The Audi A4 holds the distinction of single-handedly reviving the Audi brand after its big sales slump some two decades ago. Launched in the mid-'90s, the A4 quickly proved a favorite among luxury-car buyers thanks to its handsome, well-finished cabin, sharp handling and available Quattro all-wheel drive. Tight panel gaps, high-quality materials and firm, comfortable seating give the interior the proper European ambience, while a supple ride and willing performance make the Audi A4 a great road trip choice.
Although those core characteristics have been part of the A4's personality since day one, this Audi -- which has traditionally been available in sedan, wagon and convertible body styles -- has become increasingly polished with each successive generation. No matter what year you're looking at, the A4 will provide athletic performance and a comfortable and inviting cabin. Add in the appeal of all-wheel drive (a serious asset for those who live in inclement parts of the country) and it's easy to see why the A4 has become a prime choice for an entry-level luxury car.
Current Audi A4
The latest Audi A4 is available only in sedan and wagon (Avant) configurations. Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) are standard on the 2.0T Frontrak model, while the 2.0T Quattro gets all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual standard, with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission available as an option. The Avant is only offered with both Quattro and the eight-speed auto.
The A4's standard features are clustered into three packages -- Premium, Premium Plus and top-of-the-line Prestige -- though the latter can only be had with Quattro. Despite the upgrades found on the upper packages, the base Premium still comes with items like leather seating, a sunroof, a 10-speaker stereo and Audi's MMI electronics interface. Notable upgrades include tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth, bi-xenon headlights, a Bang & Olufsen stereo, a navigation system and a Sport package that includes a firmer suspension, sport seats and high-performance tires.
In road tests, our editors have been impressed with the Audi A4's understated yet luxurious cabin, sharp handling and generous cargo space. Additionally, its available all-wheel drive makes it a compelling choice for those who frequently face rain or snow. However, we've also pointed out that since it no longer offers a six-cylinder engine option, the A4 doesn't give its customers as many choices as its competitors. Nonetheless, with its classy interior and European panache, the A4 remains a solid choice in the entry-level luxury car segment.
Read the most recent 2014 Audi A4 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Audi A4 page.