2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro

Beyond the freshened interior and exterior design, the most notable change for the 2013 A4 is the use of electric power steering.  A new favorite of automakers in order to improve fuel economy and reduce weight, some do it very well and others have some tweaking to do.  Here in the A4, a luxury car with controlled comfort on its mind, the steering has been tuned for a lot of assist at low speeds and a light but accurate touch as you go faster.   Fresh off of a week with the go-cart-like Scion FR-S, the A4 initially felt sloppy…just about any car would…but as time passed the A4 showed itself to be an exceptionally comfortable car that presents an easy-going yet sophisticated ride quality.  Some cars just instantly make you feel at ease and the A4 is one of them.  Using the optional advanced key feature to get inside, and then settling into the just-right leather driver’s seat makes a positive impression.  Push the button to fire up the 2.0-liter turbo and you’re ready to drive.  Visibility is excellent, the cabin is quiet and the A4’s compact dimensions make it easy to get where you need to go.  Though this tester didn’t come with my favorite Audio option, the individually customizable Drive Select feature, the A4’s dynamic suspension beautifully balances sumptuous with agility.  It’s an appropriate and well-crafted ride for those who don’t opt for the Sport package or don’t need the added athleticism of the supercharged S4.  This 4-cylidner turbo is rated at 211 horsepower and a snappy 258 pound feet of torque and comes mated here to a 8-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual modes driving all 4 wheels.  Quattro permanent all-wheel drive divvies up the power 40:60 front to rear allowing the A4 to better emulate the sporty handling of its rear-drive rivals while adding the sure-footed confidence for which the company is well known.  Gas mileage is pretty good at 20mpg city/30mpg highway but as you would expect it needs premium to get there.  This powertrain combo still performs within the realm of segment standards, but the BMW 328i xDrive does the same setup with more horsepower, better fuel efficiency and faster acceleration.  The A4 does the 0-to-60mph run in 6.3-seconds and feels sufficiently quick in everyday driving.

Where the A4’s age shows the most is inside.  Though in general this Premium Plus model plays well for driver and occupants, he leather looks like it barely meets the definition of the word, and some dated design features and some yesteryear ergonomics keep it from feeling modern and fresh.  For 2013 the optional MMI Navigation package adds the internet fed Audi Connect with online services and Bluetooth streaming audio.  The Google Earth overlay for navi maps is as helpful as it is cool looking. And 6’ plus rear seat passengers have just enough room to relax without contorting but trunk space is minimal at only 12 cubic feet.

With a number of A4 models from which to choose, this upper trim 2.0T premium plus quattro Tiptronic  with the optional Black pearl effect paint, navi plus, and advanced key stickers for $43,910.  Even late in its product cycle, Audi’s 8th generation A4 is still a feel-good car.

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