Audi A4 saloon
Price £26,350 - £39,480
- Spacious cabin
- Wide range of engines
- Dull exterior design
- More expensive than BMW 3 Series
- Pricey optional extras
At a glance
"The latest Audi A4 is vastly improved from the old model – it’s more spacious, more economical and more comfortable.”
Although the 3 Series is arguably better looking, the A4 provides more space inside – comfortably fitting three adults in the rear. Boot space is 480 litres in both cars, however. While the BMW has historically had better steering response, the current A4 has improved in this area compared to its predecessor. Other compact executive car rivals for the A4 include the Lexus IS and Jaguar XE.
The suspension in the A4 is also softer than before, making the ride more comfortable. This can be further improved with the Adaptive Comfort suspension system, however this is a costly optional extra, even on the highest of the three trims available on the A4 (SE, Sport and S line Nav).
Meanwhile, the A4 has a wide variety of engines to choose from – four petrols and four diesels. The smallest petrol is the 1.4-litre TFSI, which is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 2.0-litre TFSI is offered with either manual or seven-speed S tronic transmission, while the A4 also has a 2.0-litre four-wheel-drive (quattro) automatic option.
If you want a petrol A4, we’d recommend the 2.0-litre TFSI in Sport trim with front-wheel drive and the S tronic automatic gearbox, as it's the most efficient combination. You could also go for a sporty S4 model, which is the most performance-iorientated model in the range, although it's also the costliest to buy and to run.
Even though there's a myriad of diesel engines, ranging from a 148bhp 2.0-litre to a 268bhp 3.0-litre V6 quattro, we’d recommend the former – and least powerful – option, the manual TDI ultra. This is because it emits an incredibly low 99g/km of CO2 and is also the most economical engine from the range, returning up to 74.3mpg. Emitting under 100g/km also means that this car – even in Sport trim – is exempt from road tax.
The mid-range model also benefits from sat nav, a seven-inch touchscreen, a 10-speaker stereo and special low-resistance tyres to boost economy. Although it looks more like a pop-up screen than one integrated into the central panel, Audi's MMI infotainment system includes handy smartphone applications like Google Maps, Whatsapp and Spotify. The SE Technik model comes with soft Milano leather, metallic paint and a sat nav system which features 3D mapping while the A4 Black Edition Nav has sleek black interior and exterior styling touches, as well as sat nav and a 14 speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system.
Generally speaking, Audis have a good record for reliability, and the latest A4 was also awarded the maximum five-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP.
The greenest Audi A4 model is close to being the most efficient car in its class
The Audi A4 handling and performance has been much improved over its predecessor
The new Audi A4 interior is impeccably built and there's loads of technology on board
Boot space is the same as the previous model, but there’s much more interior space in the new Audi A4
The new Audi A4 should mantain the brand's typically solid and dependable record here