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2021 Audi A4 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

The 2021 Audi A4's potent engine lineup, secure handling, and stable ride over jarring roads make it an enjoyable vehicle to drive. It also gets good fuel economy estimates, especially for a car with standard all-wheel drive.

  • "The 2021 Audi A4 feels neutral, responsive and sprightly. Especially the A4 45 TFSI Quattro model with 261 hp. With standard Quattro AWD, these compact Audi sedans power out of turns with reassuring stability." -- Autotrader
  • "Opt for the S4 and you’ll gain access to a limited-slip rear differential and an adaptive suspension with adjustable dampers that automatically stiffen to improve the car’s cornering performance." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Audi A4 Prestige 45 TFSI's smooth and powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder produces excellent acceleration." -- Edmunds (2019)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque
    • turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque (standard in S4 models)
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (A4); eight-speed automatic (S4)

You can’t go wrong with any of this Audi's engines, but the base turbo-four should satisfy most shoppers. With the base engine, the A4 goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, while models with the upgraded turbo-four hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. With its turbocharged V6 engine, the S4 is the quickest option in the lineup. S4s make the dash to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Both transmissions pair well with their respective engines and deliver smooth shifts.

  • "A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is the only transmission choice in these two A4s. It changes gears smoothly, and can be shifted manually via shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The S4’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is good for 349 horsepower, which is sent to the wheels via an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine remains under the A4’s hood, and continues to impress, with prompt throttle response, ample low-end power, and a free-revving nature. It feels smoother than most turbo fours and gives a nice growl under hard acceleration." -- Consumer Reports (2020)
  • "This is an impressively quick and smooth car." -- Edmunds (2019)

MPG Estimates

The 2021 Audi A4 gets 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those are good figures considering all models come with all-wheel drive. Gas mileage estimates for the performance-oriented S4 models dip to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Handling and Braking

The A4's performance skirts the line between comfort and athleticism. This sedan has agile handling, and it delivers a comfortable ride, even over bumpy roads. The A4 has respectable steering feedback, but it isn't as responsive as more athletic vehicles such as the BMW 3 Series. All-wheel drive is standard.

  • "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
  • "If there’s one gripe, it’s this: The A4’s steering, though precise and substantial, isn’t as tactile as we’d like. Perhaps this is apparent only because the rest of the car is so good, especially in its ability to blend comfort with control." -- Autotrader
  • "As good as the handling is, the real improvement comes in the form of ride comfort. Taking bumps in stride, the A4 proves supple and controlled. Impressively hushed wind and road noise help keep the car remarkably quiet. The end result is a car that masks long distance miles and keeps fatigue at bay." -- Consumer Reports (2020)
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2021 Audi A4

MSRP: $39,100 - $49,900

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