Posted on 3 September, 2008

If there was one aim Audi had in mind when developing the new A4, it must have been to beat the 3-Series. That would be no mean feat: the BMW has a blend of handling, quality and desirability many car makers can only dream of.

So it’s all the more impressive that Audi was successful in its quest – the all-new A4 is a winner! The sleek four-door is a great example of the brand’s cutting-edge design. There’s nothing revolutionary about the looks, yet the sharp lines and sometimes unexpected features create a dashing compact executive model.

The high-quality design continues inside, with an attractive and beautifully built dash in place of the 3-Series’ sombre ambience. High-spec cars offer a cabin fit for the luxury class. What’s more, Audi’s MMI interface is the best solution to centralised cabin controls yet. And while in the past, the A4 has been left trailing by its rivals on the road, that’s no longer the case. With the help of a superb new platform and the latest front and four-wheel-drive powertrains, the A4 is as agile and enjoyable to drive as any rival.

And then we come to the engines. Not only are the diesels some of the punchiest and most economical in the class, but the latest FSI petrol units are superb, too. Even the 3.2-litre V6 is capable of both blistering acceleration and 35mpg economy when cruising. Compactexecutive car buyers have never had it so good.

Commended: BMW 3-Series

BMW 3-Series
Audi A4
Mercedes C-Class
Lexus IS
Alfa Romeo 159
Volkswagen Passat CC