The Car Guide’s 2020 Best Buys: Audi A4 and A5

Every year, The Car Guide publishes its Best Buys in nearly 30 different vehicle categories. Today we continue our review of the 2020 winners with a look at compact luxury cars, a market segment where a surprising newcomer from Asia manages to break through the German stronghold.

Once again this year, our Best Buy is split between the Audi A4 (MSRP from $46,200) and Audi A5 (MSRP from $50,100). The difference is that both received major revisions for 2020.

The A4 sedan now sports a more athletic look in line with its larger siblings. Highlights include a redesigned front grille and taillights, plus new sculpting on the sides. Naturally, these revisions also apply to the S4 and allroad variants. Inside, the biggest update is the 10.1-inch touchscreen complete with natural-language voice control (the rotary controller on the centre console has been eliminated). There are no real changes to report when it comes to power or handling, which isn’t bad news.

Photo: Tobias Sagmeister

As for the A5, with three different engines ranging from 248 to 444 horsepower, plus three body styles including coupe, cabriolet and Sportback (five doors), Audi offers generous selection. Similar to the A4, the brand’s quattro all-wheel drive system is included as standard on all models and the interior continues to live up to Audi’s outstanding reputation in that department.

The runner-up in this category of cars is the BMW 3 Series (MSRP from $49,100). One year after a complete makeover, the Bavarian queen impresses with rewarding driving dynamics and inspired performance both on the road and the track, especially in M340i trim (382 horsepower). Meanwhile, the base 330i model’s 255-horsepower engine is flexible and responsive enough. And despite its focus on sharp handling, the 3 Series proves smooth and quiet on the highway.

The surprise among compact luxury cars this year can be found in third place. Instead of another German sedan, we picked the Genesis G70 (MSRP from $42,000). Also blessed with standard AWD, the Korean sophomore stands out with sporty character, a luxurious interior and a long list of features for the price. Under the hood is a turbocharged four-cylinder or a twin-turbo V6, the latter producing 365 horsepower.

The Car Guide’s 2020 Scores

  1. Audi A4/A5 – 85%
  2. BMW 3 Series/4 Series – 83%
  3. Genesis G70 – 82%
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