2020 Audi A4 review - Design

Still not the driver’s car of the class, but the A4 is strong in all other areas

Evo rating
  • Refined, well built, competitive engines, S4’s strong performance
  • Rivals are more entertaining, messy styling details

Design

While this generation A4 is more of a facelift than an all-new model, Audi has tried hard to visually differentiate it from the original B9-generation that debuted in 2016. The overall shape is the same, but Audi claims only the bonnet, roof and tailgate panels are the same as before.

The major differences are in the headlights and tail lights, with new lighting signatures front and rear, a redesign of the ‘singleframe’ front grille, and a change to the character line down the side of the car.

The headlights are perhaps the most successful aspect, looking both distinctive and modern. The grille is a little odd, with a body-colour panel now separating it from the bonnet line, inset on some models with one of the brand’s latest design flourishes (as seen on the new A1 and facelifted R8), a three-slot insert designed to evoke the old Quattro rally cars. It’s not entirely convincing, and from some angles looks like a panel gap that even Tesla would find awkward.

And then there’s that redesigned character line. Before, it spanned the length of the vehicle, but the redesign has cut it short across the doors, designed to enhance the front and rear arches, again for an old-school Quattro look. We’re not sure that’s worked either, and the new body-side line intersecting with the door handles almost makes it look like the doors are from a different vehicle entirely.

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