The Audi A4 hits all the right notes expected of a luxury car in this segment.
The fifth-generation model arrived in early 2016 to almost unanimous acclaim and it was not hard to see why. For a compact luxury sedan, the A4 offered a perfect blend of premium comfort and quick reflexes that made it an entertaining drive. “The A4’s performance finally makes a leap to match the best in its class, without throwing comfort out the window,” we wrote in our long-term review of the model.
The 2018 carries on largely unchanged but still remains very competitive in the compact luxury car field despite growing competition from talented newcomers. Here are the pros and cons of this excellent luxury car:
ALSO SEE: Audi A4 Long-Term Test Wrap-up
2018 Audi A4 Pros and Cons
Generously Equipped Entry-Level Model: Base models in this segment are sometimes sparsely equipped and force buyers to add option packages that can send prices rising quickly. But Audi takes a different approach with the A4 by offering a base model with respectable standard kit. LED head and taillights, real leather seats, and an expansive sunroof all make the cut and make sure the basics of luxury are covered before even venturing up towards higher trim levels with more luxury features.
Quiet Cabin: The interior of the A4 remains hushed and composed all the time. Over very smooth or poor pavement, the standard multi-link rear suspension keeps things settled and an optional adaptive damper system further enhances the ride for customers who need even more of a cushy ride.
High-Tech Interior Design: Joining the 7.0-inch dashboard-mounted MMI infotainment system is an available Virtual Cockpit. Mimicking the look of an airplane cockpit’s instrument panel, this 12.3-inch color display displays a variety of vehicle, entertainment, and navigation information right in the driver’s line of vision. Adding to the futuristic feel are climate control and radio switches with metallic details and switchgear that moves with a satisfying click when used.
Driving Dynamics: Motivated by a 2.0 turbo four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 273 pound feet of torque, the quick shifting seven-speed dual clutch automatic puts down power smartly and low and mid-range torque is plentiful for those moments when you want to have fun on twisty roads. The balanced and tight A4 is also able to easily dart in and out of open spaces in unpredictable traffic conditions.
Uninspiring Design: The A4 has a clean and handsome design inside and out that will likely age well. This type of design language is a staple of Audi products, but we feel that a little more experimentation with styling now and then will not hurt to make this car look more exciting.
Pricey Long-Term Repair Costs: Dealing with more expensive repair costs down the line comes with the territory of owning a luxury car. According to Consumer Reports, compared to Japanese competitors such as the Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50, long-term maintenance costs are higher and will make more of a dent in your wallet throughout the ownership period.
Tight Rear Seat Space: The rear compartment in the A4 has standard air vents and a perfectly positioned bench seat, but knee and foot space is at a premium. Passengers of more than average height will find rear quarters acceptable for short trips but uncomfortable for much longer trips.
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