2012 Audi A4 Review
With its sharp interior and exterior styling, available all-wheel drive and good fuel economy, the 2012 Audi A4 is a viable alternative to more costly competitors.
The 2012 Audi A4 offers a combination of top-notch interior quality and nimble driving dynamics that continues to receive praise from the automotive press. Since the introduction of the current generation A4 in 2009, Audi has made few changes. Only one engine is offered, and the A4 can be configured with either front- or all-wheel drive. Test drivers love Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, saying it improves the A4’s grip on twisting roads.
Frequent comparisons are drawn to competitors such as the BMW 3-Series, which reviewers often consider to be the benchmark for performance within the class. Many say that the Audi A4 may ultimately suit drivers better in the real world. “The A4 may be best in class, period,” says Automobile Magazine. “Purists and weekend racers will rightfully stand behind the better-balanced BMW 3-series, but for the majority of buyers looking for German driving dynamics, great design, and good fuel economy, this may be the best bet.”
Though test drivers are quick to note that the A4’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is no match for more powerful upscale midsize cars, the 2012 Audi A4 has a lot going for it. Fuel economy remains phenomenal, and with the exception of hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the 2012 Audi A4 is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class.
The 2012 Audi A4 is both larger and less expensive than many other upscale midsize cars. However, if you load the A4 with options, its price can shoot north of $40,000 in a hurry.
Other Cars to Consider
If you’re drawn to the 2012 Audi A4’s combination of all-wheel drive and luxury, there are a few noteworthy contenders. Starting at $34,600, the BMW 3-Series is a class favorite, but it is also more expensive. While the 3-Series has earned its reputation as a benchmark among upscale midsize cars for its balanced handling, powerful engines and classy interior, it’s also about $2,100 more expensive when comparing base models. Like the 2012 A4, the BMW 3-Series is also available with all-wheel drive and starts at $36,600, which is $3,300 more than the base quattro-equipped A4.
If you like the A4’s quality interior and sleek exterior styling, the Infiniti G25 starts at about $500 less than the base A4. However, if you’re comparing all-wheel drive models, the $35,000 G25x costs about $1,700 more than the A4 Premium with quattro all-wheel drive.
Audi A4: The Details
- "All A4s are fun to drive and relatively good values when compared to other cars in the class." -- Consumer Guide
- "The BMW 3 Series pretty much defines this segment and offers a higher level of driver engagement. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class emphasizes luxury and impeccable build quality, while the Infiniti G sedan offers more power for less money. But if you're looking for an artful blend of all of the above, we'd suggest giving the Audi A4 some serious consideration." -- Edmunds
- "Audi's German rivals have a better grasp on what makes the segment tick. But with each new generation of the A4, the folks at Ingolstadt are slowly but surely giving those automakers a reason to look in their rearview mirrors." -- Motor Trend
- "The Audi A4 continues to steal the spotlight from class heavyweights like the BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and others such as the Cadillac CTS and Infiniti G Sedan. That level of success is attributable to attractive yet relatively subdued styling in Sedan or Avant (wagon) guise, quality materials and craftsmanship, a comfortable and inviting interior, an engaging chassis, and a turbocharged engine that balances the need for efficiency with the demand for performance." -- Kelley Blue Book