Did the Audi A4 facelift make it look worse?

Last summer, we tested the B9-gen Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, a car that we liked quite a lot. While it’s not the most thrilling or exciting of cars, the Audi A4 is a solid, enjoyable and dependable car that can be had for an affordable price. It even looks really good, inside and out. Or, at least, it did.

Audi has recently given the new A4 a facelift and has changed almost every aspect of the car’s exterior. Only the trunk lid, hood and roof are shared with the pre-facelift car. However, we’re wondering if Audi actually went and made it worse looking.


At the front, the newly facelifted Audi A4 gets new headlights, a new grille and a new front fascia. While it looks more aggressive, it also looks fussier and less elegant. It’s sportier but also messier, it seems. Plus, it loses one of the best looking aspects of its face — its notched headlights. The angular, notched headlights of the pre-facelift car were some of the best looking parts of it. Now, they’re replaced by simpler ones with a bunch of LED light bars in them. They might be flashier now but they don’t look as sharp as the previous ones.

The new grille looks good, especially in S-Line trim where it gets honeycomb inserts, but the rest of it just looks too fussy. Maybe it grows on us in the future but, as it stands now, we like the pre-facelift face better.

Facelift Interior

Out back, its new taillights actually do look better. They’re similar to the simple, elegant lights on the pre-facelift car but they feature a similar light design as the Audi A6. So it looks a bit more premium and exciting.

On the inside, the two biggest changes are screens. The Virtual Cockpit has been updated to the latest version and it’s much better than the first version. So that’s a plus. However, the MMI screen has been replaced by Audi’s new Touch Response MMI screen and we’re not so sure about it. While we like the Touch Response system, it might not work so well here. Because Audi didn’t redesign the dash, the new touchscreen is just in place of the old screen, which means it just sticks out of the top of the dash. So it seems like it might be a bit difficult to use while driving. If the screen was a bit lower, like it is on other new Audis, it’d be easier to use.

Pre-Facelift Audi A4

So we’re not so sure about this facelift. While some aspects of it look better — such as the honeycomb S-Line grille and the new taillights — we’re not sure it’s an overall improvement. The pre-facelift Audi A4 was very handsome and possibly the best looking A4 yet. So it’s a bit disappointing to see the facelift sort of take a step backwards. Hopefully it grows on us. Check out the gallery below to see the differences.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.