Audi A4 review

Category: Executive car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol, diesel
Available colours:
Audi A4 2021 infotainment
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RRP £31,110What Car? Target Price from£28,998
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

If you’re buying with cash, the Audi A4 is a much more expensive option than its non-premium rivals, which include the Skoda Superb as well as the Volkswagen Arteon and Passat. It’s predicted to hold onto its value well with low depreciation, though. Resale values should be similar to those of the BMW 3 Series and stronger than with the Mercedes C-Class. That helps to keep its PCP finance rates competitive, but those will vary depending on the deals Audi and its rivals are offering at the time. Check out our New Car Buying service for the latest prices. 

For company car drivers, the official CO2 emissions and P11D value are the critical factors that determine the benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax paid. The diesels emit the lowest CO2 and are all RDE2 compliant (so there's no 4% diesel surcharge), but that's negated slightly by the fact that they’re pricier, and consequently have a higher P11D value, than the petrols. Plug-ins substantially lower your BIK tax and there are many available – including of the BMW 330e, the Mercedes C300e and the Volkswagen Passat GTE – but there isn't a plug-in version of the A4.

When it comes to fuel economy, most Audi A4's are roughly on par with the equivalent 3 Series or C-Class and are better than the Jaguar XE. Our pick is the 35 TDI, which officially averages around 60mpg, while our favourite petrol engine (the 40TFSI petrol) will officially average just under 45mpg.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Audi A4 Technik trim is not to be sniffed at. You get 17in alloy wheels, power-folding door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, front and rear climate control, cruise control, keyless start, and, as we've already discussed, the parking aids, LED headlights and infotainment features. That's not a bad tally. 

That said, we'd ideally opt for the Sport Edition. This adds 18in wheels, leather seat trim, sports front seats and more aggressive looks but, importantly, retains the softer Comfort Dynamic suspension for a suppler ride than S line trim.

As well as firmer sports suspension, S line has leather and Alcantara seats, privacy glass and 19in alloys, to which Black Edition adds, well, black styling details. Vorsprung is pricey but comes with everything, including adaptive cruise control, heated rear seats, Nappa leather, a sunroof and keyless entry. Sadly, you can add very few individual options to any Audi A4. As a result, you could well end up going without unless you're prepared to spend a big chunk of change on a higher trim.

Audi A4 2021 infotainment

Reliability

The Audi A4 fared badly in the executive car class of the What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing below the BMW 3 Series, the Jaguar XE and the Skoda Superb, while the Mazda 6 was top. The Mercedes C-Class came bottom, by the way.

Not only that, but Audi ranks near the bottom for reliability as a brand, 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 that for up to five years or 90,000 miles.

Safety and security

The Audi A4 received five stars from Euro NCAP for its ability to protect occupants in a crash. Study the results in more detail, though, and you’ll see that it isn't as good at protecting adults as the BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE, but does a slightly better job of keeping children safe than the XE. 

All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard to help prevent low-speed shunts, and the optional Driving Assistance Pack Tour (available on certain trims) includes road sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control. The A4 also comes with six airbags as standard, and you can choose to add rear side airbags. Vorsprung trim comes with blindspot monitoring as standard.

Thatcham awarded the Audi A4 five stars (out of five) for resistance to theft and four stars for guarding against being broken into.

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Overview

The latest Audi A4 looks sharp on the outside and has one of the highest quality interiors in the executive car class. The BMW 3 Series is a slightly better all-rounder and offers keen drivers greater thrills behind the wheel, but the A4 is more comfortable if you stick with our favourite Sport Edition trim. The 35 TDI diesel that we also recommend in the A4 is quick, smooth and economical.

  • Class-leading interior quality
  • Smooth engines
  • Well-equipped
  • Entry-level engines are a touch weedy
  • A BMW 3 Series is more fun to drive
  • You can’t add many options

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