Audi redesigned its compact, entry-level A4 midway through the 2005 model year by giving it a larger engine with direct fuel injection. A4 competitors include the Acura TSX and BMW 3 Series, and for 2008 the sedan and Avant wagon versions of the A4 now come standard with the S-line package. An iPod connection kit is now optional.
A convertible (Cabriolet) is also offered, and each body style comes in 2.0T form with a turbocharged four-cylinder, or in 3.2 guise with a V-6. Sedans and Cabriolets are available with FrontTrak front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive. The Avant wagon comes only with Quattro.
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Audi continues to offer high-performance S4 and RS 4 series, both of which are listed separately in the Cars.com Research section.
The newly standard S-line package includes a trunklid lip spoiler, sporty side sills and S-line badges. Standard tires on 2.0T models measure 16 inches in diameter, but 18-inch tires are installed on sedan and wagon models with the V-6 engine. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights that can pivot during a turn are available, as is a Parktronic rear park assist system that beeps to warn drivers if they are approaching objects to the rear.
Sedans and wagons seat five people, and the seat cushions have prominent bolsters. S-line accents include brushed-aluminum pieces, special stitching and a three-spoke sport steering wheel. Standard equipment includes automatic dual-zone air conditioning. Leather seating surfaces are included in 3.2 models. The optional Audi Navigation Plus system has a 6-inch screen.
A 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powers 2.0T models. An aluminum 255-hp, 3.1-liter V-6 is installed in 3.2 editions. Depending on the model, both engines can team with a six-speed manual, six-speed automatic or continuously variable automatic transmission.
Side curtain airbags deploy from above the side windows. Side-impact airbags for front occupants are standard, and rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional. Audi’s electronic stability system incorporates Brake Assist.
The A4 is solid and appealing, joyfully tackling twisting roads and taking every turn in stride. Plenty of power hails from the V-6, in a civilized manner. Strong performance with the turbocharged four-cylinder is devoid of turbo lag, and it’s a tad more spirited. The manual gearbox shifts easily, and Audi’s automatic transmission works without any harshness.
Audi’s ultra-smooth multitronic CVT works masterfully and subtly. After slight hesitation during takeoff, the car moves ahead with some haste. Passing attempts at low speeds, however, sometimes yield a shortfall of response. You hear a little engine noise while accelerating with the CVT, but not much.
The Cabriolet was redesigned for the 2007 model year and featured a new single-frame grille. Behind that grille is one of two new engines, a 200-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 255-hp, 3.1-liter V-6. For 2008, the convertible can have an iPod connection kit, and the 3.2 trim level gains heated front seats.
Audi used last year’s redesign as an opportunity to upgrade the Cabriolet’s safety features, integrating side airbags into the front seats to protect occupants’ heads. The automaker reinforced the Cabriolet’s A-pillars to protect occupants in the event of a rollover, which also causes two protective bars to deploy upward, behind the rear passengers’ heads.
Four people fit inside the A4 Cabriolet’s cabin. Standard equipment includes a power roof, dual-zone automatic climate control and a large ski sack. Back to top