80: Audi A4 – Careful and steady evolution is the order of the day

Top 100 cars for 2019: To drive, the A4 goes like it looks, but offers little in the way of excitement or enticement

To drive, the A4 goes like it looks - safe, secure, with a touch of premium appeal

To drive, the A4 goes like it looks - safe, secure, with a touch of premium appeal

 

The Audi A4 suffers slightly from being too plain. While the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series look rather more distinctive, and rivals such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Lexus IS really swing for the boundary in styling terms, the A4 ploughs a sensible, safe furrow. It looks as it has always looked, essentially.

A careful and steady evolution from way back to 1995, when the first generation A4 went on sale. There’s some appeal in that, and more appeal still when you step inside to find an interior that’s not exactly cutting edge in terms of style, but which is right on its game when it comes to quality and comfort.

To drive, the A4 goes like it looks - safe, secure, with a touch of premium appeal, but little in the way of excitement or enticement. That is, unless you go for the range-topping 450hp V6 turbo RS4 Avant, which pumps up the styling with 1980s Quattro rally-car-style wheelarches, and which sharpens up the handling to the point where you can have big fun, and in all weathers thanks to that quattro four-wheel drive powertrain.

Best model: A4 2.0 TDI 190hp quattro S-Line for €53,050

Price range: €36,780 to €103,350. Finance from €239 per month.

Co2 emissions: 100 to 199g/km

Sum up: You know what they say about the quiet ones…