The Audi A4 has been one of those “love it” or “hate it” models for some time, thanks to its conservative body style and rather mundane updates over the years. For 2016, Audi brought the fifth-generation A4 into showrooms, and as expected, it’s more of a facelift than the evolution we hoped for. Highlights of the new-gen model include a more defined grille with sharper points, larger and more aggressive corner air intakes, new layout for the headlight and taillight lenses, and is slightly larger over its predecessor. Inside, the car took on more gracious changes that include a cleaner dash and center stack, standard LED lighting, lightweight seats, a new MMI infotainment system with 4G LTE connectivity, and Audi’s virtual cockpit sitting behind the steering wheel. In the drivetrain department, the A4 got a range of updated engines that range in output from 148 to 268 horsepower.

While Audi went with its traditional ways and did little to the exterior, it did come correct for a new-gen model on the inside. Plus, the car has a rather large range of engines, depending on the market, that will suit just about anyone’s need. Plus, since the A4 is a bit larger than before, which translates into more passenger room and cargo space. Of course, for those who fall into the “love it” category the minor changes outside will be clearly overshadowed by the long list of improvements inside. With that said, check out the full review below to learn about everything Audi brought to the A4 for the 2016 model year.

Updated 01/07/2016: Audi announced that the all-new A4 will be making its North American debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show and will be put on sale in the spring of 2016 at a starting price of $37,300.

Click past the jump to read more about 2016 Audi A4

  • 2016 - 2018 Audi A4
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    Multitronic CVT
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    220
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Price:
    37300
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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Audi A4

Immediately recognizable as an A4, the new sedan is slightly larger than its predecessor, a sign that Audi redesigned it using the same successful recipe we’ve come to know for decades. The shape hasn’t changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines. This comes as no surprised given the new 2016 Audi Q7 and the 2016 Audi R8 received similar treatment. The model is more aerodynamic than its forerunner, and according to Audi, it’s also the most aerodynamic in its class, with a drag coefficient of only 0.23.

The shape hasn't changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines.

While the front apron got only minor changes in the foglamp/intake area, the grille and the headlamps are as fresh as they get. Both feature sharper design cues, while the headlamps have a new pattern and extend less toward the fenders. There’s also a slightly reshaped hood. Together, these new features make the A4 look significantly more aggressive. The rear sports similar styling. The new bumper, the slightly shorter trunk lid and the slimmer, redesigned taillights give it a fresh and bold appearance. By contrast, the profile hasn’t changed much, even though Audi meddled with the side skirts and the quarter-windows.

As far as dimensions go, the new sedan is 1 inch longer and 0.55 inch wider, and its wheelbase has gained 0.6 inch. The car’s height has remained essentially unchanged. The big news regarding the A4’s revised body is that it’s 33.1 pounds lighter than its predecessor’s, contributing to an overall weight that has been decreased by up to 264 pounds, depending on trim and engine.

Alongside the sedan, Audi also unveiled the A4 Avant, which features the same styling updates and a sportier roof. The wagon is less aerodynamic than the sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.26. Both models can be had with optional LED and matrix LED headlamps.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,726 MM (186.1 Inches)
Width 1,842 MM (72.5 Inches)
Height 1,427 MM (56.2 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,820 MM (111 Inches)

Side-by-side comparison

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Interior

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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Interior
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The interior is where the A4 received a lot more changes. The sedan’s cabin was rather dated compared to what its competitors had to offer, especially the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi made sure it got the attention it deserved. Even though the overall layout is still somewhat classic for an Audi, the dash and the center stack are cleaner to look at. The most obvious addition is the new 8.3-inch color display, now positioned atop the dashboard. The infotainment controls are closer to the center console.

Even though the overall layout is still somewhat classic for an Audi, the dash and the center stack are cleaner to look at.

The steering wheel is also new, seemingly based on that of the 2014 Audi Prologue Concept’s. The same goes for the MMI controls. The shifter, on the other hand, is more similar to the A8’s. Audi revamped the door panels too, giving them a more upscale look. The controls are now positioned lower on the handle, which should make them easier to use while driving. The aluminum inserts here improve the sedan’s premium feel. The continuous air vent strip on the dashboard makes the cabin seem wider.

The slightly bigger body dimensions and the redesigned interior features enable the new A4 to deliver enhanced roominess. In fact, Audi says it has the "...longest interior and greatest shoulder width at the front compared with competitors."

It also has new colors and materials, standard LED lighting, lightweight seats, and a new interface for the automatic climate control. The new MMI system includes navigation, touch capability, LTE connectivity, WiFi, and free-text search function. A head-up display and the Audi virtual cockpit feature are available as options, as is the LED interior package with color-adjustable lighting. There’s also an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system and Audi tablet as mobile rear-seat entertainment.

The new Avant has room for 17.8 cubic feet of luggage, and has an electrical luggage-compartment cover as standard.

Drivetrain

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Under the hood, the new A4 received a range of improved engines, consisting of three gasoline and four diesel powerplants. The units generate from 148 to 268 horsepower, which amount to power improvements of up to 25 percent.

Details are still scant, but Audi says the 2.0-liter TFSI with 188 horsepower returns 49 mpg on the highway thanks to a newly developed combustion method. The smaller 1.4 TFSI is good for 48 mpg. The 2.0 TDI, on the other hand, is up to 21 percent more fuel-efficient, at an estimated 63.6 mpg.

Under the hood, the new A4 received a range of improved engines, consisting of three gasoline and four diesel powerplants.

In Europe, the gasoline range begins with the 1.4-liter TFSI rated at 148 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Next in line is the 2.0-liter TFSI available with either 187 horses and 236 pound-feet or 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet.

The diesel lineup includes a 2.0-liter four-banger and a 3.0-liter V-6. The four-pot can be had with either 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet or 184 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. The V-6 also comes in two flavors, generating 215 horsepower and 295 pound-feet or 268 horses and 443 pound-feet, respectively.

There’s no word yet on what engines will become available in the U.S., but my best guess is the sedan will feature the 2.0 TFSI or the 2.0 TDI.

In the transmission department, Audi offers new generations of the S tronic, Tiptronic and manual gearboxes. The big news here is the availability of the S tronic transmission for front-wheel-drive A4 models for the first time. As usual, both the sedan and the wagon can be had with Audi’s quattro AWD system with wheel-selective torque control.

Prices

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Pricing for the new Audi A4 starts from $37,300 in the Prestige, FWD trim, not including the $950 destination charge, which accounts for a $1,400 premium over the previous model. The Premium Plus costs $41,100, while the Prestige fetches $45,900 before options. With quattro all-wheel-drive, the three trims are priced from $39,400, $43,200, and $48,000, respectively.

2018 Audi A4 Sedan prices

Audi A4 Sedan ultra FWD S tronic Premium $36,000
Audi A4 Sedan ultra FWD S tronic Premium Plus $39,200
Audi A4 Sedan ultra FWD S tronic Prestige $45,500
Audi A4 Sedan quattro S tronic Premium $40,500
Audi A4 Sedan quattro S tronic Premium Plus $43,700
Audi A4 Sedan quattro S tronic Prestige $50,000
Audi A4 Sedan quattro manual Premium $40,500
Audi A4 Sedan quattro manual Premium Plus $43,700
Audi A4 Sedan quattro manual Prestige $50,000

Competitors

2016 BMW 3 Series

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The 3 Series is the stalwart of the category with a loyal following and years of pedigree. The BMW is praised for having a well-balanced chassis, a strong engine lineup, and luxurious amenities. The German sedan has been updated for the 2016 model year, receiving mild visual updates and upgraded engines.

Power comes from various powerplants, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 180 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 making a respectable 250 horses and 258 pound-feet, while a newly developed turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six holds the top position with 320 horses and 330 pound-feet of twist. Finally, the diesel in the 328d model cranks out 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. All units mate to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

The 3 Series retails from $32,950.

Find out more about the facelifted sedan here.

2015 Cadillac ATS

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The Cadillac ATS is a serious competitor for the Audi and BMW, though it’s relatively new on the scene. Its impressive ‘Art & Science’ design shines in contrast to the others’ somewhat dated looks. The ATS’ interior has shown that General Motors can made a quality cabin that rivals both Germans.

The ATS is powered by one of three engines: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged I-4, a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I-4, or the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6. All three engines make respectable horsepower, putting down 272, 202, and 321 horsepower, respectively. Pricing for the Cadillac ATS starts at $33,990 and goes up past $47,590 for the top trim level.

Read more about this American sedan in our full review here.

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the more stylish proposition of the segment. Its interior is also regarded as the more modern and fashionable choice of the batch, even in base form.

Only two versions are available in the U.S. There’s the C300, powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 241 horsepower, and the C400 4MATIC, employing a biturbo, 3.0-liter V-6 with 329 horses. As the name suggests, the latter also comes with all-wheel-drive. Though the sedan is offered with diesel engines in Europe, the oil burners have yet to make it across the pond.

The C-Class is the most expensive of its segment, retailing from $38,400.

Find out more about the new C-Class in our review here.

Conclusion

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The new A4 might not be a huge step forward design-wise, but considering that the conservative approach has worked well for Audi in recent years, I don’t see why it won’t continue to bring masses of customers into dealerships. The interior is where this new car really shines, as the previous model was a bit long in the tooth, especially when compared to its main rivals. With significantly more powerful and fuel-efficient engines under the hood, the A4 has everything it needs to take up from where its predecessor left off and continue as one of the best-selling premium compacts in the U.S. The only downside here is that we still won’t get the Avant on these shores.

  • Leave it
    • Styling is still subdued compared to its rivals
    • Avant version not likely to come to the U.S.

Updated History

Updated 09/24/2015: We’ve added a series of new images we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Updated 08/06/2015: Audi dropped a new video that highlights the optional matrix LED headlights in the new A4. Enjoy!

Updated 06/29/2015: Audi dropped the official details on the new generation A4. The model is lighter despite growing in size, and comes with an updated design.

Updated 07/13/2015: A new report mentions that the 2016 Audi A4 will arrive in the U.S. also sporting a diesel engine for the first time.

Spy Shots

January 21, 2015 - Audi A4 testing in winter conditions

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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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November 17, 2014 - Audi A4 testing in Southern Europe

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Press Release

The new-generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant are a fascinating synthesis of technology and esthetics. All the technology in the brand’s bestselling family has been redeveloped so that it yet again defines the benchmark in the segment. During the development work, high priority was placed on the reduction of CO2 emissions. All technologies were focused on reducing drive resistance.

A good example is aerodynamics: The A4 Sedan has the best drag coefficient in its class at 0.23. The new models also have impressively low CO2 emissions of 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile) for the A4 Sedan 2.0 TDI ultra with 110 kW (150 hp); the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra emits 99 grams CO2 per km (159.3 g/mi). The 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) emits 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi) in the A4 Sedan ultra and 114 g/km (183.5 g/mi) in the A 4 Avant ultra. The most powerful engines are two TDI six-cylinder units with up to 200 kW (272 hp). Driver assistance systems and infotainment are of luxury quality. A new generation of four-cylinder TFSI engines with newly developed combustion methods sets benchmarks in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and performance for four-cylinder gasoline engines. The A4 Sedan and the A4 Avant will be launched this fall.

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At 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long and with a wheelbase of 2.82 meters (9.3 ft) – the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have a confident stance on the road. A prominent horizontal line on the front and rear emphasizes the car’s width. The flowing design with concise lines communicates the sporty elegance of the brand. The Singleframe grille is wide and low; the optionally available headlights in LED and Matrix LED technology (including dynamic turn indicators) make technology a visual trademark.

Up to 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) lighter

Compared with the previous model, the car’s dimensions have grown but its weight has been reduced significantly – by up to 120 kilograms, depending on the engine. The body of the new Audi models is one of the lightest in its class thanks to an intelligent material mix and lightweight construction.

The Audi A4 is a leader in its class also in terms of noise levels. All occupants enjoy generous space; the smooth lines emphasize the width of the interior. The front of the dashboard features a broad band of air outlets and a large decorative surface. At night, optional discreet contour lighting illuminates the doors and the central console. The quality of workmanship is uncompromisingly high. Colors and materials follow a new line concept allowing customers even more freedom during configuration.

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Sensor-controlled opening of luggage compartment: the A4 Avant

The luggage compartment of the new A4 Avant offers basic storage space of 505 liters, which is the most of any premium model in this class. With the rear seats folded down and loaded to the roof, a volume of 1,510 liters is available. The electric luggage compartment cover and electric tailgate are standard equipment. An optional extra is sensor control for opening and closing the tailgate.

The two new models offer an abundance of intelligent technologies, the use of which is even more intuitive with the new Audi MMI display and control concept. Technological highlights of the new A4 include the Audi virtual cockpit, the Audi Matrix LED headlights, the Audi smartphone interface, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound, the Audi phone box with wireless charging, the head-up display, and new driver assistance systems and Audi connect services.

Information and fascination: the Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI

The focus here is on two innovations. The optional Audi virtual cockpit, a fully digital combination instrument, features a 12.3-inch LCD screen that displays the most important information in brilliant high-resolution graphics, with great detail and sophisticated effects.

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The MMI control concept in the center console is also a newly designed feature and acts as the main control element. The top-end infotainment system, MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and a large 8.3-inch monitor, has a touchpad in the rotary controller to zoom in and out and to enter characters. The entire MMI control logic is similar to that of a smartphone and includes an intelligent free-text search function. The new, more natural, voice-control system also understands input in normal everyday language, such as "I want to call Peter Miller."

Concentrated computing power

MMI Navigation plus is backed by the computing power of the second-generation modular infotainment platform, which allows Audi to bring consumer electronics innovations into the vehicle quickly.

If customers order a car with MMI Navigation plus, they automatically receive the Audi connect hardware module, which connects the A4 and A4 Avant with the Internet via the high-speed LTE network. Passengers can surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail with their mobile devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot while the driver can use the tailored services of Audi connect.

The Audi smartphone interface is a new feature. It integrates iOS and Android mobile phones into an environment developed especially for this purpose – Audi MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna and charges them inductively according to the Qi standard. For discerning hi-fi fans, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound is available, which introduces the additional dimension of height. The new Audi tablet can also be used as flexible rear seat entertainment.

Powerful six and four-cylinder engines

The new Audi A4 and A4 Avant will be launched in Germany with seven engines, three TFSI and four TDI. Their power output has increased significantly and ranges from 110 kW (150 hp) to 200 kW (272 hp), but fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 21 percent. The A4 2.0 TDI ultra has fuel consumption of just 3.7 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (63.6 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 95 grams per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 3.8 l/100 km and 99 g/km CO2 (61.9 US mpg and 159.3 g/mi). All the engines combine high efficiency with sporty power delivery and smoothness. This applies in particular to the two 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engines.

The new Audi A4 has a groundbreaking innovation for the gasoline engines: The 2.0 TFSI ultra with 140 kW (190 hp) uses an absolutely new combustion method that makes it especially efficient and allows fuel consumption of 4.8 liters per 100 km (49 US mpg) and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km (175.4 g/mi); the figures for the corresponding Avant model are 5.0 l/100 km and 114 g/km CO2 (47 US mpg and 183.5 g/mi). During the model lifecycle, a g-tron version will be launched which can use natural gas or the sustainably produced Audi e-gas as fuel.

S tronic, tiptronic and manual transmission

The powertrain and the chassis of the new Audi A4 and A4 Avant have been completely redeveloped. The six-gear manual transmission, the seven-gear S tronic (now also available for front-wheel drive) and the eight-stage tiptronic have been redesigned; the automatic transmissions now offer a fuel-saving freewheeling function. Wheel-selective torque control supplements the work of the front-wheel drive and the quattro drive. For the most powerful TDI, Audi will offer the sport differential on the rear axle as an option starting in 2016.

Driving dynamics

The handling of new A4 makes a great leap forward: on the one hand sporty and performance oriented, but with a focus on comfort at the same time. The suspension and steering filter out disturbances such as an uneven road surface, but communicate to the driver important information such as increases in lateral forces and tracking. This performance is based on the redeveloped five-link axles and the electromechanical power steering – they are exceptionally light. They lay the foundation for dynamic handling and first-class ride comfort while also reducing fuel consumption. Additional options are dynamic steering, which varies its ratio according to the car’s speed and the steering angle, and suspension with adjustable shock absorbers with which the driver can for the first time select between two settings: sports or comfort. Both of suspension settings are included in the Audi drive select driving-dynamics system, which is standard equipment for models with engines of 140 kW (190 hp) and above.

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Widest range in its class: driver assistance and safety systems

The Audi A4 and A4 Avant set the benchmark in their class with numerous driver assistance systems. The predictive efficiency assistant helps drivers to save fuel, Audi active lane assist helps them to stay in lane and the Stop&Go adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist eases driving in slow-moving traffic. One special feature of traffic-jam assist is its control strategy. It takes into account a large number of parameters such as road markings and the traffic ahead. Some more innovations that make important contributions to safety are parking assist, rear cross-traffic assist, exit warning, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and the Audi pre-sense systems. Camera-based traffic-sign recognition is also available.

At a glance: The new Audi A4 and Audi A4 Avant

Exterior design and body

  • Athletic proportions and sporty elegance; the Avant with raked D-pillars
  • 4.73 meters (15.5 ft) long, 2.82-meter (9.3 ft) wheelbase, 1.84 meters (6.0 ft) wide, 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) high
  • Optional LED headlights and matrix LED headlights with dynamic turn indicators
  • Light body: weight reduced by up to 15 kilograms (33.1 lb) compared with the previous model
  • Best drag coefficient in its class: 0.23 for the Sedan, 0.26 for the Avant; aeroacoustics ensure peace and quiet on board

Interior

  • The longest interior and greatest shoulder width at the front compared with competitors
  • Avant has a luggage compartment volume of 505 liters (17.8 cu ft)
  • Avant has an electrical luggage compartment cover as standard
  • Interior design with large decorative surfaces and continuous air vent strip; new colors and materials, spacious interior, LED interior lighting as standard equipment, first-class workmanship
  • Largest range of lightweight seats amongst the premium competitors
  • Automatic climate control with a new interface
  • Optional LED interior lighting packages with color-adjustable ambient lighting
  • New equipment concept with sport and design lines – for the first time with exterior differentiation

Controls

  • Optionally available: head-up display and Audi virtual cockpit
  • Completely redesigned MMI operating concept including free-text search function
  • Can also be operated by multifunction steering wheel and natural-language voice control

Infotainment and Audi connect

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  • Optional top-end infotainment system MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch and an 8.3-inch MMI monitor including - Audi connect, LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot. Audi phone box available with inductive charging
  • Many new Audi connect services including remote control via smartphone app to check and control the car
  • Audi smartphone interface for connecting Apple and Android phones
  • Bang & Olufsen Sound System with innovative 3D sound and Audi tablet as mobile rear-seat entertainment

Engines

  • Three TFSI and four TDI engines at market launch, 110 kW (150 hp) to 200 kW (272 hp), up to 25 percent more power
  • Fuel consumption reduced by up to 21 percent, Audi A4 2.0 TDI ultra with new best figures: just 3.7 liters of diesel per 100 km (63.6 US mpg) and 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (152.9 grams per mile)
  • Highly efficient 3.0 TDI in two power versions
  • Economical 1.4 TFSI with 4.9 liters per 100 km (48.0 US mpg) and 114 grams CO2 per km (183.5 g/mi)
  • New 2.0 TFSI ultra with 140 kW with newly developed combustion method and just 4.8 liters of gasoline per 100 km (49.0 US mpg) and 109 grams of CO2 per km (175.4 g/mi)
  • A4 Avant g-tron – can operate on sustainably produced Audi e-gas

Drivetrain

  • New generations of the S tronic, tiptronic and manual transmission. S tronic in A4 for front-wheel drive for the first time, both automatic transmissions with freewheeling function
  • Front-wheel drive or quattro drive with wheel-selective torque control

Suspension

  • Redesigned, light five-link axles at front and rear, significant increase in comfort with accentuated sportiness
  • Newly developed electromechanical power steering, with dynamic steering on request
  • Audi drive select dynamic driving system standard as of 140 kW (190 hp), suspension with adjustable shock absorbers available as an option

Driver assistance systems and integrated safety

  • Stop&Go adaptive cruise control including traffic-jam assist for slow-moving traffic
  • Predictive efficiency assistant for even lower fuel consumption
  • Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist
  • New: parking assist, rear cross-traffic assist, exit warning, turn assist, collision avoidance assist and camera-based traffic-sign recognition
  • New safety systems: Audi pre sense city, basic and rear
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