KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/14/2011
It's been three years since Audi last changed the A4; a period of time that typically sees a vehicle's exterior age a bit as newer competition hits the scene. But the 2012 Audi A4 continues to look just as fresh and compelling as ever. With a choice efficient and powerful engines at the ready and generous interior room, the A4 Sedan, A4 Avant and S4 Sedan offer buyers plenty of refinement and creature comforts, with an eye toward performance and style, while remaining competitively priced. Though the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Cadillac CTS and Infiniti G37 Sedan have steadily improved over the past few years, the Audi A4 continues to hold its own.
You'll Like This Car If...
Fuel efficiency, excellent styling and a well-crafted interior are hallmarks of the 2012 Audi A4 line. Buyers searching for an attractive sport sedan with appropriate levels of standard equipment and a host of available technology will find the 2012 Audi A4 very appealing.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Like other German luxury vehicles, equipping the A4 with the full range of available options can quickly increase the price tag on the A4 to wallet-busting heights. While the A4 offers a nice level of standard equipment, a top-of-the-line model will cost you dearly.
What's New for 2012
For 2012, the Audi A4 Premium Plus and Prestige models now come equipped with the Audi S line appearance package as standard equipment, and they also have stylish new 18-inch ten-spoke wheels.
The 2012 Audi A4 prioritizes precision over outright comfort on the road, though you won't hear us complain. The suspension manages to find a middle ground between the typically-soft Mercedes-Benz and the more-rigid BMW ride philosophies, which means that the A4 is a slightly sharper-handling machine than the C-Class. With its lightweight chassis and generous interior volume, the A4 makes a strong case for itself. And, with its responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinder engine, the A4 has more than enough horsepower and nearly instantly-available torque.
In a class dominated by inline and V-6 engines, the 2012 Audi A4 stands apart with a boosted 4-cylinder that delivers smooth and plentiful power as well as top-notch fuel economy.
S line Package
For buyers who want to maximize the 2012 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 and genuine brushed-aluminum trim.
Audi has a reputation for crafting superb interiors, and the 2012 A4 is no exception. Standard equipment includes a handsome four-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and a sportier three-spoke design is optionally available. There is a wide range of interior trim treatments for 2012, including aluminum or wood inlays and attractive red LED accent lighting in the headliner to illuminate the center console. Leather seating surfaces are standard equipment, and Alcantara inserts are available, as are special sport seats with more bolstering.
Buyers familiar with the rest of the Audi lineup will recognize the company's single-frame grille and stylized LED accent lighting in the front of the 2012 A4. The A4 Avant, or wagon version, comes standard with aluminum roof rails, though blacked-out equipment is also available. The S4 has more aggressive body treatments befitting its sporting nature. The A4, A4 Avant and S4 all have a clean design that is still very attractive after three years, and a variety of wheel options allow individualizing the stylish appearance.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2012 Audi A4 line is available in three trim levels. The base trim is Premium, and there's very little that's basic about the standard equipment, with 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.
Notable Optional Equipment
Audi has made navigation a stand-alone option on all A4 models for 2012. The A4 Premium also has the S line appearance package that includes different front and rear fascias, side skirts, unique door sills and badging. In the Avant configuration, the package also includes a power rear liftgate, and all body styles have driver memory. A4 Premium models also include adaptive front lighting and a lane-change assist system.
Under the Hood
The 2012 Audi A4 is powered by an efficient 2.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 211 horsepower and delivers noteworthy fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive versions of the A4 feature a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), while those with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system have a 6-speed manual or the excellent 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Regardless of transmission or drivetrain, the A4 continues to be among the most fuel-efficient luxury-branded sedans on the market, beating the BMW 328i and Infiniti G25 Sedan, each of which offers considerably less torque than the Audi. 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 in-line 4 turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 4,300-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,200 rpm
EPA City/Highway Mileage: 22/30 (FWD, CVT), 21/31 (AWD, manual), 21/29 (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 Mileage: 18/28 (S tronic automatic), 18/27 (manual
Based on our Fair Purchase Price data, shoppers are buying the 2011 Audi A4 2.0T for less than the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), which starts above $32,000 for the front-wheel-drive Premium Sedan. Opt for the quattro all-wheel drive and the price is over $33,000 with the manual transmission; the Tiptronic transmission will add about $1,300. The A4 Premium Plus Sedan will be near $37,000, and the 2.0T Prestige trim level will be around $42,000. The 2011 Audi A4 2.0T Wagon will range from over $36,000 for a Premium model to over $46,000 for the Prestige trim. The S4 starts over $47,000 and can go to more than $55,000 when equipped with the S Tronic transmission and Prestige trim. 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, Infiniti G Sedan and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and lags behind the Lexus IS.