Audi A4 side view
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Should you consider an Audi lease deal ahead of the Mercedes C-Class or the BMW 3 Series?

For those looking for their next Saloon, there’s a good chance you’ve considered an Audi A4 lease. The Audi A4 Saloon is one of the most sought-after cars in its class and deservedly so. Favoured by many for its futuristic cabin and impressive economy, it's also a popular choice for company car drivers. 

The Audi A4 is not without its rivals and is often pitted against both the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class

In our search for the best premium Saloon on the market, we have been taking a closer look at some of the big hitters – most recently the BMW 3 Series. Now, it’s the turn of the Audi A4. Let's take a look at this premium saloon in a bit more detail... 

Who are the Audi A4's rivals?

Traditionally, the Audi A4 has been up there with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon and the BMW 3 Series Saloon as the three standout options competing to be top of the premium Saloon market.

However, all three have had to deal with fresh competition in recent years and that has come from the Jaguar XE, the Volvo S60 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Audi A4 driving

Model featured: Audi A4 45 TFSI Quattro

Engine options

The Audi A4 range is vast and with that, you get a wide range of options to choose from. The line-up in full includes; the entry-level Technik model, Sport Edition, S Line, Black Edition and the top of the range Vorsprung. 

There is so much choice when it comes to engines, that it can get a touch confusing, so we’ll do our best to simplify all of the A4 engine options available here. 

Technik

  • Choose from petrol and diesel engines that range from 136ps to 163ps, as well as six-speed and seven-speed options.

Sport Edition

  • Two different 2.0L 150ps petrol engines – a six-speed and a seven-speed option. There are three seven-speed diesel engines, with a max power output coming from the 40TDI Quattro 2.0L 204ps engine.

S Line

  • Four different petrol engines. The seven-speed 45 TFSI Quattro, with 265ps, is the most powerful option, ahead of three slightly tamer diesel engines.
  • You get the same choice of options to choose from in the Black Edition.

Vorsprung

  • Also offers you a choice of three petrol and three diesel engines, including the range-topping 45 TFSI 265PS 2.0L petrol.

Like we said: So. Much. Choice.

Audi A4 cabin

What makes the Audi A4 so impressive?

Audi have been able to develop such a strong brand and a huge fanbase by consistently producing brilliant cars, and the A4 is no different. Now in its fifth generation, it has consistently been among Audi’s best-selling vehicles since its launch.

The clean and refined interior has made the Audi A4 a brilliant place to be and it's also easy to see why the A4 has been popular with fleet services or as company cars. Not only do some of the engines available in the range boast up to 60.1mpg, but in select models, you will pay less Benefit in Kind tax than in some Mercedes C-Class models.

The Mercedes C-Class interior is arguably more impressive, but also more, dare we say, ostentatious. The A4 has always been praised for its minimalist, yet futuristic cabin. And both have a little more ‘je ne sais quoi’ over the interior of the 3 Series.

Some may prefer the driving experience that comes with the BMW 3 Series compared to the Audi A4, but ultimately this will come down to both personal preference and what you intend to use the car for.

Audi A4 back seats

The practicality of the Audi A4

Audi have produced the A4 to be extremely practical, without necessarily being class-leading. Drivers and passengers in the front row will have more than enough room to complete journeys in style.

In the rear, the sloping roof does lower the comfort levels if you’re carrying three abreast, but for shorter journeys, it is manageable, while two adults - even those over 6ft - will enjoy a very comfortable ride. In terms of head and legroom, it is comparable to what's available in a BMW 3 Series, with both cars ensuring that even the taller passengers can ride along without any discomfort.

The Audi A4 saloon offers 460L of luggage space, which puts it right up among some of the best in the Saloon market. That puts the Audi A4 in a similar ballpark to that of the BMW 3 Series, while both cars marginally trump the Mercedes C-Class and the Volvo S60 for luggage space.

Not only are the numbers themselves very healthy, but the Audi A4 boot also benefits from a large square opening, which means getting bigger items in and out of the boot will be no trouble at all.

Audi A4 technology touchscreen

Technology

The infotainment system on offer in the Audi A4 is not quite at the level of BMW’s iDrive system, but it runs it very close and the digital driver's display on offer is exceptionally detailed - we could even go as far as saying class-leading. All models include the 10inch touchscreen, alongside the 12inch digital driver's display as standard.

The new-look A4 has seen the German brand do away with the rotary dial that was used in previous Audi models, forcing most of your activity through the 10inch touchscreen. The decision to remove the dial has not exactly been overwhelmingly popular. It is by no means a deal-breaker, but it does force drivers to use voice control while driving, rather than having the luxury of the physical dial.

If you would like to add a bit more oomph to your sound system, we recommend adding the Comfort and Sound Pack, which includes a B&O Premium Sound System.

Safety features

Safety is going to be important for those using the Audi A4 as a family car and you’ll be delighted to learn that it has a five-star NCAP rating, scoring 89% and 87% for adult and child occupants, respectively.

You also get to enjoy a wealth of safety features as standard with the Audi A4, including cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors, multi-collision brake assist and hill-hold assist in the A4.

Pricing

Prices for the Audi A4 can start from £31,000 and rise to around £52,000 for the range-topping spec – something that could work both for and against the German manufacturer. 

At entry-level, it is one of the cheaper premium Saloons on the market coming in for less than the cost of a standard Mercedes-Benz C-Class or a BMW 3 Series. 

Audi A4 parked in outside forest

Why is the Audi A4 so popular?

  • Beautifully designed interior
  • Loads of engine options to choose from
  • Entry-level models cheaper than rival alternatives
  • Impressive storage space on offer
  • Driver's display among the best in the class

What’s not so good about the Audi A4? 

If you want to experience the Audi A4 at its finest, you could find yourself getting bogged down in some pricey extras, as with many big-name manufacturers these days, the optional extras list is endless.

The additional driving packs that come with the Audi A4 range from the Comfort and Sound Pack to the Driver Assistance Pack as well as a Parking Assistance Advanced Pack.

With the Driver Assistance Pack, you get Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Lane Assist among others. The Parking Assistance Pack Advanced, which comes as standard on Vorsprung models, includes 360 Degree Camera, Exit warning and Parking Assist, among other safety features.

What is our favourite additional extra I hear you ask? Of course, it is the mobile Espresso coffee machine that operates via the 12V socket. It will set you back £225, but if you’re going to do coffee breaks, you have the option to do them in style.

Verdict

Audi haven’t exactly reinvented the wheel with their latest A4 facelift, but as the saying goes; if it isn't broke, don't fix it. The Audi A4 remains a very consistent and impressive performer.

There is a lot to like about the Audi A4, but does it do enough to pip the BMW 3 Series as the premium Saloon of choice? We’re not sure. It is perhaps best summarised by Audi themselves, who describe the A4 as a ‘classic all-rounder with style’.

If you are considering an Audi A4 lease deal, you certainly won’t be left feeling short-changed. It is spacious, practical and comfortable – it’s a Saloon that will do everything that you want it to and do it well. 

Want to know more about our Audi lease deals? Browse our best personal lease deals and business contract hire offers to find the best deal for you