By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
Four years after its last major redesign, the Audi A4 gets a mild freshening for 2013. And that's plenty to keep it competitive in the tough entry-luxury sports-sedan class. With tasteful styling inside and out, efficient and powerful engines and generous interior space, the A4 Sedan and its high-sport cousin, the S4, offer buyers refinement, comfort and performance at a realistic price. The A4 comes in three trim levels – Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige – with three driveline choices: CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with front-wheel drive (FWD), 6-speed manual with quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) and 8-speed Tiptronic automatic with quattro. Though the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Cadillac CTS and Infiniti G37 have steadily improved, the Audi A4 more than holds its own.
Fuel efficiency, excellent styling and a well-crafted interior are hallmarks of the 2013 Audi A4 line. Buyers searching for an attractive sports sedan with appropriate levels of standard equipment and a host of available technology will find it in the A4.
As is normal for German luxury vehicles, equipping the A4 with the full range of available options can quickly drive up the price to dizzying heights. If you need a top-of-the-line model, this one will cost you dearly.
The 2013 Audi A4 gets a new hood and headlights, and inside, there's a new instrument cluster with simplified layout for the Multi Media Interface (MMI) electronics control. Electric power steering replaces the previous hydraulic boost. The A4 Avant wagon goes away with the arrival of the new Allroad.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Audi A4 prioritizes precision over outright comfort on the road, though you won't hear us complain. The suspension finds a pleasing middle ground between the ride philosophies of...Mercedes-Benz (typically a bit soft) and BMW (more stiff). Thus, the A4 is slightly sharper-handling than a C-Class if not quite as crisp as a 3 Series. The new-for-2013 electric power steering imparts notably better road feel than we usually find in such systems. With its responsive 211-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the A4 has more than enough horsepower and readily available torque. The CVT (continuously variable transmission) with front drive works okay, but doesn't feel nearly as competent as either the 6-speed manual or 8-speed Tiptronic (both with quattro all-wheel drive). If you must have more, the performance-focused S4 offers 333 horsepower from a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and a considerably sharper chassis.
In a class dominated by 6-cylinder engines, the 2013 Audi A4 stands apart with a boosted 4-cylinder that delivers smooth and strong thrust as well as satisfying fuel economy.
S LINE PACKAGE
For buyers who want to maximize the 2013 Audi A4's sportiness without climbing into S4 territory, the S line Package includes 19-inch alloy wheels and performance tires, more aggressive suspension tuning, subtle exterior enhancements, upgraded upholstery, genuine brushed-aluminum trim and a racy 3-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel.
Audi has a reputation for crafting superb interiors, and the 2013 A4 shows why. Design, layout, materials and assembly are all first-rate, and the environment feels both upscale and businesslike. Standard equipment includes a handsome 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and a sportier 3-spoke design is optional. The broad range of interior-trim treatments includes aluminum or wood inlays and attractive red LED accent lighting in the headliner to illuminate the center console. Leather seating surfaces are standard and Alcantara inserts available, as are special sport seats with deeper body-hugging bolsters.Exterior
Anyone who has seen an Audi lately will recognize the company's signature oversize single-frame grille and stylized LED accent lighting in the front of the 2013 A4. The body lines are clean and conservative but tastefully detailed, and the design still looks good after four years on the market. A variety of wheel options allows individualizing the appearance. The S4 has more aggressive body treatments befitting its sporting nature.
The 2013 Audi A4 line is available in three trim levels. Base is called Premium, and there's very little basic about its standard-equipment lineup: 17-inch alloy wheels, power front seats, leather seating surfaces and Sirius satellite radio, as well as numerous other creature comforts. The Premium Plus designation adds Bluetooth connectivity, LED daytime running lights and many other worthwhile features. Finally, the Prestige trim adds navigation and an HD Radio paired with an impressive Bang & Olufsen stereo system.
The A4 Prestige package offers the further option of the S line group, which includes sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, different front and rear fascias, side skirts, unique doorsills and badging. A4 Prestige models also offer a Driver Assist package, consisting of adaptive cruise control (automatically maintains a distance from a vehicle in front) and adjustment of control dynamics, including steering effort, throttle response and transmission-shift characteristics.
The 2013 Audi A4 is powered by an efficient 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 211 horsepower and delivers impressive fuel economy. FWD versions of the A4 feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while those with Audi's quattro AWD system offer the choice of a 6-speed manual or the 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Regardless of drivetrain, the A4 continues to be one of the most fuel-efficient luxury-branded sedans on the market, beating both the more powerful Mercedes-Benz C350 and the slower C250. The sportier S4, meanwhile, boasts a powerful 3.0-liter supercharged, direct-injection V6 engine that offers V8 performance and still-impressive fuel economy.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 4,300-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (FWD, CVT), 22/32 mpg (AWD, manual), 20/30 mpg (AWD, automatic)
3.0-liter supercharged V6
333 horsepower @ 5,500-7,000 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque 2,900-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg (automatic), 17/26 mpg (manual)
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2013 Audi A4 starts at $33,395 for a Premium trim with CVT and front drive. That same driveline in Prestige trim just tops $43,000. Move to the 6-speed manual with quattro AWD and prices range from just over $34,000 for the Premium to about $44,000 for the Prestige. The 8-speed Tiptronic automatic with quattro ranges from the Premium's $35,500 to over $45,000 for the Prestige. Load on the two packages available for Prestige (S Line and Driver Assist) and your A4 can close in on $52,000. The hard-charging S4 starts about $48,500 and can easily top $62,000. Be sure to check Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the A4 in your area. In terms of resale value, the Audi A4 doesn't do as well as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Lexus IS.
By 405ladriver (CA) on Sunday, November 24, 2013
I own this car
Reason: mechanical failures - My approximate mileage is 96,000
Pros: "Good exterior design."
Cons: "No reliability of the mechanical components."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought a new A4 2006 2.0T with CVT transmission. 8 years, 96,000 miles, and $40,000, my vehicle is no longer working. Any potential buyer, should look beyond the exterior design of the car, and instead look for consumer reports regarding recalls,records of common mechanical failures, class action lawsuits, and auto forum opinions regarding customer service. Had to drive the car with a unbearably noisy and defective intake camshaft, camshaft follower, and high fuel pressure pump for months before Audi would replace them under an "extended warranty." Worst of all, despite regular care and maintenance, my transmission broke down. It can't be repaired. Cost: $6,572. Car is history. Lost my investment."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By ricki (NJ) on Friday, November 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "just look, interior & brand name"
Cons: "suspension, electrical work..many more"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"bough this car recently & already checking my options to trade-in & go for lexus or bmw or mb. A4 is great great disappointment. I am not any other car brand employee, i am frustrated owner of audi unfortunately. I think honda/toyota can do better than A4."
1 person out of 7 found this review helpful
By ericdavis85 (FL) on Monday, October 14, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful car, a joy to drive!"
Cons: "car burns oil"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The all wheel drive is amazing. Even though there is no snow down here in Florida, it is a wonderful feature to have with all the slick wet roads down here from the summer monsoon rains. Rain doesnt even affect the handling. I don't think I've ever spun the tires since ive had it, no matter how hard i try, even in wet conditions. The ride is smooth and it almost even seems to steer itself through the curves. It has a lot of pep and is pretty quick, however, you arent going to beat most cars in a striaght line drag race. Save your money and buy a mustang or camaro if that's what you want. This car was built for comfort and handling. Not straight line speed. The car is very easy on the eyes and the interor is just as refined. The seats are genuine leather. Not that leatherette stuff you see in certain lower level luxury cars (cough acura cough cough). Only con is the car burns oil. It doesnt create any white smoke though. The oil just seems to disappear. I am told by Audi this is because the oil also helps cool the hot turbo charger and is then run through an oil cooler. The oil then seems to evaporate before it finds its way back into the case. Aside from having to spend an extra couple bucks on oil (which is the super duty full synteic Euro formual $10 per quart) the performance of the car does not seem to be affected. Just keep an eye on your oil light!! The all wheel drive is also hard on tires and the weight of the car coupled with it's performans is also hard on brake pads. I've already had to replace the tires and brakes at 25,000 miles. All in all, it's worth it!!"
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Clavin (CA) on Friday, September 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful design, top safety pick. 0-60 (6.2sec.)"
Cons: "Averages 25.5 combo miles per gallon."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I purchased this car in November 2009. We paid $54.694.00 including tax, license registration, Zurich protective shield for paint and leather interior, and prepaid the Maintenance package for 72.000 miles. Base price was $41,000.00. Audio, Bluetooth phone are all controlled from the steering wheel. It includes 2 sets of tires and wheels. Pirelli 18" all season and Continental conti sport 3 max performance Summer tires. We have both all rubber and carpet floor mats. Options: All wheel drive Quattro Prmium Plus package with 18" wheel option Sun roof, great Audi symphony stereo with Apple iPod connector in glove box. Many other features"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Joe stop (CA) on Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Car is pretty"
Cons: "Burns oil, tires, brakes and rotors."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The car is fun to drive. The maintenance costs are to ridiculous. The car constantly burns oil which the maintenance service contract does not cover. And you have to change the brakes and rotors at 30k. My lease was for 35,000 miles. When I refused to change the brakes and rotors, they told me I will be dinged for it when I return the vehicle. Basically they want me to pay $800+ to drive 5k more. I have never been in a car that needs to change the brakes at 30k. And all I do are leases. Cars pretty but constantly spending on synthetic oil to top off every 1k to 1.5k miles. I had to buy 4 new set of tires at 20k. But I average about 28 mpg. All this does not add up."
13 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By German Car lover (FL) on Sunday, August 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great handling, fun to drive, good fuel economy"
Cons: "stiff leather seats ; limited trunk space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second Audi A4. True luxury and a sporty drive define the car. Something great about the engineering is that it is solid and you don'e even notice even the tiniest vibration when stopped at a red light. The creature comforts are very pleasing including the 8 way power adjustable seats and the roomy cabin. What keeps me coming back to Audi is the German quality and the overall reliability. I know that it is well built and keeps me safe; I also find it to be a good value for the money!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful