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2011 Audi A4

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$5,926 — $16,738 USED
22
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
25-26 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Ride quality
  • Cabin materials
  • Trunk space
  • Well-executed folding backseat
  • Superb premium stereo option
  • Gas mileage

The Bad

  • Nose-heavy handling
  • Not as quick as some competitors
  • Some complicated controls
  • Automatic could be more responsive
2011 Audi A4 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2011 Audi A4
  • 211-hp, turbo four-cylinder
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Available LED daytime running lamps
  • Manual or automatic
  • Sedan or wagon body styles

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

By Mike Hanley

With sales more than double any of its brand siblings, the Audi A4 entry-luxury sedan is effectively Audi's ambassador in the U.S. The R8 supercar might grab more publicity, but the A4 is the car that average customers are most likely to encounter.

After driving the sporty A4 with its refined interior, it's clear that it's not entry-level: it's near the top of its class.

I tested an A4 sedan with Quattro all-wheel drive and the new-for-2011 eight-speed automatic transmission. This version starts at $34,500, but with options our as-tested price reached $43,220.

Turbocharged Power

Audi has wrung quite a bit of performance from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which powers all versions of the A4. Whether accelerating from a stoplight or merging on the highway, the engine feels bigger than it is, bringing you up to speed more quickly than its specs suggest. There's even a little power in reserve on the highway when a burst is needed. All in all, it feels just as strong as the BMW 328i with its inline-six-cylinder engine. Credit the turbo four-cylinder's healthy 258 pounds-feet of torque at a low 1,500 rpm.

Our test car had the newly optional eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite the high gear count, the transmission doesn't seem overly busy, and that's partly because of its relatively seamless shifts. However, one editor noted that the transmission had a tendency to hesitate under light acceleration.

Downshifts come quickly en...

With sales more than double any of its brand siblings, the Audi A4 entry-luxury sedan is effectively Audi's ambassador in the U.S. The R8 supercar might grab more publicity, but the A4 is the car that average customers are most likely to encounter.

After driving the sporty A4 with its refined interior, it's clear that it's not entry-level: it's near the top of its class.

I tested an A4 sedan with Quattro all-wheel drive and the new-for-2011 eight-speed automatic transmission. This version starts at $34,500, but with options our as-tested price reached $43,220.

Turbocharged Power

Audi has wrung quite a bit of performance from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which powers all versions of the A4. Whether accelerating from a stoplight or merging on the highway, the engine feels bigger than it is, bringing you up to speed more quickly than its specs suggest. There's even a little power in reserve on the highway when a burst is needed. All in all, it feels just as strong as the BMW 328i with its inline-six-cylinder engine. Credit the turbo four-cylinder's healthy 258 pounds-feet of torque at a low 1,500 rpm.

Our test car had the newly optional eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite the high gear count, the transmission doesn't seem overly busy, and that's partly because of its relatively seamless shifts. However, one editor noted that the transmission had a tendency to hesitate under light acceleration.

Downshifts come quickly enough with a jab of the gas pedal. If it needs to, the transmission will skip a few gears to get to the one it needs, rather than step down one at a time. A Sport mode holds the transmission in lower gears longer, and there's a clutchless-manual mode for driver-controlled shifts.

The A4 gets better gas mileage with the new transmission, which is especially welcome because the car requires premium gas. The all-wheel-drive A4 is rated at 21/29 mpg city/highway with the eight-speed automatic, which represents a 2 mpg improvement in highway fuel economy compared with the six-speed 2010 model. Meanwhile, the front-wheel-drive A4 with a continuously variable automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg.

The A4's four-wheel disc brakes quickly shed speed, but the brake pedal doesn't offer the greatest feel. I thought the brakes were a little grabby, while another editor commented on the lack of pedal linearity when braking.

Ride & Handling

The A4's regular suspension (a Sport suspension is optional) is stiff, which keeps body roll in check, but the tuning isn't so firm that driving on rough pavement is jarring. There's no question the emphasis is on sporty driving, but Audi wisely realizes that a car like the A4 also has to keep its occupants comfortable during daily commutes. With the regular suspension, it does.

It's worth noting that our test car had winter tires. While appropriate for the conditions, they likely affected the car's character compared with the all-season tires it normally wears. Winter tires have softer rubber compounds for better grip in cold weather — along with more aggressive tread patterns — which affects handling, acceleration and road-noise levels, among other things.

While the firm suspension tuning is common among German luxury cars, the steering feels like it's been sourced from Lexus. At low and midrange speeds, the wheel turns easily and with little effort. Unfortunately, there's also little feedback. However, a pronounced change occurs when you reach highway speeds, where the steering firms up and feels sharper.

The A4's Quattro all-wheel-drive system features rear-biased torque distribution for improved dynamics. Even though it powers out of corners without feeling nose-heavy, it's still not as engaging as a rear-wheel-drive BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G37.

A Classy Cabin

Audi cabin quality has long been among the best in the industry, and the A4's interior continues that trend. What distinguishes Audi interiors isn't just the use of high-quality materials, like real aluminum accents, but also the finish of the various trim pieces and the way they fit together well. Then you have the little touches, like a center armrest that not only slides forward and back, but also ratchets up and down.

In the past few years we've seen more attention to interior quality from brands like Cadillac (with its CTS) and Infiniti (with the G37), but the A4's cabin remains one of the nicest spaces in the class.

The front bucket seats are finished in standard leather upholstery. By comparison, many competitors like the 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and CTS make do with simulated leather upholstery in base models. The A4's firm seat cushions provide good support and comfort, and the front of the cabin is big enough for my 6-foot-1 frame.

The backseat, though, is a little cramped. Just getting into it is difficult for taller adults, because the door opening isn't very large. Once seated, I didn't have much room to spare with the driver's seat adjusted for me, though indentations in the backs of the front seats provide some extra knee clearance. Taller people sit with their knees elevated some, which doesn't bode well for long-drive comfort. Still, it's more comfortable than the backseat of a 3 Series sedan.

The A4's trunk measures 12 cubic feet, which is similar to what competitors offer. The trunk has a nice rectangular shape for fitting luggage, and the split-folding backseat — previously standard but now optional like it is on the 3 Series and C-Class — creates a sizable opening for carrying longer items. 

Safety

The A4 was recognized as a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It received the highest possible overall score from IIHS — Good — in frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and rear-impact testing.

Standard safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags for both rows of seats, and an electronic stability system. Rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional.

For a full list of safety features, check out the Standard Equipment & Specs page.

A4 in the Market

One of the A4's biggest strengths is that it appeals to luxury shoppers in a number of ways. If you're concerned about gas mileage, it's comparatively thrifty. If you like fine furnishings, the cabin will feel like home. Plus, there are a number of available high-end features to interest technophiles. It may not offer the pure driving experience of a 3 Series, but in the areas that matter most in this part of the luxury segment, the entry-level A4 stands tall.

Send Mike an email  


Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
62 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Well designed inside and out

by Robert from Chicago on November 10, 2018

I've had the 2011 A4 for 4+ years now. The exterior of the car is beautiful and ages well. I actually still get compliments on it. Audi is of course known for their interiors and the A4 doesn't ... Read full review

(3.0)

Overall pretty good

by Student555 from Laguna Niguel, Ca on August 17, 2018

This car is great. Definitely a luxury vehicle. I have had some problems previously with the engine and I did have to get it replaced in 2015 after it stopped working, but the Audi dealership did ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2011 Audi A4 currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2011 Audi A4 2.0T Premium

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
acceptable
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Audi

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles after expiration of new vehicle limited warranty or from date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired

  • Powertrain

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    300-plus-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2011 A4 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The A4 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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