Audi's senior compact sedan, the A4 remains a model of understated luxury and ageless design. Perhaps that's why its popularity hasn't waned in the face of newer competitors.

Pricing and Equipment

The A4 follows Audi's familiar three-trim structure:

  • Starting at $35,900, the Premium model comes standard with leather seating, a sunroof, and Audi's MMI infotainment system with satellite radio.
  • The $38,000 Premium Plus tacks on extras that many buyers will consider essential, like heated front seats, tri-zone climate control, a universal garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
  • Priced at just over $43,00, the Prestige gets a navigation system, a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system, and blind spotting monitoring—all standard.

The Premium and Prestige are eligible for a $930 Sport package with sport seats and a firmer suspension setup. Exclusive to the Prestige is the $2,790 Driver Assist package, featuring adaptive cruise control and selectable driving modes. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system is available across the board starting at $900.

Performance Pros

2016 Audi A4

Every A4 is powered by a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder that develops 220 horsepower. We've come to know this engine well, and it's an excellent match to the A4's weight and available all-wheel drive system.

Performance highlights include:

  • Transmissions: Front-drive models carry a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that's tuned for efficiency. Quattro versions come with a six-speed manual or optional ($1,100) eight-speed automatic with Sport mode.
  • Steering/Handling: The A4's suspension is on the firm side of this class, resulting in sportier-than-average handling. Unlike some cars equipped with electric powering steering systems we've tested, the A4 feels connected to the road at all times.
  • Fuel Efficiency The front-drive, CVT-equipped model achieves 27 mpg in combined driving, the best in the lineup. Expect about 25 mpg combined from the automatic quattro, or 26 mpg with the manual.

Performance Cons

  • The CVT can be slow to respond when your right foot asks for more power. We hands-down prefer the conventional eight-speed automatic, which requires you to spring for all-wheel drive whether you need it or not.
  • The available Sport package delivers tauter handling as promised, but brings with it some unnecessary roughness. We actually prefer the well-rounded base suspension.

Interior Pros

2016 Audi A4 Interior
  • No one can argue with the handsome layout and solid construction of the A4's interior. Generous aluminum or wood trim lets you know you're riding in a luxury car.
  • There's nothing compact about front passenger room, and even the standard seats provide provide all the comfort and support most buyers will ask for.

Interior Cons

  • The rear bench is mounted so low that it looks more like a floor cushion than an actual seat.
  • Speaking of the backseat, taller adults will find their knees pressed against the front seat unless they swing them to the side.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The sluggish CVT used on front-drive models is something to avoid. That dashes any hope of getting an A4 at -- or even near -- the reasonable base price.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Although it's not the newest kid on the block, the A4 still feels fresh and competitive. We're duly impressed by its enduring appeal.

The Bottom Line

There's plenty of life left in this familiar player.