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Used 2013 Audi A4 Sedan Review

2013 Audi A4 Sedan

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Audi A4 Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Minor changes here and there for the 2013 Audi A4 keep it as a top pick among entry-level luxury sedans.

  • Pros

    High-quality cabin; commendable fuel economy; available all-wheel drive; sporty handling.

  • Cons

    Unintuitive standard control layout.

  • What's New for 2013

    A mild styling refresh tops the list of changes for the 2013 Audi A4. Audi has also modified the A4's power steering (it's now electric-assist) and revised the MMI control interface for the electronics. The A4 wagon has been discontinued in favor of the new Allroad.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Audi A4 Sedan

What's New for 2013

A mild styling refresh tops the list of changes for the 2013 Audi A4. Audi has also modified the A4's power steering (it's now electric-assist) and revised the MMI control interface for the electronics. The A4 wagon has been discontinued in favor of the new Allroad.


While the cars in the entry-level luxury segment lack the presence of their flagship brethren, there's plenty they offer in the way of comfort, features and performance. A case in point is the 2013 Audi A4.

Audi touts this latest A4 as an all-new model, but in reality, it's really more of a mild refresh. The nose receives the biggest change, with reworked headlights, grille and vents, giving the car what appears to be a more aggressive stance even though the dimensions remain unchanged. Mechanically, Audi has switched the A4's power steering from traditional hydraulic assist to electric assist. More revisions occur on the inside, as the MMI electronics interface has been slightly simplified with fewer buttons and proves a bit easier to operate as a result.

While these changes might seem trivial, it's not a disappointment in the least, as the A4 still shows all the admirable traits that have kept it a top pick in its class. The impeccably presented cabin, top-notch materials, available all-wheel drive and sporty drivetrain calibration should be enough to win over a broad spectrum of shoppers.

Noticeably absent, however, is the A4 wagon ("Avant") body style. Fortunately, those requiring more utility than the A4 sedan can provide will be well served by the new Allroad wagon, which is covered in a separate review.

As highly as we rate the A4, it's not the only game in town. The BMW 3 Series still defines the entry-level luxury class and offers similar sporty driving dynamics. The Infiniti G Sedan is also quite sporty, though it lacks some of the Audi's refinement. For those with more luxurious aspirations, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class will certainly satisfy. Overall, the 2013 Audi A4 offers a wider range of appeal than its competition where performance and luxury are concerned, and for that reason, we would suggest checking it out alongside any of its rivals.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Audi A4 is offered only as a sedan, though there is an A4 Allroad wagon that is covered in a separate review. Trim levels are broken into three tiers: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Standard features for the Premium trim include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, a sunroof, automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with four-way driver-seat lumbar, leather upholstery, a dash-mounted MMI electronics interface and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.

An optional Convenience package can be added to the Premium trim that includes an upgraded music interface with iPod integration, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a trip computer. Also available is the Lighting package, which adds xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, and aluminum window trim.

Both of these packages are included as standard equipment on the Premium Plus trim. With Premium Plus, you also get 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming and heated mirrors, heated front seats, driver memory functions, tri-zone automatic climate control and split-folding rear seats. To that you can add the MMI Navigation package, which includes front and rear parking sensors, Audi's console-mounted MMI infotainment interface, a navigation system, a rearview camera, HD radio and Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access).

The Prestige trim includes the MMI Navigation package and tacks on adaptive xenon headlights, keyless ignition/entry, a blind-spot warning system and a premium 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Optional on both the Prestige and Premium Plus trims is a Sport package that includes a lowered sport-tuned suspension, front sport seats and a three-spoke steering wheel (with shift paddles for automatic transmissions). Other stand-alone options include 18-inch wheels with performance tires and rear side airbags.

Options 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, a black headliner and brushed aluminum interior trim) and the Driver Assist package (adaptive cruise control, adaptive steering and Audi Drive Select, which provides adjustable settings for the steering and transmission). A power rear sunshade is also available.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2013 Audi A4 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter that produces 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard on the front-wheel-drive A4s. All-wheel-drive Quattro models come with a six-speed manual standard, and an eight-speed automatic transmission is an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped Quattro went from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds -- that's very quick given this engine's output. Expect the Quattro automatic and front-wheel-drive models to be a few ticks slower.

EPA estimates for the front-drive A4 come to 24 city/31 highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. Quattro models with the manual transmission are rated at 22/32/26 mpg, while the automatics are estimated at 20/30/24 mpg.


Standard safety features for the 2013 Audi A4 include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags and a blind-spot warning system are optional on upper trims, as is adaptive cruise control that includes an audible warning and brake priming in the event the system detects an impending frontal crash.

In Edmunds brake testing, an A4 S line with summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet. This is excellent, though typical of summer tires. All-season distances should be in the low 120-foot range.

Government crash test results for frontal impacts are not yet available, but the 2013 A4 scored a perfect five-out-of-five stars for overall side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the A4 earned a top rating of "Good" for its performance in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Despite Audi's assertion that the 2013 A4's interior is all-new, the changes are minimal and even the most eagle-eyed observer would struggle to find the differences. Fortunately, we regard the previous and present A4 as one of the best in its class. The interior's austere design lends an air of adult seriousness, while the top-notch materials send a message of sophisticated refinement. The use of real leather as standard equipment also gives the Audi an advantage over its competitors from BMW and Mercedes, which use vinyl leatherette.

Even though the A4 is considered a small entry-level luxury car, the interior space is more akin to a midsize sedan. Rear outboard seats provide enough head- and legroom to comfortably accommodate a typical adult. The 12.4-cubic-foot trunk is only average in size, but at least the rear seats fold flat to handle bulkier items.

Infotainment functions are controlled by Audi's Multi Media Interface, or MMI. This consists of a small knob surrounded by buttons that together control menus on a central screen. These MMI controls are situated around the shift lever on models equipped with the navigation system, but cars without navigation have MMI on the dash, which is unintuitive and far less convenient. The A4's other controls are generally intuitive and well laid out.

Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel of the 2013 Audi A4, drivers of all stripes will appreciate its balanced and secure feel. In a variety of road conditions, the A4 remains planted and well-behaved. Opting for all-wheel drive further enhances its capabilities and driver confidence.

When the road ahead begins to bend, the A4 exhibits a slight edge of athleticism that puts it on par with the BMW 3 Series. Likewise, it also maintains a high level of comfort. More performance-minded drivers may find the optional Sport package to their liking, as that type of pilot is generally fine with the slight harshness of the car's ride quality.

The Audi's turbocharged four-cylinder engine won't pin you back into the seat, but it is plenty powerful for the vast majority of drivers. Merging onto a highway won't labor the engine and there's enough torque to entertain. For the rare individual who desires more, the sport-focused Audi S4 (covered in a separate review) should more than suffice.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 14 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

A really good luxury car

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Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

I have an A4 Premium Plus Quattro with the sports packages and a manual transmission. The interior and exterior are basically flawless - showing Audi's attention to details. I have drive over 40,000 miles since I purchased this new and have only had a few minor trim issues - nothing serious. The handling is AMAZING and the car is definitely quick for its class. I truly enjoy this car - twisty roads are the best as nothing seems to make the car cut lose. It is a very good looking car and the interior is incredibly comfortable - with nice soft-touch materials. Overall the car has been a positive experience and I would recommend it to anyone that asks. I only have two minor negatives about this vehicle - neither a reason not to purchase it: 1) The fact that it did not come with Bluetooth streaming unless you upgraded to the Prestige trim with the navigation system - a $4,000 upgrade for something that every Kia seems to come with by default. 2) I have had either indifferent or negative experiences every time I go to the Audi dealer (Plano, TX) for service - this has made it incredibly unlikely that I will ever purchase another Audi. Even with those negatives this is an amazing car and you should at least test drive it if you are considering it - that may make the decision easy for you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Can not wait to sell this car.

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

I bought this car brand new in 2013 and I've had issues ever since. The car is obviously a very low profile car and I live in New England so I went through 6 Pirelli tires before I finally put all weather continental tires on the car. The car does not drive as smoothly now but at least I have not gotten any bubbles in the tires or cracked any rims since purchasing the continentals. There have been multiple recalls for the heating system, air bags, electronic, etc. that have required repairs. The check engine light came on around 30,000 miles and required multiple valves to be replaced. The dealership claimed they were "faulty" but gave no explanation as to what or why. Then, at 41,000 the car DIED on the highway due to transmission failure. I had to have the vehicle towed in the middle of the night to the dealership. The ENTIRE transmission needs to be replaced. Again, the only explanation is that it was "faulty" and they are unsure what exactly went wrong. Thankfully the car is still under warranty, but this does not make me feel any better. There is no reason there should be this many issues and "faulty" parts on a car this new. I will definitely be selling this car in the Spring and have NO intention of buying another Audi. Every car has its issues, but given the amount I have had with this car in a short period of time with NO real explanation of the problems from the dealership, leads me to believe Audi's are not as reliable as the price tag would suggest.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful

My engine is gone!!! fabric defect very sad

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

I have an Audi A4 (VIN: WAUAFAFL9DA143522 / IEN913) bought on April 25, 2013. Recently, I took the car to the service area due to the fact that it was vibrating vigorously while driving. The diagnosis was that a piston was broken and a whole engine replacement was required. In conversation with my service advisor,he informs me that etiology of the damage is related to a factory defect. The car has a current mileage of 21,997 and I have been most responsible with the recommended service schedule, including oil and filter changes. The car has been going through many issues since I bought. I left it in the service area, with the keys, I didn't wanted again!!!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

Want a dipstick?

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

Drove 75 miles to get car we wanted. Replaced wife's 2006 Saab 9-3 Sportcombi; would have bought another Saab 9-3 if company hadn't gone belly up. Premium Plus is a well damped firm/rough ride over potmarked New England backroads; highway ride is excellent. Not a big fan of the electronic steering at highway speeds; poor feedback through steering wheel. Wife drives the car and gets 23-24 mpg; I drive and get 28-29 mpg. On the all highway drive home from dealership, trip computer showed 31.7 mpg with cruise at 75 mph; mpg ranges above are using miles driven/gallons to fill tank calculation. If we could afford a Q5 TDI, would get that for the wife, and take the A4 for myself. Updated review June 2016 at Edmunds' request. Now no longer see the contents of "Best Features" "Worst Features"; this blew away the content related to title... WTF! VW part number for dipstick 06J115611E, won't show up for A4 B8 CPMA engine because there is no dipstick in the car. This dipstick is for CBFA, CCTA engines which are used in Audi A3, VW CC, VW Tiguan, among others. Length is correct, but MAX reading is actually where the "X" on the "MAX" label is covered with oil.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

Loyal a4 driver disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

This will be my 5th A4 in either a sedan or wagon version. While the car looks great inside and out and the improved HP over the years has added to the thrill of driving the new electronic steering has certainly been a negative. If you are looking for a soft feel to lumber off to the grocery store the steering is fine but push it a bit or take a long highway trek and you will notice the floaty feel. Overall the car is fine but if your a searching for a tight steering / handling feel you may want to give the car a good test drive before you purchase. After this lease is up I will definetly look at a tighter car like the BMW.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Exceptional quality -- bad sound system

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Vehicle: 2013 Audi A4

I love this car -- it looks great inside and out, the build quality is extraordinarily high, and it offers just the right balance of tight handling, comfort, and size. Personally, I find the engine to be more than up to the task for fun driving (especially when combined with the sport suspension, which I also have), although if you're after raw horsepower you should probably look for something other than the A4 at this price. There's a little more understeer in aggressive turns than in the previous A4, but I can live with it. The Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade is the only major disappointment -- I am a bit of an audiophile and the thin sound it produces really surprised me. (I didn't evaluate the sound very carefully when I bought the car.) In retrospect I'd get the stock system and find a way to upgrade with a third party if the budget allows.

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