Audi's A4 and S4 sedans offers features not available in any other cars in its class, but you'll have to dip into the options list to get them.
On the 2013 A4, leather upholstery is standard, as are satellite radio; power windows, locks, and mirrors; a CD player; cruise control; a sunroof; and Audi's MMI system, which uses a rotary controller to aid the driver in setting climate, audio, and phone functions on the go. It's a menu-based system like BMW's iDrive, but the software's a little more user-friendly and logical. An iPod connectivity kit, Bluetooth, garage door opener are an option package; xenon lighting are in another.
The Premium Plus Package-our pick for the best value in the A4 lineup-includes three-zone climate control, Bluetooth, heated seats, a garage-door opener, trip computer, and rain/light sensors, and an auto-dimming mirror, among other features. Navigation is optional in a package with a rearview camera, Audi Connect (see below), and HD radio. A Sport package adds bolstered sport seats with lumbar adjustments, a sport suspension, and a three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles.
That Sport package is also an option on the Prestige edition, which gets standard adaptive lighting, MMI with navigation, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system, as well as blind-spot monitors. This version also offers an optional S-line package with a sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, a body kit, and Alcantara seats. It's also the only model that offers a Driver Assist package, which includes adaptive cruise control, variable-ratio "dynamic" steering, and Drive Select.
Stand-alone options include heated front seats; 18-inch wheels; wood trim; the Bang & Olufsen sound system; and rear side airbags.
Standard equipment is richer in the S4. In addition to the sport suspension and host of other upgrades, the S4 includes Bluetooth; sport steering and shift paddles; heated washers, sport seats with Alcantara inserts, aluminum door inserts, and the three-zone climate control system.The only option package bundles adaptive lighting, passive unlocking and pushbutton start, navigation, blind-spot monitors, and Bang & Olufsen sound. Stand-alone options include adaptive cruise, drive select and dynamic steering; the sports differential; adaptive damping suspension; nappa leather; 19-inch wheels with summer tires; rear side airbags; and cabon-fiber-look or stainless-steel look trim.
The A4/S4's navigation system deserves its own mention. Its MMI interface is slightly easier to use, with more soft keys for quicker access to submenus. But it's the exceptionally crisp LCD screen that renders its Google Earth and Street View maps so lovingly that makes it one of the rare knockout factory navigation systems, one worth spending up for. It's bundled with a 40GB hard drive, a DVD player, and a pair of SD card readers for audio files.
The navigation system requires the category-killing Audi Connect suite of telematics. With a monthly subscription, Audi Connect customers can tap into a built-in 3G connection that turns their vehicle into a rolling wireless hotspot for up to 8 devices, and to enable Google local searches via MMI. The connection also feeds input to the navigation system to render those maps from Google Earth and Google Street View in stunning, crisp detail. Other links to satellite data bring in real-time traffic and weather information. It's another $25 to $30 a month from yet another service provider--but it's one with eye-popping utility.