily has enough power and low down pull to haul the A4 along and is exceptionally smooth and quiet. The more powerful 40 and 45 TFSI engines are quicker and pull harder, but cost more to buy and fuel.

If you’re buying an A4 as a company car or often travel long distances on the motorway then you’re probably better off buying a diesel. In which case, the 163hp, 2.0-litre 35 TDI is the better choice. It feels eager to surge forward when accelerating, yet will return around 50mpg if driven carefully and has low CO2 emissions – which is ideal for company car buyers. Again, the 40 TDI and 45 TDI are quicker still, but not by enough to make their higher price and fuel bills seem worth it. 

Audi’s seven-speed automatic gearbox is available with every engine – it’s slick once you’re up and running, but does hesitate a bit in town. A six-speed manual will be available with lesser engines later on.

The Audi A4 is an easy and comfortable car to drive in town. It’s best to keep its alloy wheels as small as possible and avoid the sportier suspension of S Line trim for the best comfort, but even then you don’t crash into potholes or thud into ruts. Visibility is good for the driver, although front and rear parking sensors are standard in any case and the A4’s steering is light enough to make tight manoeuvres a piece of cake.

It’s all good news on the motorway too. The A4 doesn’t wander about in its lane and there’s very little wind and road noise inside. The petrol models are especially quiet.

For even more relaxation you can add Audi’s Driver Assistance Tour Pack which brings a system that’ll accelerate, brake and steer to keep you in your lane as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel.

Where the A4 isn’t quite a good as its alternatives is when pushing hard on country roads. Sure, the A4 grips hard and has precision to its steering, but a BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE are more communicative and ultimately fun on the right road. S Line A4s have lower, stiffer sports suspension and adaptive suspension is available across the range as an option to improve body control, but even then the A4 doesn’t quite put as big a smile on your face.

Read about prices & specifications