I come from a nonenthusiast family. I grew up with a mix of Camrys, Accords, and an Odyssey, but as my mother’s working life came to an end, I pushed her a little bit to splurge on a luxury-branded sedan. She finally caved.
Like most people, my mother feels that driving is only a means to get from point A to point B—more of a chore than something to do for fun. Adaptive cruise control was a necessity, and the A4’s “Traffic Jam Assist” won her over. Although not quite as good as Tesla’s Autopilot, Audi offered the best system under the $50,000 limit she’d set. Getting the $1,800 Driver Assistance package with that tech required upgrading to the Prestige trim, which itself is an $8,600 option that included almost every creature comfort we wanted and still allowed us to keep costs in our target range.
We ordered the car with high hopes, and we were not let down. From taking delivery of the car through the first few thousand miles, the new car bliss was noticeable. About three months into ownership however, the shine wore off, and I saw what we were left with. The ride comfort was too harsh for my mom, who I noticed kept asking to drive my car, an Accord. Eventually, we permanently swapped cars.
So, there I was, left with a front-drive, Ibis White A4 with black leather. The car says “fuel economy,” but in a much sexier language than my Accord. Motor Trend’s new 2017 A4 long-termer was like my car but with all-wheel drive and the $1,000 Comfort Adaptive Damping Suspension. That suspension option has been discontinued for the 2018 model year after the option on the 2017 model had a low take-rate. A sport-tuned adaptive suspension is still available, but only on manual-transmission models with a Sport Plus package. When I spoke to senior production editor Zach Gale, the A4’s assigned chaperone, he asked if the long-termer’s all-wheel drive and eliminated-for-2018 Comfort Adaptive Damping Suspension were worth it compared to my A4 — here are my thoughts.Read more on MotorTrend site