2012 Audi A4

The 2012 Audi A4 Premium Plus: affordable German luxury for the masses

After spending 8 days behind the wheel of the 2012 Audi A4 2.0, there is little question as to why this is among the bestselling European luxury cars in the America with tons of amenities inside and an efficient drivetrain that maintains a fun to drive attitude – all under $40,000.

My test vehicle was a 2012 Audi A4 Premium Plus with the 2.0L turbocharged engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and the familiar Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system. My test car was also fitted with the Sport package and the Audi advanced key system for a total price of $39,775 including the $875 destination fee.

The Exterior
On the outside, the 2012 Audi A4 Premium Plus features the S Line exterior package that gives this compact German luxury sedan a very aggressive look. This begins up front, where the S Line adds unique Xenon headlights featuring LED trim that serves as the daytime running lights with the hood running down over the housings – giving the car an angry look. These headlights flank the bold Audi “Singleframe” grille mounted above the unique front fascia that is part of the S Line package. The linear design of the matte black Singleframe grille is echoed in the lower fascia openings that house the circular driving lights. The lower lip of the front fascia angles upward right below the grille – really working to give the front a very menacing look. Sporty, bold, aggressive, angry…call it what you want…the front end of the Audi A4 certainly stands out in a crowd in a very good way.

The long, flat hood of the 2012 Audi A4 meets a very slick windshield line that arches up into the roof. Almost giving the A4 the look of a big coupe, the flat part of the roofline quickly vanishes as it runs into the rear glass and down to the short trunk lid. Where many compact sedans have an overall shape that is almost bubbly, the Audi A4 sedan’s top line makes for a very handsome sport sedan. Along the sides, the A4 has blackened B and C pillar areas that bolster the coupe-like form while a trio of sharp body lines running front to back add to the “fast while standing still” look. The flared wheel openings are filled with the 18” 10 spoke wheels that are unique to the S Line exterior package and these are wrapped in summer performance tires for improved grip.

Out back, the short trunk lid of the 2012 Audi A4 sports a subtle lip spoiler that hovers above great looking LED taillights that look great whether or not they are illuminated. Along the bottom, the lower rear fascia area is finished in a contrasting dark finish with dual exhaust exiting side by side on the driver’s side of the rear end. The rear end is quite as bold as the front end or the sides but the rear end doesn’t do the car any injustice as the exterior design really comes together for a great looking compact sedan. While there are a variety of exterior color options, the Bright Red that was featured on my test vehicle would be my first choice as it worked beautifully with the black trim all around the vehicle.

The 2012 A4 very much looks like the pricier and larger A6 sedan, giving those who are looking for a German luxury sedan on a smaller budget a chance to sport the bold good looks of the more expensive models at a much lower price.

The Interior
Inside, the 2012 Audi A4 Premium Plus doesn’t pack all of the goodies of the top of the line A4 Prestige but there is no mistaking that this is a modern luxury car. My test car was fitted with a light grey interior finish that had both light grey and dark grey along the floor, doors and dash while the leather clad seats were finished in a lighter tan color. These three tones are accented by sparse silver trim along the dash, door panels and shift console. When it gets dark and the interior lights come on – that is when the interior really shines…and that pun is intended. The A4 when all lit up packs a super sexy red glow from the various buttons around the interior and accentuated by the two red LEDs mounted in the overhead console and shining down into the interior. This red ambience lighting kind of prevents it from ever really being dark in the interior of the 2012 A4 but it does so without compromising visibility when driving at night. It is tough for a car’s interior to look great at night but the Audi A4 does just that.

As part of the Sport package, my A4 Premium Plus was equipped with sport inspired front seats that offer improved support during stints of spirited driving. Of course, these seats feature full power controls with driver’s side memory and heating elements for both while the back seats are a more traditional bucket style bench design. This design provides more comfort for the two passengers sitting on the “outside” but if you try to cram a third person between them – the design of the rear seat won’t make for a comfortable long trip for the person sitting there. There is lots of front seat adjustment so drivers and front passengers of all sizes will likely be able to adjust the seats to ensure plenty of leg room and head room. If you have two very tall adults up front with the seats moved all of the way back – leg room gets to be a little tight for other tall adults. However, there is still plenty of room for two children when you have the front seats pushed all the way back.


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