Although classified as a premium or luxury compact sedan, the 2013 Audi A4 has the spaciousness inside of a midsize luxury sedan. Competition in the entry-level luxury sedan category is fierce, especially among Audi's other German competitors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. With its terrific exterior styling, sporty handling, available all-wheel drive and overall refinement, the 2013 Audi A4 makes a case that's strong enough to seduce a wide variety of luxury sedan shoppers.
What Experts Think
Although Audi touts the 2013 A4 as all-new, in the view of most of the automotive press it's more of a mild refresh. There's ample evidence of newness in the nose section where the A4 sports new headlights, grille and vents, thus lending an aggressive air to the sporty luxury sedan even though the exterior dimensions remain unchanged.
"Fuel efficiency, excellent styling and a well-crafted interior are hallmarks of the 2013 Audi A4 line. Buyers searching for an attractive sports sedan with appropriate levels of standard equipment and a host of available technology will find it in the A4." (Kelley Blue Book)
"Ride comfort is quite smooth, handling is delightful and the performance is strong. The solid feel of the Audi A4 makes it a pleasurable traveler over long distances." (Road & Track)
"Minor changes here and there for the 2013 Audi A4 keep it as a top pick among entry-level luxury sedans." (Edmunds)
So much praise, but are there any negatives from the motoring press? There are, but they are few and far between. "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)
What Owners Say
Consumers have a lot to say about the 2013 Audi A4, with the overall consensus on owner review sites such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and MSN Autos being overwhelmingly positive.
Owners consistently call out the A4's great power and handling, that it is "fast," has great fit and finish, MPG, and a lot of tech. Styling is also hailed, as is the interior. The fun-to-drive phrase is most-often mentioned, along with the comment that the AWD A4 is confident in snow. One owner commented that the A4 is the "best bang for the buck for an AWD luxury sedan."
Complaints, there are a few here and there. Some owners said they'd prefer a fold-down rear seat and more cup holders, while others didn't care for the fact that the tires wear out fast, heated seats are optional, the car requires premium gas, and the navigation system could be better. Others commented on the premium German price and expensive maintenance (including brakes).
For 2013, the Audi A4 is only offered as a sedan (the A4 Allroad wagon is a separate model). There are three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
Standard features on the Premium trim include leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats with four-way driver power lumbar, automatic climate control, a sunroof, a dash-mounted MMI electronics interface and a 10-speaker premium sound system with a CD player and satellite radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers.
Two optional packages, Convenience and Lighting, can be added to the Premium trim. Convenience includes an upgraded music interface with iPod integration, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a trip computer. Lighting adds LED running lights and taillights, xenon headlights, and aluminum window trim.
The second trim line is Premium Plus, which includes everything in Premium plus all items in the Convenience and Lighting packages. Distinct for Premium Plus are 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming and heated mirrors, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, driver memory functions, and split-folding rear seats. Buyers opting for the MMI Navigation package get front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a rearview camera, Audi's console-mounted MMI infotainment interface, HD radio and Audi Connect (providing enhanced Web-based navigation, information and Wi-Fi access).
Next up is the Prestige trim, which includes MMI Navigation package and sweetens the deal with adaptive xenon headlights, a premium 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, keyless ignition/entry, and a blind-spot warning system.
There is also a Sport package that is optional on both Prestige and Premium Plus trims that includes front sport seats, a three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles on automatic transmission models, and a lowered sport-tuned suspension.
Options buyers can ante up for that are exclusive to the Prestige trim include the S line package: 19-inch wheels with summer tires, sport-tuned suspension, headlight washers, faux suede and leather sport seats, black headliner, and brushed aluminum interior trim. There is also the Driver Assist package: adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering and Audi Drive Select, providing adjustable steering and transmission settings.
Rear side airbags, 18-inch wheels with performance tires and power rear sunshade are other options.
Power for the 2013 Audi A4 comes from a 211-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 258 pound-feet of torque. Standard in front-wheel drive A4s is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while all-wheel drive Quattro models are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with an eight-speed automatic transmission available as an option.
Fuel economy estimates for the front-wheel drive Audi A4 is 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined. Quattro A4s with manual transmission have an EPA rating of 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/26 mpg combined. Automatics come in at 20/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined).
According to the enthusiast press, the A4 has a responsive four-cylinder turbo engine paired with a super-smooth eight-speed automatic. In Edmunds' testing, a manual-equipped Quattro managed zero to 60 MPH in 6.2 seconds, rather impressive, considering the engine output.
Most reviewers agree that the Audi boasts an impeccably presented cabin, high-quality materials, standard leather seats that are very comfortable up front, and the rear outboard seats provide comfortable accommodations for the average adult in terms of headroom and legroom. Some reviewers note that back seat legroom could be improved for taller (or long-legged) adults.
About those standard leather seats -- Audi has the advantage here over competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both of which use vinyl leatherette.
New features for 2013 include a revised MMI infotainment system and a navigation system offering wireless Internet access. Some critics complain, however, that the navigation system could be a tad more user-friendly.
As for the storage room in the trunk, it's only average in size at 12.4 cubic feet, prompting some in the automotive press to point out that's less than the Infiniti G and Acura TL. But the rear seats do fold flat so as to handle bulkier items.
Safety & Reliability
Safety is a strong suit for the 2013 Audi A4, as would be expected from a small luxury sedan. In government crash testing, the A4 received a perfect five-star overall rating, five stars in frontal impact safety, and five stars for side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the A4 a Top Safety Pick, giving it a "Good" rating in frontal-offset, side, and roof strength crash tests.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front airbags, front-seat side airbags, and side-curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags and a blind spot warning system are optional on upper trim models, along with an optional adaptive cruise control complete with audible warning and automatic brake priming if the system detects an imminent crash.
In J.D. Power and Associates Predicted Reliability rating, the 2013 Audi A4 received a Power Circle Rating of three, which is about average for the class.
|Sedan - AWD|
|Premium||4dr Sedan Man quattro 2.0T Premium||4 Cylinder||AWD||33400|
|Premium Plus||4dr Sedan Man quattro 2.0T Premium Plus||4 Cylinder||AWD||33400|
|Prestige||4dr Sedan Man quattro 2.0T Prestige||4 Cylinder||AWD||33400|
|Premium||4dr Sedan Auto quattro 2.0T Premium||4 Cylinder||AWD||34600|
|Premium Plus||4dr Sedan Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Plus||4 Cylinder||AWD||34600|
|Prestige||4dr Sedan Auto quattro 2.0T Prestige||4 Cylinder||AWD||34600|
|Sedan - FWD|
|Premium||4dr Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium||4 Cylinder||FWD||32500|
|Premium Plus||4dr Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Plus||4 Cylinder||FWD||32500|
|Prestige||4dr Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Prestige||4 Cylinder||FWD||32500|
|2013 Audi A4||MSRP||Invoice|
|2013 Audi A4||$32,500||$30,227|
|Similar Cars to Consider||MSRP||Invoice||Compare|
|2013 BMW 3 Series||$32,550||$29,945||2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 BMW 3 Series|
|2013 Nissan Maxima||$31,000||$28,396||2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 Nissan Maxima|
|2013 Cadillac Ats||$33,095||$31,275||2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 Cadillac Ats|
|2013 Toyota Avalon||$30,990||$27,892||2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 Toyota Avalon|
|2013 Volvo S60||$31,900||$29,986||2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 Volvo S60|
Interested to see how the 2013 Audi A4 ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Audi A4 rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.
|1||2013 BMW 3 Series||29|
|2||2013 Audi A4||27|
|3||2013 Toyota Avalon||26|
|4||2013 Volvo S60||25|
|5||2013 Nissan Maxima||22|
|6||2013 Cadillac Ats||22|
|1||2013 Cadillac Ats||321|
|2||2013 Nissan Maxima||290|
|3||2013 Toyota Avalon||268|
|4||2013 Volvo S60||250|
|5||2013 Audi A4||211|
|6||2013 BMW 3 Series||180|
|1||2013 Cadillac Ats||275|
|2||2013 Volvo S60||266|
|3||2013 Nissan Maxima||261|
|4||2013 Audi A4||258|
|5||2013 Toyota Avalon||248|
|6||2013 BMW 3 Series||200|
|1||2013 BMW 3 Series||40.3|
|2||2013 Audi A4||38.6|
|3||2013 Cadillac Ats||38.6|
|4||2013 Nissan Maxima||38.5|
|5||2013 Volvo S60||38.3|
|6||2013 Toyota Avalon||37.6|
|1||2013 Nissan Maxima||43.8|
|2||2013 Cadillac Ats||42.5|
|3||2013 Toyota Avalon||42.1|
|4||2013 BMW 3 Series||42.0|
|5||2013 Volvo S60||41.9|
|6||2013 Audi A4||41.3|
|1||2013 Toyota Avalon||58.2|
|2||2013 Volvo S60||57.0|
|3||2013 Nissan Maxima||56.3|
|4||2013 Audi A4||55.5|
|5||2013 Cadillac Ats||55.2|
|6||2013 BMW 3 Series||55.1|
|1||2013 Toyota Avalon||55.1|
|2||2013 Volvo S60||54.9|
|3||2013 Nissan Maxima||53.4|
|4||2013 Cadillac Ats||53.0|