2021 Audi A4 review: No-nonsense, entry-level luxury

The A4 is a bit of a looker, primarily with the sportier S Line lodging seen listed here.

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When a buyer initial dips their toes into luxurious sedans, they have a tendency to begin modest. As a end result, the compact-lux phase calls for automakers to set forth a sound effort and hard work in order to retain people initial-time customers coming back again for additional. To that close, the 2021 Audi A4 delivers a ton of kit to the table in an effort and hard work to stand out from the crowd.

Table of Contents


  • Relaxed and exciting to generate
  • Solid client tech

Don’t Like

  • Constrained storage in the two cabin and trunk
  • Negligible fuel-economy adjust in excess of 2020 model

The most noteworthy update for the 2021 Audi A4 is the addition of a 12-volt mild-hybrid program, as nicely as replacing the base front-wheel-generate setup in favor of AWD across the board. The two the base forty and the greater-output 45 variants get this improve, as nicely as a modest electric power bump — not that possibly model automatically needed it. My tester packs the beefier model of Audi’s 2.-liter turbocharged I4, which now produces 261 horsepower and 273 pound-toes of torque.

The A4 45 may not be a appropriate sporting activities sedan like the peppier S4, but holy heck, it can nonetheless scoot. Amongst the mild-hybrid program and the engine’s individual low-down torque, this 4-doorway will leap off the line like a pet that just heard the phrase “outside,” primarily if I swap out of the regular Consolation manner, which softens throttle reaction in order to highlight sleek, successful driving. The mild-hybrid program does a wonderful occupation in the history, encouraging lower the motor before in deceleration when starting off it back again up easily. The seven-speed automatic transmission is a tiny gradual to react in specified circumstances, but usually it truly is written content to cling out driving the scenes. Light-weight steering and easy-to-modulate pedals even more increase the knowledge.

The EPA rates the 2021 A4 45 at 24 miles per gallon town and 31 mpg highway, numbers that I have no issue accomplishing, even in gross, wintry situations. The confounding factor is, while, the EPA rates the outgoing 2020 A4 with all-wheel generate at 32 mpg highway, so… where’s the gains from the mild hybrid? Confident, the slight electrification adds added benefits like extending end-begin working, but according to the feds, that further bit of mechanical complexity is a wash.

The journey in my tester is a tiny on the harsh aspect, but that’s by style and design. Not only does this motor vehicle contain 19-inch alloy wheels ($800), which limitations tire sidewall measurement and inhibits negative-road mitigation, it also rocks a $250 activity suspension that would make sprightly driving a bit additional participating by flattening out the managing. Those people searching for a additional consolation-oriented journey will want to skip in excess of these offers, but it isn’t going to go much too much in one direction the knowledge is nonetheless sufficiently damped on great roadways.

Even if you do not spec the more substantial wheels, there are nonetheless strategies to gussy up the 2021 Audi A4. This motor vehicle also carries the $five hundred Black Optic deal, an affordably priced improve that ditches the exterior chrome in favor of gloss-black trim. The 2020 refresh did wonders for the A4, giving it a significantly fresher facial area that far better matches more substantial offerings like the A6 and A8. It is really nonetheless on the anonymous aspect, but low-crucial isn’t really a negative factor in addition to, there are nonetheless exciting prospers listed here and there, like the miniature mild display that usually takes area in the matrix-type LED headlights (portion of the leading Status trim) every single time I lock or unlock the motor vehicle.

The interior isn’t going to escape the upcharge probable, possibly. For $five hundred, Audi will throw in a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminum trim and sportier seats wrapped in leather-based and Alcantara suede. It is really a sharp tiny mixture that adds a stunning volume of visible oomph for not that significantly cash. The seats are supportive devoid of currently being restricted, and heated suede or cloth constantly feels far better to me in the wintertime than chilly leather-based. There’s a great deal of space for my 6-foot Gumby frame up front, and the absence of a “sporty” lower roofline means the back again seats are not much too shabby, possibly, while legroom is a tiny restricted.

My greatest criticism about the interior includes storage space, or a absence thereof. The 12 cubic-foot trunk is additional than plenty of for one or two men and women, but it lags driving competition from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, even if it truly is only by a bit. The interior’s stowage choices are restricted, much too my tall-but-not-wide thermos has issues fitting in the modest cup holders devoid of smacking dashboard controls, and the doorway pockets are not wide plenty of to deal with it, possibly. The armrest folds up to reveal a modest tray that’s great for tiny additional than a mask and a cell phone, with the wi-fi charger having up most of that space.

The A4’s cabin is proof that simple interiors do not want to be unexciting, automatically.

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If the interior is great, the 2021 Audi A4’s cabin tech would make it wonderful. All trims arrive regular with a ten.1-inch touchscreen functioning the most up-to-date one-screen iteration of Audi’s MMI infotainment program, which includes wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. I experienced higher praise for the dual-screen model of this getup when it initial debuted, and the pared-back again model listed here isn’t going to scrimp on characteristics, responsiveness or aesthetics. It boots up quickly, and it usually takes incredibly tiny time to get utilised to. My Status-trim tester also sporting activities USB ports for the rear seats, in addition to the two up front. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch screen, arrives in the midtrim Top quality As well as model, and as constantly, it lessens distraction by supplying up navigation, audio and other information and facts just down below my normal eye amount.

Audi made guaranteed to load up the A4 with a great deal of its most up-to-date and greatest security methods, much too. Regular kit includes ahead-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, when going up to the Status trim throws most modern day conveniences into the fray, this sort of as adaptive cruise command, lane-keeping support, a bird’s-eye digital camera and parking sensors. Whilst it truly is a great deal easy to retain this compact sedan amongst the strains, whether or not on the highway or in your nearby CVS parking good deal, a tiny further piece of thoughts goes a extensive way. Props to Audi for obtaining an extraordinary resolution on its backup digital camera, to boot.

Audi’s Google Earth overlay is constantly exciting to get shed in. Just, you know, not when you happen to be driving.

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The 2021 Audi A4 begins out rather reasonably priced, with a base rate of $forty,one hundred forty five, which isn’t really negative looking at all that regular tech and now-regular all-wheel generate. On the other hand, piling on the choices can make the window sticker silly in a hurry. In vary-topping Status trim with a couple of further include-ons, my analysis model has lifted its out-the-doorway rate to $53,840, which is about a grand away from the rate of a base-model A6. But with two motor choices and a few trims, you will find bound to be a middle floor that ought to accommodate most customers.

Trying to keep up with the Joneses is not easy in the compact-luxurious-sedan phase, but the 2021 A4 is carrying out a wonderful occupation of it. The BMW 3 Collection was just lately refreshed, and it strikes a appropriate equilibrium amongst comfortable and sporty, but I come across the corporate interior uninspired and missing the excellent and refinement of the A4. The Mercedes-Benz C-Course is a damn great luxurious motor vehicle, but its latest iteration feels a tiny driving the instances nonetheless, that is not going to be a issue in the in the vicinity of upcoming as an all-new technology is slated to debut for the 2022 model calendar year. The 2021 Audi A4 is in the appropriate area at the appropriate time with the appropriate equipment, resulting in a modest luxurious sedan that isn’t going to skip out on the critical things.