- Cleaner lines this year
- Improved infotainment
- Strong engines with AWD
- Good handling and ride
- Appealing A4 Allroad wagon
- Conservative style
- Gets expensive
- AWD guzzles fuel
- Complex interfaces
features & specs
The 2020 Audi A4 offers big tech upgrades inside this year.
The 2020 Audi A4 isn’t ready to be put out to pasture just yet. The model that helped Audi reinvent itself in the 1990s has been overshadowed by the automaker’s crossover SUVs, but it remains a solid choice for those in the know.
This year, the 2020 A4 has a sharper look with pinched headlights flanking a stylish grille. Inside, last year’s center control knob is jettisoned in favor of a new, larger touchscreen that should make this tech-heavy compact sedan easier to operate. Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels are available, each with several option packages.
Overall, we rate the 2020 A4 at 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The A4 makes use of two versions of the 2.0-liter turbo-4 used in a wide variety of Volkswagen, Audi, and even Porsche products. This ubiquitous turbo-4 delivers good performance just about everywhere it’s found, and the 2020 A4 is no exception. Front-wheel-drive A4s use a 188-hp version, while cars with Audi’s optional Quattro all-wheel-drive system check in with a healthier 248 hp. The 2020 Audi S4 makes use of a more powerful 349-hp V-6 with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic. Don’t look for a manual transmission as Audi's other transmission with the turbo-4 is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that fires off crisp shifts at speed but can stumble around town.
The A4 has sharp steering and a smooth, composed ride. The optional adaptive dampers may be a challenge to find on dealer lots for the A4 sedan, though they’re standard for the off-roady A4 Allroad wagon. That Subaru-inspired model isn’t a serious off-roader, though its extra ground clearance may provide some confidence in deeper snow.
Inside, the A4 has an unusually spacious cabin draped with leather upholstery in even base trims. Nice materials and optional trim finishers such as aluminum and wood impart an upscale look, even though the basic design is more clinical than romantic. This year’s new infotainment software is paired with a 10.1-inch touchscreen for the first time, which eliminates our frustration with Audi’s previous control knob interface.
The A4 is a good value in base configuration, and all versions have performed well in crash tests. Fuel economy is good across the line, especially in the frugal front-wheel-drive versions.
2020 Audi A4
The 2020 Audi A4’s clean lines are a conservative choice.
Audi’s designs tend to favor subtle creases and sharp lines over drama, and that’s just fine with us. This year, the 2020 Audi A4 has new head and taillights as well as a more pronounced shield-style grille. The updates don’t move the needle, though they do keep this design fresh against redesigned rivals.
We rate the 2020 A4 at 6 out of 10 for its styling.
The reshaped grille appears squatter and stronger, which ties the A4 closer to newer designs in the Audi lineup such as the A6 and A7. Stronger LED accents in the headlights add definition as well. More pronounced wheel arches round out the changes, literally.
The A4 retains its traditional three-box profile, leaving the stylish, coupe-like roofline to the related A5 Sportback. An optional S Line appearance package gives the A4 looks more in line with the high-performance Audi S4. The 2020 Audi AS4 has a quad exhaust, rear spoiler, and 19-inch wheels with a titanium finish.
A4 Allroad wagons are like Subaru Outbacks that went to finishing school. These wagons sit a little higher than standard A4s and make use of unpainted lower trim designed to impart a rugged look. We’re reasonably convinced.
Inside, the A4 has a clean, elegant look with a low dash and fewer buttons and knobs this year thanks to the switch from a rotary control knob for the infotainment screen to a touchscreen display. The A4 comes standard with leather upholstery, which Audi offers in a wide range of dyes. Aluminum and wood trim options vie with matte plastic and rubber finishes to create a warm, upscale atmosphere, even against similarly priced rivals.
2020 Audi A4
The 2020 Audi A4 handles with verve and accelerates with gusto.
The 2020 Audi A4 comes in two configurations, both powered by versions of a 2.0-liter turbo-4. Audi reserves thrilling performance for its S4.
For the 2020 A4, we assign a 7 out of 10 based on its good acceleration and sharp steering. Audi’s compact sedan isn’t a track star, but it will make just about any commute a joy. The S4 is another story.
Front-wheel-drive A4 make use of a 188-horsepower turbo-4, while buyers who opt for all-wheel drive in the A4 and Allroad models are treated to a 248-hp variant of the same engine. Power is sent to the wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi quotes a 0-60 mph sprint of around 7 seconds for the lower-power A4, while the all-wheel-drive model’s extra grunt offsets its portlier curb weight for a 0-60 mph run in the mid-5 second range. In the A4 Allroad wagon, the sprint is weighed down by about 200 pounds, so it hits 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, according to Audi.
Acceleration is strong. Our only complaint is that the automatic transmission can occasionally fumble a gear change at low speeds.
Underneath, the 2020 A4 rides on a softly sprung multi-link suspension that soaks in big bumps exceptionally well. The optional adaptive dampers stiffen up the ride slightly. They’re standard on the A4 Allroad to help the off-roady version cope better with bumpy roads. Don’t confuse the A4 Allroad with a serious four-wheeler, though it comes with a trick version of Audi’s all-wheel-drive system compared to the sedan that disconnects the front axle to save fuel. Still, the A4 Allroad sits close to the ground and its low-profile tires are best kept to well-graded roads.
The S4 with standard all-wheel drive has a 349-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic that makes 369 pound-feet of torque. It hustles to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 155 mph.
2020 Audi A4
Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Audi A4 is the standard-bearer for its spacious, well-outfitted interior.
It may not be the newest compact luxury sedan on the market, but the 2020 Audi A4 continues to set the standard among its competitive set.
We rate the 2020 A4 at 8 out of 10 for its comfort and quality thanks to excellent interior space and fine accommodations, especially for the price.
The standard front seats are power-adjustable, heated, and covered in soft leather. Rear-seat riders are treated to more than 35 inches of leg room, though the transmission tunnel that runs under the middle-seat rider intrudes more than in some other cars. The sedan’s trunk offers a middling 13 cubic feet of cargo storage, though the A4 Allroad’s 24.2 cubic feet is decent for a small wagon. With the A4 Allroad’s rear seats folded down, cargo space swells to nearly 60 cubic feet.
The A4 may not be as evocatively styled inside as its Mercedes-Benz and Volvo rivals, but its materials are top notch. The tablet-like touchscreen floats above the dash and is easy to see, while the optional digital instrument cluster is a delight to operate.
Outward vision is also very good thanks to a low belt line and narrow roof pillars.
2020 Audi A4
The 2020 Audi A4 is well-equipped with collision-avoidance tech.
The 2020 Audi A4 earns an exceptionally high score for safety thanks to good crash-test scores and a high level of standard equipment designed to help prevent a wreck.
We rate the latest A4 at 9 out of 10, punting points its way for a five-star report from the NHTSA, a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS, and standard automatic emergency braking.
Our scores are based on the 2019 A4. We doubt they’ll change for 2020, but we’ll update this space when we know more.
The NHTSA rated the A4 at five stars overall, albeit with four stars for frontal collision. The A4 earned “Good” scores on all six tests from the IIHS. Last year’s headlights rated “Acceptable” and “Marginal,” but new designs this year should improve its scores.
Every A4 comes with automatic emergency braking, while the options list includes a surround-view camera system, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and rear-seat side-impact airbags.
2020 Audi A4
Luxury cars are rarely a genuine value, but the 2020 Audi A4 is an exception.
With its good standard feature set and a wide range of high-tech options, the 2020 Audi A4 earns 7 out of 10 for features.
The 2020 A4 is offered in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels, each of which has a handful of options and packages to sort through, plus an unusually broad color palette both inside and out.
Base A4 Premiums are smart choices for their standard leather upholstery, 10.1-inch touchscreens with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, heated and power-adjustable front seats, moonroof, ambient lighting, three-zone climate control, and active safety gear.
Stepping up to the Premium Plus serves as the gateway to additional options, but at nearly $50,000 with all-wheel drive, they’re expensive. The A4 Prestige is a rare sight on dealer lots, though high-end buyers look for a well-equipped car with smaller dimensions than the mid- and full-size cars they’re used to may find the range-topper’s acoustic glass, upgraded audio system, and other features worth the $50,000-plus price tag.
The A4 Allroad is generally equipped like its sedan A4 siblings, albeit with standard adaptive dampers.
The S4 comes with front sport seats with pneumatic side bolsters and seat massagers, as well as the performance upgrades.
This year’s new infotainment software ditches the old, clunky control knob in favor of a large touchscreen display. We’ve not spent much time with the system in the A4, but we applaud Audi’s move to tech likely more familiar to most consumers.
2020 Audi A4
The 2020 Audi A4 is a reasonably frugal choice for a compact luxury sedan.
The 2020 Audi A4 is average at best for fuel economy. The base front-wheel-drive A4 is rated at 27 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined. That’s a tick higher on the highway than last year’s model, likely due to the sleeker body, but not enough to nudge it from an average rating of 5.
The 2020 Audi A4 with all-wheel drive is rated at 24/32/27 mpg, while the A4 Allroad wagon comes in at 23/31/26 mpg, which represents a boost of 1 mpg over the 2019 model. As expected, the 2020 S4 brings up the rear at 20/27/23 mpg.
Audi says that premium fuel is required for the A4 lineup.