The Whatcar? car of the year for 2016 offers the perfect balance of comfort, performance, and practicality
The Audi A4, Audi’s flagship saloon, is at the very forefront of car manufacturing. Since its successful introduction in 1994, the A4 has pushed boundaries as to what is achievable in compact executive saloons. Combining a responsive chassis, with Audi’s instantly recognisable design, and high-end interior finish, there are very few cars that come anywhere near the Audi A4.
Recently updated with new technological innovations, the new A4 is even lighter, more agile, and more spacious than it’s already brilliant predecessor.
Class leading interior design, but we’d avoid the SE trim in order to not miss out on the excellent Sat Nav
One of many places that the A4 excels, is its exquisite interior. Being behind the wheel of an A4 is a pleasure that will make you want to drive more and more.
The A4’s dashboard is a beautiful concoction of soft-touch materials and easy to use switches. High-class metal trims, and flashes of wood veneer, combine to make a dashboard that will have you staring at its beauty, before you’ve even switched on the engine. Contemporary, classic, user-friendly, it easily stands up to its rivals, the BMW 3 Series, and the Mercedes C-Class, and arguably betters them.
The Audi’s boot stands pretty close to its rival when it comes to storage space. That’s not to say it’s small. There’s ample room for the weekly food shop, the golf clubs, or the family trip to the seaside. Also, the boot is much more square than the BMW and the Mercedes, so you can fit those tricky items in a little easier. There is also a Storage Pack option, that adds bag hooks and luggage nets, but we personally wouldn’t bother unless it’s something you feel you’d use all the time.
Equipment levels are, as you’d expect from an Audi, quite comprehensive. One thing we would point out though, is that the entry level SE trim fails to include the fantastic satellite navigation system, and for this reason, we’d perhaps go for the trim up. The entire A4 range includes Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB radio, and 2 USB ports as standard, so it’s easy to stay well connected. You also get a 10 speaker system that delivers on sound quality and bass punch.
All in all, the A4’s cabin is an absolute pleasure to be in. Being the best in its class, you’ll do well to find a better standard of finish elsewhere.
On The Road
Comfortable, refined, responsive. An all round package
Whilst the A4 may not have the nimble, responsive flare of the rear-wheel drive BMW 3 series, what Audi does offer is a confident taut chassis, that’s comfortable in any situation. That’s not to say it’s not responsive, it handles corners extremely well, gripping to the tarmac in even the most difficult situations. It’s absolutely ideal for the unpredictable British weather.
Audi manages to do this with their famous chassis technology. Built up across generations of motorsport and commercial car manufacturing. To put it simply, Audi has perfected the art of chassis design. With virtually no understeer, or oversteer, you’ll never be scrambling around trying to control a skid, even in the dampest, or iciest conditions. And if you go for one of the Quattro options, you’ll feel like you’re almost stuck to the road.
Gearbox options on the A4 range from the 6-speed manual found on everything from the 1.4 TFSI to the 2.0 TDFI Ultra, a 7-speed S tronic on the 2.0 TFSI quattro, ranging up to the 3.0 V6 TDI 218 PS, and a frankly brilliant 8-speed tiptronic gearbox on the 3.0 V6 TDI 272 quattro. Whichever model you go for, the gearboxes are smooth, easy-to-use, and on-par, if not better than the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C-Class.
A decent range of engine options, lacking in hybrid or electric options, but enough for most
In terms of how you want to power your A4, you have two options, petrol or diesel. There’s no electric or hybrid option yet on the latest model, which will be a disappointment for some. For most buyers however, this won’t be an issue.
If it’s power you want, you should perhaps consider the exceptionally quick 3.0 V6 TDI 272 option. As you can probably guess, the engine pumps out 272 PS. This, combined with the monstrous 600 Nm of torque, gets you from 0-62mph in an eye watering 5.3 seconds. For most, though, the 3.0 V6 TDI 218 will be plenty. Getting to the same top speed of 155mph, and being only a second slower to 62mph, it’s still mightily quick.
For the environmentally friendly among us, the 2.0 TDI Ultra is the one to go for. With only 99 g/km of CO2, it should save you money on vehicle tax. Combined with an economical 72 mpg fuel consumption, this is also the model for people wanting to get the most out of their tank of diesel. Despite being the most economical of the range, the 2.0 TDI Ultra still manages a more than acceptable 190 PS, a whopping 400 Nm of torque, and a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds. An all round good package.
Whatever engine you decide to go for in your Audi A4, you’ll be getting an engine designed and constructed with all the Audi expertise. So whether diesel, petrol, powerful, or economical, all the engines in the range have the power to put a smile on your face, without leaving you feeling like you’ve got a hole in your pocket.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests with innovative safety features as standard
Like nearly every car in its class, the A4 easily reached the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Though it doesn’t quite match up to the BMW 3-series, it far outdoes its rival from Mercedes, the C-class. As standard, the A4 comes with a 6 Airbag system, positioned around the cabin for maximum coverage. It also features ‘multi-collision brake assist’ which triggers automatic controlled braking once an initial collision has been detected so as to reduce the intensity of further accidents after a collision, preventing follow-on collisions with oncoming traffic. All in all, technology that should keep you and your family safe.
Value for money
Low running costs, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Audi A4 is surprisingly cheap to run. Obviously, this varies between model to model, but due to technological advancements, most models come with relatively low CO2 emissions, especially considering the power output of the engines. Similarly, fuel consumption is impressive, with no model in the range dropping below 47.9 mpg.
Insurance wise, it entirely depends on which model of A4 you go for. Starting at insurance group 23E for the 1.4 TFSI or 2.0 TDI Ultra, it ranges up to 40E for the rapid 3.0 V6 TDI 272 quattro. These groups are roughly the same as the A4’s competitors in its class, which is to be expected.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Audi A4, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Audi A4 is a best seller within its class and there’s little wonder why. This is one of the most complete executive compact saloons on sale within the UK today. With engine and specification models suited to everyone, it’s sure to be a favourite for years to come.
Buying a used Audi A4 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Audi A4 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Audi A4. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Audi A4 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Audi A4? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Audi A4, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Audi A4, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Audi to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.