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2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0 T Quattro Tiptronic

The Good :)   Sporty exterior.  Refined luxurious interior.  Smooth engine and transmission.  Great driving feel.  Amazing DVD and vehicle information system.  Amazing traction and stability.  Ride beats all other competitors

The Bad :(   Small cabin, especially in the rear.  A bit light at high speeds on twisties.

Engine 4Cyl 2.0 Liter

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Output 211 hp / 258 lb-ft
Top Speed 128 mph
0-60 mph 8 sec (est.)
Weight 3,334 lbs
Price As Tested $28,995

We said 5 years ago that Audi needed to make some much needed changes and Audi followed suit.  We have been saying in the last few years that Audi makes the best cars out there for the money and now the world is noticing.  Today Audi has a great lineup of vehicles that look sharp, offer amazing interiors, and drive superbly well, all at a lower cost than the competitors from Germany.  With the new A4, the quality of the interior is amazing and ride quality is very impressive.  Compared to a BMW the A4 is a great value.  

The exterior style of the new A4 is what sets it apart from the crowd of cars it competes with.  Even in its wagon form, the vehicle looks sporty, aggressive, low to the ground, and downright mean.  Front end is probably our favorite part of the vehicle with a sculpted grille that is aerodynamic and functional.  The curved lines in the lower grille are carried into the headlights nicely.  The unique design makes the A4 Avant feel like it has a human face.  LED eyebrows under the Xenon headlights gives the A4 a cool new look and use only 9 watts.  The rounded front end flows nicely to the carved front hood which gives the fenders a wider look with its sloping design around the wheels.  The profile shows that the A4 is luxurious as well as sporty offering chrome trim around the windows and a chrome roof rack.  Large 18 inch wheels are optional and look very good with minimal wheel gap.  The rear end is equally rounded and clean with hardly any body gaps visible.  Nicely angled tail lamps provide a modern look while the only item missing would be chrome tipped exhaust tips.  Overall the front overhang has been shortened and the hood and wheelbase are visibly extended.  

With a smart key, doors unlock as you touch the door handle and engine starting is done at the touch of a button.  Doors open wide for easy entry and egress and feel quite solid and heavy.  Inside awaits a luxurious cabin, lined with soft leather and light wood trim.  Immediately you will notice the quality of all the parts inside.  Window switches, the center armrest, the aluminum trimmed dials on the central console and the steering wheel all feel and sound great when used.  Audi did not forget the bottle holders in the doors, a sunglass holder, lots of cup holders and a card holder.  Even a push button parking brake gives you technology found in more costly vehicles.   

In many details, the new A4 has the sophistication of the A8 luxury sedan.  All switches, for example, have short travel and lock into place when a defined amount of force is applied to them. The rotary knobs move as smoothly and precisely as the mechanism of a fine watch, and their ‘click’ is the sound of pure technical perfection. The center armrest can be moved forward and locks to give you various levels of height adjustment.  A 6.5 inch color monitor is standard on the upper console with a 7 inch screen when you order the navigation system.  Velour carpeting and chrome trim has even been used in the cargo space.  
 
Seating is more comfortable and larger than in previous A4 sedans.  Front seats are both powered fully with the driver’s seat also equipped with lumbar adjustments and 2 position memory.  Even the rear hatch is powered for easy use when you have a bag of groceries.  The A large glass sun roof extends to the rear cabin and opens up halfway for a targa feeling.  The top is very solidly built with smooth operation with a built in powered shade for when it is too hot.  Watch our video to see how this top works.  

The long list of features in the A4 makes it one of the most technologically advanced cars available today.  All four windows are powered one touch up and down with pinch protection.  A parking system has sensors in the rear bumper and a backup camera.  Homelink allows you to program your garage codes into the car.  A Rain and light sensor lets you forget about a few things inside the car while driving.  The powered rear hatch can be adjusted to suit your height or garage space when opening.  A retractable luggage cover and net protects all your belongings and keeps it out of sight.  The keyless start feature is amazing in that all four doors have a touch pad , not a button, which you simply touch, even with gloves on, and the doors lock.  Just come close to the car and touch the door handle and the doors unlock.  It works flawlessly.  This feature is on all four doors so if you have a child that you want to put into the rear cabin first you pull the rear door first.  Touch the back and the trunk power opens up.  

Cool new features like Audi Side Assist works very well and monitors blind spots as well as fast approaching vehicles at 150 feet behind your car.  Two radar sensors located in the rear bumper operate at 24 GHz, monitoring a space of up to
50 meters (164.04 feet) in width to the side and rear of the new Audi A4.  LED’s in the mirror light up when a car is in your blind spot and flash if you blink your turn signals when someone is there.  A bluetooth phone system allows easy connection to any telephone, just setup once and it will always connect automatically as long as bluetooth is on in your phone; much easier than in other vehicle systems.  Music iPod integration works well with iPhone and iPod allowing you to view all the playlists in the large screen in the center of the dash.  There is even adaptive cruise control which maintains a set distance from the car in front of you.  

The Bang & Olufsen premium sound system offers 14 speakers with 505 digitally amplified watts of surround sound reproduction with microphone based noise compensation .  A great audiophile system, it produces accurate sounds with its large quantity of speakers.  

The climate control is very easy to use and has dual zones up front and a separate zone for the rear cabin.  Watch our videos for how it actually works.  You can graphically view everything you change such as airflow vents, speed of the fans, temperature of the air.  The only thing we did not like was the position of the controls at the bottom of the front dash making it hard to see when the gear lever is in park.  Perhaps Audi can remove the gear lever all together and replace it with buttons on the dash.  

The steering wheel is also excellent, which it has to be for a great driving experience.  It is thickly padded and quite comfortable with great road feel and soft leather.  The many controls allow quick access to most of the Audi A4‘s controls.  A large instrument cluster screen shows you most functions in wonderful vivid colors.  The steering wheel controls allow you to dial into different stereo stations, you can speak certain commands as well by touching the microphone button.  The instrument cluster display is quick and smart, showing you radio stations when you touch the scroll wheel on the steering wheel and then switching back to navigation view as you are driving.  Even miles per gallon can be seen just below the navigation part of this display.  A lot of information is packed into the instrument cluster in a clean and smart way.  Watch it in our video.

A new feature is Audi Drive Select.  This changes how the car handles to suit your mood.  You can set it to comfort, dynamic, or automatic as well as individual settings for a mix of all of the above.  The dynamic setting makes for quicker gear shifts, no lag as you press the pedal, and a stiffer suspension at .8 inches lower in ride height.  While the comfort setting creates a more relaxed vehicle with softer suspension settings and smoother more delayed gear shifts.  All this teamed up with the Quattro four wheel drive makes for a amazing vehicle.  

Two engine choices are offered, a four cylinder or a six cylinder.  Our test car has the four cylinder engine with turbocharger which provides smooth power and good fuel economy.  It is rated at 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque available from 1,500 to 4,200 rpm.  In our combined highway and road testing, we average 22 miles per gallon, not close to the 27 as stated on the window sticker for highway use even though most of our country roads were at about 40-50 mph.  Both engines have direct injection technology and are 10 percent better at using gasoline.  Under normal driving conditions, this distributes the forces at a ratio of 40:60 between the front and rear axle. This emphasis on the rear end perfectly harmonizes and a self-locking center differential transfers lets you have all the traction wherever you need it.  

Speed-dependent servotronic steering adapts the amount of steering support to the driving speed. When parking, this system provides for easy steering, while at high speeds the support is decreased to ensure maximum precision.  Braking is amazing with the A4 coming to a quick stop with a super grippy brake system.  Even in snow you feel like you are driving on rails.  The Quattro all wheel drive system makes this car stick to snow and ice like few other cars can do.  We shot video of the car on four inches of snow and the vehicle tracked through turns as if it was on pavement.  

All the electronic gadgets such as slip regulation can be turned off at low speeds for those needing traction in snow.  The smart nature of the electronics automatically turns them back on after a set speed is reached so you don’t go head first into a tree at 45 mph.  The A4 also keeps the brakes dry on wet road conditions with slight taps that you cannot feel.  

The airbags in the new Audi A4 are adaptive and operate based on a new strategy: they always inflate fully. If the control unit assesses the situation as relatively harmless – that is if the impact is not too violent and the seat occupant is sitting
close to the cockpit – part of the gas from the airbag is discharged again through valves, so that the head and chest of the occupant are restrained relatively gently. If the crash is severe, the airbags remain fully inflated for longer. The same
procedure occurs if the impact is not very strong, but if the passenger is sitting so far back that her or his torso would whip forward with great force.  

The A4 offers a 4 year or 50,000 mile warranty and a 12 year corrosion warranty.  A no charge first scheduled maintenance is also included along with a 4 year roadside assistance coverage.  

Our test car starts off at a base price of $34,500.  Optional is the prestige model choice which ads $7,800. This ads all the goodies that you expect in this high end vehicle like the keyless start, Bang & Olufsen sound system, lane change assist, power tailgate, Xenon headlamps with led running lamps, bluetooth hands free system, three zone climate control, heated front seats, six CD stereo system, the music interface and memory for the driver’s seat, not to mention a few more goodies like the 18 inch wheels and the rain sensor.  It is all very important.  The Audi drive select is the suspension and drivetrain customization system that costs $2,950.  The navigation system with rearview camera costs $2,500.  Wood interior trim in ash almond beige costs $400.  A destination charge of $825 brings the as tested MSRP to $48,975.  Hopefully good deals will allow you to buy this vehicle for under the invoice price.  Bargain heavily we say.  The window sticker states 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway.  The VW is very clean as well only producing a smog index score of 0.39.  About 75% of the parts come from germany.  The final assembly point is Ingolstadt, Germany with the engine coming from Hungary and the transmission from Germany.  Watch our video for a great look at all that is inside this great family car. 


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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$32,410

$34,850

Prestige

$7,300    

$7,850

Premium Plus

$3,720    

$4,000    

Audi Drive Select Package

$2,742    

$2,950

Adaptive Cruise Control w/Active Braking Guard

$1,953

$2,100    

Wood Interior Trim

$373  

$400

Navigation System, GPS • GT Limited

$1,824

$2,000

Radio Equipment, Amplifier & Subwoofer (PIO) i, GT Limited

$186

$287

Radio Equipment, Sirius / XM

$312

$350

Restraint System, Rear Side Impact Air Bag Sedans, Wagons

$312

$350

Sun Shades, Manual Rear Side • Wagons

$134

$150

 



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COMPARISON
2009 Audi A4
2.0T Avant quattro 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2009 Volkswagen Passat
Komfort 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2009 Subaru Outback
2.5XT Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/Nav (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5A)
2009 BMW 3 Series
328i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
2009 Volvo V70
3.2 4dr Wagon (3.2L 6cyl 6A)
MSRP $34,850 $29,690 $34,795 $37,400 $32,900
Invoice $32,410 $27,727 $32,259 $34,410 $30,926
Destination Charge $825 $700 $665 $825 $825
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. For OnCall roadside assistance, Dial toll free 1-800-63-VOLVO (1-800-638-6586)
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 4 inline 4 flat 4 inline 6 inline 6
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 2.0 liters 2.5 liters 3.0 liters 3.2 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Compressor turbocharger turbocharger turbocharger Not Available Not Available
Horsepower 211 hp @ 5300 rpm 200 hp @ 5100 rpm 243 hp @ 6000 rpm 230 hp @ 6500 rpm 235 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 258 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm 241 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm 200 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm 236 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm
6 Speed Shiftable Automatic Standard Standard 5 speed
Optional Standard
Limited Slip Differential - Center Standard Not Available Standard Standard Not Available
One-Touch Power Windows 4 2 1 4 4
Power Steering electric speed-proportional power steering electric power steering speed-proportional power steering speed-proportional power steering power steering
Front Air Conditioning automatic climate control air conditioning automatic climate control automatic climate control automatic climate control
Premium Brand Speakers Bang & Olufsen - Optional Being Researched harman/kardon Not Available Dynaudio - Optional
Navigation System DVD based display w/voice activation and directions - Optional hard drive based display w/voice directions - Optional DVD based display w/voice directions hard drive based display w/voice activation and directions - Optional DVD based display w/voice directions - Optional
Satellite Communications System Not Available Not Available Not Available BMW Assist - Optional Not Available
SPECS
Handling A4 Passat Outback 3 Series V70
Max. Cargo Capacity 51 cu. ft. 62 cu. ft. 65 cu. ft. 61 cu. ft. 72 cu. ft.
City 21 mpg. 19 mpg. 18 mpg. 17 mpg. 16 mpg.
Highway 27 mpg. 28 mpg. 24 mpg. 25 mpg. 25 mpg.
Length 185.2 in. 188 in. 189 in. 178.2 in. 189.9 in.
Width 71.9 in. 71.7 in. 69.7 in. 71.5 in. 73.3 in.
Height 56.5 in. 59.7 in. 63.2 in. 55.8 in. 60.9 in.
Front Headroom 40.4 in. 38.3 in. 38.7 in. 38.5 in. 37.8 in.
Rear Headroom 38.2 in. 38.6 in. 37.1 in. 38 in. 38.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room 55.5 in.
55.7 in. 54.4 in. 55.4 in. 57.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.3 in.
54.6 in. 53.7 in. 55.1 in. 56.5 in.
Front Leg Room
41.4 in. 44.1 in. 41.5 in. 41.9 in.
Rear Leg Room
37.7 in. 33.9 in. 34.6 in. 34.6 in.

 

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