Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we’ll let you know. If not, we’ll recommend one – or the required options – that earns a passing grade.
If you’re looking for an accessible point of entry to the opulence of a well-crafted German luxury sedan, the Audi A4 should be high on your list. With the company’s stylists employing a different-lengths-of-würstchen approach to its vehicles, this priced-within-reach A4 shares more than a passing resemblance to the megabucks A8 dreadnaught.
For 2022, the A4 sedan starts at $43,800 for the Komfort trim with a so-called ’40 TFSI’ powertrain. Hey, the Germans are known for precision, not sensual language. If you want entertaining model names, hit up the Italians. Or France. The engine at this end of the A4 scale is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-banger making 201 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, a team Audi says is good for accelerating to highway speeds in roughly 6.7 seconds. A seven-speed automatic handles shifting duties and all-wheel drive Quattro traction is standard.
Despite being an entry-level spec, there is a typically German level of standard equipment found in the Komfort trim. LED lights pepper the front and rear of this A4, shared with more expensive models and including the natty dynamic indicators out back. Those power exterior mirrors are heated and the 17-inch wheels are attractively designed. Ibis White and Brilliant Black are the only zero-dollar paint options, as all others leave a $890 hole in your bank account.
In a fit of wonderful choice, Audi permits the selection of four different interior colours on this entry-level A4 – brown, black, beige, and grey – all at no charge. Your author heartily recommends the interesting shade of Okapi Brown as a thumb in the eye to all those other luxury cars with a simple black interior. Features in the Komfort include power-operated heated seats up front, leather-faced chairs all around, tri-zone automatic climate control to quell any complaints from the peanut gallery, and shifter paddles sprouting from behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel for when parental units decide to play F1 on a gridlocked freeway. A power glass sunroof is also part of the deal.
That’s a 10.1-inch touchscreen controlling infotainment functions, with smartphone integrations and satellite radio capability baked in. There are ten speakers, if anyone asks. Safety kit include active driver aids like lane departure warning and pre-sensing systems to warm of impending doom.
What We’d Choose
For those seeking a bit more grunt, the ’45 TFSI’ power team can be had in Komfort spec for a $3,400 premium. This adds 60 ponies and 37 lb-ft of twist, noticeable jumps in a car this size. The power upgrade also brings larger wheels and tires for improved handling but no extra engine displacement. It’s tough to recommend against extra horses, especially when they net a zero – 100 km/h time of about 5.5 seconds.
Beyond the Komfort line, a Progressiv trim starts just north of $50,000 and has the same robust power team as an upgraded entry-level model. That vehicle adds jewelry like illuminated door sills, Audi S-line exterior styling cues, and a heated steering wheel. The jazzy Virtual Cockpit, a large digital screen taking the place of traditional gauges, can be configured in an impressive number of ways and is nearly worth the cash on its own. At that price, however, we’d be tempted to stretch another $1,350 and find our way into the larger (and slinkier) A5 Sportback