Audi A4

Audi A4

The A4 is Audi’s entrant into the compact luxury class. While it is the one of the oldest models in the segment, the A4 offers a nice balance between comfort and sport for buyers.

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2009 to Present: Audi A4

It's easy to forget about the Audi A4. The current generation has been with us since the 2009 model year and it really hasn't changed that much. The exterior still boasts a simple, rounded shape with clean lines. But the A4 remains a competent model with an impressive interior and a decent set of standard features.

The current A4 gets a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Before the 2014 model year, this engine produced 211 horsepower. You can get front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), or opt for Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system with the choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

Standard equipment for many A4 models includes 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, tri-zone climate control, leather seats, an eight-way driver's power seat, Audi's MMI infotainment system and controller and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Higher trim models get 18-inch wheels, heated front seats, memory for the driver's power seat, keyless entry and ignition and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The options list is quite extensive and includes features like navigation, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, Bluetooth audio connectivity, a backup camera, front and rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring.

Competitors to the Audi A4 include the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Earlier Audi A4 Models

The first-generation Audi A4 was introduced for the 1996 model year as a replacement for the aging Audi 90 sedan. Offered in both sedan and Avant (wagon) body styles, the A4 proved to be a popular model for the brand. In its first year, the A4 came with a 2.8-liter V6 producing 190 horsepower. You had the choice of five-speed manual and automatic transmissions, as well as front-wheel drive and quattro all-wheel drive. A year later, a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower was introduced. Again, you had the choice of five-speed manual and automatic transmissions, as well as front- and all-wheel drive.

The second-generation A4 came in 2002, and received a punchier version of the turbocharged engine with 170 horsepower. There was also a new 3.0-liter V6 with 220 horsepower. Front-wheel drive models got a new "Multitronic" CVT. Other additions include dual-zone climate control and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. The A4 Cabriolet debuted for 2003, which first offered the 3.0-liter V6 and front-wheel drive. A V6 version with quattro and a model with the 1.8-liter engine followed later. 2005 saw a mid-cycle refresh that included a new front end treatment and an updated dashboard.