New in the 2009 model year, the 2013 Audi A4 and S4 wear slightly revised outfits for the new model year.
In its most recent redesign, the sedan got a more rakish, relaxed profile, one with a more aggressive stance, and it still looks fresh enough--and quite similar to the bigger A8 that made its debut in 2011. The A4's deep Audi corporate grille has been softened somewhat: its edges have been tamed, and chamfered corners add some interest between the headlamps, which have LED daytime running lights like most of the Audi lineup. The headlamps themselves have been trimmed down, while the fog lamps have been stretched across the chin spoiler for a more muscular look in front. It's an attractive look from all angles.
Inside, the A4 has a deeper, darker binnacled dash that adds back in some warm swaths of wood or metal trim that had been deleted when the current design emerged in 2009. It's still a handsome and well-finished cabin, but there's more black and metallic plastic than in prior Audis. The best details? A thick steering wheel, a choice of brushed-aluminum or wood trim, and the ubiquitous starter button, along with a more substantial look than either the rival BMW 3-Series or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
New this year is a larger LCD screen that displays information for the MMI system, as well as the optional navigation system. With colorful renderings and quick processors, it's one of the sharpest screens in any luxury compact. MMI also gets some more soft-key controls that don't add much clutter to the center console, and make some features easier to operate.
On the S4, a new three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel is an option, as is a piano-black trim package paired with stainless-steel mesh and oak. S4 sedans can also be spotted by their unique wheel designs, the metallic mirror housings, grille, and their air intakes and diffusers.