The only 2.0 TFSI Avants to test drive in Ibiza were front-drive models with six-speed manual transmissions, fun for us, not so much for you. Driving one back to back with a manual trans 3.2 FSI quatttro says something about the smaller engine, though: It's the way to go. Assuming it mates as nicely with that Tiptronic as with the six-speed manual and assuming quattro won't weigh it down too much.

The 2.0 just pulls so easily from under 2000 rpm in any gear that it's the match, if not better than, the 3.2 for acceleration. The TFSI has all the buttery smoothness and minimal turbo lag of the 200-horse 2.0T, but even more so. When you get into the horsepower band, the car simply winds up more quickly than you'd expect and accelerates in what feels like a free-fall to redline. Audi claims a 6.7-second 0-to-62-mph run for a 2.0 TFSI quattro with six-speed manual (another car not available in Ibiza), while Audi in the U.S. claims a 6.3-second 0-60-mph time for the A4 V-6 quattro sedan. The TFSI's exhaust note is rortier than the old turbo's, with a high-speed, high-pitched braap. There's nothing this engine does in a 3700-lb wagon that will make you want more displacement. Count this as another soldier in the engine downsizing revolution.

Let this be a warning to those about to buy the A4 sedan. The 3.2 V-6 doesn't add much to the party versus the TFSI, except add weight, fuel consumption, and numbers to the sticker price.

Quattro AWD does get the party going, however. Like every other front-drive A4 this humble reporter has ever driven, the 2.0 wagon's steering feels twitchy on long, fast straights, while the 3.2 quattro, admittedly with the extra weight of a V-6 up front, feels perfectly planted. So if the past is any guide, that twitchiness will disappear with addition of quattro, even if the engine is the lighter turbo four. Audi says there's no difference in the steering whether you buy AWD or FWD, and that makes sense. It appears Audi engineers are tuning the steering for quattro, with FWD a mere afterthought. Otherwise, the steering is good, using Audi's new dynamic steering, with less effort around town and when parking, and more precision (effort) on windy roads. It works fairly well, lulling you into a near state of pinky finger-steering a la vintage Electra 225s, with just a hint of artificiality on faster roads. Audi has learned from BMW's mistakes in this department.

The A4 Avant also offers optional Audi drive select, which changes gas intake, Tiptronic shifting points, and power steering assistance between comfort, automatic and dynamic settings. It will be available in 2.0 TFSI quattro and 3.2L A4s with high content in the U.S. None of the cars on my drive had it.