The best Audi A4 Saloon for me
While buying an Audi A4 on a budget might sound like it defeats the whole point of the car, the base 150hp 1.4-litre petrol on offer is actually a great little engine. It feels refined and well-rounded plus provides ample performance and fuel economy.
The 1.4-litre petrol’s lower list price makes it a tempting company car proposition, yet for us the 150hp 2.0-litre TDI Ultra is the one to go for thanks to just 99g/km of CO2 and claimed fuel economy of 74.3mpg.
Finally, performance fans should be heading straight for the 354hp S4 Saloon. Boasting a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine it’s capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 155mph. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, as is the eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
The best Audi A4 Saloon models
3.0-litre TDI Quattro 218 S line (September 2017)
The top-of-the-range 272hp 3.0-litre TDI Quattro sounds tempting, but we’d recommend test driving the 218hp version first. Unless you’re intent on racing (and probably beating) sports cars from the traffic lights, the base 3.0-litre diesel is all the engine you’ll ever need. It’s smooth, refined and delivers excellent real-world performance.
S Line spec is easily the most popular amongst A4 buyers and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does it boast a healthy equipment list, but the looks are sharpened up nicely thanks to standard-fit 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear lights, plus more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers.
Also fitted to our test car was the optional Adaptive Sport suspension, a worthwhile addition if you can stretch to the extra cost. It improves the already-impressive ride comfort over the standard car and allows better control in dynamic mode should you need it.
The Driver Assistance Pack is another pricey but useful option. Highlights of the bundle include adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go and Traffic-jam assist, technology which enables the A4 to automatically stay in lane and follow the car in front up to speeds of 37mph.
Also included is Pre-sense Front, extending the autonomous emergency braking function to the entire speed range (instead of only working up to 52.8mph). Finally, traffic sign recognition is also thrown in, allowing the car to identify and display traffic signs on the dashboard or head-up display.
- September 2015 – Available to order for November delivery, the fourth-generation A4 Saloon is available in SE, Sport and S Line specifications, with a suite of three TSI petrol engines and four TDI diesels. Quattro four-wheel drive is available across the range.
- April 2016 – High-performance S4 Saloon available to order for summer delivery, powered by a 354hp 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine.
- May 2017 – Black Edition trim level joins the range, available with each engine type, save for the S4. These models feature black exterior detailing instead of chrome, and a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel. Specification enhancements across the range include online connected services on the SE a seven-inch multifunction colour display and leather upholstery on Sport models, and leather/Alcantara for S Line A4s.
- 150hp 2.0-litre diesel the most popular engine choice
- Be sure to shop around for the best deals
- Keep the appearance subtle
The good news is the Audi A4 Saloon is generously equipped even in its most basic specification, with SE models gaining 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, three-zone climate control and seven-inch MMI colour monitor as standard.
So even if your budget doesn’t stretch past this, there’s no need to feel hard done by.
We’d opt for the 2.0-litre TDI Ultra diesel with 190hp; its emissions aren’t much higher than the 150hp model but it boasts superior day-to-day performance. Either that or the superbly smooth 1.4-litre petrol with 150hp.
Audi finance is usually pretty good thanks to some chunky deposit contributions and strong residual values, so be sure to make the most of this and check out what your local main dealer has to offer first.
How should I spec my Audi A4?
Keep it strong but subtle on the outside. S line trim cars are the most popular, but they’ll almost all be in darker colours so resist the urge to opt for more standout colours if you want the best residual values.
Also be sure to load the A4 with a desirable selection of optional equipment. Driver assistance packs including adaptive cruise control, active lane guidance, traffic jam assist and Top View (birds eye view of vehicle when parking) are all sought-after.
Buying a used Audi A4 Saloon
- Base 150hp engines should be easy to find
- Don’t necessarily discount higher-mileage examples
- Watch out for abuse on S4 versions in particular
Finding a good, used Audi A4 will be easy so long as you follow a few basic rules. Check the service history is comprehensive and make sure the intervals are regular and in-line with manufacturer recommendations. Also be sure to carry out a Parkers Car History Check to discover the vehicle is hiding any hidden secrets, plus get an accurate price check with the Parkers valuation service .
High-mileage ex-fleet cars should be well-maintained and in plentiful supply. They’ll mostly be 150hp diesels in base SE-spec, but will still make an excellent motorway cut-price motorway cruiser.
Be extra thorough when it comes to buying an S4, as any signs of abuse (worn tyres, a noisy gearbox, scuffs on the undertray) could indicate that the car has led a hard life. If this is the case, avoid and move onto the next vehicle.
Finally, the Audi A4 is a premium car and should be treated as such. Therefore, make sure the tyres are from a reputable brand and that the alloy wheels and bodywork are free of any marks or blemishes.
Selling your Make Model Bodystyle
- Making your car standout is crucial
- Ensure it’s valeted well-photographed
- Highlight any additional options on the vehicle
You’ll have plenty of competition when it comes to selling your A4 so be sure to make sure it stands out with a full valet and plenty of photos. Get any kerbed wheels, damaged bodywork or worn tyres seen to before you advertise the car – potential buyers are going to have plenty of alternatives if they’re not 100% satisfied with your car.
Finally, highlight any optional extras on the car and make sure the buyer knows about them when they come to a viewing. Something as small as adaptive cruise control or even heated seats could be what clinches you the sale.