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2009 Audi A4

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2009 Audi A4 Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


While Audi's lineup has increased over the years, the A4 Sedan and Wagon (Avant, in Audi-speak) has remained been the German automaker's volume leader, thanks to its ability to blend spirited driving performance with passenger comfort at a reasonable price. Although other comparable luxury offerings – like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Infiniti G Sedan – may have been the headliners in recent years, the capable A4 has always been there, biding its time in the wings and waiting to swiftly enter stage right. Finally, it now deserves the spotlight again: with bolder exterior styling, a more spacious interior, a re-tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged TFSI engine and an enriched list of available content, the 2009 Audi A4 is ready for its close up.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a mid-size luxury vehicle that appeals to drivers with its on-road performance and to passengers with its well-designed interior, the 2009 Audi A4 deserves your attention. Class-leading fuel economy, a noteworthy list of standard equipment and a reasonable starting price certainly don't hurt, either.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although the 2009 Audi A4 is very well-packaged, it can still climb above $55,000 territory when fully-loaded – more than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS. And, despite the extensive technology that Audi has made available for the A4 it still only offers slower DVD-based, and not hard drive-based, navigation.

What's New for 2009

The fifth-generation 2009 Audi A4 gets a well-deserved re-do, most notably a sizeable increase in interior room, enhanced optional and standard equipment lists and a more powerful 2.0-liter, 211-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Thanks in part to a wider track and longer wheelbase, the 2009 Audi A4 Sedans and Avants we drove felt remarkably well-balanced and solid on the road and extremely comfortable inside. Although the 3.2-liter V6 was undoubtedly the most fun to drive – especially when paired with the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission – the more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four proved to be relatively lag-free and definitely offered the most bang for the buck, with a smile-inducing 258 pound-feet of torque. Those disappointed by the lack of RWD should consider the very capable quattro AWD system with a 40:60 front/rear bias, standard on the Avant.

Favorite Features

Well-designed Interior
There's nothing like the welcoming feel of supple and supportive leather seats, touch-worthy surfaces and intuitively placed controls to make being a passenger inside the A4 just as pleasurable as getting behind the wheel.

Bang & Olufsen Sound System
Standard on Prestige trims, this stellar 505-watt, 10-channel, 14-speaker sound system is a welcome addition to the A4's interior for those who want to listen to their MP3s and CDs in crisp, well-balanced sound.

Vehicle Details Interior   photo

Audi's careful attention to touch-worthy surfaces, ergonomically-placed controls and supportive seats makes just sitting inside the A4 an experience. Although it does offer some fun extras – like the impressive 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system – the A4 is equipped at base level to meet most people's needs. The trunk of the A4 Sedan boasts an impressive 16.9 cubic feet of space, but those wanting more will find a better fit in the A4 Avant: With best-in-class cargo room, a reversible cargo floor, luggage retainer set and electric tailgate, this wagon can be customized to suit a number of needs.

Exterior

The 2009 Audi A4 is longer, stronger and (dare we say it?) sportier than before. Up front, a shorter front overhang highlights a longer hood and typical oversized Audi grille in stone gray or high-gloss black. Those who wish to draw even more attention to the A4's front end can opt for the bi-xenon headlights with R8-like LED daytime running lights. Rounding out the A4 2.0T Premium's look are standard six-spoke 17-inch wheels, while moving up into 3.2 territory nets flashier 10-spoke 17s or five-spoke 18-inch wheels.

Notable Standard Equipment

The A4 offers up to three well-equipped trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium vehicles include a Multitronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), electric parking brake, sunroof (panoramic on the Avant), automatic climate control, Audi Multi-Media Interface with 6.5-inch screen, leather seats and a 180-watt 10-speaker sound system. Moving up to the Premium Plus/Prestige trims brings bi-xenon headlights with R8-like LED daytime running lights, three-zone climate control, an iPod interface and a six-disc in-dash CD player. A Bang & Olufsen 505-watt sound system is also standard on the Prestige trim. All trims come with six airbags and electronic stability/traction control.

Notable Optional Equipment

When it comes to outfitting the 2009 Audi A4, most options are tied to trim level. The Premium trim offers Bluetooth, a six-speed manual transmission, iPod integration and 18-inch wheels, while opting for Premium Plus presents a DVD-based navigation system with back up camera. Audi's most desirable options are tied to the Prestige trim and include the S-line styling package, Audi drive select (adjusts the steering, suspension and shift points) and 19-inch wheels. A few options are available regardless of trim, like rear side airbags, quattro all wheel drive and Tiptronic automatic transmission with or without paddle shifters.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Audi A4 offers two engine choices, both with direct injection: A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (known as TFSI) and a 3.2-liter V6. In addition, the A4 presents three different transmissions, including a Multitronic Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT), a six-speed manual and a paddle shifter-equipped Tiptronic six-speed automatic. Unlike many of its competitors, Audi chose to furnish its base model with the CVT and not the manual transmission, thereby boosting fuel economy to best-in-class ratings of 23/30 city/highway mpg.

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
211 horsepower @ 5300-6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-4200 rpm
EPA Estimated City/Highway Mileage: 23/30 (FWD, CVT), 22/30 (AWD, Manual), 21/27 (AWD, Automatic)

3.2-liter V6
265 horsepower@ 6500 rpm
243 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3000-5000 rpm
EPA Estimated City/Highway Mileage: 17/26

Pricing Notes

The 2009 Audi A4 2.0T has Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of close to $33,500 for the 2.0T Sedan and $35,000 for the 2.0T Avant. Choosing the 3.2 quattro Sedan brings the price closer to $41,000, and it can rapidly climb to $55,000 territory when equipped as a Prestige model with all of Audi's technological goodies on offer. Before any trip to your local Audi dealership, be sure to check out our Fair Purchase Prices to see if you have any negotiating room when buying your A4. When it comes to residuals, we expect the A4 to deliver better-than-average resale values, remaining higher than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, on par with the BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G Sedan and lower than the Lexus IS and the Cadillac CTS.

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