By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 9.0
Just because a manufacturer can assemble all the components found in the 2016 Audi A4 luxury sedan, doesn’t mean it can replicate it. Audi has perfected the art of blending wood, leather and modern-day electronics to create a one-of-kind cabin that is often imitated but never duplicated. Audi’s A4 luxury sedan for 2016 employs a powerful yet fuel-efficient turbocharged engine that can be teamed with quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) and even the option of a manual transmission. Moving from luxury to high-performance is the 2016 Audi S4 sedan. Propelled by a supercharged V6 and quattro AWD, the S4 delivers an exhilarating driving experience that easily rivals that of the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac CTS-V and Infiniti Q50S AWD.
Whether you’re looking for a modestly priced luxury sedan or a not-so-modestly priced performance machine, the 2016 Audi A4 and S4 sedans offer a wide range of models and pricing. Audi’s interior designs will take your breath away, as will the dizzying array of high-tech options.
KBB Expert Ratings
Audi’s A4 and S4 sedans for 2016 receive a few upgrades including a standard 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel on the entry-level Premium trim, a Bang & Olufsen sound system added to the Technology package on Premium Plus trims and new 19-inch wheels for the S line competition plus package.
With many luxury performance sedans, you have a choice between stellar handling but a harsh ride, or a soft ride and boring driving characteristics. The Audi A4 luxury sedan for...
... 2016, however, strikes a perfect balance between the two extremes. In day-to-day driving, the A4 delivers a comfortable, almost supple ride. Yet, when the road goes from 4-lane highway to winding asphalt ribbon, the A4 is a willing companion that loves to be pushed hard. A favorite among our editorial team, the A4 delivers excellent performance and fuel economy. Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine can be teamed to a choice of three transmissions: a 6-speed manual, 8-speed Tiptronic automatic or a Multitronic CVT automatic (front-wheel-drive/FWD models only). What the A4 does well, the 2016 Audi S6 sedan does brilliantly. With 333 horsepower powering all four wheels, the S4 delivers a driving experience we find intoxicating.
Audi has been putting turbocharged engines in its luxury sedans for decades and it has practically perfected the formula. The 2.0-liter A4 engine is smooth, powerful and efficient, although it does fall short of the fuel-economy figures posted by the turbo-4 in the BMW 320i.
There’s a certain artistry in the way Audi assembles the A4’s interior, from the delicate wood inlays to the harmonious shapes to the soft leather seats. There is no mistaking an Audi interior for any other.
Audi’s reputation for beautifully superb interiors is safe with the 2016 A4 luxury sedan. Everything about it is impeccably conceived and finished, from design, layout and materials to assembly. The resulting space is upscale, relaxing, purposeful and even businesslike. Interior trim includes aluminum or wood inlays and attractive uses of lighting, including LED accent lights that illuminate the center console. Leather seating is standard, with available Alcantara inserts, and there are optional sport seats with side bolsters that really hold occupants in place during more spirited driving. Soothing red backlighting illuminates just about every switch, button and knob.
The 2016 Audi A4’s signature look is certainly familiar, and it remains exceptionally handsome and refined. There is no mistaking it’s an Audi, with the clean and elegantly detailed exterior that makes it one of the best-looking sedans on the road. There are numerous option packages that include different wheel treatments to individualize the appearance, and the high-end and super-performance S4 has a more aggressive look that emphasizes its purposeful mission.
The 2016 Audi A4 line is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium leads off with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, power front seats, leather upholstery, Sirius satellite radio and the Convenience Package, which includes Bluetooth, HomeLink, Audi Music Interface connectivity, and the driver-information system. Premium Plus models tout unique 18-inch, 10-spoke wheels for a sportier appearance. Keyless entry and start is part of the Premium Plus, and Audi drive select is standard on the S4. The Prestige trim also includes navigation and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The A4 Prestige package offers further upgrades to the S line package, which includes sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, different front and rear fascias, side skirts, unique doorsills and badging. A4 Prestige models also offer a Driver Assist package, consisting of adaptive cruise control (automatically maintains a distance from a vehicle in front) and adjustment of control dynamics, including steering effort, throttle response and transmission-shift characteristics. The A4 and S4 models also offer a Sport Plus package with high-gloss exterior trim and 19-inch Titanium Rotor design wheels.
For 2016, Audi’s A4 is powered by a strong, efficient 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that delivers impressive fuel economy while churning out 220 horsepower. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) versions of the A4 feature a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while those with Audi’s quattro AWD system offer the choice of a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Regardless of drivetrain, the A4 continues to be one of the most fuel-efficient luxury-branded sedans on the market. The sportier S4, meanwhile, boasts a powerful 3.0-liter supercharged, direct-injection V6 engine that offers V8 performance and still-impressive fuel economy.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/32 mpg (FWD, CVT automatic), 22/32 mpg (AWD, manual), 22/31 mpg (AWD, automatic)
3.0-liter supercharged V6
333 horsepower @ 5,500-7,000 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (automatic), 17/26 mpg (manual)
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2016 Audi A4 sedan starts just under $37,000 for a Premium trim with the CVT and front-wheel drive. That same driveline in Prestige trim is around $44,000. Move to the 6-speed manual with quattro AWD, and prices range from around $38,000 for the Premium to nearly $45,000 for the Prestige. Load on the two packages available for Prestige (S line and Driver Assist), and your A4 will be well over $50,000. The hard-charging S4 starts around $50,000 and can easily go far beyond $60,000. Be sure to check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the A4 in your area. In resale value, the Audi A4 doesn’t do as well as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Lexus IS, but it's on par with the Cadillac CTS and holds up better than the Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S60.