In its ninth-generation, now, the Audi A4 is as polished as it’s ever been. It’s the nine-times-distilled essence of A4 goodness. However, there are many that are still unhappy with the Audi A4. Some call it a bit too comfortable and not as driver-oriented as, say, a BMW 3 Series. Some say it’s too far the other way and isn’t as comfy as, say, a Mercedes-Benz C Class. However, the folks over at Kelley Blue Book seem to think that the Audi A4 is the perfect split between both.
Having driven the A4 and 3 Series back-to-back, I must admit that the 3 Series felt more like a sports car than the A4. Not that the A4 was bad, quite the contrary in fact, but the 3 Series just felt a bit sharper, more on its toes. The new Audi A4 can certainly hold its own in the handling department, with great body control (with the optional adaptive dampers), tenacious Quattro grip and the best Audi steering since the B6 A4. But, in the twisties, the 3 Series proved to be just a tad sharper.
When it comes to the Mercedes-Benz C Class, well, it’s a bit more comfortable and luxurious. Have you ever seen the cabin of the C Class? It’s gorgeous. The ride is silky smooth, too, and it drives like a baby-S Class. While the new A4 has a fantastic cabin, filled with far better technology and, to me, a better ergonomic design than the C Class, it’s just not as luxurious as the Benz. However, it is more fun to drive than the slightly dull and un-engaging C Class. It’s more sports car than the one with the three-pointed star.
So the Audi A4 sort of walks that line between downright sport sedan and small luxury sedan. It offers quite a lot of both and has a fantastic dual personality. Some customers don’t like that sort of fence-sitting, but it’s hard to argue with the new A4’s breadth of abilities. We can’t wait to round all three cars up to see which is best.