IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

The A4 delivers exquisite yet understated looks inside and out, and a refined, athletic driving experience that lives up to the styling. A generous list of standard equipment and competitive prices sweeten the deal.

BUT…

The model lineup isn’t as broad or customizable as some class competitors.

WORTH NOTING:

A high-performance S4 model powered by a 349-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is also available, as is an SUV-flavored wagon version called Allroad; the Allroad sports a raised ride height and rugged-looking body cladding.

WHAT IS IT?

The A4 is Audi’s compact car. It was redesigned for 2017 on a lightweight aluminum-hybrid platform, gaining a bit more interior room and several new technology and safety features in the process. The A4 lineup now offers only “quattro” all-wheel-drive models; the previously available front-drive version has been dropped for 2021. Two basic trim levels are offered: The 40 Premium has a 201-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, and the 45 Premium has a 261-hp version of this engine. Both are paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and both get a 12-volt mild hybrid system; the engines’ respective horsepower numbers represent a 13-hp boost over last year. Available features include a full-color head-up display system, 19-speaker Bang and Olufson-brand stereo, and a “Virtual Cockpit” all-digital instrument display. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and traffic-jam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, “pre sense city” object and pedestrian detection, and traffic sign recognition are among the available safety and driver-assistance features.

WHAT’S NEW?

After a mild styling refresh and infotainment-system update last year, the 2021 A4 lineup gets the powertrain revisions noted above, as well as a higher level of standard features across the board and enhanced content in optional equipment packages.

FUEL ECONOMY

With either engine version, the A4 is EPA-rated at 24 mpg city/31 highway; the A4 allroad wagon is rated at 24/30. Premium fuel is required on all.

VALUE IN CLASS

The subtle, sophisticated Audi A4 is one of the best vehicles in its segment. A classy, finely assembled interior; satisfying turbocharged engines; and cool tech features such as a Google Earth graphic navigation display are among its highlights. Both front- and rear-seat space are quite generous for the class, though big and tall folks might find the door apertures themselves a bit stingy. Also, some of our testers had quibbles about the infotainment system and the over-boosted power steering. Still, if you’re in the market for a premium compact with a sophisticated European feel, it’s hard to do better than the A4.

BASE PRICE RANGE $39,100 – $44,600
BODY STYLES 4-Door Sedan, 4-Door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES Turbocharged 201/261-HP, 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN Germany
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 24-31 MPG

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