Audi A4: Exciting Under the Hood

 If you’re in the market for a compact luxury car, the A4 should be at the top of your list

Audi A4

Vehicle layout tested: 2.0-liter turbo inline 4 (252 hp), 7-speed automatic, AWD

MSRP: $37,000 (base), $52,500 (well equipped)

MPG, city/hwy/combined: 24/31/27 (AWD)

Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall. IIHS: good (all ratings). Top Safety Pick

Basic Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles

Spare tire: Compact temporary

Final assembly: Germany

audi a4 5050

Audi last redesigned its A4 small sedan in 2017, giving it a new, more powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and subtle changes to its sheet metal. As is the case with the four generations of A4s that preceded it, the boxy styling of the latest A4 doesn’t turn many heads. Instead, excitement lies under the hood.

Fling the A4 into a sweeping curve and it grabs the tarmac like a puppy with a tug toy. Its grip is uncanny, especially with the optional adaptive suspension. The steering is just right—not too heavy, not too light. Acceleration from the 252-hp turbo 4-cylinder engine and dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission can blur the trees. Yet despite such performance, the car is supremely quiet when cruising, with minimal road or engine noise entering the cabin. And the suspension manages a comfy ride along with amazing handling.

In usual Audi fashion, the cabin features high-quality materials and impeccable fit and finish. The A4 brims with gizmos, some driver-distracting (Apple or Android phone interface, Wi-Fi hotspot) and others accident-avoiding (adaptive cruise control can haul the car to a stop in traffic). The price tag? The A4 starts at around $37,000 for a FWD, 190-hp version but can jump to well over $50,000 with Quattro AWD and extras. But then, with the A4, you get what you pay for.

Photos courtesy of Audi

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