Audi A4 and A5: Which Should You Buy, 2021 or 2022?

audi a4 2021 01 angle  exterior  front  gray jpg 2021 Audi A4 | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

Most significant changes: A Black Optic Package is newly available on base models of the A4 and A5, while a Black Optic Plus Package is newly optional on the A4 and A5 when equipped with the more powerful of two available engines. A sport suspension is now standard on A4 and A5 models equipped with that upgraded engine.

Price change: Base prices for models equipped with the standard engine carry over unchanged; models with the uprated engine see a small price increase. A5 prices increase slightly.

Which Should You Buy, 2021 or 2022? If you’re interested in the A4 with the base engine, prices are unchanged, and equipment changes are minimal enough that a leftover 2021 model might offer worthwhile savings. Shoppers looking for models with the more powerful engine will pay a couple hundred dollars more for the 2022 model, but they also get a standard sport suspension.

On sale: Now

For model-year 2021, Audi’s related A4 and A5 family got some powertrain updates, a new base model for the A5 Sportback and some features were shuffled depending on trim level. Prices also increased. For 2022, the changes are minor and center around additional feature shuffling among the trim levels and models. Prices have also mostly stayed flat.

Though based on common architecture, the A4 and A5 family has many offshoots, with upgraded performance on S and RS variants.

  • A4 and S4 sedans
  • A4 Allroad wagon
  • A5, S5 and RS 5 coupes
  • A5 and S5 convertibles (cabriolets, as Audi calls them)
  • A5 Sportback, S5 Sportback and RS 5 Sportback sedans

Related: 2021 Audi A4: 5 Things We Like (and 4 Not So Much)

For the A4 and A5 Sportback sedans (the Sportback has more coupelike styling), the Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims return for 2022. A pair of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines, both turbocharged, are again available for the A4; they feature a standard 12-volt mild-hybrid system to boost efficiency. The base A4 40 engine makes 201 horsepower, while the upgraded 45 engine (for S Line models) makes 261 hp. Both engines mate only to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive was made standard across the board for 2021. All A5 models use the 261-hp four-cylinder variant as their base engine.

What’s New With the A4 for 2022

The A4 sedan enters 2022 with more streamlined packaging and some minor feature additions. Models equipped with the base engine now have access to an optional Black Optic Package, which Audi says will add a sportier look. A4s with the uprated engine now get a sport suspension, which lowers vehicle height by about an inch, as standard equipment; it was previously optional. Interior trim options have been combined into packages to remove certain standalone options.

A new Black Optic Plus Package joins the list of options for A4 models with the upgraded engine. It adds a matte-black grille and black treatment to the bumper details, Audi rings and badges, mirror caps and side-sill blades. The package also gets red brake calipers along with 18-inch or 19-inch wheels.

The S4, which has a 349-hp, turbo V-6, returns for 2022 with standard Carbon Atlas trim.

The 2022 A4 in Premium trim with the base engine starts at $40,145, including destination — unchanged from model-year 2021 pricing. A4 models with the uprated engine in Premium trim start at $42,245, slightly more than model-year 2021’s $41,945 starting price.

What’s New With the A5 for 2022

Like its sedan sibling, the A5 also sees more streamlined packaging for 2022. Changes include a new 19-inch all-season tire option for the base model as well as the Black Optic Package. Similarly, models equipped with the uprated engine get a standard sport suspension for 2022, and new leather-and-microfiber seats are now standard with the S line interior package. The Black Optic Plus Package is also newly available for A5 models with the more powerful engine.

Lastly, the S5 (which has the same 349-hp engine as the S4) now gets 19-inch wheels standard, as well as standard Carbon Atlas trim. The RS 5, meanwhile, returns with a twin-turbo V-6 good for 444 hp.

The 2022 A5 starts at $45,545 — slightly higher than model-year 2021’s $45,045 base price.

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News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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