The Audi A4 compact executive car was introduced in 1994, and played an important role in pushing the luxury brand back into the public eye. The A4 was and still remains one of top choices for a luxury sedan, thanks to its high build quality, luxurious interior and sharp looks.
Audi A4 Origins
The origins of the Audi A4 can be traced back to 1994, when it was introduced as a successor to the Audi 80. It shared many similarities with the Volkswagen Passat, and it inherited the numbering system of the Audi 80 before it. Introduced first as a sedan, the A4 came with a front-mounted longitudinal engine and front-wheel drive. Its Quattro models, of course, came with the ever-popular four-wheel-drive Quattro system developed by Audi.
About the Audi A4
The current Audi A4 is more expensive than the similar A3 hatchback, but it is still one of the best-sellers in the German company’s lineup. Like any good entry-level model, it offers the prestige and ownership experience attached with the Audi brand name, but at a lower cost. For its price point, the Audi A4 offers a well-finished and handsome cabin with tight panel gaps, firm and comfortable seating, and high-quality materials. All these factors add up to a properly European look and feel around the cabin, which is something that many people appreciate in a premium compact car.
Interior quality apart, the Audi A4 provides a supple ride and able performance that makes it perfect for occasional road trips. The sharp handling gives the car an edge around road curves, but some engines fitted under the hood of the A4 over the years seem a little underpowered. The A4 Quattro model offers lots of value to those who need more traction on the road. With all these features, it is obvious why the Audi A4 is one of the best choices among entry-level luxury sedans or wagons in the United States today.
Audi A4 Features
The Audi A4 front-wheel-drive models get two trim levels: Premium and Premium Plus. The Quattro models get an additional trim: the top-end Prestige. Even the base-level Premium trim comes with impressive luxury features like leather seating, a ten-speaker stereo, a sunroof, and the MMI electronics interface from Audi. Higher trim levels come with notable additional features like a navigation system, Bang & Olufsen stereo system, bi-xenon headlights, Bluetooth, and much more. A final Sport package is also available, adding a firmer suspension to the Audi A4, performance tires, and sports seats.
The interior is not exactly brimming with luxury features. However, it has an understated tone of luxury that should satisfy the urges of the most people looking for an entry-level premium car. Space is definitely not an issue, with plenty of room around the cabin and the trunk. The engine under the hood of the Audi A4 is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that delivers 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a CVT, or continuously variable automatic transmission, for the front-wheel-drive models. The Quattro models, on the other hand, come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard and an eight-speed automatic transmission as an option.
The four-cylinder engine offers enough punch to deliver decent performance figures, and it is a rather refined engine overall. However, the praiseworthy six-cylinder engine that was offered before is no longer available. With just one engine and three feature packages, the Audi A4 does not have as many choices as competing entry-level cars.
Audi A4 Evolution
Now in its fourth generation, the Audi A4 offers a better interior, newer features, and a more refined performance with better handling. Most old A4 models are similar to the current one, but the changes, although small, are significant.
Over the years, Audi introduced a wagon version of the A4 as well as a convertible, and all three have retained the core characteristics of the model, namely its quality cabin, great handling, comfortable seating, and good looks. In fact, even the polish of the Audi A4 has improved with each passing generation. Since day one, the car has offered an inviting and luxurious cabin and nimble performance. For those who drive through rough terrain or need the extra road grip, the A4 Quattro models are an excellent option.