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8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Overall: 8.4
Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 9.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.6
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Audi A4 Review

The 2018 Audi A4 has stunning technology, a beautiful cabin, and lots of standard features. Plus, it's a joy to drive. Partly for these reasons, it lands near the top of our luxury small car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile, smooth driving dynamics
  • High-quality interior materials and elegant styling
  • Superb standard and available technology
  • Lots of standard features
  • Select ownership expenses are higher than average for the class
  • Some rivals have more-powerful high-performance editions
  • Steering is somewhat numb

New for 2018

  • Heated front seats became standard
  • More standard safety features added to uplevel trims
  • High-performance S4 edition joins the lineup

Is the 2018 Audi A4 a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Audi A4 is a first-rate luxury small car. Models in this lineup include the A4 sedan, the performance-oriented S4, and the separately reviewed A4 Allroad wagon.

There's a lot to love about the 2018 A4:

  • One of the swankiest interiors in the class
  • More standard features than similarly priced rivals
  • Cutting-edge standard and available technology
  • Tech features are intuitive and easy to master
  • Better fuel economy than many competitors
  • Agile handling and a smooth ride

But it has a handful of drawbacks worth noting:

  • Costs to insure, maintain, and repair are higher than for the average luxury small car
  • Some comparable rival models have more powerful engines
  • Steering provides very little feedback
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Audi A4 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from more than 29 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Audi A4?

Based on listings for the 2018 Audi A4 on our site, the average price is $36,500. Prices range from $29,700 to $46,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Audi A4 Cost to Own?

The 2018 A4’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $29,200, or $5,840 per year. This above-average estimate is primarily due to lofty insurance costs.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New A4?

The A4 is mostly unchanged for 2019, though Audi did discontinue the optional manual transmission. As a result, you can likely save money while still getting all the bells and whistles of a new model by purchasing a used 2018 A4 instead.

Read about the new Audi A4 »

There's also very little difference between 2017 and 2018 Audi A4s. You may be able to save money with a 2017 A4, which marked the transition to a new generation. Shoppers in the market for the latest S4 edition will have to stick with a 2018 model, as this high-performance edition wasn't available for 2017. Models from the previous generation will likely cost even less, though they also have less connectivity features and a smaller trunk.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 A4 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Audi A4?

The 2018 Audi A4 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about A4 reliability »

2018 Audi A4 Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Audi A4.

See more information on Audi A4 safety recalls »

Which Used Audi A4 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Audi A4 sedan comes in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. This car is also available as the wagonlike Audi A4 Allroad, which we review separately.

The level of opulence and the amount of safety features increase with every step up in trim level, but all Audi A4s have the same powertrain options. The base setup (which Audi refers to as the 2.0 TFSI ultra ) includes a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The upgraded powertrain (dubbed TFSI) increases the horsepower from 190 to 252. This option comes with Quattro all-wheel drive and is paired with either a seven-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. The performance-oriented S4 is even more powerful, cranking out 354 horsepower.

For the best value, we recommend the A4 Premium trim. This entry-level trim is far from austere, with upscale materials such as leather upholstery, a lengthy list of advanced safety features, and a nicely equipped infotainment system.

  • Audi A4 Premium: Standard features in the base Premium trim include leather seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, heated front seats, and push-button start. The infotainment system has a 7-inch display, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera. Two bundles of safety technology are included as well: Audi Pre Sense Basic and Audi Pre Sense City.
  • Audi A4 Premium Plus: The Premium Plus trim gets Audi Side Assist with Pre Sense Rear. Other standard features include a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, front and rear parking sensors, a proximity key, and memory settings for the driver's seat.
  • Audi A4 Prestige: The top-level A4 Prestige receives even more standard safety features, including traffic sign recognition, active lane assist, high-beam assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology. Navigation, an upgraded MMI infotainment system with an 8.3-inch display and handwriting recognition, a virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch driver's display, a head-up display, and a hands-free power trunk lid are also included.
  • Audi S4: The S4 is the high-performance version of this sedan. It comes with a 354-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive. The two available trim levels – Premium Plus and Prestige – have nearly the same standard features as the corresponding A4 trims.

See 2018 Audi A4 trims and specs »

What Does Audi’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Audi’s certified pre-owned vehicles are five years older or less and have fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. Qualifying vehicles bought under the new car warranty have coverage until five years from the vehicle’s original in-service date with no mileage limitation. Certified pre-owned Audis bought after the new car warranty has ended enjoy an additional one-year/unlimited mileage comprehensive warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, and there may be additional services like roadside assistance, so read Audi’s warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass an inspection covering 300-plus points.

Audi's CPO coverage is typical for a luxury brand, according to our analysis. Luxury small cars with outstanding CPO programs include the Lexus IS, Volvo S60, and Jaguar XE.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Audi certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the A4?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 A4 sedan a Top Safety Pick. It received the highest rating of Good in every crash test. Models equipped with the optional Audi Pre Sense Front system provide the highest level of Superior front crash prevention, and properly equipped models received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for the headlights. Out of five stars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the A4 a five-star overall safety rating.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Audi Pre Sense Basic (a system that prepares the car by rolling up windows and tightening seat belts when it detects an impending forward collision)
  • Audi Pre Sense City (includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection)
  • rearview camera
  • rain-sensing headlights and wipers

Available advanced safety features:

  • Audi Side Assist with Pre Sense Rear (a system that readies the car if it senses a collision coming from behind; includes rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring)
  • Audi Pre Sense Front (a system that can turn the steering wheel and apply the brakes if it detects a front collision)
  • adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • surround-view camera
  • traffic sign recognition
  • high-beam assist

See A4 safety scores »

2018 Audi A4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Audi A4 or 2018 BMW 3 Series?

The 2018 BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 are both excellent cars to consider. Between the two, the BMW is more athletic, and its range-topping M3 trounces the horsepower rating of the S4. There is also an optional turbodiesel engine that delivers great fuel economy. On the other hand, if elegant styling, sophisticated technology, and lots of standard features are more important to you, stay with the Audi.

Which Is Better: 2018 Audi A4 or 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has many nice attributes, including one of the swankiest interiors in the class. In addition to its sedan body style, the C-Class is available as a two-door coupe or convertible, neither of which are choices with the A4. That said, the Audi A4 is one of the few luxury small cars that can match the C-Class when it comes to interior luxury. Moreover, the A4 has a better predicted reliability rating, costs an average of $3,500 less, and saves the average driver about $600 a year in select ownership costs. These advantages makes the A4 a much better choice.

Compare the A4, 3 Series, and C-Class »

2018 A4 Performance

How Does the 2018 Audi A4 Drive?

The A4's two turbocharged engines are lively and responsive. They don't quite live up to the potency offered by a 2018 BMW 3 Series or 2018 Cadillac ATS, however. If you want to upgrade your A4's acceleration from quick to blistering, set your sights on the high-performance S4.

Bolstering the A4's fun-to-drive dynamics is a suspension system that imparts an agile demeanor while keeping the ride comfortable. The somewhat numb steering feel is one of the few things professional reviewers complain about.

  • Base engine: 190-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engines:
    • 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
    • 354-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive.
  • Transmission: standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (190- and 252-horsepower engines); available six-speed manual (252-horsepower engine only); standard eight-speed automatic (354-horsepower engine only)
Does the 2018 Audi A4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base A4 gets good fuel economy for a luxury small car. In comparison, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class will cost the average driver an additional $250 each year at the gas pump.

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder, FWD: 27/37 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder, AWD: 24/34 mpg
  • V6: 21/30 mpg

Read more about A4 performance »

2018 A4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 A4 Seat?

The 2018 A4 seats five people. It comes standard with leather upholstery and heated front seats, which usually cost extra in luxury vehicles at this price point. The front seats are decent, while the available sport seats are extra comfortable. The rear seat has more legroom than most rivals and offers enough space for two medium-sized adults.

Standard seating features:

  • leather seats
  • heated front seats with eight-way power adjustments

Available seating features:

  • ventilated front seats
  • heated rear seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Audi A4?

The 2018 A4 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. It earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest rating of Good for ease of use, as it's easy to find and use every anchor.

2018 Audi A4 Features

The A4 earns high praise for its state-of-the-art technology. You can control the user-friendly MMI infotainment system using uncomplicated voice commands or with an intuitive central knob. With the upgraded system, you can scrawl letters and numbers with the handwriting recognition technology to quickly input an address into the navigation system. The optional virtual cockpit, which replaces the standard driver's gauges, is sure to draw oohs and aahs with its crisp graphics and stunning map display.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch display, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice command capability
  • Available infotainment features: handwriting recognition, a navigation system, virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system
  • Additional standard features: tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and a sunroof
  • Other available features: a proximity key and a hands-free power trunk lid

See 2018 Audi A4 specs »

Read more about A4 interior »

2018 Audi A4 Dimensions

Audi A4 Cargo Space

The A4 sedan has a 13-cubic-foot trunk. This falls within the average range for a small luxury sedan and provides enough room for everyone to bring a carry-on suitcase. Convenient features include a wide trunk opening and 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats.

If you want a capacious cargo hold, consider the Audi A4 Allroad. This wagon version of the A4 has 24.2 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats and up to 58.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Audi A4 Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 6 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,483 to 3,626 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Audi A4 Built?

Audi built the 2018 A4 in Germany.

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