Audi A4 Saloon review

Audi A4
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

An exceptionally safe and dependable saloon – did you expect anything else from the German motoring giants?

Follow motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay on Instagram @tbarnesclay.

Audi’s A4 saloon sits in a class that’s been waning for a decade or more. So why carry on making it then? Well, the German automaker feels the model still has a part to play in the automotive world.

I drove the 2.0-litre 40 TFSI 190PS S line S tronic grade and found it brimming with performance and refinement. The car will whisk you from a standstill to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and will keep on going until the needle touches 149mph. But even with foot-down throttle pressure, you don’t hear much from the turbo petrol-powered A4 – it’s a very quiet car.

Furthermore, the seven-speed twin-clutch auto ‘box (S tronic in Audi’s tongue) suits the saloon, never exhibiting any dithering, as it can do in related models.

Effortless miles covered

Apart from a jittery ride around the rutted roads of north London, I found the A4 40 TFSI S line saloon to be a strong alternative to German rival, the BMW 3 Series. And, once out of the clogged streets of Finchley and on the M1 heading north, my test car was eager and stable.

The harmony of the smooth twin-clutch transmission and the 2.0-litre engine makes for a contented yet energetic ride. It all combines to ensure you’re able to cover many miles effortlessly.

People in the rear of the A4 get a substantial amount of head and legroom. More’s the pity then that the bulky transmission tunnel devours foot space. Therefore, getting a trio of adults into the back isn’t easy. On the other hand, if you have three kids, as I do, they’ll be fine back there.

And as for the 480-litre boot – you’ll get the family’s shopping in, no problem as well as a cluster of golf clubs – if that’s your thing.

The A4 40 TFSI 190PS S line S tronic, as driven for this review, will do a claimed 39.2mpg while releasing 137g/km of carbon dioxide. This is reasonable for this kind of car, although, while travelling around the roads of London and the M1, I only squeezed low-30s mpg from the tank.

Rock solid

The Audi A4’s build quality is solid as a rock (as 1984’s Ashford & Simpson sang), so the car will cope with years of business and family use.

For additional assuredness, the A4 netted the full five stars from Euro NCAP for its competence in shielding occupants in a smash – and it scored exceptionally well for keeping children protected should a collision happen.

Finally, you’re covered if you buy a brand new A4 saloon – Audi will sort you out with a 60,000-mile/three-year warranty, with roadside assistance thrown in. I doubt you’ll need it, though – this car is as ubiquitous as the automaker’s products get, so dependability and trustworthiness are of the essence.

Fast Facts – Audi A4 40 TFSI 190PS S line S tronic as tested:

  • Max speed: 149mph
  • 0-60 mph: 7.3 seconds
  • Combined mpg: 39.2
  • Engine layout: 1984cc, four-cylinder turbo petrol
  • Max. power (PS): 190
  • CO2: 137g/km
  • Price: £37,160

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