$30,159 - $50,181

2019 Audi A4 Performance Review


Performance: 8.5

The 2019 Audi A4 has a robust, though not brutish, powertrain. Its ride strikes a fine balance between comfort and sportiness, offering gentle road manners and sharp handling. Fuel economy is fantastic for the class. Those after a bit more excitement should check out the performance-tuned Audi S4.

  • "Immediate throttle response, good body control, a silky, supportive ride, and 125-mph composure? Check. But the driving experience is very buttoned-down, subdued, a tad restrained. Or perhaps it's just the well-muffled powertrain." -- Road and Track (2017)
  • "All in, the A4 lacks the nimbleness of BMW (or, for that matter, Cadillac,) but it feels more engaging and controlled in first impressions than its front-wheel-drive alternatives." -- Yahoo Autos (2017)
  • "… the A4 is more comfortable than it is engaging. You won't get into trouble in the corners (at least not in a Quattro version), but I'll bet a rear-drive 3 Series or a Cadillac ATS will give you more excitement. On the other hand, the Audi rivals a C-Class or Volvo S60 for its ability to cover hundreds of miles in a single stretch." -- Autoblog (2017)

Acceleration and Power

Each A4 features a seven-speed automatic transmission paired to a turbo-four engine that puts out 188 horsepower in front-wheel-drive models and 248 horsepower in all-wheel-drive models. The sport-oriented S4 uses a turbo V6 engine to put out 349 horsepower. It comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The turbo-four feels peppy and has little trouble zipping the car around town and on the highway. The V6 engine adds even more oomph and can propel the S4 from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

The base A4 with front-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. S4 estimates drop to 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The S4’s numbers are typical for the class, while the A4 is one of the most fuel-efficient luxury small cars.

  • "The A4 feels neutral, responsive and sprightly. At least when it has 252 hp to play with." -- Autotrader
  • "The high-output version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder puts every ounce of its 252 horsepower to good use. So good is this engine, that it can launch Audi's 2018 A4 sedan to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is a sheer joy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The four feels more robust than blistering, at least from a stop, thanks to a fat torque band that starts from 1,600 rpm and goes to 4,000. It's more than capable of getting around slow-moving Leafs and Prii on the highway, if you're curious." -- Autoblog (2017)

Handling and Braking

This vehicle strikes a good balance between comfort and agility. Ride quality stays gentle over rough roads, while strong brakes and agile handling help make it fun to drive. That said, some critics think its steering feels a little too numb. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available in the A4 and standard in the S4.

  • "If there's one gripe, it's that the steering -- although precise and substantial -- isn't quite as tactile as we'd like. But it's only apparent because the rest of the car is so good, especially in its ability to blend comfort with control." -- Autotrader
  • "If you could peel away the 2018 Audi A4's cool virtual gauge cluster, remove the adaptive cruise control and turn off the adjustable shock settings, you'd still have an amazingly fun performer. The A4's steering is precise and perfectly weighted at all speeds, and the sophisticated suspension finds that happy place between a comfortable ride and adept handling." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Strong brakes and sharp handling also help make the A4 enjoyable to drive. But the A4's steering limits driver engagement." -- Edmunds (2018)

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