What is the A4?
The current fifth-gen A4 hits the five-year mark with next year's model, typically a time when automakers roll out a significant update, if not a new model altogether. But changes for the 2022 Audi A4 are minor, and that's just fine. The A4 remains our favorite among European luxury compacts for its lush cabin quality and quick handling, and last year's updates — including standard all-wheel drive and increased horsepower for the base model engine — sweetened the deal.
For 2022, the Black Optic appearance package (black-painted wheels, gloss black exterior trim) is offered on the entry-level model. The higher-horsepower 45 TSFI models (also called S line) now come standard with a lowered sport suspension, and various interior wood and metal trim inlays are now bundled into packages. S line models can also add the Black Optic Plus package, which brings optional 18- and 19-inch wheels and red brake calipers to complement the black exterior trim.
This is likely one of the last years for the current A4 since a next-gen model is being readied for sale in Europe by 2023 with both hybrid and full-electric variants. Today's A4 uses a mild hybrid assist that makes the engine stop-start more seamless and slightly reduces fuel consumption. We can only imagine how much sharper the A4's engine response would be with stronger electric assist. Hopefully, we won't wait long to find out.