By Cars.com EditorsOctober 1, 2018
About the video
The 2018 Audi A4 is a superlative combination of luxury, practicality and sportiness that puts it on top for its class.
When you think about winners, certain characteristics come to mind, exceptional performance, attention to detail, multi-dimensional excellence. It's the same with cars, and you only have to look at the Audi A4 to see what a winner looks like.
It beats six competitors to win our luxury sports sedan challenge. And we named it our Luxury Car of the Year for 2018 earlier this year. Here are the key reasons, it's the champ. Point one, interior quality. (confetti bursts) Audi has been a standard bearer for years in this area and the A4 shows why. It has one of the nicest cabins in the compact luxury class. And a big reason for that is the materials that are used. You can see it here in this test car with this nice brushed aluminum trim on the console and dashboard, and also this leather and Alcantara finish seats. Beyond that, you can tell that Audi cares about the seemingly little things that really raise your overall impression of the car, from the way the controls and the dials and buttons feel to the inclusion of things like a center armrest that slides forward and backward, and is also height-adjustable Audi. Audi didn't get everything right with the interior though. And one of the bigger misses is the interface for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. Audi's normal multimedia system includes this console knob that operates menus on the dashboard screen, but rather than including a touch screen so that you could just touch the various icons as CarPlay and Android Auto were designed, you have to navigate with it using that same console control knob. It works okay. It's just not ideal. Point two, passenger and cargo room. (confetti bursts) The A4 is also quite capable of comfortably carrying people and cargo, even though it's one of Audi's smaller sedans and the car space efficiency really comes through when you're sitting in the back seat. It's comfortable for taller adults, even with the front seat adjusted for a tall driver. And if you have seating for four adults, you better have enough space to carry their luggage, but that's what you get with the A4. It's 13 cubic foot trunk rating is a little deceiving because when you open the trunk lid, you have this very deep cargo space with not many intrusions that would limit its usefulness. And when you fold the 40, 20, 40 split backseat, you get a sizable opening that should make it easier for carrying big items inside the car. Point three, turbo-charged performance. (confetti bursts) Besides delivering on the luxury and comfort fronts, we were also impressed with the A4's turbocharged two liter engine, rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pounds speed of torque. The two liter, four cylinder is a smooth revving engine that delivers strong performance with gratifying immediacy. In our test of luxury sports sedans, only the Alfa Romeo Giulia was quicker. The A4 we had for our comparison tests had Audi's seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission, but the one we have here has the available six speed manual. Like the car steering, the shifter has a very light feel as you flick it from gear to gear. And the clutch pedal is easy to work. There are flashier and quicker cars in the luxury compact class, but few combined practicality, upscale amenities, comfort and luxury, as well as the A4 does. It's a winning combination, and it's helped separate the car from its competition.