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#10

in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,730 - $25,657
Original MSRP: $32,300 - $34,500
MPG: 23 City / 30 Hwy
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2011 Audi A4 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2011 Audi A4's interior receives high marks. Test drivers praise the ergonomic placement of controls and its high level of fit and finish. The seats are comfortable, with more backseat room than in previous versions of the car, and its electronic controls strike many reviewers as intuitive. The only drawback is that cargo space is limited.

  • "The new model's environment takes a huge step forward. Even without the sunroof, the space feels open and airy. And although most of the 6.2-inch wheelbase stretch went into the engine bay, the cabin has gained more than an inch of rear legroom compared with the '08 A4." -- Car and Driver
  • "I like the A4's interior better than the interior of BMW's 3 Series. The design is clean and understated... The wood trim (a $400 option) is available in ash or dark walnut, and the ash is a gorgeous shade of almond beige" -- BusinessWeek
  • "We were impressed by the quality of our Audi A4's interior, with excellent leather seats and some nice wood trim." -- CNET
  • "There's room to breathe like a yoga instructor in this sedan. Audi also puts the driver first when it comes to the cockpit." -- Detroit News
  • "The A4's new interior upholds Audi's fine standards, at least in terms of the quality and the way everything works." -- Road and Track
  • "The glossy wood, creamy leather and bright alloy piping in the cabin would make the local yacht club commodore give up the sea." -- Los Angeles Times

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Seating

Comfort and seating arrangements in the A4 don't elicit many comments from reviewers. Still, those who do mention seating are happy with it. This is the largest car in the class of Upscale Midsize Cars, and many note the space. One big plus is standard leather upholstery, which is only available as an option in its BMW and Mercedes-Benz counterparts.

  • +"The seats are firm and comfortable, with ample headroom and legroom, though the center console steals enough knee space to annoy some drivers." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Our tester's thrones, both fore and aft, are comfortable places to spend endless hours on the road, and the biggest complaint levied on the outgoing sedan - it's absolutely abysmal rear leg-room - has finally been addressed. Boasting a 6.6-inch longer wheelbase, a stretch of 4.6-inches in overall length and an additional 2.1-inches in width, there's no bad place to sit in the B8 A4." -- Autoblog
  • "In the back, the A4 gains welcome room for knees and hips. Yet Audi pulls the old General Motors trick of placing the rear cushion too low. That creates an illusion of extra space by forcing riders' knees toward the ceiling." -- New York Times
  • "Just sit in the comfortable seat, rest your right hand on the MMI knob, your left at the top of the steering wheel and enjoy the ride." -- Detroit News
  • "In the all-wheel-drive version of the car, there's also an annoying hump down the middle of the floor that makes the center rear seat impractical, except for a child." -- BusinessWeek
  • "The cabin is larger in every dimension, front and rear seats are more comfortable, and there's more rear-seat legroom than in the outgoing model." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

Most critics point out the exceptional build quality of the A4's interior, as well as the abundance of soft-touch surfaces. A few have quarrels with Audi's MMI infotainment interface, but overall it elicits fewer complaints than BMW's iDrive system. Reviewers say electronics like the Bang & Olufsen stereo and Bluetooth interface are very well-executed. These two features are not standard on the A4. Bluetooth interface is available on the Audi A4 with the Premium trim, but the Band & Olufsen stereo is optional with the Premium Plus trim and standard with the Prestige trim.

Some reviewers dislike the navigation system. SIRIUS satellite radio is not available with the Prestige trim.

  • "The cockpit of the new A4 is definitely more high-end than middle-class, and we're not just talking about materials and finish. There's also more space for long legs, broad shoulders, and tall heads than before, and the overall layout -- with the navigation monitor mounted high -- is much more practical." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Bang & Olufsen audio system produces excellent sound, and the Audi Music Interface works well with iPods The car's navigation system is behind the curve, lacking external data sources for traffic or other useful information... Audi's Bluetooth phone system remains one of the better available." -- CNET
  • "Clear attention was paid to the haptic quality of the A4's various buttons, switches, and other ditties that one must twist, poke, or pull." -- Car and Driver
  • "The wood trim is tasteful but not overbearing. The elegance is refined but never overstated. Finely tuned vehicles don't try to impress, they are just impressive and the A4 falls into the latter category." -- Detroit News
  • "Smooth leather surfaces, along with durable-looking plastic and soft-touch materials, make for a nice combination of colors and textures. Small touches, like ambient lighting for passengers underneath the driver seat, add to the premium feel." -- Edmunds
  • Audi's MMI interface is "iDrive without the suicide watch." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "After a few miles of manipulation, MMI becomes almost second-nature, allowing the operator to watch the screen and essentially 'touch-type' their way through the system's sub-structure." -- Autoblog

Cargo

Shoppers who prioritize storage should look elsewhere. The A4 sedan offers a meager 12 cubic feet of trunk space. For more room, consider the 2011 Audi A4 Avant, which offers 17.3 cubic feet and 51 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The Avant, however, costs about $4,000 more and isn’t a sedan. If you still want a sedan, the Lincoln MKZ has more trunk space. At nearly 16 cubic feet, the Lincoln MKZ has one of the largest cargo areas. However, if you choose the MKZ for increased space, you’ll have to compromise speed because Lincoln designed it as a comfort-tuned city car, not a performance vehicle.

Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product