Few cars look as good going down the road as an Audi A4 wagon. We lived with a 2009 A4 Avant for a year and never got tired of its compelling combination of style and utility.
Yet Audi still can't get enough of you to buy its wagons. So when the automaker dispatches the refreshed A4 and S4 family to the U.S. in June 2012, it's leaving the regular A4 Avant at home. In its place, we'll get the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad.
It really isn't much different from our long-term A4. But contrasting body trim and raised ground clearance make the A4 Allroad look tougher — perhaps just tough enough to get a few more Americans out of their SUVs and into a proper wagon.
Allroad, Take Two This isn't the first time Audi has tried to sell us an Allroad. The original Allroad was an emergency stopgap back when luxury-themed SUVs started showing up in every driveway from Beverly Hills to Nassau County. It was based on the larger A6 wagon and came with powerful but thirsty V6 and V8 engines. Audi sold a few, but it was too expensive to keep around once the Q7 came along.
Of course, the wagon-loving Europeans dug the Allroad, and a couple years ago, Audi made another one based on the A4. The automaker offered it with a couple diesel engines, plus the familiar turbocharged and direct-injected, 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder gasoline engine. For 2013, the A4 Allroad gets the same exterior freshening and interior updates as other A4s, along with a few key functional changes.
The 2.0 TFSI engine benefits from various friction reduction measures, which should be good for higher mileage ratings from the EPA. Further, the steering now uses electric power assist (a change Audi is also applying to the S4) and features a slightly quicker 15.9:1 ratio versus 16.1:1 previously on the European-spec Allroad (16.3 on other A4s).
Compared to a normal A4 wagon, the Allroad is 0.7 inch longer, 0.5 inch wider and 2.5 inches taller, with an inch wider track and an extra 1.4 inches of ride height. If you're a gravel racer in the mold of IL Senior Editor Josh Jacquot, you'll find that its 7.1 inches of ground clearance are more than enough to get you in trouble.
A clutch-type all-wheel-drive system is standard, of course, and the stability control system has off-road logic that allows more wheel slip. But if you're like Jacquot, you will have disabled this feature.
So How Does It Drive? Our drive in the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad reminds us how much we like the 2.0 TFSI engine.
Rated at 211 horsepower, it's one of the smoothest inline four-cylinders out there and never feels like it's doing work meant for a bigger lump — even in the Allroad, which weighs 90 pounds more than a regular A4 Avant. The engine's 258 pound-feet of torque arrives at just 1,500 and sticks with you until 4,200 rpm, so passing maneuvers are effortless.
Our test car has Audi's six-speed manual gearbox driving all four wheels, and the automatic option for Europeans is the company's S tronic seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission. We won't see either of these gearboxes in the U.S., where, as with the 2012 A4 Avant, Audi will sell the Allroad exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Thusly equipped, the U.S.-spec car should take about 6.6 seconds to hit 60 mph — a tenth of a second slower than Audi's claim for a regular A4 wagon.
Better Ride Than A4 Avant The A4 Allroad's longer-travel suspension works wonders for its ride quality, something we often complained about during our year with the A4 Avant (though in fairness, that car had the optional sport-tuned suspension).
On our test route through Portugal, the high-riding A4 wagon proves impressively compliant on highways and back roads alike. We look forward to trying an A4 Allroad on our considerably rougher U.S. interstates.
Sharp handling is a hallmark of the current-generation A4, as you may recall our long-term Avant was capable of more than 69 mph through the slalom. Although the Allroad's softer setup allows more body roll, the crossover wagon still feels balanced when cornering hard and isn't upset by midcorner bumps.
We're also happy with the new electric power steering, which delivers appropriate effort and talks to us with increasing clarity as we approach the limits of our test car's 245/45R18 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT tires. Notably, we can adjust the level of power assist via the car's Drive Select system, which also allows us to tailor throttle response and transmission shift points (if your car has the automatic, that is) to our tastes.
Welcome Back Some of you might point out that the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad is a bit half-hearted. After all, it's not really intended for all roads, as the only underbody protection it comes with is plastic unless you pony up for a steel skid plate.
But we like the A4 Allroad anyway, mainly because it has the refined ride quality you expect in an entry-level luxury car — and that has never quite come together in other A4s. It looks every bit as stunning as a conventional A4 wagon, and offers the same performance and fuel economy we liked so much in our long-term Avant.
The original A6 Allroad never really made sense to us because it was so heavy and expensive, but with a likely price tag under $40,000, the 2013 Audi A4 Allroad looks to be a much stronger package. Now there's just the matter of persuading our fellow Americans to go out and buy this wagon.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Is the 2013 Audi A4 a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2013 Audi A4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2013 A4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2013 Audi A4? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2013 Audi A4 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2013 A4 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2013 A4.
Review After buying a 2013 VW Passat TDI in October for myself, it was my wife's turn for a new car. She had her heart set on a BMW 328i...until she got in one. Too small, too confining, truly baffling ergonomics. We then looked at another Passat TDI(too big), a Jetta TDI(too sparse), a Volvo S80(too something), and finally the Audi A4. We were both sold on it right away due to the Quattro and Nav systems. We immediately put 3,000 miles on it in the first week with a trip to Washington State. Handled perfectly on wet, icy and snowy roads, and was a really comfortable ride. No sign at all of the oil burning issue others have had after 3k miles, so hopefully that's a good sign.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
Is the 2013 Audi A4 safe? The 2013 Audi A4 earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: Side Impact Test, Roof Strength Test, Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint, Moderate Overlap Front Test Results, and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 4.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
What options are available on the 2013 Audi A4?
Available Audi A4 2013 Submodel Types: Sedan, Convertible, Wagon
Available Trims: 2.0T Premium quattro, 2.0T Premium Plus quattro, 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro, 2.0 TFSI Premium quattro, 2.0T quattro, 2.0T Premium, 2.0T, 3.0 quattro, 1.8T quattro, 1.8T, 2.0T Avant Premium quattro, 3.2 quattro, 2.0 TFSI ultra Premium, 2.0T Premium quattro , 2.0 TFSI Prestige quattro, 2.0T Avant quattro, 2.0T Premium Plus, 1.8T Avant quattro, 2.0 TFSI Premium, 2.0T Premium Avant quattro, 3.0 Avant quattro, 3.2 Premium Plus quattro, 1.8T Special Edition, 2.0 TFSI Premium quattro Season of Audi Selection, 2.0 TFSI ultra Premium Season of Audi Selection, 2.8 quattro, 3.0, 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus, 2.0T Prestige quattro, 2.8 Avant quattro, 3.2
Exterior Colors: Brilliant Black, Ibis White, Moonlight Blue Metallic, Monsoon Gray Metallic, Glacier White Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Light Silver Metallic, Manhattan Gray Metallic, Florett Silver Metallic, Mythos Black Metallic, Quartz Gray Metallic, Dolphin Gray Metallic, Phantom Black Pearl Effect, Moro Blue Pearl Effect, Brilliant Black Clearcoat, Deep Sea Blue Pearl Effect, Brilliant Red, Aruba Blue Pearl Effect, Meteor Gray Pearl Effect, Monza Silver Metallic, Scuba Blue Metallic, Tornado Gray Metallic, Arctic White, Cuvee Silver Metallic, Crystal Blue Metallic, Dolphin Gray Pearl Effect, Daytona Gray Pearl Effect, Ocean Blue Pearl Effect, Utopia Blue Metallic, Dakar Beige Metallic, Dakota Gray Metallic, Ebony Pearl Effect, Matador Red Metallic, Misano Red Pearl Effect, Santorin Blue PL Effect, Alpaka Beige Metallic, Amulet Red, Aquamarine Blue Metallic, Atlas Gray, Canvas Beige Metallic, Caribic Blue Pearl Effect, Ebony PL Effect, Polar White, Sepang Blue Pearl Effect, Suzuka Gray Metallic, Tango Red Metallic, Teak Brown Metallic
Interior Colors: Black leather, Cardamom Beige leather, Beige/Brown leather, Black/Red Contrast Stitch leather, Nougat Brown/Black leather, Black leather/sueded microfiber, Beige leather, Ebony leather, Brown/Black leather, Light Gray leather, Ebony, Gray/Gray leather, Atlas Beige/Gray leather, Black cloth, Rock Gray/Gray leather, Beige, Gray/Black leather, Atlas Beige/Black leather, Beige/Black leather, Gray, S line Black leather, Light Gray cloth, Platinum leather, Rock Gray/Black leather, Black, Blue, Platinum, Red premium leather
Popular Features: Auto Climate Control, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Power Driver Seat, AWD/4WD, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Aux Audio Inputs, Leather Seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Pre-collision safety system, Trip Computer, Bluetooth, Heated seats, Upgraded Headlights, Back-up camera, USB Inputs, Automatic Emergency Braking, Keyless Entry/Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Parking sensors, Navigation, Mobile Internet, Upgraded Stereo, Blind Spot Monitoring, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Soft Top, 360-degree camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, Heads up display, Lane Departure Warning, Cooled Seats, Power Liftgate/Trunk