In the sports sedan tug-of-war among Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the A4 now prevails over its peers. Sports sedans often fall short of expectations, being neither sporty nor luxurious, or prove unreliable. The A4 gets all of these things right, which is why it jumps to the top of this class in our rankings.
The familiar 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine remains under the A4’s hood, and continues to impress, with prompt throttle response, ample low-end power, and a free-revving nature. It feels smoother than most turbo fours and gives a nice growl under hard acceleration. If you must have the V6, you may want to consider the 349-hp S4.
One of the big changes entailed swapping the previous super-slick eight-speed automatic transmission for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Such set-ups are typically plagued with low-speed vibration, but Audi worked it out. The new transmission works well so most drivers will assume it’s a traditional automatic. Gear swaps happen quickly, smoothly, and appropriately, making this transmission well matched to the engine. This powertrain combo makes the car feel quick and eager. We measured a commendable 27 mpg.