Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Executive saloons are popular with company car drivers, among whom a car’s CO2 emissions are just as important as its list price. Here, the most fuel-efficient Audi A4 – the 35 TDI in Technik trim – just beats the equivalent BMW 318d. Emissions do rise slightly if you opt for a version with larger wheels, though.
Although quattro four-wheel drive is a popular option, bear in mind that it has a big impact on emissions and economy. Indeed, the most efficient four-wheel-drive A4 is the 40 TDI in Sport trim, which emits considerably more CO2 than less powerful front-wheel drive models. With that in mind, we’d avoid it unless you live in a field or it regularly snows in your neck of the woods.
The A4 is predicted to hold onto its value well by executive saloon standards, and insurance premiums are reasonable.
Equipment, options and extras
All A4s come with climate control, cruise control, keyless start, heated front seats, and the aforementioned impressive 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit and 10.1-inch infotainment system. In fact, the entry-level Technik has just about all the necessities for a mid-size executive saloon car so we’d stick to that trim level and spend the remainder of our budget on some choice options, such as leather seats.
Sport, S Line and Black Edition trims add further sporty styling upgrades but not much in the way of additional equipment. At the top of the range sits the Vorsprung model, which includes almost every feature shown in the Audi brochure, such as Matrix LED headlights and leather upholstery, as well as an opening sunroof, but also makes the A4 quite pricey. With that in mind, we’d stick to Technik trim.
The A4 faired badly in the executive class of the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing below the BMW 3 Series but above the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
As a brand, Audi ranks near the bottom for reliability, too, finishing 22nd out of 31 manufacturers. That’s below BMW, but above Mercedes in the rankings.
You do get a three-year, 60,000-mile manufacturer’s warranty, which includes roadside assistance. For a reasonable cost, you can extend this for up to five years or 90,000 miles.
Safety and security
The A4 received five stars from Euro NCAP for its ability to protect occupants in an accident. Study the results in more detail, though, and you’ll see the Audi scored lower marks than the Jaguar XE for protecting adults and pedestrians, but did a better job of keeping children safe.
All versions come with automatic emergency braking as standard to help prevent low-speed shunts, and the optional Driving Assistance Pack includes road sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control, these systems operating in unison to make easy work of following the car in front when traffic builds up. The A4 also comes with six airbags as standard, and you can also choose to add rear side airbags.
Thatcham awarded the A4 five stars (out of five) for resistance to theft and four stars for guarding against being broken into.
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