2018 Audi A4 vs. Its Competition

2018 Audi S4/S5 First Drive
Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor

The Audi most often competes against the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C Class—specifically the 340i and C43, respectively.

We'll concede that the Audi is faster, but the C43 and 340i are more enjoyable to drive, they're more visceral cars.

The styling on the C43 is somewhat divisive, and the BMW is just old at this point, but the Audi S4 stops short of delivering a knockout to either one.

The S4 beats the BMW on tech, but stops just short of beating the C43—we'd prefer a touchscreen to Audi's MMI.

The Cadillac and Lexus are both outliers in this race, neither offer a direct competitor but have refreshing approaches to luxury compact cars available.

2018 Audi S4/S5 First Drive2018 Audi A4
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2018 BMW 3-Series2018 BMW 3-Series
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2018 Cadillac ATS2018 Cadillac ATS
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2018 Lexus IS 350 F Sport2018 Lexus IS
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (C300 Coupe)2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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Quick Specs
8.0
The 2018 Audi S4 balances perfectly performance with luxury in a package that's both practical and sharp. Hardly a recipe for excitement, but one that touches all the bases.
6.7
The 2018 BMW 3-Series makes its strongest case in performance for luxury compact buyers’ attentions.
6.8
The Cadillac ATS remains a highly desirable underdog with its terrific ride and handling and willing powertrains. It's as fun-to-drive as any compact luxury sedan.
6.7
The Lexus IS needs more powertrain guts, and more styling glory, to tackle the cars it wants to take down.
7.5
Very expensive and still not very large, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class nonetheless leads its luxury niche with fabulous style and fantastic power and grip.
MSRP From    
$36,000$34,900N/A$38,210$40,250
Gas Mileage    
21 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 43 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4N/AIntercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class    
Compact CarsCompact CarsN/ACompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name    
2.0 TFSI ultra Premium S Tronic FWD320i SedanN/AIS 300 F Sport RWDC 300 Sedan
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveN/ARear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55N/A55
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
SedanSedanN/ASedanSedan
Transmission    
Auto-Shift Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODN/AAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Audi A4 vs. 2018 BMW 3-Series2018 Audi A4 vs. 2018 Cadillac ATS2018 Audi A4 vs. 2018 Lexus IS2018 Audi A4 vs. 2018 Mercedes-Benz C Class