New Car Review: 2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro tiptronic

Silver 2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro on rooftop garage at night with buildings in background
The 2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro.

As we've noted here at TireKicker before, the worst part of a successful car is keeping the ball rolling...doing the freshening needed to keep the car relevant without losing the thread and screwing it all up. Last time around, two and a half years ago, I worried that Audi was letting the magic of the A4 slip away.  If they were, they fixed it in a hurry.

The 2013 Audi A4 2.0T quattro is simply tremendous. A car that pulls of the trick of feeling utterly contemporary and timeless at the same time. The timeless thing is important because Audi's had the A4 pretty close to perfect for a long time. To wander too far from what has made an A4 an A4 for the past decade or so would be courting disaster.

The 2.0T quattro tiptronic is a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four, making 211 horsepower....mated to Audi's quattro (the lower case "q" is intentional) full-time all-wheel-drive system and the tiptronic (the lower case "t" is also intentional) 8-speed transmission with sport and manual shift modes. Base price: $34,600, and that's a rock-solid price for the car...neither too high nor too low.

Standard equipment includes anti-lock brakes with brake assist, 17-inch 10-spoke wheels on all-season tires, electronic stability control, electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering, a dynamic five-link front suspension, a dynamic trapezoidal-link fully independent rear axle, power glass sunroof, halogen headlights, front and rear foglights, rain and light sensors, heated and powered outside mirrors, leather seating surfaces, a 12-way power driver's seat and an 8-way power passenger's seat, automatic climate control, Audi concert radio with premium sound, including AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD, with SD Card, USB and auxilary inputs, and the usual airbags and alarms.

Going small in displacement with the 2-liter engine and an 8-speed transmission delivers strong fuel economy numbers, too...20 city/30 highway.

2013 Audi A4 interior
2013 Audi A4 interior.

The interior continues to be a best-in-class effort (despite my concerns in 2010)...and our options tended to enhance the time spent at the wheel: The $4,200 Premium Plus package delivered auto-dimming mirrors inside and out, an iPod cable, Bluetooth, a driver information system with trip computer, heated front seats with driver memory, a split-folding rear seatback, HomeLink garage door opener, a three-zone climate control plus Xenon plus headlamps, LED daytime running lights and taillamps, and an upgrade to 18-inch 10-spoke wheels. The car was also treated to polished exhaust tips for $140 and an extra-cost paint job (Monsoon Gray metallic) for $475. With $895 destination charges, the bottom line wound up at $40,310.

There's no question the Audi A4 lives in a competitive world (the BMW 328i, also packing a 2-liter turbo four is probably its deadliest nemesis), but it's hard to imagine a car holding its ground better. If you cross-shop the A4 and the 3-series, it'll be personal preference, not a weakness in either vehicle, that will most likely be the deciding factor.