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Audi A4 2021 review: 45 TFSI

The A4 sedan combines style with the interior space you're after for a family.

It’s always nice to review a sedan because I think they’re often overlooked as a family car. In my experience, they’re usually the 'dad' car while the mum gets the SUV to cart the kids around. 

But step inside a sedan and things start to change - you included. It feels classic, yes, but also fun, and you know what? The kids can fit in here too.

It’s the Audi A4 and I test drove the 45 TFSI quattro S line which is the top-of-the-range (before the sporty models) and costs $69,800 before on-road costs and extras.

It’s not alone, it competes with cars like BMW 3 series and Mercedes C-Class. Here’s how the Audi A4 did for this week’s family review.

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✅ How does it look?

It certainly stands up on the road as a stylish, and yes, cool sedan. It feels modern and fresh and still retains that European styling we all seem to covet. I mean, when cars look this good, it’s no wonder.

The inside is superbly laid out, nothing too flash or fancy but always very functional with quality finishings throughout. As this is the S line (an extra $2730) the seats are nappa leather with contrast stitching, they feel great and are super comfortable.

It certainly stands up on the road as a stylish sedan. It certainly stands up on the road as a stylish sedan.

The steering wheel is also leather. and it’s that most excellent flat bottom shape which Audi does so well. Other car companies have tried but none have replicated the feeling of being a racing car driver because of the flat-bottomed steering wheel, even when you’re just doing 50km/h in the suburbs. 

There are brushed metal trims throughout on the interior and on the foot pedals which feels premium (also a part of the S line package) and the centre console is nicely designed with a new, larger 10.1-inch screen. You definitely feel good when driving this car. 

The centre console is nicely designed with a new, larger 10.1-inch screen. The centre console is nicely designed with a new, larger 10.1-inch screen.

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

The front seats are power adjustable and there is keyless entry. You still have to turn the park brake on and off yourself. 

You’ll get two cupholders in the front seats, and a Qi (chi) charger for your phone where the centre storage bin normally is and then a few small storage spots that are good for keys or a card holder.

The front seats are power adjustable and there is keyless entry. The front seats are power adjustable and there is keyless entry.

So you’re missing the centre storage bin but the glove box is larger to compensate. The small storage spots come in place of the clunky hand controller for the multimedia screen (which is now a touchscreen), so their absence has left more space for storage around the gear shifter. 

The rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and an iPad storage spot, as well as their own climate control and directional air vents, plus bottle holders in the doors.

✅ How spacious is it?

It’s quite spacious in the A4, with a similar feel to an SUV space wise, without the height off the road. But you definitely have leg room and head room, and taller people are very comfortable in here. 

My children, aged six and eight, had plenty of space in the back and were happy to climb in and do seat belts up, always a bonus. I can fit easily at 161cm (5'3") and taller adults and teenagers will find enough room back there for longer legs. 

You can fit a third child seat across. I did it with two boosters and a baby capsule. 

It’s quite spacious in the A4. It’s quite spacious in the A4.

Space in the boot is long rather than high so you won’t block the vision in your rear window as you might in an SUV or wagon, and with 460L of space you’ll be able to fit a large and a medium suitcase in there - just.

Volume of 460L is creeping up towards mid-size SUV territory, though there are many with more space than that. If you’re worried about fitting a pram in, don’t be, the A4 will take it and it won’t have an issue with schoolbags or groceries. 

  • Space in the boot is long rather than high. Space in the boot is long rather than high.
  • Volume of 460L is creeping up towards mid-size SUV territory. Volume of 460L is creeping up towards mid-size SUV territory.

✅ How does it drive?

So, this is one of the best things about the A4 and also the biggest difference between the A4 and say, the Q5 (SUV). It just feels great to be in a car that’s low to the ground, is quick off the mark and is agile compared to a relatively cumbersome SUV which is what most 'family' cars are like. 

It feels ultra smooth on the road and makes me feel ultra smooth driving it, which is nice. Of course it’s the car doing the work but it makes you feel good at the same time. 

The A4 feels ultra smooth on the road. The A4 feels ultra smooth on the road.

There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine so it really goes when you need it to up hills and doesn’t have any trouble coasting along highways. Fuel consumption is a decent 7.1L/100km and I averaged 9.2L for the week.

Parking is great because the steering turns easily and there’s a very high definition reverse parking camera with 360-degree view (360-degree view part of the 'Assistance Plus' package).

There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine so it really goes when you need it to. There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine so it really goes when you need it to.

✅ How safe is it?

There’s what you get in the A4 45 TFSI quattro S line as standard, and then what you’ll have to pay for if you want the extra safety features.

Standard inclusions are auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane change warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The extras in the Assistance Plus package ($3770) are things like adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, and a head-up display. 

AEB is included as standard. AEB is included as standard.

You’ll also get eight airbags, the difference here being that you get side airbags for rear passengers as well as the front. This is slowly popping up in more cars now and I really appreciate those extra airbags having little ones in the back seat. 

There are two ISOFIX points and three top tether points to fix kids car seats in and the Audi A4 scored a maximum five ANCAP stars in 2015.

✅ What’s the tech like?

The tech has improved in this 2021 model, with Audi saying the new model offers 10 times the computing power of the old model, thanks to connected car features including live traffic, weather reports and fuel pricing. You can also remote unlock or lock your car from your phone. 

It still has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which work when you plug your phone in and you can navigate and listen to music via those apps.

The tech has improved in this 2021 model. The tech has improved in this 2021 model.

The multimedia screen is now a touchscreen, a huge improvement over the previous model. You don’t need to use the handheld controller anymore to try and work the tech. 

There are 10 speakers in this A4 grade, so turn the sound up.

The multimedia screen is now a touchscreen. The multimedia screen is now a touchscreen.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

This Audi A4 45 TFSI quattro S line costs $69,800, before on road costs and extras. The extras in this car included the 'S Line Package' ($2730) and the Assitance Plus Package ($3770) along with the 'Carbon and black package' ($3770) and metallic paint ($1990). Which comes to a grand total of $81,160, before on road costs. 

This Audi A4 45 TFSI quattro S line costs $69,800, before on road costs and extras. This Audi A4 45 TFSI quattro S line costs $69,800, before on road costs and extras.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.2L/100km and I averaged 9.2L/100km for the week. 

It’s covered by Audi’s three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty with servicing required every 12 months or 15,000km.


The Wrap

The Audi A4 45 TFSI quattro S tronic S line is a beautiful car to drive and served my family of four well this week. We fit neatly inside, it has decent boot space, it looks fabulous and has good safety and technology. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.2 out of 10 and my kids gave it an 8.0, they could just tell this was a stylish car.

Likes

Design
Smooth drive
New tech

Dislikes

Advanced safety is extra
Three year warranty
Pricey options

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4

$68,900

Based on new car retail price