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2013 Audi A4

By Marty Padgett, Editorial director, theconnection.com Modified: August 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm •  Published: August 11, 2012
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The A4 handles well with its basic suspension and steering, with a slightly firm ride and decent electric power steering feel. A sport package stiffens things up considerably, with summer tires, 18-inch wheels, and sport shocks. Buyers can also choose dynamic steering and Drive Select, which adds variable settings for the suspension, steering, throttle and transmission. In our experience, the stock setup is more pleasant and more predictable, even on the S4, which gets a sport suspension and bigger wheels and tires standard, for awesome road-holding and grip.

The A4 has good front seats, excellent sport seats available as an option (standard on the S4) and good room for those passengers. The rear bench sits low to the ground, though, and space is snug in back, particularly in knee room for taller passengers. The trunk's on the small side compared to the likes of the 3-Series.

In the past, the A4 has scored well in safety tests, but neither agency has fully tested it since this year's revamp. Audi still doesn't make Bluetooth or a rearview camera standard, but both are available, as are blind-spot monitors, and adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a full stop if it senses obstacles at up to 19 mph.

This year the A4 offers some exotic features make it a complex, high tech piece. The usual power features, leather seats, and satellite radio are standard on the A4, while the S4 gets sport content standard, as well as Bluetooth and the rearview camera. MMI, the Multi Media Interface that takes charge of available navigation systems, is standard on both, and it also controls the beautiful Google Earth and Google Street View mapping. That setup requires a monthly subscription to Audi Connect, which also adds 3G wireless Internet service--turning the A4 into a rolling wireless hotspot. MMI can also control an optional Bang & Olufsen audio system, an expensive option, but one of the cleanest-sounding systems we've heard.

The A4 and S4 are the design-heavy, tech-happy alternative to traditional German luxury sedans--and now to a stunningly good domestic one. Prices range from $32,500 to $44,350 for the A4, and $47,600 to $55,250 for the S4, not including $895 destination