Anyone who has followed me for any amount of time-first thank you-but if you don’t know, I’m not a big fan of VW. It’s not that I’m a VW hater, not at all. In fact, I had a 2018 Golf R a few weeks ago and liked it very much. However, while they are good, affordable and well-built they’re just boring. Very simple, utilitarian, without any sort of bells and whistles or bling. A 30-something nerd still living in mom’s basement. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for me.
That’s why I think it’s sort of weird that I feel 180 degrees different when it comes to the Audi. Audi is part of VW and whenever I’m in an Audi, I can detect hints of VW. The Audi though seems so much different.
Like the A4 Audi sent me for a recent week.
I had the 2017 version last year and gave it high marks for style comfort and value. Which is why I knew this 2018 version would be singing the same song. And I was right.
For 2018 the A4 gets such things as new alloy wheel options, the Black Optics package, gives you red brake calipers as well as gloss black side sills, rear spoiler, and side mirror covers. The base Premium trim (there are three trims, Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige) gets heated front seats standard and the Premium Plus gets additional active safety features such as active lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, traffic sign recognition, and high beam assist. This is all in addition to such standard niceties as HID headlights, tri-zone climate control, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, heated front seats, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, a rearview camera, a 7.0-inch screen, leather upholstery, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Under the hood there is still the 2.0-liter turbo-four with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic delivering the power to the road (you can option in a 6-speed manual with all wheel driver Quattro model).
There’s also Audi’s drive select (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual), and my Premium Plus had the forward collision mitigation system, power front seats and leather upholstery.
Yes with a few styling additions the Audi is much more appealing; less introverted, then a VW. Yes, I know that the “R” line VWs are capable of going like a bat out of hell but try to find them in a crowded parking lot. Or try sitting in one while not driving and see how long you can stay awake.
As for the A4 it’s not the top of the line, nor is it the bottom. It’s the middle child, the child who grows up to get a bit wild with a tattoo where you can’t see it.
The A4 has plenty of room and comfort; it drives great on the road and should be a small size sedan on anyone’s list of small sedans.
There is a problem however.
You see, the A4 suffers from the INASUV syndrome as in “It’s Not An SUV”.
Like last year’s model the A4 is a sedan, not an SUV. And like most sedans, it’s just not selling.
And that’s a shame.
It seems that the motoring public wants a mighty SUV in the driveway. Not a sedan. Certainly not a smaller one like the A4. Which really sucks; because among small sedans the Audi A4 is a really good one. It has style, a bit of class, good drivability and a decent price.
Let’s just hope sedans like the A4 still be around for many years to come.
The 2018 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro S Tronic (Premium Plus)
MSRP (as tested): $48,250
Engine: 2.0 Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 252 hp @ 5000 rpm, 273 ft-lb torque @ 1600 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA):34 highway, 24 city, 27 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 28 mpg
Base Curb Weight (lbs.): 3626
Passenger Capacity: 5
Front Head Room (in.): 38.9
Front Leg Room (in.): 41.3
Front Shoulder Room (in.): 55.9
Second Head Room (in.): 37.4
Second Leg Room (in.): 35.7
Second Shoulder Room (in.): 54.5
Trunk Volume (cu. ft.): 13
Wheelbase (in.): 111
Length, Overall (in.): 186.1
Width, Max w/o mirrors (in.): 72.5
Height, Overall (in.): 56.2
Basic: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion: 12 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 Years/Unlimited Miles
Maintenance: 1 Year/10,000 Miles
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