KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
While Audi's lineup has increased over the years, the A4 Sedan and Wagon (Avant, in Audi-speak) has remained the German automaker's volume leader, thanks to its ability to blend spirited driving performance with supreme passenger comfort. Although other midsize luxury sedans – like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Infiniti G Sedan – may have been the headliners in recent years, the capable A4 has always been there, biding its time in the wings and waiting to swiftly enter stage right. Finally, it deserves the spotlight again: debuting last year with bolder exterior styling, a more spacious interior, a re-tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged TFSI engine and an enriched list of available content, the 2010 Audi A4 is ready for its close up.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a midsize luxury sedan that appeals to drivers with its on-road performance and to passengers with its well-designed interior, the 2010 Audi A4 deserves your attention. Class-leading fuel economy, a noteworthy list of standard equipment and a reasonable starting price certainly don't hurt, either.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Although the 2010 Audi A4 is nicely packaged, it can still climb above $50,000 territory when fully-loaded – more than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS. The A4 has also grown significantly since its introduction in 1996, somewhat changing the feeling of driving a small, lithe performance sedan.
What's New for 2010
The 3.2-liter V6 engine has been dropped from the lineup. Other than this, changes for 2010 are limited to some reshuffling of content. Bluetooth and Homelink are now packaged together as optional equipment on Premium models, while Premium Plus and Prestige trims gain LED taillights. Prestige models feature standard 3D navigation and the Bang & Olufsen premium audio system is now optional on the Premium Plus.
Thanks in part to a wider track and longer wheelbase, the 2010 Audi A4 Sedans and Wagons we drove felt well-balanced on the road and extremely comfortable inside. The fuel-thrifty and nearly lag-free 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four definitely offers a lot of bang for the buck; we just wish the excellent six-speed manual was available on all models, not just the quattro Sedan. Inside, the vehicle's new wheelbase translates to more rear legroom, allowing adults to comfortably sit in the back seats for long periods of time, a huge improvement over the previous generation A4.
There's nothing like the welcoming feel of supple and supportive leather seats, touch-worthy surfaces and intuitively placed controls to make being a passenger inside the A4 just as pleasurable as getting behind the wheel.
Bang & Olufsen Sound System
Standard on Prestige trims, this stellar 505-watt, 10-channel, 14-speaker sound system is a welcome addition to the A4's interior for those who want to listen to their MP3s and CDs loud, really loud.
Audi's careful attention to touch-worthy surfaces, ergonomically-placed controls and supportive seats makes just sitting inside the A4 an experience. Although it does offer some fun extras – like the impressive 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system – the A4 is equipped at base level to meet most people's needs. The trunk of the A4 Sedan boasts an impressive 16.9 cubic feet of space, but those wanting more will find a better fit in the A4 Avant: With best-in-class cargo room, a reversible cargo floor, luggage retainer set and electric tailgate, this wagon can be customized to suit a number of needs.
The 2010 Audi A4 is longer, stronger and (dare we say it?) sportier than the previous generation A4. Up front, a short front overhang highlights the A4's long hood and typical oversized Audi grille in stone gray or high-gloss black. Those who wish to draw even more attention to the A4's front end can opt for the bi-xenon headlights with R8-like LED daytime running lights. Rounding out the A4 2.0T Premium's look are standard seven-spoke 17-inch wheels, while moving up to the Prestige model nets flashier five-spoke 18-inch wheels or optional 19s.
Notable Standard Equipment
The A4 offers up to three well-equipped trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium vehicles include a Multitronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), electric parking brake, sunroof (panoramic on the Avant), automatic climate control, Audi Multi-Media Interface with 6.5-inch screen, leather seats and a 180-watt 10-speaker sound system. Moving up to the Premium Plus/Prestige trims brings bi-xenon headlights with R8-like LED daytime running lights, three-zone climate control, an iPod interface and a six-disc in-dash CD player. A Bang & Olufsen 505-watt sound system and 3D navigation is standard on the Prestige trim. All trims come with six airbags and electronic stability/traction control. Quattro models also come standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
Notable Optional Equipment
When it comes to outfitting the 2010 Audi A4, most options are tied to trim level. The Premium trim offers Bluetooth and Homelink, while opting for Premium Plus permits acquisition of the Bang & Olfusen sound system, a hard drive-based navigation system and a rearview camera. Audi's most desirable options are tied to the Prestige trim and include the S-line styling package, Audi drive select (adjusts the steering, suspension and shift points), driver assist package (side assist monitor, rearview camera and rear ultrasonic parking sensors) and 19-inch wheels. A few options are available regardless of trim, like rear side airbags, quattro all wheel drive and Tiptronic automatic transmission with or without paddle shifters.
Under the Hood
The 2010 Audi A4 offers only one engine choice: a direct injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (known as TFSI). The A4 can be equipped with three different transmissions, including a Multitronic Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT), a six-speed manual and a paddle shifter-equipped Tiptronic six-speed automatic. Unlike many of its competitors, Audi chose to furnish its base model with the CVT and not the manual transmission, thereby boosting fuel economy to best-in-class ratings of 23/30 city/highway mpg.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 5300-6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA City/Highway Mileage: 23/30 (FWD, CVT), 22/30 (AWD, manual), 21/27 (AWD, automatic)
The 2010 Audi A4 2.0T has Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) starting just over $32,000. A quattro all-wheel drive sedan with a manual transmission bumps the price closer to $33,000, while the Avant Wagon starts around $36,000. A fully loaded Prestige sedan can easily surpass $50,000. Before any trip to your local Audi dealership, be sure to check out our Fair Purchase Prices to see if you have any negotiating room when buying your A4. When it comes to residuals, we expect the A4 to deliver average resale values, remaining higher than the Cadillac CTS, just shy of the Infiniti G Sedan and lower than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and the Lexus IS.