The 2023 Audi A4, like its A3, A6, and A8 sedan brethren, is dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit: its design is conservative, it’s carefully tailored, and it looks expensive—which it is. It comes across as classy and sporty in equal measure, and that’s how it drives—luxury balanced by agility. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engines move it with authority and are fuel efficient. Its standard all-wheel drive and taut suspension tuning offer balanced handling and helpful bad-weather grip. The interior is carefully assembled with premium materials and an attention to detail we expect from a premium maker like Audi, but the design could use more flair. Indeed, the same could be said of the somewhat staid exterior styling. Rivals such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Genesis G70, and the Mercedes-Benz C-class offer more flash or more driver engagement—or both. But the A4 excels at delivering its own brand of quietly expressed quality, making it an equally compelling luxury sedan.
What’s New for 2023?
All A4 models come standard with LED headlamps for 2023 and the mid-range Premium Plus trim now includes a Bang and Olufsen stereo system. A Black Optics Plus package is now available on 45 models and includes black exhaust tips and a black rear lip spoiler. The available Convenience package now includes adaptive cruise control; Chronos Gray and District Green join the palette of available colors.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-range Premium Plus trim represents the best cost-benefit ratio in the A4 lineup as it adds a host of features that make the car an upscale ride. Among them are a reconfigurable digital gauge display, a wireless charging pad, memory settings for the driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, and keyless entry with push-button start. We’d suggest the more powerful 45 powertrain—it makes 60 more horsepower than the 40—and it’s a relatively inexpensive $1600 upgrade.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Audi offers the A4 in two strengths: 40 and 45. Both are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 12-volt hybrid system and all-wheel drive; the 40 makes 201 horsepower while the 45 makes a juicy 261. Although we’d love a six-speed manual, a seven-speed automatic is the only transmission. The well-equipped A4 45 we drove scooted to 60 mph in a speedy 4.8 seconds, and its automatic quickly and smoothly changed gears. Precise steering, well-controlled body motions, and strong roadholding combine to make the A4 a sharp handler. Usually, cars with such deft responses require sacrifices in ride quality, but the A4 manages to soak up bumpy roads with aplomb. Steering feel, so important in a sedan with sporting overtones, is subdued at lower speeds and on the highway. However, almost as if by magic, the steering becomes pleasantly communicative when you push the car on twisty roads.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The A4 sedan is expected up to 25 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. The model we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, returned 33 mpg. For more information about the A4’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The A4’s modern-looking cabin does a good job of balancing form and function with high-quality materials and easily accessible technology features. As in most Audis, the dashboard design is clean and simplistic—a piece of modern art. Most of the A4’s buttons and switches are right where you want them to be and feel substantial when you use them. The rear seat is among the most spacious in its class and features nicely shaped cushions. As with many of the sedans in the entry-luxury class, the A4 is accommodating but not capacious; choose the A4 Allroad wagon if you need more plentiful cargo space. The A4’s back seat does fold in a useful 40/20/40 split, making it easy to accommodate longer items such as skis. We managed to cram five carry-on suitcases in the trunk but were disappointed by the A4’s small storage bins and cubbies.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The A4’s infotainment system consists of a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Features are generous and include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, and voice command. Navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and in-car Wi-Fi are included in various option packages, as is a more powerful Bang & Olufsen audio system with 19 speakers. A cool digital gauge display that Audi calls Virtual Cockpit is optional, and we highly recommend it.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The A4 has many driver-assistance features, but they’re limited to costly upper trim levels. Features such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, for example, are only available on the pricier Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels. For more information about the A4’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Standard lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi’s warranty coverage is strictly average among luxury brands, and it offers no complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage, unlike BMW.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Audi A4 45 TFSI Quattro
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$53,840 (base price: $41,945)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
121 in3, 1984 cm3
261 hp @ 6500 rpm
273 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.3-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Continental SportContact 6, 245/35R-19 93Y RO2
Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Length: 187.5 in
Width: 72.7 in
Height: 56.2 in
Passenger volume: 92 ft3
Trunk volume: 12 ft3
Curb weight: 3705 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.8 sec
100 mph: 12.9 sec
120 mph: 20.7 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.7 sec
1/4 mile: 13.5 sec @ 102 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 126 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 149 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 304 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.97 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 26 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 33 mpg
Highway range: 500 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 27/24/31 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs