Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 Audi A4 Review

The 2009 Audi A4 returns in a newly styled body that’s longer and wider than before. In many ways, the new shape resembles the larger Audi A6 sedan, but LED lighting and a unique nose plant the Audi sedan and wagon firmly in the new Audi family that also includes the A5 and S5 coupes. Inside, the A4 has a taller, darker dash that’s not as classically handsome as previous efforts, but it’s still an efficient place to work.

A wide range of engine and transmission choices comes with the new A4. The base engine is a 211-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, offered with a manual transmission or a six-speed automatic or, in front-drive versions, a continuously variable transmission. A V-6 version comes only with the sweet-shifting six-speed automatic. Quattro all-wheel drive is offered on the four-cylinder sedan and is standard on the six-cylinder car. The A4 Avant wagon comes only as a turbocharged four, with quattro and the six-speed automatic. The new A4 also offers an optional system that allows drivers to select the feel of its ride, steering, and transmission shifts, but the basic car’s nonadjustable settings seem preferable.

The A4 remains a handsomely built vehicle, but this time, Audi’s graced it with much more interior backseat room. Wagon room is particularly generous, and though legroom in the backseat is good, the seat itself could use more bolstering and increased height for better comfort. The trunk is very large on sedans. Quality materials are incorporated throughout, though some details and actions could use work.

Because the 2009 Audi A4 is new on the market, there is no crash-test data available from either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Safety equipment includes standard airbags all around, as well as traction and stability control.

Apart from its variety of body styles, drivetrains, and safety systems, the 2009 Audi A4 offers a host of standard and optional features that are among the best in its class. Leather is standard; Bluetooth, a navigation system, radar-assisted cruise control, and a blind-spot alert system are offered, as is a Bang & Olufsen audio system.

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