Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Quattro Tiptronic

By Jonathan Spira on 15 August 2009
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The Audi A4 is completely redesigned for 2009, sleeker on the outside and roomier on the inside, and offers a choice of two very different powerplants.  A4080048Our test model arrived with the 2-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder engine (the other engine is a 3.2-liter V-6).  Not to worry: with 258 pound-feet of torque, more than the V-6 can muster, the four-banger holds its own very nicely.

The A4 Avant is a very attractive wagon, almost coupe-like in its roof line, and driving it made me wonder why anyone would want an SUV when they could pilot this.  Its road manners are impeccable, not sporty but not boring either.  The Quattro all-wheel drive held firm in wet and slippery conditions.

The A4’s interior, which is nicely finished, suffers from an array of buttons from Audi’s MMI (Multi-Media Interface).  Seating was comfortable front and rear and visibility was excellent.   The Audi music interface worked well with my Apple iPod.  The car’s Bluetooth system recognized my BlackBerry smartphone and downloaded its phone book but it lacked speech-to-text conversion so the driver has to manually create a separate phone book for voice dialing.

For 2009, Audi has added multiple new safety features into the A4 including adaptive seat belt force limiters, improved front- and rear-end collision protection, and adaptive airbag inflation.

Options add up quickly (not unlike the Carrera S). Despite a base price near $34,000, our test car, nicely equipped, was almost $50,000 putting BMW and Mercedes squarely in Audi’s sights.

2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0 T quattro
Base price/price-as-tested $34,500/$49,975
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 2-liter/turbo-charged/211 hp/I-4
Transmission 6-speed Tiptronic
Curb weight (lbs) 3814
Wheelbase (inches) 110.6
Length x width x height (inches) 185.2 x 71.9 x 56.2
0-60 mph (seconds) 6.9
EPA city/highway fuel economy (mpg) 21/27

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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