Home > Reviews > 2009 Audi A4 2.0T

2009 Audi A4 2.0T

Entry-Level Luxury Never Looked So Good

    Driving the new 2009 Audi A4 helps explain a lot of things. Like, for instance, how Audi actually set a new sales record of 1.03 million vehicles in 2008 while most other automakers’ showrooms looked like ghost towns. It’s not that there’s simply more power (there is) or a new technology (several, in fact) it’s that every single facet of all new Audi’s is an improvement over the replacement. And the latest A4 is no exception. We’re here to tell you the 2009 model is more comfortable, more powerful, more dynamically satisfying, more efficient and more luxurious than ever. Don’t believe us? Read on.
     It starts with a new platform that opens up the pinched confines of the previous A4 for more passenger room and improved ride and handling thanks to a front axle pushed about six inches forward. The resulting 110-inch wheelbase allows for an even higher degree of stability at speed. Like every other Audi we’ve driven this car likes to stretch its legs whenever conditions warrant. The revised quattro all-wheel drive system now offers a self-locking center differential and splits torque 40-percent front/60-percent rear under normal conditions to provide the rock-solid driving feel that Audi’s are known for. The ride is easily better than any A4 before it and Michigan’s poor excuse for highways barely interrupt the little Audi’s composure. Although little isn’t what it used to be with a body that is 4.5-inches longer and 2.5-inches wider than the last model the A4 now measures more than 185-inches long. That’s about 7-inches longer than BMW’s 3-Series. Clearly, the A4 is moving up in the world.
     A redesigned 5-link front suspension utilizes aluminum in many key components for increased strength and reduced weight. The aluminum front subframe and redesigned rack-and-pinion steering systems offer more proof of Audi’s sportier intentions with the A4. The trapezoidal link rear suspension borrows its design from the larger A6 and A8 range and goes a long way in providing that supple ride quality mentioned earlier. Although our press car didn’t have it, the optional sport suspension lowers the ride height by 0.79-inches and firms things up all around. Also optional is Audi’s version of the adaptive electromagnetic shocks used on high-end hardware from Ferrari to Corvette and even Audi’s own TT.
     Our particular car was equipped with the Prestige model option package that added 5-spoke 18” wheels and all-season tires. A superbly tuned brake system returns confidence through the pedal thanks to a firm feel and good bite from the 12.6-inch front/11.3-inch rear discs. Audi includes a standard automatic brake disc wiping feature that will unnoticeably apply the pads to the rotors every so often to dry them in wet weather. It’s a nice safety feature that has trickled down from the top of Audi’s lineup.
     We didn’t think it was possible but VW/Audi’s terrific 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 has developed into something even more special thanks to a bump to 211 hp and a truly impressive 258 lb-ft of torque. This engine is on its way to legendary status. It sounds refined, it’s smooth at any speed, lag is non-existent and it returns 15-percent better fuel economy than the less powerful previous version. With the newfound power 60 mph can be reached in 6.7 seconds and there’s plenty of power in the meaty midrange of this engine for passing at highway speeds. We tip our hats to the engineers that toiled on this one.
     Our 6-speed Tiptronic equipped tester always shifted smartly, but we’d love to see Audi offer their latest dual-clutch transmission as an option. Of course, we expect the available manual 6-speed would be a darling with this engine as well and save a few bucks ($1,250 to be exact) in the process. Setup favoring the luxury side of the equation as ours was we have very little to complain about when it comes to hardware. Yes, a more powerful V6 model is available, but you’ll pay handsomely for it and we can honestly say as long as you don’t test drive the V6 first you’ll be completely satisfied with the turbo and you’ll get 27 mpg on the highway to boot.
     Part of that commendable (considering this is an all-wheel drive sedan) EPA number is the new body’s amazing 0.27 drag coefficient. Usually vehicles with aerodynamics that good look like fish and the consensus among the AT Staff seems to be that this is definitely not a fish. In fact, we’d call it the best-looking A4 yet.
     The “best A4 yet” descriptor carries over inside where superb materials and all the expected luxuries combine into another standard setting Audi interior. Our loaded tester offered the latest MMI system, which is about the easiest to use among systems of this type. The seats are well shaped and comfortable and every control is a joy to use. Keyless ignition, Bluetooth, 3-zone climate control, 505-watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and Audi’s new blind spot monitoring system are all included in this car’s $40,825 as-tested price. A sum that we think represents value in this hotly contested segment.
     For the A4’s intended customer, that is, someone seeking luxury and comfort and handling in that order, the new A4 will make anything in its class seriously nervous. If it weren’t for the world’s current economic situation Audi would be charging to another record year with the 2009 A4 leading the way.

The Good:
Handsome, more powerful, more efficient, 4-year 50,000-mile warranty.
The Bad:
Touch-screen nav systems are more user friendly, a CVT is available but not the awesome dual clutch S tronic?!
The Verdict:
A strong value in the entry-level luxury segment that you can’t afford to pass up.
Categories: Reviews Tags: , , , , , , ,
You must be logged in to post a comment.