3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Audi A4

Expert's Rating

4.8Excellent

MPG 23 City / 32 Highway
, Automotive Editor -
Long a reliable contender in its segment, the Audi A4 stays relevant with some key changes for 2014.

Introduction

Audi's A4 has been a reliable entry-level luxury sedan for a long time. Audi has slowly perfected the formula of a clean, elegant and simple exterior combined with a high-class interior and memorable driving experience. Buyers have come back time and time again to the A4 -- and with good reason.

While it's become fairly easy to overlook this sedan, the A4 remains a cost-saving alternative to a lot of other European luxury auto makers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz -- not to mention American contender Cadillac.

What's New

For 2014 Audi has increased the horsepower on the A4 from 211 to 220, as well as making more technological features into standard equipment. This includes both Bluetooth capabilities and the iPod interface.

Interior/Exterior

As befits its reputation, the A4 has an interior creatively designed with comfort and usability in mind. There's value placed on high-end materials -- including standard, not optional, leather. Interior space is noticeably larger than one would expect from a small sedan and both the rear seat and trunk are sizable for a vehicle with smaller dimensions. The button layout and user interface are somewhat counter-intuitive, however. The exterior of the A4 remains simple, yet classy without any obsequious design features.

Under the Hood

Powering the A4 is a 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. While front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are standard, buyers will love the optional all-wheel drive, which is combined with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is impressive, and drivers can expect an EPA estimated 24/32/27 mpg. Of course, these numbers decrease when combined with all-wheel drive.

Performance

On the road the A4 is balanced and quick when it needs to be. Audi does a great job balancing good fuel numbers with just enough zip to bypass slower moving cars. The all-wheel drive handles noticeably better, and the optional manual transmission is a joy to use. Inside the cabin drivers will feed relaxed and comfortable while darting through traffic. Braking times and safety scores on the A4 are excellent, making the A4 solid competition for the Cadillac ATS, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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