Vehicle Type: Sedan or Wagon
History/Description: The latest Audi A4 hit the market for model-year 2009 in its current ‘B8’ generation with the same core recipe for success as its predecessors: turbocharged power, Quattro All Wheel Drive (AWD), and numerous model variants and trim grades and options packages and powertrains to meet a wide range of needs. The new A4 also boasted better-than-ever looks, dynamics and new technology that was all fancy.
All-season confidence has been a big draw to the A4 for generations, and it’s delivered here in the form of features like automatic lights and wipers, which help ensure good visibility at all times, as well as the performance of the Quattro system, and a full range of standard traction-enhancing driver support systems. Find and A4 with upgraded xenon lighting and a washer system for maximum after-dark winter driving confidence.
Options may include a DVD-based navigation system with voice recognition for added confidence away from home, and a HomeLink system and advanced key with engine start button, a CD changer audio system and premium audio components, and plenty more. Automatic climate control, a self-dimming rearview mirror, heated leather seating, wood trim and a multi-function steering wheel with audio controls were also on board.
2013 Audi A4, Allroad, Allroad dashboard. Lead image: 2013 Audi A4 2.0 TSFI quattro Premium Plus S Line. Click image to enlarge
Engines / Trim: Power comes from the shopper’s choice of either a torquey two-liter turbo four cylinder engine with 211 horsepower, or a potent 3.2 liter V6 with 265 ponies that was available in earlier models from this generation. Output is sent to the road via a six-speed Tiptronic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all wheel drive system on most models, though it’s worth noting that some A4 units were available in front-wheel drive as a cost-saving measure.
Look for Premium or Premium Plus trim grades as higher-end models if you’re after a loaded model.
What Owners Like: Fuel mileage, pleasing performance, a premium-feeling cabin and ride, and all-season traction and confidence are all typically reported by A4 owners. Nimble handling, a lack of worrying about getting stuck, and a strong sense that the ‘extra money’ paid for an A4 over a more mainstream sedan was well spent round out common owner praise points. Powerful performance from the xenon headlamps is also noted.
What Owners Dislike: Gripes are few and far between, though some owners wish for slightly better fuel mileage, and rear-seat legroom and headroom may prove tight for taller passengers. The MMI central command interface may require some time to learn, and the radar-guided hazard-detection systems can get all fussy if there’s snow and ice on the body of the car.
Check out some owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca.
2013 Audi A4 Allroad. Click image to enlarge
The Test Drive: Start outside with a full walk around and check of the condition of the paint, rims, tires and chrome accents, if equipped. Though the A4 should prove durable where its finish is concerned if properly maintained, signs of excessive wear may be an indication of how the model was cared for by past owners.
Ensure both remote keyfobs work properly, and ensure the A4 starts up quickly and strongly. Some reports have been made of a dead or dying battery affecting the push-button start system. Note that in complicated vehicles like this one, low battery voltage may cause other issues—so budget for a battery tender to keep your A4 properly charged if you only drive it occasionally.
A mechanical check-up at an Audi dealer should be considered mandatory for maximum peace of mind. Owners online report a list of fairly easily-diagnosed problems that potential shoppers should be aware of, including fuel injector failures, fuel pump failures, and bad ignition coil packs. These issues are typically easy to spot, thanks to a no-start situation, very sporadic performance, or the presence of a check-engine light or trouble code stored in the engine computer. If the A4 you’re test-driving performs poorly, seems to have ‘gaps’ in its power delivery, or exhibits patchy or inconsistent performance, the above are the prime suspects.