The A4 is swift, silent, and sporty—the standard by which its competitors are measured. The exterior is understated; its interior is handsome and sophisticated, with materials that are pleasing to see and touch. Handling is stable, but the overboosted steering is too light at highway speeds. The turbo four makes 252 hp and pairs with a seven-speed automatic. Front-drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard; a 19-speaker audio system is optional.
Silence is golden, especially in an election year. But in a sports sedan, silence can be eerie. Absent the sound of hot air ripping through an exhaust, can you really be sure you’re in a car that performs?
Some of the credit for the silence has to go to the new A4’s low, 0.27 drag coefficient. But it isn’t just the wind that barely notices the new sheetmetal; people’s gazes will slip right off it as well. The design, a modest evolution of the old A4, isn’t exactly eye-catching. But that doesn’t mean there’s a bad line on the car. Indeed, there is a great line, a crease that runs along the side and into the shut-line of the clamshell hood. At the tail end, Audi has finally figured out how to get its thin band of sweeping LED turn signals past U.S. regulators.
When selecting a car for ride must be..
Under that thick veil of conservatism and refinement, however, is indeed a sports sedan. Rev it up, and the turbocharged inline-four’s bark pierces the calm.
- The four-cylinder is a variation of the engine that powered the previous A4, iron block and all, but enhancements to the head and turbocharger bring output to 252 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 1600 rpm, up from 220 horses and 258 pound-feet. Snarly yet smooth, the four is free of lag and delivers a strong pull from idle to redline.