By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's David Thomas takes a look at the 2009 Audi A4 wagon. It competes with the BMW 3 Series and Saab 9-3 SportCombi.
(rock music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas of cars.com. And we're here with a 2009 Audi A4 Avant. Avant means station wagon, and just like the 2009 A4 sedan, it's been completely restyled. And we're gonna check it out.
So the reason you get an Avant over a sedan is obviously for the cargo space. Funny thing is, the Avant has 17.3 cubic feet back here with the seats up, and the sedan is 16.9. Basically there's no difference. The reason you get the wagon is with the seats folded down, you have some more utility. There's obviously enough space here to load more stuff, bigger cargo. But really, if you're just going to get groceries a lot and you just need simple storage, it's plenty big. Unlike previous years, the 2009 Avant comes with only one engine. It's a turbo-charged four cylinder with 211 horsepower, but it's plenty quick. It also comes with only one kind of transmission, an automatic. What's new this year is there's three trim levels. The premium, which we have here, is a base model actually, it starts at $34,500. You can move up to a premium plus, or the prestige top of line starts at 42,5. Now what you get with the base premium is actually a standard panoramic sunroof, standard leather, so really nice stuff. What you don't get are these cool LED headlights you've probably seen on other Audis out there. For those, you gotta move up to premium plus or the prestige model. Well you really see and feel that $34,000 starting price is in the interior of the A4. 'Cause even in this base premium model, you get nice leather seats, and it feels like a luxury car, even though this is the base model. Now one little problem is interior room is at a premium, as well. And I kinda feel a little tight, you can kinda see my knees bunched up here. So if you're a bigger person, if you're really tall, this might not be the car for you. There are some standard technology features packed into a base model, like a six disc CD changer right in the dash, an auxiliary input here, as well as a power plug right here. But you might wanna move up and get some extras if you're really tech-savvy. Navigation is an extra $2,500 on any base level. There's also iPod integration that goes right in the glove box. It's only a couple of hundred bucks, you definitely want to get that. Now where you might feel a tight squeeze in the room department is in the backseat of the A4. That's 'cause it's one of their smaller models. What Audi did a good job is they put some cutouts in the back of the front seat so your knees don't bang up against that front seat. I have it exactly where I had it when I was driving, I haven't moved it at all. I'm 5'10, I like to lean back when I drive. So it's kind of back pretty far, but even here in the backseat, I have plenty of room, I'm not really uncomfortable. So for a short drive, it would be fine. It might not be so great for young families if you're trying to fit some car seats back here, and we're gonna show you how. Well you might run into some problems if you have small children or infants and you need a baby seat in the back of the A4. Now, if you have an infant, they're gonna be facing rearward. That's the way you're supposed to have it. And you can see this standard size seat kind of protrudes into the front passenger area. Now when you're driving, let me tell you, you're going to notice that in the blind spot there. But if you have older children and they're facing frontwards, you could fit two seats back here for two children pretty easily, but you can see, there's not a lot of room here for the legs to hang off. You'd have to move the seats up a little bit. So it's a tight squeeze, but you can do it. Well there might not be as many options when it comes to engine choices. I really like what they've done with the base Avant for this year. The panoramic sunroof is really cool. The leather seats are luxurious and it's a really good-looking station wagon. It's also really efficient. It gets 21 miles per gallon in the city, 27 on the highway. That beats any of the competition in this class by far. So it's even a bit practical, despite its $34,000 luxury price tag. <v Announcer>For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.