Audi A4 Avant Quattro – AskMen

3 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi A4 Avant Quattro – AskMen
Audi A4 Avant

Audi A4 Avant


Price: $34,500

0-60 time: 6.9 seconds

MPG / LPG: 21 city; 27 hwy

Compared to the media blitz that surrounded the launch of the Audi A5 coupe, it almost seems as if Audi is trying to keep the release of its all-new A4 Avant Quattro a secret. This latest A4 Avant benefits from Audi’s newest technologies and is bigger, lighter and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing car. But for the life of us, we can’t recall hearing one word about this new and improved model.

The Audi A4 has long been one of our favorite cars, and the only way we knew that the new car was out was when the 2.0 Avant Quattro showed up on our doorstep.

While the bulk of the 2009 Audi A4 is all new, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four banger is carried over from the last-gen car. As good as the engine is, Audi has found room for improvement and found a way to lower its fuel consumption by 10%. This engine’s 258 lb-ft of torque comes in at a very early 1,500 rpm, and the torque curve remains flat throughout the powerband.

If you didn’t know better, you’d swear that the 2009 Audi A4 Avant was packing a much bigger engine.

Audi A4 Avant

Of course, this engine’s ability to fool you with its size will depend on which transmission it’s mated to. Our test car came with Audi’s six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, and to be honest, we felt that it neutered the engine.

To improve fuel economy numbers, this auto box shifts up early, and often. Acceleration off the line is decent, but the authoritative shove we used to associate with the 2.0-liter has gone missing. Even if we bring the gear lever down a notch into “sport” mode, the A4 Avant still seems hesitant to show its more wild side. It’s not all bad, though: switching the transmission over to full manual mode will give one the ability to really wring out and enjoy the engine.

It’s just too bad that our test car didn’t come with paddle shifters.

We had to read Audi’s press materials to learn that the 2009 A4 Avant was more than a refreshed front fascia. The chassis and sheet metal are all new, but design traits like the pill-shaped silhouette and shield-like grille return. The only visual cues to alert one to the fact that this is, in fact, the ’09 A4 Avant are the slightly narrower head and taillights.

With our test car being a base model, we didn’t get the cool LEDs in the headlights, making it a bit harder to distinguish the new car from the old. But hey, we did get standard 17-inch aluminum wheels.

As always, the cabin of the Audi A4 is a nice place to be. Audi’s designers seem to have purchased a set of French curve templates before designing the new car’s interior, resulting in a cabin that doesn’t feel as cold and Germanic as the ’08 car. Our test car’s tan leather seating surfaces and bright wood trim also added to the overall feeling of warmness.

Like every other Audi we’ve been in, it’s easy to find the perfect driving position in the 2009 Audi A4 Avant, and getting behind the wheel of the car truly is a joy for those who enjoy the process of driving. The Audi A4 Avant’s cabin is vault-quiet, and thanks to the larger wheelbase, the cargo area is actually spacious and useful now.

But not all is perfect in the A4. Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) is now standard, and similar to BMW’s iDrive. it’s just not that intuitive to use. We don’t know how the controls are laid out in cars equipped with navigation systems, but in our nav-less test car, two knobs on the center console control everything from the sound system to the HVAC.

Functions aren’t clearly labeled on the buttons that do exist; you have to stab at a button that you think will do what you want, look at the screen to see if you hit the right one, then hit another button to choose a submenu, twist the knob to the function you want, back out of the menu, and then do it all over again because you changed the treble settings of the stereo when what you wanted to do was turn on the heater. We’re sure one would get used to it after a few months.

We’re also sure one would eventually get used to a daily punch in the stomach after a few weeks or so; this doesn’t mean it will ever be desirable. Still, the rest of the car is great, so we won’t let an otherwise small issue with the MMI sour us on what is, in the end, a truly fantastic car.

Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
Audi A4 Avant
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