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  • John Diether
    Automotive Editor - July 26, 2017

    Expert Rating

    4.5 (Excellent)
    25 City / 35 Highway

    Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

    You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

    5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

    4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

    3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

    2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

    1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

    2018 Audi A4 OVERVIEW

    Audi's popular compact sedan, the A4 makes a strong play for buyers with its mature style, sprightly handling, and tasteful appointments. Even so, it might just be the A4's unquestioned quality that makes it a perennial top choice.

    What's New for 2018

    The newly available Optic Black Plus Package adds special wheels and trim throughout. The mid-level Premium Plus gains additional standard safety features. All-wheel drive is no longer available with the base engine.

    Audi A4

    Choosing Your Audi A4

    The A4 starts at $36,975 (including destination) with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission does the shifting. Models with this setup carry the suffix "Ultra," and are EPA-rated at 31 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

    The rest of the lineup gets all-wheel drive and a more potent version of the 2.0-liter with 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, starting at $41,475. The EPA rates these models at 28 mpg combined. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic comes standard, but buyers can opt for a six-speed manual at no cost.

    Both versions of the A4 are available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels:


    The base A4 comes with plenty of standard equipment, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless ignition, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, aluminum interior trim, and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

    While it lacks some advanced safety equipment, the A4 Premium gets Audi Pre Sense Basic as standard. It tightens seatbelts and closes all windows if a front impact is imminent.

    The $1,000 Convenience Package adds driver memory, smartkey access, satellite radio, and power-folding side mirrors. There's also a Sport Package with more supportive front seats, a black headliner, and a lowered suspension for $750. The Premium rolls on 17-inch wheels; 18s are optional at $800 and required with the Sport Package.

    Premium Plus

    Gets the contents of the Convenience Package and 18-wheels as standard, plus rear collision mitigation, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, full LED headlights, blind spot monitoring, and parking sensors.

    The $3,000 Navigation and Telematics Package furnishes navigation, remote safety and concierge services, and Audi's acclaimed Virtual Cockpit instrumentation system – you want this option pack. The Cold Weather Package tacks on heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters for $500.

    The Sport Package continues as an option, but is also joined by a Sport Plus Package that adds different 18-inch wheels, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and an adaptive suspension with Audi Dynamic Steering. On the flip side, the Black Optic Package adds much of the same content but replaces the wheels and some exterior trim with black versions. The cabin gets red accent stitching while the brake calipers are painted a similar shade. The Black Optic and Sport Plus Package are mutually exclusive. 19-inch wheels are also available as standalone options, with two separate designs keyed to the Sport Plus and Black Optic packs.

    The Premium Plus starts at $40,175 in Ultra form, or $44,675 with all-wheel drive and the upgraded engine.


    The Prestige sits at the top of the A4 range, as it does with most Audi models. It adds surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, a head-up display, automatic high beams, acoustic front side glass, and leatherette door and console trim as standard equipment, although with prices starting at $46,475 for the Prestige Ultra and $50,975 for the standard model, it's tough to say whether it's worth the price premium.

    The Navigation and Telematics Packages is standard, while the Sport, Black Optic, and Cold Weather packages remain optional and offer the same gear as on lesser trim levels. The Sport Plus Package is not available on the Prestige trim, so if you want the most dynamic A4 (without going to the S4), we hope you like black trim.

    CarsDirect Tip

    The A4 is much more satisfying to drive with the 252-hp engine and all-wheel drive, which is how most examples are sold. The extra $4,500 is worth it, even outside of the snowbelt.

    Get your price on an Audi A4 »

    Best Audi Deals & Lease Offers In January

    Prices for leasing an Audi have increased almost across the board. For example, the A3 now starts at $489/month, a $130 increase in payment compared to last month. A3 offers... View All Audi Lease Deals


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