Say what you want about the rise of crossovers as mainstream luxury vehicles, but there’s still a strong appetite for compact upscale sedans.
For 2019, the changes are incremental: Audi has discontinued a 190-hp version of the A4’s turbo four-cylinder engine used in last year’s FWD base models. Additionally, the entry-level Komfort trim is now the only one that starts out as a front-driver; last year’s mid-range Progressiv is now standard with Quattro AWD.
Sadly, 2019 also marks the end of the line for the A4’s manual transmission; all variants now use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that was once the option in Quattro models.
With the elimination of that de-powered engine, A4 models in Komfort, Progressiv and Technik trims now share a 2.0L turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.
Other changes are less significant. Audi now lists a backup camera as standard, though we presume that item has been going into cars built since it was mandated back in May, 2018. Progressiv trim gets a new 18-inch wheel design, and that mid-range trim can now be ordered with the digital gauge cluster Audi calls the virtual cockpit.
It’s only quite recently that the rest of the upscale car industry woke up to the benefits of AWD that Audi has enjoyed all along with its Quattro setup. In the A4, it splits power evenly between the front and rear axles but can send all torque to either end of the car if traction conditions warrant.
By the way, if you want six-cylinder power to cross-shop with a BMW 340i or Mercedes-AMG C 43, Audi makes you move up to the S4, which is covered in a separate buyer’s guide.
A4 Komfort models (FWD and AWD) come with 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, heated side mirrors, 7.0-inch MMI infotainment display, 10-speaker stereo, heated front seats with power adjustments and driver lumbar, automatic climate control, fog lights, selectable drive modes, bi-xenon headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror and tire pressure monitoring.
Progressiv trim gets a unique wheel design, navigation in an 8.3-inch infotainment display, LED headlights with automatic high beams, heated steering wheel, passive keyless entry, hands-free trunk release, parking sensors front and rear, auto-dimming side mirrors, 7.0-inch colour driver information display and the Audi Connect navigation and infotainment services suite.
Finally, Technik adds its own unique wheel style, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, 360-degree exterior camera, the virtual cockpit, Bang & Olufsen stereo, power-folding side mirrors, ambient cabin lighting and a rear-end collision monitor.
Audi hadn’t published fuel consumption estimates at the time we wrote this buyer’s guide, but the figures should be similar, if not identical, to those for the 2018 model. That car’s ratings were 8.6/6.4 L/100 km (city/highway) with FWD, and 10.0/7.0 with AWD.
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