2011 Audi A4 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo AWD 8-speed Auto)
Driven On 9/7/2011
The Audi A4 resides squarely in the middle of the comfort-to-sport spectrum with a commendable balancing act between performance, efficiency, ride and handling. Choose the A4 if you crave a stylish and thoroughly satisfying entry-level luxury four-door, but look elsewhere if you want the ultimate sport sedan.
PerformanceAll-out performance is not the A4's strength. Acceleration is modest for this class, but its driver-friendly handling is likely better than most customers will ever explore.
The A4 goes from zero to 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds, which is typical for a small luxury sedan with a turbocharged four-cylinder. There is no engine upgrade, unlike most competitors.
The A4's brakes proved plenty sufficient to bring the compact sedan to a halt with confidence. Stopping distances with all-season and summer tires were typical for the segment.
The steering is precise and informative in all situations. Effort builds quickly, though some editors felt it was to a higher-than-necessary level.
Handling is sure-footed and sporty; takes corners with little body roll. The all-wheel-drive system is seamless and aids traction in all situations, not just rain or snow.
The addition of an 8-speed automatic transmission has helped tremendously in terms of driveability. The high-effort steering might surprise some buyers.
ComfortUnlike some other cars in its class, the A4 doesn't sacrifice comfort for performance. Seating, ride and noise intrusion are all tuned to soothe rather than challenge.
Power front seats with standard leather are supportive and well contoured, optionally heated. Rear seats are surprisingly accommodating for the compact category.
Only slightly biased toward sporty, the A4 offers a ride/handling balance that is at the top of its class.
Wind and road noise are well isolated. The engine can get a bit loud when revved during hard acceleration.
InteriorThe A4 remains a benchmark for other manufacturers in terms of materials and construction, but stumbles a bit with some interior usability details.
The A4's center console-mounted MMI controller is a challenge and unnecessarily complicated. All controls have a steep learning curve, but offer many redundant systems.
The A4 feels larger inside than its competitors and the rear seats have a surprising amount of room, but only for two people. Three rear passengers is too tight.
Good front and rear visibility aided by the thin pillars. Parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and a reverse camera are optional.
Trunk has decent size (12.4 cu-ft), but isn't as big as it appears. A low loading height is convenient. Split-fold rear seatbacks are optional to increase cargo-carrying ease.
ValueWith the exception of an average warranty, the Audi A4 represents a strong value in a highly competitive segment: Generous standard features, quality materials and solid manufacturing at a fair price.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Standard leather seats are rare in this class, and materials and finish are top-shelf. Solid build quality with only a few minor interior panel gaps, otherwise, a benchmark.
Considering all of this trim level's standards such as a ski-weekend-friendly turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and so on, it arrives well equipped for the money.
The A4 Quattro's sub-$37,000 starting price is reasonable considering the car's build quality and the level of equipment.
Others marques offer V6s with more power, but the A4's fuel economy is quite decent at 24 mpg Combined (20 City/29 Highway).
Both the basic warranty and drivetrain coverage last for 4 years/50,000 miles, average for the class.
Roadside assistance is covered for 4 years/unlimited miles but only the first scheduled maintenance visit is free.
Fun To DriveAs far as enthusiasts are concerned, there are more thrilling sedans. And that's fine for some, but Audi owners likely find fun elsewhere.
The A4 resides squarely in the middle of the comfort-to-sport spectrum with a commendable balancing act of performance, efficiency, ride and handling.
Understatedly stylish, not as concerned with standing out in a crowd as it is with being sufficient and satisfying its owner during the daily grind.