The 2012 Audi A4 is Audi's best-selling model, and for good reason. Though it appears small and muscular on the outside, the A4 offers plenty of interior space and good fuel economy to boot. And of course, you get Audi's top-notch interiors to match Audi's design language, with sensuous curves and finely styled body. The 2012 Audi A4 makes a serious case for consideration in a very competitive segment.
Coming off a redesign in the 2009 model year, the A4 enters 2012 with only minor changes. The previous model year saw the inclusion of the new eight-speed automatic transmission. Available only with the four-cylinder engine, it is the first such engine and transmission pairing and helps increase fuel economy and ride comfort.
While there's plenty to love about the 2012 Audi A4, it isn't without its faults. Options add up very quickly and can push the car well into A6 territory. Audi also removed the mid-range V-6 engine option in 2010, leaving a fairly large gap in power between the base four-cylinder A4 and the high-performance S4 with its supercharged V-6. That said, Audi's current four-cylinder powertrains do deliver abundant power, while averaging about 30 mpg highway.
Body styles: Sedan, wagon
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmissions: six-speed manual, eight-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission
Models: Premium, Premium Plus, Prestige
The 2012 Audi A4 enters the new model year with a few upgrades. Premium versions of the A4 get new 10-spoke, 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Premium Plus versions will get some S line styling, with 10-spoke 18-inch wheels, a driver's seat with memory feature, and A4 Avant wagons will get a power liftgate feature. Top of the range, the Prestige trim gets adaptive headlights and a blind spot monitoring system.
The 2012 Audi A4 is among the best-looking cars in its segment and carries one of the best interpretations of Audi's signature LED driving lights. Whether in sedan or wagon form, the sheetmetal is pulled tight around the frame giving it a taut, muscular appearance. A glass sunroof and 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. On the options list are 18- or 19-inch wheels, as well as a variety of light upgrades, including swiveling headlights, xenon, and LED daytime running lights.
The German automaker has earned a reputation for producing top-notch interiors, and the 2012 Audi A4 is certainly an example of that in its segment. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) utilizes a control knob instead of a touch screen, and shares some similarities with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems. Leather, power front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard across the range, along with a multi-function steering wheel. Wood trim is optional on all models while heated seats are optional on base models and standard on all others. Keyless entry and start is also an option.
Performance & Handling
The A4's turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine produces a respectable 211 hp, which can be routed to all four wheels through Audi's quattro all-wheel drive. The 2012 Audi A4 offers a sporty drive and nimble cornering. A sport package is optional for crisper handling, although ride quality will decrease marginally. Overall the A4 is competitive in the class and offers a satisfying drive.
Antilock brakes, and electronic aids such as Stability Control and Traction Control are standard. Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, along with side impact thorax bags and front and rear head curtain bags. The Prestige trim features an optional blind spot monitoring system.
EPA Fuel Economy
A4 Sedan front-wheel drive: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway
A4 Sedan all-wheel drive manual: 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway
A4 Sedan all-wheel drive automatic, A4 Avant Wagon all-wheel drive: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway
- Great styling
- Good mileage
- Quattro all-wheel drive
- Large trunk
You Won't Like
- One engine option
- Gets very pricey very fast
- CVT transmission
Great mix of sport and luxury.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura TL
- Infiniti G
- BMW 3 Series
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class