2021 Audi A4 review: No-nonsense, entry-level luxury

The A4 is a bit of a looker, particularly with the sportier S Line lodging witnessed here. Andrew Krok/Roadshow When a buyer to start with dips their toes into luxury sedans, they are likely to start small. As a final result, the compact-lux section involves automakers to put forth a […]

The A4 is a bit of a looker, particularly with the sportier S Line lodging witnessed here.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

When a buyer to start with dips their toes into luxury sedans, they are likely to start small. As a final result, the compact-lux section involves automakers to put forth a stable energy in buy to preserve all those to start with-time prospective buyers coming again for additional. To that stop, the 2021 Audi A4 provides a ton of package to the table in an energy to stand out from the group.


  • At ease and enjoyment to drive
  • Strong shopper tech

Never Like

  • Confined storage in both equally cabin and trunk
  • Negligible fuel-economic climate improve around 2020 design

The most noteworthy update for the 2021 Audi A4 is the addition of a twelve-volt gentle-hybrid program, as properly as changing the foundation entrance-wheel-drive setup in favor of AWD across the board. Both of those the foundation forty and the increased-output 45 variants obtain this upgrade, as properly as a small electrical power bump — not that both model essentially wanted it. My tester packs the beefier model of Audi’s two.-liter turbocharged I4, which now creates 261 horsepower and 273 pound-ft of torque.

The A4 45 may not be a appropriate sports sedan like the peppier S4, but holy heck, it can however scoot. Involving the gentle-hybrid program and the engine’s personal low-down torque, this four-doorway will leap off the line like a doggy that just heard the word “outside,” particularly if I swap out of the normal Convenience manner, which softens throttle reaction in buy to spotlight clean, economical driving. The gentle-hybrid program does a wonderful position in the track record, helping lower the engine previously in deceleration when starting off it again up effortlessly. The 7-speed automatic transmission is a very little gradual to reply in specified circumstances, but in any other case it really is content to dangle out at the rear of the scenes. Light steering and easy-to-modulate pedals even more greatly enhance the expertise.

The EPA prices the 2021 A4 45 at 24 miles for each gallon town and 31 mpg freeway, figures that I have no dilemma reaching, even in gross, wintry ailments. The confounding thing is, however, the EPA prices the outgoing 2020 A4 with all-wheel drive at 32 mpg freeway, so… where’s the gains from the gentle hybrid? Certain, the slight electrification provides positive aspects like extending cease-start running, but according to the feds, that additional bit of mechanical complexity is a wash.

The ride in my tester is a very little on the severe side, but that’s by layout. Not only does this automobile include things like 19-inch alloy wheels ($800), which limitations tire sidewall sizing and inhibits undesirable-road mitigation, it also rocks a $250 sport suspension that would make sprightly driving a bit additional engaging by flattening out the dealing with. Individuals hunting for a additional ease and comfort-oriented ride will want to skip around these packages, but it does not go as well considerably in a single direction the expertise is however adequately damped on excellent roadways.

Even if you will not spec the bigger wheels, there are however strategies to gussy up the 2021 Audi A4. This automobile also carries the $five hundred Black Optic package, an affordably priced upgrade that ditches the exterior chrome in favor of gloss-black trim. The 2020 refresh did miracles for the A4, offering it a significantly fresher deal with that greater matches bigger offerings like the A6 and A8. It is really however on the anonymous side, but low-key isn’t a undesirable thing apart from, there are however enjoyment thrives here and there, like the miniature light-weight display that can take place in the matrix-type LED headlights (section of the best Prestige trim) each time I lock or unlock the automobile.

The inside does not escape the upcharge prospective, both. For $five hundred, Audi will throw in a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum trim and sportier seats wrapped in leather-based and Alcantara suede. It is really a sharp very little mixture that provides a astonishing quantity of visual oomph for not that significantly revenue. The seats are supportive without having getting tight, and heated suede or fabric often feels greater to me in the winter season than chilly leather-based. There is a good deal of area for my 6-foot Gumby body up entrance, and the absence of a “sporty” lower roofline implies the again seats are not as well shabby, both, despite the fact that legroom is a very little tight.

My most important criticism about the inside includes storage area, or a absence thereof. The twelve cubic-foot trunk is additional than enough for a single or two people, but it lags at the rear of competitors from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, even if it really is only by a bit. The interior’s stowage possibilities are restricted, as well my tall-but-not-extensive thermos has difficulties fitting in the small cup holders without having smacking dashboard controls, and the doorway pockets are not extensive enough to manage it, both. The armrest folds up to expose a small tray that’s excellent for very little additional than a mask and a cellular phone, with the wi-fi charger taking up most of that area.

The A4’s cabin is evidence that simple interiors will not require to be monotonous, essentially.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

If the inside is excellent, the 2021 Audi A4’s cabin tech would make it wonderful. All trims occur normal with a ten.1-inch touchscreen running the latest single-screen iteration of Audi’s MMI infotainment program, which involves wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Car. I had higher praise for the dual-screen model of this getup when it to start with debuted, and the pared-again model here does not scrimp on characteristics, responsiveness or aesthetics. It boots up swiftly, and it can take incredibly very little time to get applied to. My Prestige-trim tester also sports USB ports for the rear seats, in addition to the two up entrance. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the gauge cluster with a twelve.3-inch screen, arrives in the midtrim Top quality Moreover design, and as often, it reduces distraction by providing up navigation, audio and other facts just under my common eye amount.

Audi produced guaranteed to load up the A4 with a good deal of its latest and best safety units, as well. Normal package involves forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, when shifting up to the Prestige trim throws most fashionable conveniences into the fray, this kind of as adaptive cruise manage, lane-retaining support, a bird’s-eye digital camera and parking sensors. When it really is a good deal easy to preserve this compact sedan concerning the strains, no matter whether on the freeway or in your area CVS parking whole lot, a very little additional piece of mind goes a extensive way. Props to Audi for owning an remarkable resolution on its backup digital camera, to boot.

Audi’s Google Earth overlay is often enjoyment to get dropped in. Just, you know, not when you might be driving.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2021 Audi A4 begins out quite reasonably priced, with a foundation cost of $forty,145, which isn’t undesirable thinking of all that normal tech and now-normal all-wheel drive. However, piling on the possibilities can make the window sticker silly in a hurry. In array-topping Prestige trim with a number of additional increase-ons, my analysis design has lifted its out-the-doorway cost to $53,840, which is about a grand absent from the cost of a foundation-design A6. But with two engine possibilities and 3 trims, there is sure to be a center ground that should really suit most prospective buyers.

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is not easy in the compact-luxury-sedan section, but the 2021 A4 is carrying out a wonderful position of it. The BMW 3 Collection was lately refreshed, and it strikes a appropriate balance concerning tender and sporty, but I obtain the company inside uninspired and lacking the high-quality and refinement of the A4. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a damn wonderful luxury automobile, but its recent iteration feels a very little at the rear of the situations however, that would not be a dilemma in the around future as an all-new era is slated to debut for the 2022 design 12 months. The 2021 Audi A4 is in the proper place at the proper time with the proper devices, ensuing in a small luxury sedan that does not skip out on the important stuff.

Rosa G. Rose

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