A4 was a long time my favorite car in its class of entry level luxury
with its delicate coupe-like profile, sporty performance and flexible lifting solution, and I have not been able to look at A4 the same way since.
But it's all subjective. For the driver looking for a traditional compact sedan with a discreet suitcase, classic look, plus some of the best cabin and safety technology on the road, the Audi A4 201
Quattro? Ultra? Quattro with Ultra?
Like the other members of the A4 / A5 family, the A4-sedan is powered by Audi's 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces a healthy 252 horsepower and 273 pounds of torque. That torque is quite accessible, coming steadily from just 1600 revolutions, helping A4 to feel nice and responsive around the city and know the line.
However, unlike the A5 Sportback, which is only offered with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, the A4 can be obtained with three different drive stations.
The best setup for dynamic performance is Quattro S-tronic. The seven-speed, dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox is very cute, with cleverly chosen shift points that help accelerate acceleration and smooth overall behavior. Here it is paired with Audi's excellent Quattro reel system that can transmit as much as 70 percent of the engine's torque to the front axle or up to 85 percent behind. Split is continuously adjusted, but all four wheels always get a part of the power.
This sportiest configuration is good for a 0 to 60 sprint in just 5.7 seconds before moving on to a (limited) peak speed of 130 miles per hour. At the slower end of the performance range, you'll see 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined – not bad for this class, and competitive with
330i xDrive (27 mpg combined) and
C300 4Matic (26 mpg combined).
Quattro with Ultra
A 6-speed manual transmission is available for the A4 Quattro, which gives drivers the satisfaction of replacing three pedals. But this choice also comes with another version of Quattro All-Wheel Drive. Known as "Quattro with Ultra Technology", this is Audi's on-demand AWD setup, which standardizes front-wheel drive under most conditions, and only sends power to the rear when swiveling or gliding occurs.
Strange, this on -Demand setup does not store the A4 fuel. City and combined estimate are the same as S-tronic, while the highway estimates falls to 33 mpg. It seems that the S-tronic extra seventh cruise ship gives it a financial advantage.
Ultra front wheel drive
The most effective A4 trim is the clean front-mounted "Ultra". With the seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox, but not the Quattro rear differential or drive shaft, this easier model climbs EPA estimates at 27 by mpg, 37 freeways mpg and 31 combined mpg.
However, the increased fuel economy comes to a cost of performance. In this configuration, the 2.0 liter engine rises to 190 horsepower and 236 pound feet with torque – likely to hold the traction in control of half the driven wheels. The 60-mph sprint now stretches to 7.1 seconds;
A More Relaxed Trip
The tuning of the four-wheel four-wheel independent suspension feels slightly milder than that of the A5 models. . Then is more relaxed and comfortable around the city and over steady. At the same time it still feels nice and planted in the corners, with the Quattro system that helps to rotate the car through each bend without much of the underground that many AWD systems sometimes show.
All A4 models have active acoustics that use audio processing and speakers to cancel unwanted road noise. This results in a quieter cabin and less fatigue on long trips. But this system also generates some fake noise to sweeten the engine note when it is in its most sporty mode. Fortunately, the A4 system significantly is less aggressive than the A5 Sportback that I recently tested and I appreciate that the performance of the sedan sounds less artificial to it.
Virtual Cockpit MMI Plus Technology
Part of what makes A4 a so-called daily tool is cabinet technology.
The standard MMI infotainment package uses a 7-inch Nvidia-powered setup manipulated with a physical control button on the center console. Standard
CarPlay connection leads to a tough list of digital and analog media sources. However, upper trimmer and option packages encounter MMI Plus, which includes a larger 8.3-inch screen, navigation and an MMI Touch handwriting recognition controller.
The 4G LTE-supported Audi Connect service enables gee-whiz features such as network destination search, native app integrations, and
Earth satellite map images. And that's not even the coolest part.
My personal favorite tech upgrade is the available Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3 "digital instrument cluster display that can be customized to display everything from traditional gauges and drive information to a large map of navigation. Almost all major MMI infotainment features can be handled here with simple steering controls, making Virtual Cockpit a worthwhile feature.
Driver Assistance and Security Features
Audi's excellent technology does not stop at infotainment. There is also a solid selection of standard and optional driver assistance features on board.
First of all, the Audi Pre Sense City system is standard on all models, and rolls forward warning alerts with automatic braking assistance. The system is able to detect both other vehicles and pedestrians.
Optional upgrades worth considering include adaptive cruise control with traffic jam support that not only maintains a safe following distance in stop-and-go traffic but also provides control assistance that automatically keeps the vehicle in line with the front of the car and between lane markers. This is a hands-on system; It will deactivate if you try to go handsfree.
At higher speeds, more well-known lane holding support helps with the car staying where you want it, but does not try the same level of lane centering as the low-speed system does. It only keeps you between the lines.
Audi blind spot monitoring system is an interesting and. Not only does your back look like lane changes, and when you leave blind parking places, it remains active when you park the roadside to monitor future cars. This vehicle auxiliary system is extremely useful to prevent "dying" by other cars and potential cyclists as well.
How to speculate it
A4 2.0T Ultra is the least expensive and most fuel efficient version of A4 sedan, starting at $ 36,000 for the Premium Premium Level base.
But for those interested in the "sports" part of this sporting event, I recommend S-Tronic Quattro. It has more power than Ultra and the best version of Audi's all-wheel drive system for maximum performance. While checking boxes, I want to go up to the Prestige trim level and bring the sticker price to around $ 50,000.
It provides you with all driver assistance technology including adaptive cruise with Traffic Jam Assist, all the cabinet technology including MMI navigation and Audi Virtual Cockpit and a stunning 755 watt
Bang & Olufsen
My 2018 Audi A4 Quattro sedan is near the top of a class that includes the aforementioned BMW 330i xDrive and Benz C300 4Matic. The performance and efficiency of these rivals are all in the same ballpark, but A4 has a small price advantage and by far the most impressive technology for the three.
Those who want to save a few dollars or for something less German should also consider
. As close as equipped as we could get these trips, both stickers for thousands of dollars less than A4. Both come with some cabins and driver aids compromises – especially I – but also put more emphasis on handling and performance than the more relaxed Audi, who should appeal to more excited drivers.
But if I were to trade for a premium sports sedan, Audi's own 2018 A5 Sportback Quattro would rank just over A4 on top of my short list. Although it is not a "clean" sedan, Sportback does everything that one then does with a little more flair. Both cars offer the same leading driver and driver assistance technology, but the more flexible lifting form and the attractive, coupelike position and silhouette of Sportback are a one-two stroke with better function and shape than the traditional three-box sedan. Sharper handling – thanks to more sporty melodies for suspension and Quattro systems – seals the deal.
You can not really go wrong in both ways; Both are good (and, honestly, almost identical) choices, but I give the edge and nod to the stylish A5 Sportback over the bad A4-sedan.