Substantial styling, technology and chassis updates will appear on Audi’s mid-range option later this year

Audi has given the A4 a major mid-life update in an attempt to keep pace with rivals such as the new BMW 3 Series. Changes include a revamped design and the addition of mild-hybrid powertrains to the range. 

The compact executive saloon has received an exterior and interior revamp to bring it in line with Audi’s current design themes and the firm says the changes are more substantial than is usual for a facelift. 

The revised A4 will be launched later this year with three 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engines featuring a 12V mild-hybrid system and ranging from 148bhp to 241bhp, along with two diesels, a 188bhp 2.0-litre and a 241bhp 3.0-litre. A 12V mild-hybrid 2.0 TDI diesel, with 134bhp or 161bhp, will follow after the launch. 

The S4 model, a rival to the Mercedes-AMG C43, will be offered in Europe purely as a mild-hybrid diesel, with a 3.0-litre TDI mated to a 48V integrated starter/motor for a total output of 342bhp and 516lb ft of torque. 

Our Verdict

Audi A4 review hero front

The Audi A4 zeroes in on efficiency, technology and quality - but is it enough to drive compact saloon buyers away from the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

The S4 will be offered with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive, with sport suspension as standard, and a sport differential and suspension with damper control available as options. 

The entry-level 35 TFI and 40 TDI will be offered after launch with a manual gearbox as standard. All other models will be automatic as standard. Seven- and eight-speed ’boxes will be used, with a six-speed manual following as an option. Entry-level cars will be front-wheel drive, with Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system available on higher-spec models. 

The A4 will be sold with standard and sport suspension, with two adaptive systems available. Those systems work with damper control and feature a Comfort mode that lowers the ride height by 10mm and a Sport setting with a 23mm reduction in the ride height. 

As for the design, the A4 will now feature a wider and flatter grille, with a revamped side profile that has sharper, more sculpted shoulders and clearly defined lines. 

Audi’s design team has also introduced more bespoke styling elements on the S line, S4 and Allroad quattro variants, including bespoke grille designs, in order to give each a more distinctive identity. 

The revised interior is built around the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment system, featuring a 10.1in touchscreen. That screen can be operated by using touch or voice control. Audi has scrapped the rotary controller that appears in the outgoing model. A full 12.3in digital driver information display and head-up display are available as options. 

The revised A4 will be offered with a number of driver assistance systems, grouped into three packs. Options will include automatic cruise control, which, Audi says, can use ‘car-to-x’ navigation data from external devices such as traffic signs to increase accuracy. 

The rugged Allroad quattro model, as before, features an extra 35mm of ground clearance, additional underbody production, a wider front and rear track and optional Allroad-specific suspension. 

The new A4 is due to go on sale near the end of this year. UK pricing has not yet been set, but there is expected to be a slight increase over the £29,260 starting price of the current model.

Q&A with Amor Vaya, Audi exterior designer

What did you focus on with the redesign? 

“The A4 is a well-proportioned car, but the old one was occasionally called a little boring. We’ve put a lot of life and energy into it. We didn’t want to change the design principles, but we wanted to make a statement.” 

How did you do that? 

“The design is now a lot richer, more expressive. We’ve focused on the detail, with the use of 3D design elements, chrome parts and other small things that can make a big difference.” 

What are the challenges of doing a facelift design? 

“The fixed points were all designated six or seven years ago, so we have to work around that. That gives some limitations, but we’ve evolved the A4’s design substantially.” 

Why focus on differentiating the S4 and Allroad quattro? 

“We wanted to give each variant its own character. We’ve been criticised before for making every model and variant look similar, so now each model has its own character, and every car inside that model family does, too.”

Read more

Join the debate

Comments
20

14 May 2019

Played it safe then?, the first image of the dash looked liked a BMW one from about five years ago.

Peter Cavellini.

15 May 2019

But isn’t there a risk that for shorter drivers, that massive central display could hide pedestrians stepping off the kerb?

Robbo

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

15 May 2019
Aussierob wrote:

But isn’t there a risk that for shorter drivers, that massive central display could hide pedestrians stepping off the kerb?

Robbo

No.

15 May 2019

I hadn’t expected anyone under 5’ tall to have sat in the car and reported back so quickly.

Robbo

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

15 May 2019

 I kind of agree about the Laptop size screen sitting proud of the Dash looks untidy,but, then Tesla I think started it, it’s still an arm stretch away from the wheel,and yes, in know your not really supposed to be using it a lot while driving, but people will for various reasons, and, because we want it large it can’t be integrated into the Dash hence the position it’s put.

Peter Cavellini.

15 May 2019
The rings sticker is a new level of naffness.

15 May 2019

So you won't be able to buy a pure petrol A4 anymore? There be 5(five) DIESEL options some WITHOUT Hybrid ( when the S60 won't have any diesel options) 

Not sure which is worst. And the Tesla Model 3 will end up looking like a bargin at this rate

 

 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

15 May 2019

Converging to look like Hyundai cars !

15 May 2019
Substantial styling updates? Where? It’s looks like it’s been chavved up slightly with some styling bits from the A1 that’s it, nothing substantial about it - simply new lights that look like they were ordered from an aftermarket supplier.

And they still haven’t fixed the flaw that I noticed when I had a look at one a few back when I was in the market. The stupid positioning of the cup holders in relation to the HVAC controls. I have a large britta water bottle that when in the cup holder blocked access to the controls. The last car I drove with this flaw was a Fiat Punto

15 May 2019

Surely it’d be easier to get a different water bottle?!

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...