Standard safety tech. The 2020 Audi A4 scores high marks in all matters of safety, achieving top crash-test performance along with its standard collision-avoidance technology. It carries a five-star overall safety rating with the NHTSA and aced all of the IIHS' crash tests.

Every A4 comes with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and forward collision warning. The options list includes a surround-view camera system, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and much more.

Evolutionary styling changes. You'll have to look closely, but the A4 and A4 all-road are updated for the 2020 model year. New headlight and taillight designs, as well as a more pronounced shield-style grille, are among the changes of note. New lights impart aggressiveness, while the wheel wells are more distinct than before.

The cleaner lines only enhance this model's conservative look. For better or for worse, the A4 looks a lot like nearly every other Audi car model, as such is the uniformity of brand styling.

Strong engines. Unlike BMW and Mercedes-Benz with rear-wheel-drive platforms and available all-wheel drive, the Audi A4 offers standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. The A4 utilizes the company's MLB platform, which brings a longitudinal engine layout, available quattro all-wheel drive, and a Torsen center-locking differential.

Powering the A4 is one of two versions of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The base engine is only available with FWD and produces 188 hp, with a 0-60 mph time of 7.1 seconds. Upgrade to AWD and the engine produces 248 hp and goes from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. The allroad is slightly slower due to added weight.

Audi A4

Audi utilizes a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. On occasion, we noticed that the transmission drops a gear at low speeds, otherwise, it does little to detract from the A4's stellar acceleration.

Engaging handling, especially with the wonderful quattro AWD system, and a comfortable ride are two attributes of both the sedan and the wagon. The all-road sits slightly closer to the ground and is designed for hard pavement purposes and isn't for off-road duty.

Wide-range of high-tech options. We laud Audi for its tech features, beginning with its clear and crisp 10.1-inch touchscreen display. You'll also find a 10-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility.

Move up to the Premium Plus trim and Audi adds a virtual cockpit, which represents a 12.3-inch customizable instrument panel display. The middle trim also features wireless charging and satellite radio. The range-topping Prestige trim brings in navigation and a 19-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system.

Final thoughts. The 2020 Audi A4 with the quattro AWD system is our pick, an ideal manager of the boosted performance from the four-cylinder engine.

In terms of the competition, the BMW 2-Series is available with a more powerful engine and a convertible body style. The Genesis G70 comes with more standard safety features and costs less. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available in several AMG versions that offer a lot more horsepower.

Check prices for the 2020 Audi A4 »