So far this year some 67% of new Audis sold in Australia are SUVs which is a common trend in many prestige car brands.
Audi is still, however, very keen to showcase and promote their passenger vehicles.
The A4 sedan, accounts for 32% of their sales of A4s and A5s while the Avant and the All-Road account for a further 15%. The biggest seller on this platform is the A5 sports back.
This review is just about the sedan and wagon. The Allroad and A5 models will be reviewed separately.
The A4 sedan and Avant are in the medium sized prestige passenger car category currently dominated by the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C Class.
Audi has defined this upgrade as a “Refreshment”. The new models include a boost in technology; some cosmetic changes; a reduction in engine options; simplified option packages; And a modest reduction in price
There are three variants for the A4
- 35 TFSI – A mild engine, front-wheel drive with reasonable standard features (sedan only)
- 35 TFSI S Line – More comfort and cosmetic features and virtual cockpit (sedan only)
- 45 TSFI S Line – Performance tuned engine, quattro all-wheel drive, virtual cockpit (Sedan and avant)
What is the A4 Like outside?
Audi has refined the outer appearance of the vehicles to get a more sophisticated, wider look in a similar way to what they did with the Q8 SUV.
The new A4 Sedan and A4 Avant have grown 24 millimetres longer and 5 millimetres wider and now come with 19-inch wheels as standard. Most of the body panels are new, including all the side panels.
There are new lighting designs, new grill, stronger blisters over the wheel arches and a lower waist line feature that visually lowers the centre of gravity of the car for a sportier look
At the front, the daylight running lights are positioned up high. The single frame grille is now broader and flatter, with horizontal lines that emphasise its width.
At the rear there is an increased emphasis on horizontal elements linking the tail light as well as a diffuser and trapezoidal tailpipes. The overall effect is to increase the impression of width.
There is a contactless opening of the tailgate which is standard across the range but with the Avant there is also electric rear tailgate with gesture control for added convenience.
You can step up a grade to the S line which incorporates cosmetic changes such as slots at the front which hark back to the original Audi sport Quattro of nineteen eighty four. There are side mirrors that fold and dim
In our opinion the Avant wagon in the style of a sports wagon is the pick in the looks department.
What’s it like inside
The interior has a strong feeling of class without being overstated. The most dominant feature for models with Audi Connect plus is the digital infotainment and dash board displays.
It is this feature that Audi is showing class leadership both in terms of the amount of information that is available and the relative ease with which it is accessible. Audi say that there is 10 times the computing power of previous models driving this infotainment and driver information of presentation on the digital displays.
The seats are comfortable the driver’s seat is electrically adjusted in the base model and the passenger seat is electronically adjusted in the two higher specification models. Leather appointed seat upholstery is standard across the range.
As the infotainment screens are now touch screens there is no need to control your choices through a mouse dial in the area between the seats, with has now been given over to more storage space.
Room in the second row of seats is adequate. Rear seat bench, 40:20:40 split folding and rear centre armrest with cup holder.
The sedan’s boot has a 460-litre luggage capacity while the Avant wagon has 495 litres
Audi A4 S Features
All variants of the A4 sedan and wagon have the following features have most of the features you would expect although the cruise control is only available through an option package. The good thing about the cruise control is that it comes with braking to maintain the set speed and there is also a speed limiter function.
Some special features include
- Predictive efficiency assist – provides targeted control of the engine overrun and coasting phases
- Turn assist – monitors oncoming traffic when turning right at low speeds
- Audi connect plus Navigation & Infotainment services including:
Audi connect plus Navigation & Infotainment services‡3 including
- Online traffic information with hazard alert
- Destination entry via myAudi or Google Maps
- Parking information
- Fuel prices
- Google services
Audi connect plus Security & Assistance services including:
- Car finder with remote signal
- Remote lock & unlock
- Emergency call
- Online roadside assistance
The 45 TFSI quattro S line features also includes:
- Driver seat memory functionality
- Audi sound system (180W, 10 speakers)
While Audi has simplified the optional packages, they are quite revealing in highlighting what is not a standard feature
Assistance package for 35 TFSI sedan includes ($1,900)
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Active Lane Assist
- High Beam Assist
Assistance package plus for 35 TFSI Sline sedan and 45 TFSI quattro ($2,900)
- Everything in the assistance package
- Heads-up display
- 360 degree camera
- Park assist
S line Interior package for 45 TSFI quattro sedan and avant ($2,100)
- A range of bling features including LED colour lighting package with ambient lighting and 30 selectable colours and 3 colour profiles
What Engine and Transmission does the Audi A4 have?
The A4 sedan and Wagon all have a two-litre turbo charged petrol engine and now Audi has included mild hybrid technology.
- 35 TFSI: 110kW and 270Nm: 6.1L/100km: front wheel drive
- 45 TSFI 183kW and 370Nm: 7.1L/100km: Quattro all-wheel drive
Audi no longer provides a 40 TFSI model in the A4 range
The delivery of power is enhanced a little with a mild hybrid system that is standard across the range although it is not particularly noticeable. I see it as much as moving toward a more complete hybrid system as well as being a marketing feature.
All A4 sedans and Avant models have a 7- speed S tronic transmission and the all wheel drive system is cleverly designed to work when you need it and save fuel and wear and tare to the rear wheel drive system when you don’t need it.
What are the safety features?
The last Audi A4 that was crash tested by ANCAP was back in 2015 where it received 5 stars. To achieve five stars now is a much harder task however the new A4 has some important safety features that should help it get a good result:
- Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection
- Preventative protection measures including tensioning of front seat belts and closing of the windows and sunroof where the risk of a collision is detected from the rear
- Cross traffic assist rear – supports the driver when reversing out of a perpendicular parking space reducing the risk of accidents
- Exit warning system – detects cars and cyclists when opening doors
- Lane change warning (side assist) – warns vehicles in the blind spot as well as those approaching rapidly from the side
- Light and rain sensor – automatic control of lights-on function and windscreen wipers
- Airbags (eight in total) front airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags for front and rear passengers, head level curtain airbag for front and rear
- Attention assist – provides a warning alert tone and visual signal if the system evaluates that the driver’s attention may be lapsing
There are a few additional features that add a certain specialness to the car
- Swerve assist to steer around an incident such as approaching a car from behind at a high speed.
- Rear tail lights that strobe to catch the attention of a driver that is approaching your car too quickly from behind.
- If you do get the adaptive cruise control option it can detect what’s happening in front of the car that’s in front of you that is up to two cars ahead or even three cars ahead.
If you enjoy a spirited performance there is no doubt that you should go for the top selling 45 TFSI quattro. The lower powered 35 TFSI is really for much more sedate driving. Having driven the higher powered model then hoped into the less powerful version, I found that I had to adapt quickly in allowing appreciably more time to enter into a traffic stream and increase speed to the main traffic flow.
Within the confines of the speed limits it is the braking and handling of the Audis that I find most enjoyable. Surefooted is a good description.
To achieve good handling nearly all manufacturers fit low profile tyres. While the Audis had a certain ambience, I found the road noise was not sharp or penetrating but still a little more obvious in the background than I would like from a prestige vehicle.
The situation is better in my opinion in the Allroad which we will review separately.
A4 Sedan 35 TFSI 110kW $55,900
A4 Sedan 35 TFSI S line 110kW $59,900
A4 Sedan 45 TFSI quattro S line 183kW $68,900
A4 Avant 45 TFSI quattro S line 183kW $71,400
Audi A4 S Summary
Audi has provided a tempting package to get you into a prestige German brand with the new A4 having some significant technological improvements with competitive pricing for the prestige market.
The styling is more sophisticated and, in our opinion, the Avant wagon is the best-looking model.
You have to go to the higher specification of the 45 TFSI to enjoy a good level of engine performance but the overall quality of handling and braking is there in all models.
The digital screen technology is excellent and provides reassuring information to the driver.
A few features such as adaptive cruise control, however, are only optional.
- Great digital screens with very useful, adaptable information
- The 45 TFSI is a sweet and powerful engine
- Quattro technology is advanced
- Surefooted braking and handling
Not So Good Bits
- Some common features are still options
- 35 TFSI is underpowered
- Road noise is not aggressive but still a little intrusive.
Also Look at
Model A4 Avant 45 TFSI quattro S line
- Model Price From $71,400 MLP*
- Engine 2.0 L 4Cyl TFSI
- Drivetrain Quattro 7 speed Auto DSG
- Power 183kW @ 6000rpm
- Torque 370Nm @ 1600-4500rpm
- Safety 5 Star ANCAP
- CO2 Emissions 167 g/km
- Economy ADR 7.3 L/100km
- Tow Capacity 1700 kg
- Tow Ball Rating 170 kg
- Servicing TBC
- Warranty 3 Yr./ Unlimited km with 3 Yr. roadside assist
*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options.