The Audi A4 is perhaps the most well-rounded car in the entry-luxury sedan segment, thanks to its compelling combination of athletic performance, a comfortable and well-built interior, high-tech features, and handsome exterior design. It excels in almost all areas of our testing, outaccelerates its rivals while sipping fuel, and cocoons its occupants in a quiet, spacious, and well-appointed cabin. The suspension admirably walks the thin line between sport and comfort, providing valiant cornering confidence when pushed hard and a relaxed experience when cruising long distances. Throw in a smattering of cutting-edge technology by way of the optional digital gauge cluster, onboard Wi-Fi, and advanced active safety tech, and the A4’s myriad qualities elevate it to near the top of its class. Its appearance may be unassuming, but make no mistake: in the entry-luxury class, the A4 is a superhero in street clothes.
What’s New for 2018?
A handful of changes to its offerings mark the A4’s second model year since its major redesign. The Black Optic Plus package is newly available on all-wheel-drive Premium Plus and Prestige models; it blacks out much of the A4’s exterior trim including the grille, window surrounds, wheels, rear spoiler, and mirror housings and adds a sport steering wheel, glossy black trim, and subtle red upholstery stitching inside. The base Premium trim gains standard heated front seats and a complement of S line exterior enhancements. Midrange Premium Plus models benefit from standard blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and the top-spec Prestige trim now comes with more advanced active safety gear, including adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlamps, and traffic-sign recognition. In an attempt to hush the interior further, Prestige models also gain acoustic-glass front windows. The detuned Ultra engine is now available in all three trim levels with front-wheel drive.
What Was New for 2017?
The A4 was redesigned for 2017 and received a new chassis, an updated turbocharged inline-four engine, and all sorts of new features. A fuel-economy-focused version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, known as the Ultra, joined the lineup.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The midrange Premium Plus trim strikes the best chord for those seeking access to tech features. We’d also advocate for all-wheel drive to avoid the detuned engine and the six-speed manual transmission for its added dose of driver engagement versus the no-cost-option seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. We’d spring for the Navigation and Telematics package, which adds:
• Audi’s reconfigurable Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster
• A larger 8.3-inch infotainment display
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