Review

Audi A4 saloon

Price  £25,900 - £38,950

Audi A4 saloon

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Spacious cabin
  • Wide range of engines
  • Economical
Cons
  • Dull exterior design
  • More expensive than BMW 3 Series
  • Pricey optional extras

At a glance

The greenest
SE 2.0 TDI 150PS Ultra 4dr £29,600
The cheapest
SE 1.4 TFSI 150PS 4dr £26,350
The fastest
S line 3.0 TDI 272PS quattro S tronic 4dr £39,480
Top of the range
S line 3.0 TDI 272PS quattro S tronic 4dr £39,480

"The latest Audi A4 is vastly improved from the old model – it’s more spacious, more economical and more comfortable.”

The Audi A4 saloon is in close competition with the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. There's not much to split the three and the choice may come down to personal preference.

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.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.8 / 5

The greenest Audi A4 model is close to being the most efficient car in its class

Engines, drive & performance

4.7 / 5

The Audi A4 handling and performance has been much improved over its predecessor

Interior & comfort

4.8 / 5

The new Audi A4 interior is impeccably built and there's loads of technology on board

Practicality & boot space

4.5 / 5

Boot space is the same as the previous model, but there’s much more interior space in the new Audi A4

Reliability & safety

4.1 / 5

The new Audi A4 should mantain the brand's typically solid and dependable record here

What the others say

4.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"The A4 has made huge advancements over the old model in the way it drives"
4 / 5
"Whichever you opt for, you’ll find a car whose talents are broader than before, with improved ride and handling, greater efficiency and some highly appealing technological additions"
5 / 5
"No rival comes close to the A4 for interior quality or cruising refinement." 
4.5 / 5
"Cabin quality betters all of its competitors and sets the new benchmark for materials, fit, finish and restrained design."
Last updated 
27 Jan 2016
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