Audi has done a great job with the A4. It's a few years old at this point, yet it remains my favorite vehicle in the class. The 2.0T engine provides power and fuel economy, and Quattro four-wheel drive doesn't kill fuel mileage. Yes, a 3-series is dynamically superior and has higher handling limits, but that matters only if you actually plan to take your car to track days. Audi gives customers a much better street car at a great price with a better interior, so it makes more sense for most shoppers.
Now that Audi arguably has the best styling in the luxury segment, very robust powertrains, beautiful interiors, and very respectable driving dynamics combined with reasonable (for the segments) pricing, it's no wonder Audi surged past the 100,000-unit sales mark for 2010. The R8 does a wonderful job as a halo car for the brand, and there's enough success from the Le Mans program to fill a book. With a revised A6 coming any day now, Audi will have a complete product portfolio and some very happy dealers.
- Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor
David Zenlea and Phil Floraday took the words out of my mouth. We tended to dismiss the A4 as too expensive and "not a 3-series" when it debuted two or three years ago, but when I got in our test car, my immediate thought was that, for most people, this is the absolute perfect combination of Germanic driving, style, luxury, features, and prestige. Hey, if you want a BMW 3-series, have at it; I love them, too. But don't assume that a 3-series is superior to the A4 for all people, because it's not. The A4 is far better looking inside and out.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor