The A4 is one of Audi’s most successful models since it went on sale back in 1994, with 7.5 million units being shifted in that time. Its popularity is showing no signs of fading, either, as in 2018 345,000 A4s were sold.
The current fifth generation A4 has been on the market since 2015, and last year, Audi decided to give it a mild mid-life facelift - bringing in more standard equipment, trapezoid-shapes exhaust tips and larger wheels. Other than that, there are very few things that have been changed.
A year later and Audi has decided to push the boat out and go with a full facelift for the A4. So can this new facelifted version compete with the competition? We’ve driven the new A4 to see what it’s like.
Our test car featured the current cheapest engine in the range - a turbocharged 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit. Power is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
This entry-level engine impresses out on the open road as it delivers smooth performance, whilst managing a 0-60mph time of 7.1 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150mph.
Other engines in the range are a 2.0-litre diesel with a choice of two power outputs - 161bhp or 181bhp - while there is also a 2.0-litre 242bhp all-wheel-drive petrol, which serves as the most powerful engine in the range. Later on in the year there will be the introduction of the smaller affordable engines.
The only slight disappointment is the S tronic gearbox, which is slightly hesitant to transfer the power to the tarmac.
Ride & handling
The ride on our test car was very impressive, due to it having 18-inch alloys - meaning there’s enough rubber on the wheels that absorb most of the bumps in the road - helping make the ride supple and comfortable on long journeys.
Through the corners the new A4 stays flat and level with very little body roll - more so with the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
It may not have the direct poise and engagement of its biggest rival, the BMW 3 Series, but that’s not vital with the refreshed A4 - this car is more based around comfort and refinement.See Available Audi A4 Deals
Interior and equipment
Audi interiors are the epitome of quality - and the new A4 is no exception. Changes to the cabin have boosted the high-end finish, with all the materials feeling upmarket and having a softer touch.
A new 10.1-inch touchscreen is standard across the range and it uses the Volkswagen Group’s latest MIB 3 operating system - offering a host of new connected features. These include parking information when approaching your destination, whilst working seamlessly with the digital Virtual Cockpit.
Interior space is also generous, with both the saloon and Avant models offering plenty of head and legroom for rear passengers.
In terms of specification, the entry level Technik gets the 10.1 inch touchscreen, the 12.3 inch Virtual Cockpit, LED headlights, heated front seats and a reversing camera. Move up the range to the Sport adds leather seats, LED interior lighting and sports seats. The sporty S line adds signature LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels and a leather and Alcantara upholstery. The top spec model, the Vorsprung has every option you can think of - matrix LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive sports suspension, a head-up display and a Bang & Olusfen sound system.
The entry level A4 starts from £30,75, with the entry-level engine in our test car returning 42.2mpg and producing 133g/km - whereas the 242bhp all-wheel-drive can achieve up to 36.2 mpg.
The Sport starts at £35,585, whilst higher-spec S Line models start from £37,160 and top-spec Vorsprung models start from £50,010.
Compared with rivals, the A4 sits in the middle for pricing, with the Audi around £1,000 less than the entry level BMW 3 Series - but over £2,500 more than the base Mercedes C-Class.
The new A4 continues the theme of what Audis are best known - comfort and refinement. The update that has been given has made the model to step in-line with its key rivals from BMW and Mercedes.
The launch of Audi’s new affordable engines and trim levels will broaden the A4’s appeal even more to its customers - keeping the German firm’s sales strong and maintaining the title of Audi’s best selling model.
The only downsides are that the driving experience is not as sharp as that found in the 3 Series and the automatic gearbox isn’t the most responsive. But apart from those tiny niggles, the A4 remains a great all-rounder.
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