- Solid handling
- Powerful engine choices
- Available as a practical Allroad wagon
- Not much personality
- Gets expensive quickly
Audi A4 Expert Review
New for 2018
For the 2018 model year, changes for the Audi A4 include new alloy wheel options and the Black Optics package, which adds red brake calipers as well as gloss black side sills, rear spoiler, and side mirror covers. The base Premium trim gets heated front seats as standard while the Premium Plus grade gets additional active safety features such as active lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, traffic sign recognition, and high beam assist.
Slotting above the smaller A3, the 2018 Audi A4 is a compact luxury sedan that's available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. In addition to the sedan body style, the A4 is also available as a raised wagon called the Allroad. At the top of the range is the high-performance S4.
The 2018 A4 offers three engine options, from the front-drive A4 Ultra to the all-wheel-drive A4 Quattro and Allroad, and the sporty all-wheel-drive S4.
Model: A4 Ultra
Engine and Transmission: 2.0-liter turbo-four - seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power: 190 hp/236 lb-ft of torque
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 27/37 mpg city/highway
Model: A4 Quattro, A4 Allroad
Engine and Transmission: 2.0-liter turbo-four - seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or six-speed manual
Power: 252 hp/273 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 24/34 mpg( A4 Quattro automatic); 24/33 mpg (A4 Quattro, manual), 22/30 mpg (A4 allroad)
Engine and Transmission: 3.0-liter turbo V-6 - eight-speed automatic
Power: 354 hp/369 lb-ft
EPA-Rated Fuel Economy: 21/30 mpg
Standard features include HID headlights, tri-zone climate control, , Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, heated front seats, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, a rearview camera, a 7.0-inch screen, leather upholstery, and Bluetooth connectivity. Options include Audi's MMI interface with navigation, an 8.3-inch screen, the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, keyless entry/start, full LED headlights, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power tailgate for the A4 allroad, sport seats, a head-up display, and alloy wheels up to 19 inches in diameter. The A4 and S4 sedans offer 13 cubic feet of cargo space.
For more cargo carrying capability, the A4 Allroad has 24.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 58.5 cubic feet behind the front seats.
The NHTSA gave the 2018 A4 a five-star overall score (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the car received the Top Safety Pick+ award after it scored Good on all crash tests, Average on the headlight test, and Superior on the front crash prevention test when it avoided a 12-mph collision and reduced the impact of a 25-mph one by 22 mph (Good is the highest possible score).
All trim levels of the 2018 Audi A4 comes standard with automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning. Higher grade models come with lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, blind spot warning, rear automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and high beam assist.
What We Think
A 2017 Audi A4 placed second in a recent comparison test of compact luxury sport sedans?thanks to its slick tech features and solid driving dynamics. However, the Audi fell behind the winning Alfa Romeo Giulia due to its lack of character and sterile personality on the road. In a 2017 First Test, we also noted that while the A4 handles well, but it doesn't have the same level of driver engagement as some of the more sporting competitors in its class. The A4 Allroad, on the other hand, offers the same confident driving dynamics as the A4 sedan even with the slight increase in ride height. Inside, the A4 offers a conservative but luxurious cabin that's packed with cutting-edge tech and high quality materials, as we noted in a 2017 A4 Allroad First Test.
The Audi S4 kicks things up a notch with its powerful 354-hp 3.0-liter turbo V-6, a more aggressive suspension, and a torque vectoring differential that helps give it excellent road holding and even better handling. We noted in a 2018 First Drive that the S4 always remains neutral, and that the car adds "a new level of interior and exterior sophistication to what were already competent—if a little bland—cars in their previous iterations."
The 2018 Audi A4 Ultra, along with the front-drive A3 sedan, were the first Audi vehicles to utilize the high-fuel economy version of Audi's 2.0-liter turbo-four.