The Car Connection Audi A4 Overview

Aaron Cole

Managing Editor

The Audi A4 is a luxury compact sedan that’s been a mainstay for the automaker. It’s a sedan, high-performance sedan (S4), wagon (Allroad), and the basis for the A5 range.

A new A4 arrived for the 2017 model year and it was mildly updated in 2020 with more standard features including more tech. With the A4, Audi takes on competitors such as the BMW 3-Series, Infiniti Q50, and Mercedes C-Class.

For 2021, Audi added standard all-wheel drive and a small boost in power to all models.

The new Audi A4 arrived in the U.S. in spring 2016 as a 2017 model. It remains about the same size as the previous car, but has lost weight thanks to better construction and a lighter all-wheel-drive system. An A4 Allroad wagon is also available with a raised suspension and standard all-wheel drive, and a high-power Audi S4 is available for those looking for something a little sportier.

Its new style is largely derivative, but it has grown in places where its predecessor was lacking. Surprisingly, the A4 is related to cars much bigger than it, including the Q7, as part of a larger plan to standardize more of Audi’s vehicles. The new A4 is lighter too—Audi claims it’s as much as 264 pounds lighter than the prior model.

A new 2.0-liter turbo-4 became the first powertrain available in the U.S.-spec A4 and it’s available in two different flavors: The volume A4 all-wheel-drive version puts out 261 horsepower, while the entry-level model makes 201 hp. All models of the A4 are teamed exclusively with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The S4 with standard all-wheel drive has a 349-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic that makes 369 pound-feet of torque.

Redesigned five-link suspensions are used front and rear that result in a more comfortable drive. The Audi Drive Select system with adjustable shocks, steering, and throttle will be available as an option. The power steering is a newly developed electromechanical system with an available dynamic mode that varies the ratio based on vehicle speed and steering angle.

 

Inside, the A4 adopts some of Audi’s latest infotainment technology. A 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is available, as is a new infotainment system with a 10.1-inch touchscreen in place of the old controller knob. Safety features now include lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warnings with automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.

For 2018, heated seats were made standard on all models, while Premium Plus trim levels gained a Bang & Olufsen audio system. The 2020 refresh includes pinched LED headlights and a more pronounced shield-style grille. The S4 gets 19-inch wheels standard. On the inside the center stack and console are cleaner with fewer buttons, thanks in part to the 10.1-inch touchscreen in place of the old control knob in the console.

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