Audi A4 (2015) Review
Audi A4 (2015) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 19–36
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure
The Audi A4 is a premium saloon that goes toe-to-toe with the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Jaguar XE. Exceptional cruising refinement, impressive interior build quality and a generous standard kit are all major pluses. The latter includes Audi's superb Virtual Cockpit digital driver's display, along with a slick 10.1-inch touchscreen for controlling infotainment. The relatively frugal engine line-up includes a trio of petrol and diesel models with a 2.0-litre capacity and varying power outputs, but as yet, no plug-in hybrid model. It's available with two- or four-wheel drive, although the quattro models are expensive, and is offered in either Technik, Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorspung trim levels. It's a polished all-rounder that has few flaws.
The Audi A4 is a premium car that demands few compromises from its owners. Now in its fifth iteration, it has been locked in a fierce battle for control over company car parks and suburban driveways for 30 years.
This competition with its closest rivals - the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class - has turned all three cars into incredible all-rounders, with stunning interiors, low running costs, and impressive on-board technology.
Traditionally, the 3 Series was the driver's choice, the A4 had the nicest interiors and the all-weather security of four-wheel drive, while the Mercedes struck a nice middle ground. Now however, the differences are more subtle, with exterior design and brand image playing a bigger role.
The strangle hold these three models have on the premium company car market has made it very hard indeed for solid left field alternatives such as the Volvo V60, Jaguar XE, and Lexus IS to get a look in, despite each having their own likeable qualities.
First launched in 2015, the current model was given a major facelift in 2019. The makeover included fresh styling that cribbed notes from the larger A6 and A8 saloons, and a paired back engine range.
Both the 3.0-litre V6 diesel models and entry-level 1.4-litre petrol were dropped, leaving buyers with a choice of four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol and diesels, each available in three states of tune. All of the engines are smooth, flexible performers with competitive running costs, and the more powerful cars come with four-wheel drive.
The interior remains a real highlight, with a modern and minimalist design that features high quality materials throughout, seamlessly integrating the impressive array of new on-board technology.
Buyers can choose from five trim levels: Technik, Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung. Even the standard Technik comes amply equipped, with a spec-bump compared to the old SE that includes sat-nav, heated seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch set of digital dials that Audi calls its 'Virtual Cockpit'.
Add to this long list a set of front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, and satellite navigation, and it seems hard to understand why anyone would need to upgrade to the pricier models, apart from their increasingly sporty exterior styling kits.
For a four-door saloon, the A4 is pretty practical too, with a decent boot, folding rear seats that split 40/20/40 and room for four adults to travel many miles in relative comfort. However, family buyers and those who need to regularly carry more should opt for the A4 Avant estate, a roomier version that we've reviewed separately.
The A4 excels on the motorway, where its hushed engines, supple ride (as long as you avoid the stiff sport suspension) and excellent cabin refinement make it a relaxing companion on longer trips. It handles winding roads with strong grip and reassuring poise, but several rear-driven rivals are a bit more fun in this regard.
Its premium pricing (it's expensive compared to the mechanically similar Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat) is offset by decent residual values and low running costs, with the cleanest 2.0-litre diesel models capable of achieving well over 50mpg in real-world conditions.