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2018 Audi A4

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2018 Audi A4 Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.8

Last year’s Audi A4 sedan got a bit bolder on the outside and a lot sportier under the skin. The 2018 Audi A4 sedan continues this trend, increasing the availability of quattro all-wheel drive and packing in more hardware and luxury features. Audi continues to lead the midsize-luxury segment by offering such fantastic features as a customizable color instrument display featuring a virtual speedometer, tachometer and a giant navigation display using Google maps. The adaptive cruise control is also hooked into the system, allowing it to slow down for approaching curves or offramps long before you’ll ever see them. Although not as powerful or fun to drive as a Cadillac ATS or BMW 3 Series, the A4 nevertheless is one impressive European sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

Audi’s A4 sedan for 2018 offers a nearly unbeatable combination of style, technology, luxury and performance, all at a price that may come as a shock to some competitors. With quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) standard on most models, the A4 even has a leg up in the traction and stability department.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2018 Audi A4 luxury sedan may be too high-tech for some, and we have no data on its long-term reliability. Those needing a large rear seat might be happier in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Lincoln MKZ, while those seeking more performance should look to the 2018 Audi S4.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.8
  • 8.9
  • 8.6
  • 8.6
  • 8.8
  • N/A
How It Ranks
2018 Audi A4 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

The 2018 Audi A4 luxury sedan limits front-wheel drive (FWD) to the base Ultra; all other models now come with quattro AWD standard. Some previously optional driver-safety features are added to the Premium Plus, and even more for the Prestige. Also new is a Black Optic package.

Driving the A4
2018 Audi A4 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

If you could peel away the 2018 Audi A4’s cool virtual gauge cluster, remove the adaptive cruise control and turn off the adjustable shock settings, you’d still have an amazingly...

... fun performer. The A4’s steering is precise and perfectly weighted at all speeds, and the sophisticated suspension finds that happy place between a comfortable ride and adept handling. The high-output version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder puts every ounce of its 252 horsepower to good use. So good is this engine, that it can launch Audi’s 2018 A4 sedan to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is a sheer joy in either manual or fully automatic mode, and Audi still offers a 6-speed manual for die-hard old-schoolers. Opt for the Prestige trim and you’ll gain access to an adaptive suspension with adjustable dampers that can be set to stiffen for improved cornering.

VIRTUAL COCKPIT
Audi has taken the LCD gauge concept to the extreme, and its accomplishment is on full display inside the 2018 Audi A4 Prestige. The driver can choose to minimize the virtual gauge sizes allowing the entire screen to be filled with a satellite view of the road. It’s like Google Earth for drivers.

ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL
The 2018 Audi A4’s adaptive cruise control can help maintain a safe distance between the car and traffic ahead; it can slow or even bring the car to an emergency stop; it can even anticipate upcoming curves or onramps and slow the vehicle to a safe speed before encountering them.

2018 Audi A4 Details
2018 Audi A4 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

While the big news is the virtual cockpit, there's more to the 2018 A4 interior than the tech. MMI is much improved, using a touch pad to make entering addresses a breeze. The dash is simpler as well, with the MMI screen moved to the top as we've seen in other recent Audi models. The basics are spot-on, too, with comfortable seats, easy-to-use main controls and first-rate materials. The smallish rear seat, lack of a soft spot for the driver's right knee to rest, and a sometimes busy virtual cockpit display are the only real downsides.

Exterior
2018 Audi A4 photo

Last year’s remake at first didn’t look as if much changed, but upon closer inspection, nothing was left unchanged. The car is a little wider and longer, but with more angular lines around the grille, headlights and details. Take the character line that runs along the side of the car, for example. On the old one it petered out weakly as it approached the taillight. Now it boldly cuts through to the trunk on one end, while in front, the hood itself makes up the upper portion of the line. The proportions are spot-on, and the car looks right from any angle.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Of course the 2018 Audi A4 comes nicely equipped. Standard issue on the base Ultra Premium includes 3-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leather seating and a power sunroof. The MMI infotainment display is mounted high on the dash, with the rotary controller in front of the shifter. All Audi A4 models come with keyless ignition, HID headlights with cool LED accents, a rearview camera, and LED taillights above dual exhausts. Other standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters for the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, automatic start/stop to help conserve fuel at stoplights, and Audi's Drive Select adjustable drive modes.

Optional Equipment

We've talked the virtual cockpit to death, but it's standard on the Prestige and available on Premium Plus models. Also available is a 7-inch infotainment screen, or an 8.2-inch version with navigation and the whole enchilada. A sport suspension option lowers ride height about an inch and gives the A4 more bite in corners, and an available adaptive-damping suspension lowers the car about a half-inch and adds different shock-absorber stiffness for Comfort, Normal and Sport settings. On Prestige models you get the full driver-assist suite including adaptive cruise control and auto high beams.

Under the Hood
2018 Audi A4 Engine photo

There's only one engine size available for the 2018 Audi A4, but it comes in two flavors. With 2.0 liters of displacement, it puts out 190 horsepower on FWD Ultra trims and is connected to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission that can be operated in normal "D," in sportier "S," or manually through the standard steering-wheel-mounted paddles. All other models have a more powerful 252-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter and include as standard quattro AWD that not only provides superior handling and wet-weather grip, but also accelerates the A4 from a standstill to 60 mph in about 5.7 seconds. The more powerful A4 models also offer the option of a 6-speed manual, the only car in this class to offer a manual with standard AWD.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (A4 Ultra)
190 horsepower @ 4,200-6,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @1,450-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/37 mpg (FWD)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (A4 quattro)
252 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (AWD, automatic), 24/33 mpg (AWD, manual)

The base model 2018 Audi A4 Ultra Prestige comes only in front-wheel drive and has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $37,000. That figure is on the lower end of the price spectrum for this class, especially considering standard leather upholstery. If you want quattro, you’ll have to step up the high-output A4 2.0 that starts around $41,500 in Premium trim, $44,700 in Premium Plus and $51,000 for the top Prestige version. Options will quickly push the price north, but even so that's not bad, and easily competitive with models like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS and Lexus IS. Historically, resale values have generally trailed the Benz, BMW and Lexus. To find out what people in your area are paying, check out the KBB Fair Purchase Price.

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