$13,660 - $23,797

2013 Audi A4 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Audi A4 was new.


Performance: 8.2

While the 2013 Audi A4 isn’t as powerful as rivals like the Cadillac CTS, most agree that its balanced handling and refined, turbocharged engine make the 2013 A4 one of the most well-rounded sedans in the segment. The A4 also receives high marks for its good fuel economy and available Quattro all-wheel drive system.

  • "A4 is a true drivers' car. Despite the automaker's move to electric power steering, which can diminish steering feel, it is still nicely weighted and direct. A4 adeptly balances around-town maneuverability with sporty road manners." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The performance of both A4 and S4 models makes an enthusiast smile from start to finish." -- Road and Track 
  • "The A4 Quattro still has the edge in inclement weather performance over the existing 3 Series with xDrive or C-Class 4Matic, but its rivals are very good pieces of work and gaining ground." -- Autoblog 
  • "The turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides class-competitive acceleration, but it lacks the refinement of a six-cylinder, transmitting some off-putting vibrations through the steering wheel." -- Edmunds (2012) 

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Audi A4 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 211 horsepower. That engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in front-wheel drive models, while models with all-wheel drive get either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The EPA reports that the FWD A4 gets 24/31 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

If you’re looking for more compelling performance, the 2013 Audi S4 comes standard with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine that generates 333 horsepower. Power is routed to the S4’s standard AWD through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automated manual transmission. Audi says that the S4 has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph, and that it will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds with the automated manual transmission.

Although the A4 has considerably less power than rivals like the Infiniti G, reviewers frequently state that the turbo four provides more than enough power to keep your drive entertaining. Still, one test driver writes that it takes some effort to pass other cars on the highway.

  • "The A4 with AWD has good acceleration once the turbo kicks in. The engine has decent power for passing and merging, but the A4 takes a while to overtake other vehicles at highway speeds." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The power comes on smoothly and continues right up to the red line without a stumble." -- Road and Track 
  • "The on-road behavior of this most popular North American A4 engine trim frankly hasn't changed a whole lot, but that's not a criticism." -- Autoblog 
  • "No matter how many times I drive an Audi A4 2.0T, I still wind up double-checking to confirm that I am, in fact, sitting behind a four-cylinder engine and not some excellent six-cylinder." -- Automobile Magazine (2011) 

Handling and Braking

The 2013 A4 continues to please reviewers with its competent handling. Even stripped-down models are agile, but with the available Quattro all-wheel drive system, reviewers say the A4 offers a great balance of comfort and agility. Along with fun driving dynamics, the A4 pleases critics with its composed ride over imperfect roads. While most reviewers approve of the A4’s steering system, one critic notes that the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class offer slightly better steering feel.

  • "The steering on the A4 is linear and nicely weighted; it feels similar to the steering on the new BMW 3-series, which is to say not overly talkative, but good nonetheless." -- Car and Driver
  • "A4 is impressively solid. We test drove a model equipped with the optional 18-inch wheels. Most bumps and dips are dulled well enough." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In this case, the steering feel is fine relative to expectations, but it still trails both the 3 Series and C-Class for fidelity and communicativeness, though not as much as it did when Quattro was biased towards front-wheel drive." -- Autoblog
  • "Agile handling also contributes to the A4's balanced nature, with a favorable blend of sport and comfort." -- Edmunds (2012) 
  • "The A4 also performed admirably in our brake test, needing only 110 feet to stop from 60." -- Motor Trend (2011)

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