Greatness can only be determined by its relativity to other things. If we call a car “great,” we gotta know what that greatness is relative to. For instance, an AMC pacer is great compared to riding a mule but less great if a horse is an option. The same is true for German luxury sedans. You hear Mercedes, Volkswagen, BMW, and Audi, and you may think, “these are all great carmakers’ and you’d be mostly right. But the Audi A4 just destroyed its fellow countrymen in the Consumer Reports rating.
The 2021 Audi A4 ran away with it on the CR test. The site gave the Audi A4 an overall rating of 87. The 3-series BMWs, C-Class Mercedes, and the Volkswagen Arteon all trail behind the A4 by a decent margin. Although all these models are well-liked and considered to be nice cars by most, the Audi A4 beats them handily.
The 2021 Audi A4 is King of the luxury compact sedan
The trouble with sport sedans is that they tend to be expensive but fail to be either sporty or luxurious enough. They fall in a weird middle ground that often leaves drivers underwhelmed. The 2021 Audi A4 manages to nail it all.
What drives the Audi A4?
The A4 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with snappy and superb throttle response. The 2.0-liter comes with the base model, while a beefier V6 powers the S4 model. The CR recommended base model comes with a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. CR seems to like this gearbox a lot. The best part of smaller sports sedans like the A4 is that the 2.0-liter engine is nice to your pocketbook. CR says that the A4 averages about 27 mpg.
The handling is where the 2021 Audi A4 runs away with it
The A4 is not only quick; it’s nimble. Its agility comes courtesy of strong steering feedback, solid chassis, and tight steering makes the A4 a blast to drive. CR’s track test proved the steering and handling of the A4 to be right at home on the track. The last piece of the handling puzzle comes from the Audi AWD system that has become somewhat legendary. Because the power goes to all four wheels, the A4 isn’t subject to understeer. These things work in concert to give the A4 driver loads of confidence to rip a corner. At the end of the day, that is what any great sportscars do.
The ride is more sedan than sport
CR says the 2021 Audi A4 can take road imperfections in stride. Unlike so many other sport sedans, the Audi A4 is not a beating to drive. The often stiff shocks are great for a perfectly manicured track but not so fun in everyday life. The Audi A4 blends the two driving feels to make a car that can take a bump and a corner.
Audi is known for a well-finished interior
Although the A4 isn’t the top of the line by any means, it still comes with a well-kitted interior. As CR says, the interior is more classy than flashy. It isn’t a very fancy and showy interior, but the A4 still has a class-leading interior. It’s what Audi does.
What CR is saying here is that the Audi A4 hits all the marks it claims. This is a fairly rare thing for crossover-type vehicles. Sports sedans often do both things terribly while still carrying the price tag that says otherwise. The 2021 Audi A4 is the ruler of the sport sedans.