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2014 Audi A4 Overview
Now in its sixth year without a major redesign, Audi's entry-level luxury sedan remains in the top tier, fighting for more market share against Mercedes-Benz's C-Class, BMW's 3 Series, Infiniti's G and Cadillac's ATS. With its brand image of sporty German performance, aesthetic beauty and top-notch interior technology and quality, it's no surprise that sales are steadily increasing for this elegant sedan.
For 2014, Audi A4 engine power gets a bump, increasing the output of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) to 220 horsepower from last year's measurement of 211. And if you like your Audi more visually sinister, a Black Optic package is now offered, which is mainly an exterior appearance enhancement of black high-gloss window surrounds, grille, 19" titanium wheels and body-colored side mirrors.
Audi has also changed its packaging on the A4, making many once-optional features standard, which helps when pricing comes into play. Bluetooth, Homelink (Audi's integrated garage door/gate opener), a slick music interface and driver information system are all included as standard. The MMI Navigation Plus is still an option, but for the luxury category, it's a must-have feature with its Wi-Fi connectivity of up to 8 wireless devices, Sirius XM live traffic, Google Earth and Google Voice local search.
Although mileage numbers may change slightly due to the horsepower increase, the A4 is a leader in the luxury category for fuel efficiency and a high level of sporty performance. This is due mainly to a turbocharged fuel-efficient I4 engine that stands apart from many 6-cylinder engines in its class as being an equal performer with better efficiency. The manual front-wheel-drive models typically get 24 mpg city/31 highway, and the all-wheel Quattro (4WD) manuals get 22/32. The automatics come in at 20/30.
The 2014 Audi A4 is available only as a sedan. The A4 Avant was discontinued when the Audi A4 Allroad wagon came out, which is now considered its own model, not merely a trim. Cuvee' Silver and Dakota Gray are two new colors that have been added to the exterior choices. As for trims, the A4 is offered in four flavors: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige and Black Optic.
Audi is known as the brand with the best interiors, and the A4 does not disappoint. While many of its competitors offer vinyl leatherette as a less expensive option, Audi uses only real leather in its standard layout. A split-folding rear seat is now available in the A4 Premium models with the cold weather package, and there are a variety of interior-trim styles that include aluminum or wood inlays and sporty but sophisticated red LED accent lighting for the center console. Alcantara, a super-soft and supple leather, inserts are also available in the sportier trims. Audi's interiors happen to be some of the best smelling in the business as well, with the company's famed "nose team" always striving to keep smells to a minimum and leather qualities high.
Audi is sure to get another year's worth of A4 buyers lined up who are looking for quality, performance and brand cache in their small German luxury sedan, with a great looking grille and logo attached.
Joni Gray has seen the car world from both sides. First, as a marketer inside three major automotive corporations (Mazda, Hyundai and Honda), followed by a decade of editorial positions at Kelley Blue Book and Auto Trader and as Sr. Automotive Editor at the LA Times. Her knowledge of both cars and the people who buy and drive them has given her deep insight about today's car owners and their drive for design, technology and quality as well as performance. Joni lives in Southern California with her husband and Chloe, the lazy whippet.