A4 promises quality, refinement, safety, comfort and prestige. It's satisfying to own and drive, though less blatantly sporty than 3-Series. Never cheap, new or used, but holds its value well.
- Discreetly elegant 3 Series alternative
- Tauter and more responsive handling than previous A4
- Refined cabin is roomy for four
- 1.6 engine works hard in this heavy body
- High new prices, starting at over £18k
- Low-speed ride is slightly too firm
A4 shares its chassis platform and most engines with the Passat, but its price and profile aspire towards the prestigious A6, while its subtle styling lifts it into an altogether classier sector. It's very well built, very safe and very sturdy the kind of car can be driven hard with complete confidence.
Interior space is quite generous for four adults, and just about adequate for five. The cabin is quiet and the seats are large and supportive. Luggage space is family-sized, though the Avant estate isn't as spacious as Mondeo, Vectra or Passat.
Handling is crisp and almost agile considering the car's size. Ride is supple at all except low speeds on poor surfaces, and it remains composed even when pushed.
Engines are well proven, though the 100bhp 1.6 and 1.9 TDi offer little excitement. Best balance between performance and economy comes from the 1.9 TDi 130 and 2.0 FSi units.
Need To Know
JD Power stars: 4
Best Models: 1.9 (130) Tdi SE, 2.0 Sport, 3.0 V6
Worst Models: 1.6
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money