Heavily facelifted sedan gets new engines and weird side profile.
The pace of the auto industry is absolutely relentless, which is why Audi has spent the last four years since the current 5th-generation A4 debuted in 2015 readying a follow-up for exactly this point in time when its main competitor BMW has just released a brand new version of its own entry-level sedan, the 3 Series.
What’s different, though, is that this A4 is a thorough facelift rather than a new generation entirely, but it’s radical enough to renew the model’s lease on life and give the new 3 Series serious competition. Audi cut to the chase during this reveal and gave us three models in one go: the sedan, the high-riding Allroad, and the Avant wagon, which actually has a fighting chance at making it to America this time.
Aside from the hood, roof, and trunk, the rest of the car’s body panels are completely new. Up front, the grille has been widened and position lower on the car close to larger air intakes that frame the new bumper. The grilles now come in one of three flavors, with horizontal slats for standard models, vertical slats for the Allroad, and with a honeycomb pattern for the S line and S4.
LED headlights grouped in clusters at the top of the light's housing now come standard across the range, while the tail lights get a similar pattern. The rear lights themselves rest over a new bumper, but to get there you must trace new lines in the side's sheetmetal. The side profile now features straight character lines over the wheel arches, but they break to form a lower beltline that traces the door handles under the greenhouse.
The most obvious change inside takes place with a new infotainment screen. It’s now 10.1 inches wide and takes a more prominent position on the dash. Inputs are now made directly on the touchscreen using Audi’s new MMI touch software, like the system on the A6, rather than by using the old knob on the center console. That opens up space for a new storage cubby to slot between the cupholders and shifter. Audi’s virtual cockpit is still present here, this time with a few new style choices to modernize the look.
But the biggest push for modernization takes place under the hood, where much of the engine range gets 48-volt mild hybrid electrification.
Europe will get six turbocharged engines, which include gasoline and diesel units with outputs ranging from 147 horsepower to 342 horsepower, when the A4 officially launches there. Buyers on that side of the world will also have access to an A4 Edition One Avant or sedan featuring S-Line inspired design elements for €53,300 ($59,737 at today’s rates).
Audi has yet to announce US pricing for the new A4, but Europeans will be able to spec out their new quattro-equipped sedans by the end of this month for as little as €35,900 ($40,236), if you're talking about the A4 35 TFSI. Our turn to follow suit should be coming soon.