• 2016 - 2018 Audi A4

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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution 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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4
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Interior

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution 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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution 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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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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

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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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

2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan High Resolution Exterior
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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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 High Resolution Exterior
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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

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

2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 Audi A4 Interior Spyshots
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Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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