2022 Audi A4 Prestige
I'm seeing red - but in a good way! The 2022 AUDI A4 sedan 45 TFSI Quattro Prestige
It's been a while since I've driven or ridden in an Audi, and now I remember why I and others like them so much. This is a cool, great looking sedan and, I must say, I am sure getting some looks in a sleek, bright Tango Red metallic, super sporty 2022 Audi A4.
By Reed Berry
Sat, Dec 24, 2022 06:36 PM PST
All images by author.
I don't know if this is the perfect car for everyone, but it may be the perfect car for California. This luxury sedan checks so many boxes for those of us with an active SoCal lifestyle, from the size of the vehicle itself and a power sunroof to a lengthy list of comfort, convenience and tech features. The A4 is considered a compact sedan, but the size seems just right for me, as I'm sure it would for most drivers. Small enough to be remarkably agile, while spacious enough for the maximum comfort of the driver and passengers.
The exterior of the vehicle is bold and impressive. Our test vehicle is outfitted with the Black Optic Plus package, which gives this vehicle a particularly striking appearance with black exterior trim and matte black front grille. Even the Audi rings and model badge are black. Needless to say, all the black accent features stand out quite nicely on this bright red vehicle, as do the big 19-inch titanium finish wheels and red brake calipers. Opening the front door as the sun sets will project a bright image of the Audi rings onto the ground.
The interior of the car certainly has eye appeal, as well. The sculpted dash and stylish leather seating surfaces look amazing, and the distinctive aluminum inlays give the interior an added touch of class. The three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles enhances the sporty, upscale appearance. Ambient LED lighting in the door panels not only looks great, but seems to have a soothing effect, as well, making nighttime drives more relaxing.
A big 10.1-inch touchscreen adequately handles my navigation and infotainment needs, and the display is bright, clear and fairly intuitive. There is an Audi smartphone interface and, just as in most newer cars, you can keep yourself entertained with Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming.
Rear seat passengers are also treated to ample comfort and convenience. The rear seating area is very spacious, and there are large mesh pockets on the back of the front seats, perfect for easy access to phones and other personal items. There is climate control and air vents for rear seat passengers, as well as a 12-volt outlet and two USB charging ports. There is a pull-down armrest in the center seating position.
My only issue with the interior is the unnecessarily wide center console. In some vehicles, a wide center console is designed to accommodate a variety of buttons and controls in order to put them within easy reach of the driver. However, in the A4, the layout of the wide console is rather minimalistic overall, and its width seems to have been designed for appearance rather than function. As a result, when I relax my legs to drive, my left leg rests against the driver's door while my right leg rubs against the bulky console. This would be a bit uncomfortable on longer drives.
I could simply drive around town and get a feel for this car, but it's a crisp, sunny fall day so I'm heading to the mountains. Mt. Wilson, to be exact. I like Mt. Wilson because it provides the natural beauty and winding roads of any mountain drive, but it's fairly close. In fact, look toward the mountains from just about anywhere in the L.A. area and you'll see the large cluster of TV and radio transmitter antennas atop Mt. Wilson. It's also home to the Mt. Wilson Observatory, operational since the early 1900s, as well as six one-meter telescopes operated by Georgia State University. On previous visits, I've witnessed some very brave souls strapped to hang gliders jumping off the mountain and gliding down to the city of Pasadena.
A mountain drive is certainly no challenge for the A4. The car's performance does not disappoint. There seems to be ample power from a 2.0-liter 261-horsepower turbo direct injection I-4 engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Handling is also impressive, thanks to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system and very responsive rack-and-pinion steering. Cornering is sharp and precise, and the A4 holds the road well. At any speed and on any road surface the ride remains smooth and very comfortable. The A4 is equipped with sport suspension.
Acceleration is impressive, and there seems to be no lag or hesitation. Quick, confident acceleration is something I appreciate in any vehicle because sometimes it is necessary to quickly pass slower moving vehicles or even to avoid dangerous road situations and collisions. And, while I have a healthy respect for mountain roads and a concern for others, I drive safely up and down mountain roads, but some drivers do not. The agility of the A4 helps me avoid drivers that are not exercising the same care and concern that I am as I head down the mountain.
Yay For Gasoline
One of my favorite things about this car is the fact that it runs on gas. I'm not a big fan of EVs, at least not yet. I don't have easy access to power in the building in which I live, so charging an EV is an inconvenient and time-consuming proposition. A few minutes at a gas pump versus an hour or more at a "fast charger" is time that could be put to better use. And, quite frankly, the A4 gets respectable gas mileage for such a solid performer - an estimated 24 mpg city and 31 highway. I averaged around 26 mpg combined city/highway during my drive.
As for cargo volume, the A4 has a decent, but not overly impressive, 12 cubic feet with all rear seats up. Groceries, a few average sized suitcases or sports equipment should be no problem. If you desire more space, the A4 has a 40/20/40 split folding seatback that allows you to increase the cargo volume as needed.
This A4 certainly seems like a lot of car for the money, but we're not exactly talking a small amount of money. The base price of our test vehicle is $42,000, but ends up at a grand total, including destination charge, of $55,615. There are a lot of add-ons on this vehicle, including ventilated seats, Audi Beam (that projects the Audi rings on the ground), and special 19-inch titanium wheels, just to name a few.
At nearly $9,000, the Prestige Package also adds to the vehicle's hefty price tag. This package includes a long list of features, such as a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, and adaptive cruise control. The package also includes a variety of safety features as well as dual pane acoustic glass for the front side windows.
Another item in the package is a top view camera system, which I think every vehicle should be equipped with because it makes maneuvering in and out of parking spaces and other tight spots much easier and safer. Cameras positioned around the vehicle provide a simulated overhead view on the driver's infotainment screen. When used in combination with the rearview camera for backing, this technology greatly enhances driver safety and reduces the risk of collision.
Do I like the Audi A4 45 Prestige? Yes. Who wouldn't like a sporty, great looking car like this that would fit in just about anywhere, from a casual day at the beach to arriving at an upscale restaurant or event? Do I love it, though? Well, I kind of love it and would probably love it even more if greater attention had been given to certain details, such as the aforementioned needlessly bulky center console.
Also, as I drive the Audi A4 I find myself resting my hand on the shift lever, a clear indication that I would really enjoy a manual transmission in this car. Sadly, that's a no-go since Audi phased out manual transmissions a few years ago. Sure, I can use the paddle shifters for a sportier feel, but it's not quite the same as grabbing a stick shift and taking this car for a serious drive.
Should you want the quality of an Audi at a somewhat lower price, and without all the bougie features packed into our test vehicle, you might want to consider the Audi A4 40 TFSI. A little less powerful at 201 horsepower, but it will take you from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.3 seconds - just a little over one second more than the 261 horsepower 45 that accomplishes the task in 5.2 seconds.
For more information on Audi vehicles: audiusa.com.
About The Author
Known professionally as "The Traffic Guy," Reed Berry has been a driver safety educator for over 30 years. Reed has conducted traffic school classes and suspended license workshops throughout California, and has served as keynote speaker at safety conferences and corporate events across America. He has appeared on radio and television programs both in the U.S. and internationally to discuss safety-related issues. A contributor to LA Car since 2003, Reed Berry is a member of Motor Press Guild, the Los Angeles Press Club and SAG-AFTRA.