The slick polished Audi A4 still remains a formidable premium quality sedan that still gets people drooling. What is remarkable is how the A4 is conservative enough not to raise eyebrows at the posh Golf Club, but still gets performance fans excited when it come to the Quattro All-Wheel drive version. Opt for the S-line models with a few extra bits and pieces and it one gains a meticulously built, jewel- like car to die for. The neat exterior is complimented by the attention to detail in the high quality interior that is still the gold standard in this class.
Power-wise, the exquisitely engineered 2.0T features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque teamed with a standard six-speed transmission. New for 2013 is a styling update, with revised front grille, headlight fascia, taillights, and lower fascia panel.
The $37,800 price for the entry level A4 still includes automatic climate control, cruise control, sunroof, power driver’s seat, leather seats, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite radio.
The $39,700 2.0 TFSI Quattro model, which adds the famed AWD, offers a six-speed manual transmission. This model also adds bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and headlight washers. The eight-speed autobox on any Quattro models is an extra $1600. Note a CVT is also available on the base A4 FrontTrak model.
The Premium model at $43,600, adds: three zone the climate control system, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and start-up and Audi’s awesome MMI operating system and navigation.
But, we are not done yet! The top dog Premium Plus at $45,800, adds a high-end Bang & Olufsen sound system, back-up camera and parking assistance, blind-spot warning system, Homelink and adaptive headlights that turn with steering.
The S-Line package starting at $3,400 adds: a body kit, S-Line badges, 19×8.5-inch alloy wheels, S-Line flat-bottom steering wheel with perforated leather , shift paddles for the eight-speed automatic transmission, black cloth headliner, branded door sill inserts, brushed aluminum trim and a grippy, sport seats with Alcantara inserts.
The mechanical elements of the S-Line package include an adaptive damping suspension, variable throttle response (normal, sport), variable settings for the automatic transmission (normal, sport), selectable, variable electromechanical steering (normal, sport) and Audi drive select control (Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual). You can also add adaptive cruise control for $1,200; a rear seat comfort package for $1,200 with a ski pass-through in the rear seats, rear seat heaters, and sunshades for the rear passenger windows and power sunshade for the rear window and rear side airbags for $500.
Interior-wise a fastidious, jewel-like cabin dominates with a high quality soft textured materials and superb leather upholstery. The controls are all designed intuitive and well laid out. Interior cabin room is very generous and the rear cabin is spacious for two large adults. Up front, is a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather upholstery, a dash-mounted Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.
The Navigation package is now a adds a navigation system with real-time traffic, digital music storage, a more user-friendly console-mounted MMI system, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio and a color trip computer screen. For 2013, the navigation display is in a cool-looking 3D effect. The S-Line interior trim option add liberal lashings of smart brushed metal trim to add some extra sparkle to the cabin.
On the road the A4’s handling is neutral and secure, and even more commendable with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The superbly efficient 2 liter four cylinder TSFI engine delivers a tractable 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque across the full range of the tach courtesy of that fine eight-speed automatic transmission. Peak torque is available from the well-mapped 1,4500 rpm through to 4,300 rpm range and you can expect full engines power somewhere between 4,300 and 6,100 rpm. Grip from the Quattro system is phenomenal and the A4 has the ability to simply sail through hard corners with nary a ripple to upset its composure. The ride is firm, yet not unduly harsh to occupants and delivers a complaint ride on all surfaces. Add the sharp, light steering with good return and feel via the electromechanically assist system and the A4 feels sporty and nimble. The variable assist steering makes for easy urban parking chores yet firms up at speed nicely on the highway.
Natural Resources Canada estimates fuel economy for the A4 Sedan with the 2.0 TFSI and AWD at 9.5 L/100 km for city driving and 6.3 for highway driving.
The CVT version with the base A4 FrontTrak model delivers an estimated 8.6/6.2 L/100 km city/highway rating from Natural Resources Canada With plenty of options, available sport packages and good basic features as standard; the Audi A4 remains a smooth, refined luxury sedan with an opulent interior. Not much to complain about on this car, no V6 option, but do you really need it when this car performs so well?
The sleek, understated looks mask high level of technology, engineering and beautiful detailing. With a superb engine and 8-speed transmission, the 2013 Audi A4 is a formidable, sporty mid-sized premium sedan and compare well against the competition. Well worth the money.
2013 Audi A4 Base Priced: $38,700 – $43,000 plus options.
S-Line package extra ($3,400.)