Long a mainstay of suburban decorum, the 2019 Audi A4 isn't here to turn heads, but don’t let its conservative exterior fool you. Underneath the shell is a sharp-handling car with Audi’s typical attention to technology and safety. With many luxury features coming standard, it’s not a bad value among luxury sedans.

Best Value

Between the A4’s three trims, the base Premium option offers the best value. Not only does it come with niceties like heated front seats and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but luxury extras like leather seats are included as well. Most base-spec luxury sedans use synthetic leather, and some brands charge fees for smartphone compatibility (we’re looking at you, BMW).

Choosing an engine is a little more difficult. All A4’s use the same turbocharged four-cylinder, but power output varies depending on drivetrain. The cheapest way into an A4 is to opt for front-wheel drive, which lands you with the lesser tune.

Upgrading to all-wheel drive costs a steep $4,600, but it includes an uprated engine. In our opinion, the extra power is worth it – the sharper engine is both confident and refined, matching a nimble but compliant ride.

Although the A4 is pleasant in stock form, we’d probably spring for the Convenience Package to unlock a few worthwhile tech upgrades. So equipped, our A4 slides just under $45,000:

  • Model:2019 Audi A4 Premium
  • Engine:2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output:248 hp / 273 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy:23 City / 34 Hwy
  • Options:Convenience Package ($1,500, front seat memory settings, motion-sensing alarm, keyless entry, push-button start, seven-inch driver information display, heated and powered side mirrors with memory settings, satellite radio)
  • Base Price:$42,995 (including the $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$44,495

Performance

Audi A4The A4’s hotter siblings, the S4 and RS4, usually get the sport-sedan street cred. But the A4 is no slouch – the steering is predictable and the chassis nimble, which is a breath of fresh air amidst the crossover craze. The uprated engine will likely be the more popular of the two, and deservedly so: with 248 hp, it’s capable of sending the A4 from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system is excellent in inclement weather, and the seven-speed automatic matches the engines refinement. An adaptive suspension is available for drivers who love to carve through curves.

Audi has made light steering something of a trademark, but we don’t love it here. The A4’s agility would be lovely with a little more feedback from the wheels. Fuel economy also isn’t anything to write home about (the AWD version gets an EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon combined), and there’s no hybrid or electric version on tap.

Style

The A4’s exterior styling isn’t bold, but it’s also not offensive. Larger tires and sculpted bumpers are standard for this year, but the A4 doesn’t look aggressive. Simple lines and a large grille are complemented by sharp creases that provide definition without being distracting. The interior is equally clean, but it feels airy and welcoming. Seat comfort and visibility are excellent, and the interior fit and finish is what you’d expect from Audi. Rear passengers have plenty of leg room. The Audi A4 is also a safety leader, with sterling crash test scores and features like automatic emergency braking included standard.

At 13 cubic feet, cargo space is acceptable but not exceptional. Neither is the infotainment interface, which still uses a rotary knob to interact with apps like Apple CarPlay. And while the exterior is tasteful, it still invites the complaint most frequently leveled at Audi: being a bit boring.

The Best and Worst Things

Audi A4Standard luxury, top-notch safety, and strong technology don’t often come with such pleasant handling. If Audi would stop numbing down the exterior (and the steering), the A4 would be hard to beat.

Right For? Wrong For?

The 2019 A4 is right for the professional who doesn’t need to advertise their credentials. The A4 is all about quiet competence, understated elegance, and poised versatility. It speaks for itself.

On the other hand, drivers and buyers looking for flair may not find it here. Other luxury marques offer more striking rides, not to mention wider trim ranges with more frugal options.

The Bottom Line

Much has been made of the death of the sedan, but brands like Audi still make a compelling case. In fact, the 2019 Audi A4 may be one of the bright spots in automaker's lineup – pairing luxury and technology with confident on-road manners makes a tempting package. Add in a pristine safety record, and we think buyers will find plenty to like in the new A4.