WORLD PREMIERE: B9 Audi A4 Facelift — Angrier but Better?

We’ve essentially seen the new Audi A4 facelift already, as spy photos have previously all but revealed it. So we’ve know what to expect for awhile now. At least on the outside. However, the official reveal is finally here and it allows us to really see the newly facelifted car in its entirety; exterior, interior and underneath the skin.

On the outside, the Audi A4 is definitely more aggressive looking after its facelift. Its new LED headlights feature light strips at the top, giving its face some angry eyebrows. It also gets a new Singleframe grille that’s wider and shorter, giving the front end a wider, less upright look. That makes it look sportier and angrier.

In S-Line trim, the front end gets more aggressive front air intakes and a honeycomb grille insert that looks similar to Audi Sport models like the RS4.

Out back, it gets new taillights that are similar in shape to the old ones but styled much more like those of the Audi A6. They look good on the sedan but they look better on the Avant. The just seem more sorted on the wagon body.

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All of this makes the Audi A4, both sedan and Avant, look angrier. But is it better looking? I’m not so sure. It looks good in S-Line trim, thanks to the sportier grille insert and air intakes, and we think the Avant is the better looking of the two body styles, but the car previously looked so good that we’re not sure this is an improvement.

Inside, the interior gets a massive tech upgrade but looks largely the same. In place of the large fixed MMI infotainment screen from the pre-facelift A4 is an even larger touchscreen MMI screen. So it gets the new Touch Response MMI system without the touch climate controls of more expensive Audis. It also gets the new Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster, which is even better than the already excellent one in the pre-facelift car. In place of the rotary wheel for the old MMI system is just a little cubby spot.

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In terms of safety tech, the Audi A4 will be available with a suite of driver assist systems. The optional systems are bundled into the “Tour”, “City” and “Park” packages. An important system in the “Tour” package is the adaptive cruise control including Stop&Go function for automatic distance control. In conjunction with the predictive efficiency assist it can brake and accelerate the A4 predictively even where there is no vehicle ahead. To do so it analyzes Car-to-X messages, navigation data and traffic signs.

At launch, there will be six turbocharged engine options to choose from. They’re your typical Audi engine choices, which range from turbo-four petrol engines to both four and six-cylinder turbo-diesels. Only the 2.0 liter TFSI engine will make it to North America, though.

There will be a few suspension options available as well. Two fixed setups will be available — standard and sport — which won’t be adaptive. The latter of which lowers the car by 23mm. There will also be two adaptive suspension setups, which offer different ride comfort modes. The comfort adaptive suspension lowers the car by 10mm but also increases ride comfort with its adaptive settings. The sport adaptive suspension also lowers the car by 23mm, like the fixed sport setup, but offers multiple driving modes.

Both front-wheel drive and Quattro all-wheel drive variants will be available, with a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic also being available. Though, the manual won’t be making it to North America.

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This new facelift won’t just be for the A4, though. It will also make it to the new Audi S4 variants, as well as the A4 Allroad.

All in all, it’s a more exciting looking car that looks best in its S-Line trim. While we’re not so sure it looks better than the pre-facelift car, it’s certainly a sportier looking one. More importantly, though, it features better technology inside and that’s where the A4 was starting to age compared to its competitors.

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.