2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattroPosted on December 18th, 2012
Entry luxury sedan with four-season performance
By Nina Russin
Can an outdoor enthusiast find long-term happiness inside the confines of a luxury sedan’ The answer is ‘yes,’ if that sedan happens to be an Audi A4.
While its cargo area isn’t quite as large as that of its sibling, the Allroad wagon, all-wheel drive and a rear pass-through make the A4 a logical choice for buyers who commute during the week, and head for the slopes on the weekend.
The midsized A4 is also fuel-efficient, thanks to its two-liter turbocharged engine paired with either an eight-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. Average highway fuel economy is 30 mpg.
New Google mapping features and the ability to turn the sedan into a Wi Fi hotspot keep occupants connected away from home or office.
Base price for the A4 quattro with automatic transmission is $34,600, excluding the $895 destination charge. The test car comes with three options: special exterior paint, polished exhaust tips and a premium package that includes 18-inch alloy rims, iPod compatibility, Bluetooth interface, heated front seats, Xenon headlamps, three-zone climate control, Homelink garage door opener and a driver information system. Final MSRP is $40,310.
New for 2013
This year, Audi designers freshened the A4 exterior with a new grille, different hood lines and reconfigured bumpers. New angular LED daytime running lamps replace the eyelash design on former models.
Inside, engineers streamlined the optional navigation system by reducing the number of control buttons in the MMI mouse device from eight to four.
Power for the open road
Because turbochargers enhance airflow through the engine, there is less parasitic power loss in thin air than for naturally aspirated blocks. Turbocharging also makes the engine’s peak torque available at lower speeds: in this case 1500 rpm. Because of that, the A4 is very good at climbing up steep grades.
In a test drive through the mountains of Colorado last summer, I was impressed at the ease of which the two-liter engine powered through mountain passes near Vail, where the elevation ranges from 8,000-10,000 feet.
Not only do overdrive gears on the eight-speed automatic transmission enhance gas mileage, they also virtually eliminate shift shock, except during very hard acceleration.
Quattro all-wheel drive automatically sends engine power to the wheels with the best traction when the roads are slippery.
Test drive in Phoenix
It was kismet that I had the 2013 A4 this week, when Phoenix saw its first significant rain since last summer’s monsoons. I felt as safe and in control on rain-soaked roads with poor visibility as I would have on a bright, sunny day.
Although the two-liter engine lacks the seat-of-the-pants acceleration that the three-liter engine is the S4 is known for, drivers will not have to worry about lagging behind in traffic. When I had the need or desire to, it was easy to move to the front position on highway entrance ramps.
It’s the attention to detail that differentiates the A4 from competitors: good visibility around the entire perimeter, intuitive infotainment controls, and easy-to-reach releases for the second-row seatbacks.
The electric power steering system is so well tuned that it is indistinguishable for a hydraulic setup. On-center response is close to perfect. There is plenty of assist at slower speeds, and the A4’s turning circle is a respectable 37.7 feet.
Although the A4 is by no means a light car, it feels as nimble as a dancer, thanks to its five-link front suspension and trapezoidal link rear axle. Stabilizer bars keep the chassis flat in the corners, while four-wheel disc brakes stop the car in a firm, linear fashion.
Optional Xenon headlamps project beams of light that are brighter and closer to daylight than halogen. They made a difference when I had to drive home through a poorly lit suburban area on an overcast night.
The A4’s uncluttered interior is reflective of contemporary European architecture, with aesthetic use of materials. Front seats are on the hard side and do not have an adjustable lumbar support, but I found them workable for a two-hour test drive.
The sedan’s tall floor tunnel and location of the center console bin virtually eliminate legroom in the second-row center position, but leg, head and hip room should be ample for most adults in the outboard positions.
Both rows of seating get overhead reading lights. Three-zone climate control and vents behind the center console bin ensure that keep rear seat occupants comfortable in temperature extremes.
The key fob inserts into an ignition switch on the dash, ensuring that it won’t get left behind when valet parking. A single mouse device on the center console controls audio selections, the information screen and navigation on models so equipped. It took me less than a minute to figure out how to use the controls to program the satellite radio.
A standard sunroof brings plenty of ambient light inside the car during the day. Gauges are easy to read in bright sunlight as well as after dark.
The trunk has enough room for several rollerboard suitcases, the weekly groceries, golf clubs or a cooler. Release straps near the lip of the trunk fold the second-row seats flat to extend the cargo floor for skis and other long items.
The Audi A4 comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, daytime running lamps and a driver information system in the gauge cluster that includes driving range.
Audi’s factory warranty includes complimentary first scheduled maintenance and four years of roadside assistance.
Audi builds the A4 in its Neckarsulm, Germany assembly plant.
Like: A stylish sedan with excellent performance and fuel economy. The A4’s all-wheel drive capability and rear pass-through make it a good candidate for some buyers with active lifestyles.
Dislike: Rearview camera is not standard equipment.
Model: A4 2.0T quattro tiptronic
Base price: $34,600
As tested: $40,310
Horsepower: 211 Hp @ 4300 rpm
Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 1500 rpm
Zero-to-sixty: 6.3 seconds
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: N/A
Bicycle friendly: No
Fuel economy: 20/30 mpg city/highway
One response to “2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro”
This actually answered my problem, thanks!
Leave a reply