A4 2.0T Quattro S Tronic.
2019 Audi A4 2.0T
Quattro S Tronic: The styling may not wow you … but driving it
Price: $51,250 as
tested. The trim level starts at $40,500; Navigation and Telematics
Package adds $3,000, and Black Optics Plus Package, $1,450. More is
“Go on, you’ve earned it.”
Consumer Reports likes the “strong and fuel-efficient engine,
ideal ride-and-handling balance, modern interior,” but not the
“costly driver-assistance features, status-quo styling.”
What’s new: The
four-door sedan got a redo for 2017 and just gets some updates the
last two years. I tested a 2018, which is the same except for a few
Up to speed: The
horsepower rating is down four clops from 2018, though, to 248.
Still, it’s a sure bet the 2.0-liter four cylinder still moves the
vehicle quickly. Pulling the shift lever back to sport mode made for
even faster acceleration; Car and Driver rates the 0-60 time at 5.2
In all modes, though,
the A4 is rather low-key until it is pushed. The acceleration is
gentle until the driver plants his foot firmly, and then things
really begin to blur. Perhaps I needed more time to adjust, but even
after a week, I couldn’t stop feeling a moment’s hesitation
before the A4 responded, and then felt that it overcompensated, like
a 5-foot-10 columnist sometimes calling himself 5-11 (depends on the
On the road: The A4
just feels so nice. Its handling is competent and the ride is
comfortable with just a bit of stiffness. Adjustable drive modes add
to the experience. The Sport Package ($750) adds sport suspension,
and Black Optics Wheel Package ($800) puts 19-inch wheels and summer
tires on the feet — but I wasn’t able to compare the handling of
a less tricked-out A4.
Still, while the Alfa
Giulia invites the driver to start sliding through turns almost
immediately, the A4 keeps things more under control.
seven-speed S Tronic automatic allows for shift capability through
the shift lever or the steering wheel paddles. Shifting movement
feels smooth and confident.
Allowing the A4 to
handle the shifting left me comfortable. Performance remained
enjoyable and smooth.
Climbing inside the
Audi A4 will be a nice welcome home to people who like the sporty
Driver’s Seat: The
leather seat is comfortable, supportive and firm. It did start to
feel a little stiff over time, but it’s an Audi, so expect some
sportiness to the ride.
Setting speed: Audi
continues using its cruise control stalk for maintaining highway
speeds. This is my preferred setup, found mainly on Toyota and Lexus
these days, but Audi places it to the left of the steering wheel
below the turn signal. I apologize to my fellow drivers for all the
signals I flashed while simply trying to set my speed, or forgot to
put on while trying to turn.
No adaptive cruise
control for 50 grand? An abomination!
Friends and stuff:
Rear-seat passengers in the corners will find seats that are roomy
enough but not featuring a whole lot of legroom or foot room to
The center passenger
will have a much more difficult time; a large hump and long console
eat into any foot room that might have been available.
Trunk space is 13
cubic feet, on the small side.
Play some tunes: Audi
uses a dial to control the infotainment system with some buttons,
and this creates an easy-to-use interface with a bit of practice. My
only complaint: The CarPlay function seemed to be not as seamless as
that on most other vehicles.
Sound from the Bang
and Olufsen system with 3D sound (part of the $3,200 Premium Plus
Package) offered rich audio, but not quite as ahh-inspiring as that
Night shift: The LED
headlights are bright but sit a little low for a completely clear
view of the road. Interior lights cast a subtle glow.
Fuel economy: I
averaged almost 28 mpg in the usual round of testing. Feed the A4
premium, of course.
Where it’s built:
How it’s built:
Consumer Reports predicted reliability of 3 out of 5, but it was 5
out of 5 for the two previous years.
In the end: Drivers
looking for a sporty small sedan have three incredible choices from
Europe in the A4, the Giulia, and the Volvo S60. The last offers the
best legroom and stereo sound, but shifting is not fun. The Giulia
is definitely the sportiest, but only for those who never need to
carry passengers or who like throwing caution to the wind.
The Audi splits the
difference, offering a competent all-around vehicle with lots of
reasons to buy it.