Perhaps it’s merely a product of the cold, slick roads around here, which prevent much spirited driving, but I might prefer this base A4 over a BMW 328i. Just approaching the car in the parking garage after a long day’s work, I gained an appreciation for the sense of drama and excitement Audi has baked into its mainstream, lower-priced model. Indeed, it really doesn’t look or feel any less special than a $45,000 S4 or even a $60,000 A6. And though it lacks the dynamic capabilities of its rear-wheel-drive BMW rival, it won’t put you to sleep behind the wheel, either. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder’s 258 lb-ft of torque quickly quells any six-cylinder envy, and the handsome, three-spoke steering wheel firms up nicely at speed, though I’d prefer a more natural, progressive build-up of effort.
The $1450 sport package on this model is definitely a worthwhile option, as it exhibited much better body control and provided more steering feedback than the base-suspension-equipped A4 Avant we drove a few months ago. And though there’s nothing wrong with Audi’s six-speed Tiptronic transmission, I’d certainly opt for this precise manual gearbox.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor
The 2010 Audi A4 continues to be one of the finest four-door sedans on the market. Starting at $33,175, it offers an interior that is beautiful and comfortable; exterior styling that is subtle, yet attractive and sporty; and, with Quattro all-wheel drive, driving dynamics that perfect for any climate.
Our test car came with the base, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a silky smooth six-speed manual transmission. It is optioned out as a Premium Plus model, getting a $3500 jolt in price with some nice amenities like Xenon headlights with the attention grabbing LED daytime-running lights, and heated front seats. Also present is a $1450 sport package that adds 18-inch wheels, sport suspension, and sport seats. This package is well worth the money, the car rides firmly and provides superb cornering even with Michelin winter tires mounted.
The back seats provide ample room for two adults to fit comfortably and a deep trunk allows for plenty of storage. If you can keep from optioning the 2010 Audi A4 over $40,000, it is really a nice value.
Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator
It was extremely windy when I drove the A4 home the other night, and despite gusts of up to 50 mph, the A4 felt completely stable in the strong crosswinds. I wafted along in cocoonlike oblivion until I got out of the car at the pharmacy and the wind almost ripped the door from my hand when I opened it to get out.
Like the A5 we recently had in our fleet, this A4 is equipped with Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and, as with the coupe, you don’t feel as though you’ve sacrificed much in the way of power or refinement in the base model car. The interior is lovely, the shifts on the manual transmission are so smooth as to be practically effortless, and the entire package gives you a feeling of luxury and solidity.
Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor
2010 Audi A4 2.0T M/T
Base price (with destination): $33,175
Price as tested: $38,255
2.0L Turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine
6-speed manual transmission
Electronic stability control
Servotronic speed sensitive power steering
Automatic climate control
Leather seating surfaces
Options on this vehicle:
Premium plus — $3500
LED daytime running lights
Three-zone climate control
Heated front seats
Audi music interface
Exterior chrome window trim
Driver information system with trip computer
18-inch sport package — $1450
18-inch sport-design wheels
3-spoke sport steering wheel
Shift paddles (auto trans only)
Sport front seats, with lumbar
Exhaust tips — $130
Key options not on vehicle:
Audi navigation plus package — $2500
Bang & Olufsen sound system — $850
22 / 30 / 26 mpg
Size: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 211 hp @ 5300-6000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1500-4200 rpm
Weight: 3616 lbs
18-in ten-spoke alloy wheels
245/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3 winter tires