2006 Audi A4

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$28,240

starting MSRP

2006 Audi A4

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Handling
  • Overall CVT performance
  • Quietness with V-6
  • Ride comfort on highway
  • Seat comfort
  • All-weather top on Cabriolet
  • Resale value

The bad:

  • Somewhat snug interior
  • Low-speed acceleration with CVT
  • Four-occupant capacity in Cabriolet
  • Cryptic radio controls in Cabriolet

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Audi A4 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Redesigned in mid-2005
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Available CVT
  • Sedan and wagon body styles
  • Easy-operating power top on Cabriolet

2006 Audi A4 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

So even if you want a luxury car, you might think twice, since most of these vehicles not only require premium fuel, but also drink it down faster than a college student on a bender.

But there are alternatives, and I’m not talking about a Vespa scooter.

How about an Audi A4? Specifically what Audi calls the ”Audi A4 Sedan 2.0 T FrontTrak CVT.”

In English, that translates to an A4 equipped with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with front-wheel-drive and a continuously variable transmission.

What’s the big deal? This number: 27.4 mpg. That’s not bad for a luxury ride whose performance, handling and accommodations compare well against such rivals as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac.

The A4 was all-new midway through 2005. The most noticeable thing about it is the large grille, which looks suspiciously like a large, open-mouthed bass rendered in a post-modern abstraction.

It takes some getting used to. Styling is a personal thing, and, well, I never was a fisherman.

On the other hand, the A4 is a real sweetheart of a car that comes in many guises. This includes a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive, four engines, three transmissions and two body styles (sedan or convertible coupe.)

Audi provided a vehicle whose basic drivetrain is at the bottom end of the scale, but equipped it opulently.

This includes a gas-saving transmission that constantly varies the gear ratios rather than sticking to standard five, six or seven preset gears.

The A4 also had the $3,000 ”S-Line Package” that adds a sports suspension, 18-inch performance tires, and S-Line trim.

There also was a $1,950 navigation system, $1,850 ”Premium Package” (auto-dimming mirrors, compass, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, power passenger seat and built-in garage door openers), $1,775 ”Technology Package” (high-intensity headlamps, adaptive lighting, memory seats and mirrors, trip computer and phone prep), $1,400 ”Sunroof Package” (a sunroof and leather seating surfaces), and a $400 Cold Weather Package (ski sack and heated rear seats).

XM Satellite radio added another $350. This made the affordable $27,840 base price balloon to $40,760.

But the car’s drivetrain is a mere turbocharged double-overhead-cam four mated to a CVT transmission.

It packs plenty of power, along with plenty of vibration at idle. Still, it feels like there’s more than 200 horses under your right loafer, and the CVT can be shifted manually, although I don’t know why you’d bother.

Just opt for one of the six-speed manuals instead. Sure, the 3.2-liter six-cylinder will be more refined than the four, but you’ll never see the gas mileage that this car returned.

Drive it like your grandmother and you might even see 30 mpg in mixed driving. (Note: Don’t drive like my grandmother _ she drove fast.)

The ”S-Line” adds a healthy firmness to this car that any German car lover can appreciate.

Cornering behavior is exemplary, with flat cornering characteristics and the firm stance Audi fans have come to appreciate. But try the seats before you buy, you might find them confining and a bit firm.

As for the electronics, well, it’s the usual user-unfriendly German-car mishmash of buttons, menus and sub-menus, although Audi’s screen seems a little easier to navigate than BMW’s, but not as easy as a Mercedes-Benz’s.

The audio system was every bit as good as you’d expect. XM makes it even better. If you’re a music fan, this will be your favorite option.

The only option that took some getting used to was the adaptive headlamps, in which the headlamps turn in the direction of the front wheels. Driving down a curvy back road at night is a bit unnerving, as the headlamps dart from one direction to another. Not a bad idea, but not one I’d pay a whole lot of money for, either.

What made this Audi so surprising was that I drove it the same week I drove a VW on steroids, the Bentley Continental GT.

While the A4 was no Bentley, there was enough of a familial feel, that climbing into the A4 after spending a weekend in the Bentley didn’t seem like such a bad thing. Whatever I missed in the Bentley was mitigated by the difference in fuel consumption.

So the A4, at least in 2-liter turbo form, gives its owner a European car, with all the manners the title implies, along with a heavy dose of comfort, convenience and fuel economy that outdoes many of its Asian competitors.

So even if the MSRP might pinch the purse, keeping an A4 fed will not.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

2006 Audi A4

I’ve owned this car for about a year and a half and I love everything about it very comfortable ride in with the Quattro all wheel drive it’s amazing in the snow the 2.0 turbo is plenty of power and it’s amazing on gas definitely recommend this car

3.6

Audi A4 quattro 3.2L engine S-Line package.

The car is a great reliable car will get you where you need to be. Very fun to drive if your into cars, a nice amount of power the handle is awesome. A little love and affection and your definitely going to enjoy this car.

4.9

The smoothest ride i have ever had

This car impressed me with its turbocharged engine, ABS braking, aerodynamics and 6-speed automatic transmission provided the smoothest rides. The only weakness of these engines are that only Audi-made ignition coils will last, other cheaper options will overheat.

See all 67 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Audi
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles after expiration of new vehicle limited warranty or from date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
300-plus-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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