Audi products are the Goldilocks of the German luxury scene. BMWs have inexplicably grown soft and disconnected from the driver. Mercedes’ cars have a stodgy quality and sometimes surprisingly low-rent interiors. Audi finally has very good driving dynamics paired with its world-class design, both inside and out, and no negative brand stereotype.
Power delivery from the 2.0T engine is quite strong and the eight-speed automatic transmission is wonderfully smooth. Steering feel was surprisingly good given the Dunlop winter tires fitted on our test car, but it’s still nowhere near last-generation 3-series levels. Audi’s signature Quattro system is as transparent as ever and, paired with the aforementioned snow tires, makes this sedan virtually unstoppable in the winter.
At a tick under $43,500, this specific A4 perfectly delivers what entry-level luxury sedan shoppers are looking for. It feels special, but doesn’t ever feel too flashy or gaudy. It’s quick, but not so fast it has to be taken to a track for an invigorating drive. It’s just right.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor
Phil hit the nail on the head. It’s Audi’s ability to find this sweet spot on the performance/luxury spectrum that makes driving the A4 — and the majority of Audi’s vehicles, for that matter — so enjoyable. It’s not a track master but it also won’t fall all over itself when pushed. And, when you’re not hurling it into corners, it’s just as adept at carrying its occupants in comfort while puttering around town. The ubiquitous 2.0-liter turbo feels as powerful here as it does in the GTI but Quattro does a masterful job putting the power down so accelerating out of corners is a much smoother and faster affair than it is in the little Volkswagen.
While the interior tweaks are difficult to recognize, the exterior revisions — including sleeker headlamps with swoopier LED accents, a creased hood, and more angular grille opening — are subtle but give the A4 a fresh face and keep it at the head of its class in terms of style.
Jennifer Misaros, Managing Editor, Digital Platforms
2013 Audi A4 Premium Plus
MSRP (with destination): $39,695
PRICE AS TESTED: $43,435
2.0-liter DOHC turbocharged I-4
Horsepower: 211 hp @ 4300 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
WHEELS AND TIRES:
18-inch aluminum wheels
245/40R-18 97V Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
Cargo (rear seats upright/folded): 12.4/34.0 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): 41.3/35.2 in
Headroom (front/rear): 40.0/37.5 in
18-inch ten-spoke aluminum wheels
Auto-dimming interior mirror and exterior mirrors
Heated front seats
Split-folding rear seats
LED DRLs and taillights
Automatic tri-zone climate control
Rain and light sensors
SD card reader
SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
Audi MMI Navigation Plus package- $3050
Navigation w/voice control
Audi Connect w/6-month trial subscription
Keyless entry and ignition- $550
Polished exhaust tips- $140
KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
Sport package- $750
Bang & Olufsen audio system- $850
Rear side airbags- $350
The A4’s exterior and interior have been tweaked for 2013. While the base A4 comes standard with a CVT and front-wheel drive, this example has all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.