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2009 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Audi, Automotive, Featured, Test Drives

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The all-new 2009 Audi A4 is longer, wider and lower with these sporty proportions following the new elevated driving dynamics of more power, a completely new suspension system, larger, stronger brakes, riding on new 18in. wheels and tires.

The dramatic new styling and higher performance is followed inside with more front and rear head and legroom, as well as new creature comforts and safety systems.

While the length and width are longer, the front overhang is shortened, and the hood and wheelbase are extended.  The refocused taut design is easily seen in the coupe-like, early sloping roof line turning the entire silhouette into a flow of elegance, while dynamic lines frame and emphasize the beautiful curved sculpted surfaces.

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The front fascia has a new, wider and lower single-frame grille with cat’s-eye Bi-Xenon headlamps featuring an embedded wing and a new strip of white LED daytime running lights to enhance safety.  The lower bumper features bigger, blacked-vanes to aid aerodynamics and stability and also house the foglamps.  Below in the center is a new splitter to help better manage the air coming straight at the A4 and increase downforce.

The rear is highlighted with larger, wraparound tail lamps and dual backup lamps.  A trunk-lid spoiler increases downforce, and the lower diffuser further helps manage air coming from the front to aid stability.

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The all-new Audi A4 cuts through the air with a very low co-efficient of drag of just 0.27 minimizing wind noise and further enhancing stability.  These new design enhancements for the A4 show the uncompromising quality of Audi today.

Under the skin the frame and chassis are stiffer and safer than before using new lightweight steel, aluminum, and other high-tech materials such as aircraft-industry bonding of joints for the first time.  New reinforcements and crossmembers are used in critical areas for the first time and completely eliminate any noise, vibration or harshness (NVH).

Audi offers two engine for the all-new A4 sedan.  The standard 2.0 liter, DOHC, inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine now features TFSI direct injection and Audi’s Valve Control technology that helps increase horsepower to 211hp at 5,300-6,000rpm and torque to 258lb.ft. at just 1,500-4,200rpm.

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The larger, optional 3.2 liter, DOHC, V6 engine delivers 265hp and 243lb.ft. of torque.

Both engines come standard with Audi’s smooth shifting 6-speed manual transmission.

You can option for the amazing Tiptronic 6-speed automatic with semi-manual shifting or full adaptive shifting in the D-mode.  Another transmission option new this year for only the 2.0 liter engine is Audi CV Multitronic continuously variable transmission that is smooth and quiet.  My test A4 came with the Tiptronic which allowed me to choose gears when I wanted to or to drive fully automatic with no hint of gear changes.

The A4 comes with Audi’s famed ‘Quattro’ all-wheel-drive system standard.  It has a self-locking, mechanical center differential that reacts instantly in all types of driving situations.  During normal driving 40% of the torque is sent to the front wheels and 60% to the rear wheels.  When required, the self-locking center differential redirects most of the torque to the axle with better traction.  That also allows you to shut off the ESP and EDL when taking the new A4 to it handling limits.

The fully-independent suspension is completely new and is one of the best in the A4’s segment.  It is lighter using more aluminum than before and features 5-links with the differential moved to the front and the clutch further back.  The front suspension features upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, continuously damping gas-charged shock absorbers and thick anti-roll bar. It has its own subframe to eliminate noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).  The Servotronic speed sensitive power steering system is more dynamic than ever with the steering box is now lower and fitted to the subframe increasing precision with quicker reaction to your inputs.  The steering wheel also has no reaction when driving over poorly paved roads, so the car goes where you point it to go without having to feel the bumps through your hands.

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The rear suspension also gets its own subframe that is torsion proof and non-flexing, to eliminate any NVH.  The trapezoidal designed 5-link setup features upper and lower wishbones, tubular anti-roll bar, aluminum components, gas-charged, continuously damping shocks and coil springs.  With the new Audi Drive you can set the suspension to ‘Auto’, ‘Comfort’ or ‘Dynamic’ as the shocks read the road surface up to 100-times per second, the steering gears tighten up for quicker reaction and the transmission reacts faster to your foot’s position.  I had it set mostly in ‘Comfort’ for a relaxed, more compliant ride at lower speeds, then when I wanted to go faster, the car reacted to my inputs much quicker for fun and safety.

As a result of the A4’s new found power and torque, and the higher rates of handling performance, Audi enlarged the front and rear disc brakes to more quickly slow the car down.  Up front are internally ventilated disc brakes, 12.6in., using new high-performance brake pads for the dual-piston calipers.  The rear features 11.3in. solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers using the same high-performance brake pads.  Audi also packages brake disc wiping as standard, including ABS, and EBD.

My Prestige level A4 came with 18X8in. cast aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with 245/40R18in. high-performance tires that exhibited great grip, traction and a smooth ride.

Inside is signature Audi sportiness, comfort and luxury with high-grade materials that are soft-touch and aluminum trim around all controls.  There is now more room for you and your passengers than ever.  The power-adjustable front seats are larger and more comfortable and supportive than before.  The center armrest is adjustable and opens to store a large amount of necessities and has 2-12-volt plugs for your electronic accessories.  Just in front are dual cupholders.

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A small open storage bin and the chrome/leather topped stick shifter plus the Audi MMI controls and buttons that are very easy to learn and use once you get some time behind the wheel.  You’ll also notice Audi’s new electronic parking brake with a chrome top that use pull up to engage, and push down to disengage.  The center stack is canted toward you to give even better reach to the controls, buttons and switches for the Audi Drive, audio system and climate system.  The climate control system is entirely new and more powerful and precise.

Sit back in the seats and grab the tilt-telescoping, leather-wrapped steering wheel that feels perfect in your hands.  The newly designed instrument is straight-ahead and easy to see and understand with a new 180mph speedometer, 8,000rpm tachometer and smaller gauges for engine coolant temperature and fuel.  Also new is the information display in the center with readouts of important subsystems, radio station, outside temperature, etc.

Up to of the cluster are LED readouts warning of other important subsystem problems.

All new Audi A4’s come with a standard 6.5in. color screen that contains readouts for the climate control system, audio system, etc.  It is easy to use in conjunction with the Audi MMI system.

Standard equipment not mentioned above in the new, larger A4 include glass sunroof, front/rear power windows with one-touch up/down, electronic cruise control, power door locks, aluminum beltline trim, Audi Concert Audi System with 10-speakers, 180-watt power, AM-FM-Sirius Satellite Radio and in-dash CD player, variable, rear seat air-ducts for helping to lead hot/cool air into the rear, intermittent wipers/washers, 4-grab handles for easy entry/exit, full perimeter carpeting/floor mats, halogen headlamps, dual map lamps, locking glovebox, leather seating surfaces, and 60/40 split folding rear seats with a pull down armrest including dual cupholders and storage.

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My all-new Audi A4 test vehicle came equipped with the Prestige Package that included 18in. wheels/tires, Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 14-speakers, AM-FM-Sirius Satellite Radio, 6-CD changer and Surround Sound, electronic parking brake, advanced key entry, push button start/stop, Xenon headlamps, LED running lamps, Bluetooth hands-free communications, three-zone climate control, heated front seats, Homelink Garage Door opener, exterior chrome window trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass direction, Audi Music Interface, memory for driver and 2-others with memory for the seats and outside mirrors, Driver Information System with trip computer and rain-sensing wipers/washers.

My all-new Audi A4 also came with these options-Audi Drive Select, Navigation Package with backup camera, DVD based Audi Navigation, voice control, color driver information system and rear sensors, and ash almond beige wood trim.

Standard safety features include driver/front passenger two-stage airbags, driver/front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, Safeguard inflatable curtain airbags, electronically adjustable/heated side mirrors, 3-point safety belts for all passengers with front load limiters/all pretensioners, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, anti-theft vehicle alarm system with immobilizer, LATCH system for child seats, an all-new lane departure warning system and an all-new safe lane change warning system.

The all-new 2009 Audi A4 is now one of the best entry level luxury sedans on the market with a larger interior, driving dynamics not found in any of the competition.

While expensive, with a base price of $32,700.00, it is worth it when you want a prestige vehicle that can seat 4-adults comfortably and return a good 21mpg/city and 27mpg/highway mileage rating.  My fully loaded test model was stickered at $46,675 with destination charges, a little steeper than I thought but well worth it.

COPYRIGHT:2009:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: MSRP $32,700 As-Tested $46,675

Type: Midsize Sedan
EPA Class: Compact Cars

Dimensions

Exterior
Length: 185.2 in.
Width: 71.9 in.
Height: 56.2 in.
Wheel Base: 110.6 in.
Curb Weight: 3715 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 40 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 55.5 in.
Rear Head Room: 37.5 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 54.3 in.
Luggage Capacity: 16.9 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 34 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 4
Base Engine Size: 2 liters
Base Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 211 hp
Max Horsepower: 5300 rpm
Torque: 258 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 1500 rpm
Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 37.4 ft.
0-60mph: 6.7 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.9 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 21 mpg / 27 mpg / 23 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 354.9 mi. / 456.3 mi. / 388.7 mi.

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