Audi A4 Review
The 2013 Audi A4 ranks 9 out of 20 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 36 published reviews and test drives of the Audi A4, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
A veritable Swiss Army knife among upscale cars, test drivers agree that the 2013 Audi A4 offers a mix of performance, fuel economy and luxury that’s difficult to match.
The base 2013 Audi A4 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s paired with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while all-wheel drive is available. Although the A4 is less powerful than a number of competitors, test drivers remain impressed by its refined drivetrain, balanced handling and great fuel economy. At an EPA-estimated 24/31 mpg city/highway, the base A4 gets better fuel economy than a number of upscale midsize cars. The 2013 A4 also offers an exceptional safety score, though its reliability rating is a bit lower than most upscale midsize cars. If you’re looking for more power, the 2013 Audi S4 builds on the A4’s performance attributes with standard all-wheel drive and a more powerful supercharged V6 engine. On balance, reviewers agree that while the S4 has outstanding performance capabilities, it’s not as quick or nimble as rivals like the BMW M3.
Audi has a reputation for designing some of the finest interiors on the market, and in general, reviewers agree that the 2013 A4 upholds that image. One reviewer mentions that some plastic trim wasn’t quite up to snuff, but most agree that the cabin is well thought out with high-quality materials. Most reviewers think that the standard leather seats are comfortable up front, though some mention a shortage of legroom in the back seat. New features for 2013 include a revised MMI infotainment system and a navigation system that can provide wireless Internet access. However, a vocal minority of critics say that the revised infotainment system could be more user-friendly.
- "Though back-seat passengers may be a little crowded, overall this German sedan is a great compromise between sport sedan and practical, sensible transportation." -- Consumer Guide
- "The seats are comfortable, the performance is exhilarating and all of the technology really does come into play and make you feel like you could drive on and on." -- Road and Track
- "While we'll rarely (if ever) turn down an abundance of horsepower and torque, we also appreciate a car that hits that elusive sweet spot of power and efficiency. Among entry-level luxury sedans, the 2012 Audi A4 is one such car." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "Our magazine has frequently professed its affection for the BMW 3-series, but the Audi A4 is certainly a very worthy competitor. Most enthusiast drivers, including myself, would be quite content driving a basic A4 such as our test vehicle." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
The BMW 3-Series lacks the A4’s standard leather interior, but the base 328i has standard features like Bluetooth and a USB port, which are optional on the base A4. Like the A4, the 3-Series is also available with all-wheel drive and gets impressive fuel economy for the class. However, the 3-Series costs a bit more, and like the A4, its price can increase quickly as you add optional features.
If you like the A4’s composed handling, but prefer a car that comes with more standard interior features and a more powerful engine, consider the Infiniti G. Available as a sedan, coupe or convertible, the G37’s powerful V6 engine gives it a performance edge over the A4. However, more power also means that the G37 can’t match the A4’s fuel economy ratings.
Details: 2013 Audi A4
The 2013 Audi A4 seats five and comes with front-wheel drive, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is optional, and is paired with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The high-performance Audi S4 adds a supercharged 3.0-liter engine and standard all-wheel drive. Five trims are offered across the model line: A4 Premium, A4 Premium Plus, A4 Prestige, S4 Premium Plus and S4 Prestige.
For 2013, the A4 gets revised exterior styling and an updated MMI infotainment system. Audi Connect is also new, providing wireless Internet access through a cellular data connection (subscription required). The A4 Avant wagon has been replaced by the Audi Allroad, which is reviewed separately. Since the A4 received its last full redesign in 2009, this review uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 and 2012.