By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays gets a first look at the 2009 Audi A4. It competes with the BMW 3-series, Cadillac CTS, and Mercedes-Benz C-class.
(rock music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com and we're in Wisconsin, testing out the redesigned 2009 Audi A4. Now the A4 hasn't been redone like this since as far back as 2001.
This year's model promises sleeker styling, more luxury features, and better gas mileage than before. And it goes head to head with cars like the Mercedes C-Class, the BMW 3 Series, and the Lexus IS. Check out this video for an overview of the interior and some of the car's technology, and check out our other video for driving impressions. The sedan's about five inches longer than its predecessor, and thanks to lightweight steel construction, that actually weighs less. And the headlights now have LED, optional LED wraparound daytime running lights. Those were borrowed from the R8 supercar. The cabin looks a lot like that in the A5 Coupe which was introduced a little while ago; and for a German sport sedan, it's actually pretty welcoming. You get in, and even in our all-black test car, the materials are low-gloss and soft to the touch. There's plenty of wood and aluminum trim. Looks very nice. And there's even some nifty convenience features like a center armrest which comes upward and extends outward. Audi's multimedia interface system is standard. We definitely like it better than BMW's iDrive, perhaps not as much as Mercedes' COMAND system. These are all sort of knob-based systems to help you navigate through the car's computer. This one has a lot of buttons down here, shortcut buttons, to kind of get you around to different screens. There's also these four large directional buttons here. A couple annoyances. The heated seats require you to press this button and then decide what level of seat heat you want. That's definitely one step too many. The navigation screen on the map, if you wanna scroll, you have to go to this other screen and then input your x-axis and your y-axis and turn the thumb wheel a dozen times. Audi says the back seat is definitely bigger than before, and I can attest that, I'm about six feet tall. That's where I'd have the seat to drive it. I've got plenty of headroom, and legroom's actually decent. There's these little cutouts up front here, kind of give me a little few more inches from my knees. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat is also offered. That's not something that every sport sedan in this segment has. Execution is absolutely fantastic. You'll notice that the rear shelf only comes down right here. It's a very high opening. It's also a very wide opening. You'll also notice that there isn't a seatbelt that's trailing off the rear shelf. Audi mounts their seatbelt in the seat itself. Equally impressive is the trunk. It's about even with the C-Class, much more than the 3 Series or IS offer. Nice wide opening, low liftover. You just put stuff right in. The floor of the trunk is very flat. Just very well, nicely executed. At cars.com, we love sport sedans as much as any other guy, but we really try to look at where a car stands in the everyday livability aspect. After a first drive, this Audi is very impressive so be sure to check it out if you're looking at any of its competitors. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.
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