2020 Audi A4: New Look and New Touchscreen

Strong points
  • More assertive look
  • New touchscreen interface
  • Excellent ride and handling
  • High-quality fit and finish
Weak points
  • High price
  • Expensive options
  • New interface requires some getting used to
Full report

The new 2020 Audi A4 flies at more than 150 km/h on a serpentine stretch of autostrada through the rolling hills that separate Bolzano and Bressanone.

Even at that speed, the interior remains quiet and serene. Granted, there are few road imperfections along the way, but we still have to do a number of lane changes to pass the heavy trucks that dominate traffic in this part of the Dolomites.

The A4 may be new, but the steering is just as sharp as in the past and the ride strikes a wonderful balance between comfort and agility in typical German fashion. Our tester is also equipped with an adaptive suspension controlled via Audi drive select.

If you want to find real changes to the A4, you have to look somewhere else than the chassis and the engine.

Audi’s compact sedan is redesigned and improved for 2020 in an effort to keep up with its arch-nemesis, the BMW 3 Series, whose seventh generation recently went on sale in Canada. It’s by far one of the four-ring brand’s best-selling and therefore most important models (one in five Audi vehicles sold around the world is an A4), so anything less than a proper update was not an option.

Photo: Tobias Sagmeister

A More Athletic Silhouette

The 2020 Audi A4 looks more athletic than its predecessor, partly to get on the same page as the A6, A7 and A8, while at the same time getting an extra dose of luxury. The Singleframe grille is lower and wider, the headlights are new, the beltline is lower and the fenders are more muscular to emphasize the magic of quattro all-wheel drive.

In the rear, designers tweaked the taillights and the integrated spoiler. Below are dual exhaust tips that enhance the A4’s more assertive look.

A New Touchscreen Interface

In terms of connectivity and infotainment, the new Audi A4 follows the trend set by the company’s latest products. The rotary controller and small MMI display found in the outgoing model are replaced by a 10.1-inch colour touchscreen with haptic feedback.

Similar to a smartphone or tablet, the various functions and apps are displayed as tiles, each one opening up a series of sub-menus. While the graphics are outstanding, the whole interface requires some getting used to before it stops being a source of distraction.

Photo: Tobias Sagmeister

As always, the addition of the Audi virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel is a great way to have all the relevant information, including navigation maps, right in front of you.

Pleasing Performance

When the road gets twisty, the 2020 Audi A4 drives like a charm thanks to a sharp, lively steering that provides plenty of feedback from the front wheels. Dynamic mode firms up the dampers for a bit more excitement in corners.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine produces 241 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm, while the 273 pound-feet of max torque are delivered from 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, allowing 0-100 km/h accelerations in 5.8 seconds. At the end of the day, we recorded an average fuel consumption slightly above 9 L/100 km, including just under 8 L/100 km on the highway.

The new Audi A4 has found the perfect compromise between sporty handling and a comfortable ride thanks to its adaptive suspension. The engine beautifully matches the character of this car and the new look gives it a bit more edge.

Pricing should be similar to the outgoing model when the 2020 Audi A4 goes on sale early next year.

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