Driving position and dashboard
You won’t have many issues getting comfortable thanks to a generous range of seat and steering wheel adjustments. Sport, S line and Black Edition models have well-bolstered seats that hold you in place more securely through corners than the entry-level SE.
However, if opting for SE trim, we’d recommend you add adjustable lumbar support to help ensure a comfortable posture on long journeys and ward off potential back problems. Sport models and above get this important feature as standard and fully electric seats are optional across the range.
The A4’s minimalist dashboard is simple and easy to get the hang of, and the optional Virtual Cockpit – which comes as part of the Technology Pack and places a 12.3in digital display where you’d otherwise find the analogue instrument dials – makes it even easier to control the myriad of systems at your fingertips.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
Forward visibility is good but over-the-shoulder view could be better, although that's the case with many saloons. Fortunately, all models come with parking sensors front and rear to help out with manoeuvring, while a reversing camera is a good option to think about adding.
The optional Parking Assistance Pack brings a 360deg camera and park assist, which steers into a space for you, along with added safety kit.
SE trim comes with decent xenon headlights, while S line versions are upgraded with even brighter LED headlights. Adaptive Matrix LED headlights, which can remain on main beam even with cars ahead of you, are clever and well worth considering, especially if you find driving at night a trauma.
Sat nav and infotainment
The most basic SD card-based sat-nav – fitted to all versions – gets a 7.0in screen and is controlled using a rotary dial positioned between the front seats. You simply twist to scroll through the on-screen menus and press down to select an option, and there are some handy shortcut keys that take you directly to the most commonly used functions. It's a great system that's easier to use on the move than a touchscreen.
So what do you get with the A4? The basics include Bluetooth, a DAB radio, voice control and two USB ports. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, as part of the Audi Smartphone Interface. If you chose to add the optional Technology Pack this includes the Virtual Cockpit we mentioned earlier, which can mirror the infotainment screen's media, phone and navigation information onto the 12.3in-instrument display just below your line of sight. The same pack also brings an upgraded 8.3in screen, a three-year subscription to Audi's Connected Services and wireless phone charging. Even this upgrade doesn't quite match the screen size or definition offered by the latest BMW iDrive in the 3 Series, or its functionality for that matter.
The A4’s interior is beautifully crafted from high-class materials. Harder plastics are few and far between and nearly everything else is made of plush, soft-touch plastic. Real metal or wood veneer trims adorn the dashboard and centre console and combine with well-damped switches to create an upmarket ambience.
The overall level of fit and finish is a grade or two above most other cars in this class, with minuscule panel gaps throughout the interior. That said, the latest 3 Series gets very close.
The Mercedes C Class looks swish and the diesels are super-eff...