Audi A4 saloon (2011-2015) - Reliability & safety
A steady decline in customer satisfaction highlights the Audi A4’s age
The Audi A4’s customer satisfaction has dropped as the model has aged and started to come up against newer rivals. Safety has also fallen behind key rivals that have been tested under tougher conditions. The A4 can be fitted with the latest safety kit, though.
The Audi A4 has dropped down the rankings in our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey over the past few years. In 2011, it came 36th out of 150 cars, but in 2012 it dropped to 60th place and in 2013 it slipped further to 76th position. This gradual decline looks set to continue, as in our 2014 survey, owners ranked it 80th out of 150 cars. It still faired well for in-car technology, coming 28th out of 150 models, but other areas are looking a little shaky – it finished 110th for reliability and 123rd for ease of driving. Yet the A4 still feels like a well built, high-quality product.
The Audi A4 scored five stars when it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP in 2009, but the 2014 crash test (which the Mercedes C-Class passed with flying colours) is tougher. However, all Audi A4s come with two ISOFIX child-seat mounts in the back, a system that advises the driver when to take a break, traction control, electronic stability control and six airbags.
Optional safety features include Audi Active Lane Assist (£370), which uses gentle steering inputs to keep the A4 in lane, as well as rear side airbags (£255). Audi Side Assist further bolsters safety, by warning of approaching vehicles in your blind spot. This is a useful feature if you clock up a lot of motorway miles.
Adaptive cruise control is another feature we’d recommend for motorway use. It's not cheap at £900, but it can match the speed of the car in front automatically, before returning to a preset cruising speed once the road ahead is clear.