What's New for 1999
Audi introduces the 1.8T Avant wagon to its lineup, while other A4 models gain standard equipment and new options.
Buy this car. Audi's A4 is sleek, sophisticated, speedy and has won praise from the worldwide automotive media. Small and safe, the A4 scored best in its class in the 35-mph offset crash tests performed in Europe upon its debut, and has performed brilliantly in stateside crash testing. For U.S. buyers, this translates into a competent and crashworthy alternative to the BMW 3-Series, Acura TL-Series and Volvo S70, among others.
For 1999, four versions are available: the 1.8T, 1.8T Avant wagon, 2.8, and the 2.8 Avant wagon. A 2.8-liter V6 engine, putting 190 horsepower through the front wheels, powers the 2.8 models. The less expensive 1.8T sedan, which features a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, is good for 150 horsepower. New to the lineup is the 1.8T Avant, which complements the 2.8 Avant sport wagon that was introduced last year. The new wagon is powered by a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with five-valve technology, and is available with your choice of two transmissions: an automatic transmission with Tiptronic or a five-speed manual transmission. The sedans can be ordered with front- or all-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission or an automatic. Both Avants are equipped with Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system.
Audi's 1.8T sedan features alloy wheels, a unique Sport package, new under hood insulation and a base price starting in the low 20s just like last year. Standard equipment on the more expensive 2.8 models includes the larger engine, wood trim and fog lights. The 2.8's eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support is exceptionally comfortable and a theft alarm keeps thieves from making off with the radio or anything else left in an unattended car.
Audi buyers can personalize their cars by choosing from three different interiors, at no extra cost: the Advance, Ambiente and Ambition. Avants come equipped with a heavy duty cargo net, retractable rear luggage cover, rear window wiper, 120-watt sound system with subwoofer and a roof-mounted, three-way antenna. Audi now offers aluminum interior trim, manual driver seat adjustment, black roof rails and window trim, cloth or leatherette upholstery and alloy wheels with all-season tires standard on the Avant models as well. New on both A4 Avants for 1999 is a standard rear child seat tether anchor.
The A4 features a multi-link front suspension that virtually eliminates torque steer, according to Audi. We've tried a front driver, and these claims have been substantiated. Dual front airbags, side-impact airbags mounted in the front seats and antilock brakes come standard. Purchase an A4 and enjoy free maintenance for three years and 50,000 miles. All 1999 A4s receive a modified cup holder in the center console, a larger right outside mirror, a First Aid kit and two new paint colors: Volcano Black and Jaspis Green.A short options list reveals that almost everything you need comes standard on the A4. With prices starting near $24,000, consumers can get a status car that is comfortable and costs less than it does to send your kid to college. We think that Audi has a winner with the A4: the affordable 1.8T, all-new 1.8T Avant, well-equipped 2.8, and sturdy 2.8 Avant will do nothing but enhance Audi's image with near luxury buyers.