What's New for 2000
All A4 models receive minor updates to the interior, exterior and chassis. The front styling has been changed with new headlights, a new grille, new door handles and new mirror housings. Inside, you'll find a revised instrument cluster and center console, along with other minor interior changes. The rear seats have been modified to improve comfort. There are now optional head airbags and xenon headlights. The chassis has been reworked for improved ride comfort and responsiveness.
Audi's A4 is sleek, sophisticated, speedy and has won praise from the worldwide automotive media. Small and safe, the A4 has scored well in government crash testing. For U.S. buyers, this translates into a competent alternative to the BMW 3 Series, the Acura TL and the Volvo S40/V40, among others.
For 2000, four versions are available: the A4 1.8T Sedan and 1.8T Avant Wagon, and the A4 2.8 Sedan and 2.8 Avant Wagon. The numerical designations refer to engine size. 1.8T models get a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that produces 150 horsepower and 155 foot-pounds of torque. Vehicles with a 2.8 designation have a 2.8-liter V6 filling their engine bays. The six-cylinder makes 190 horsepower and 207 foot-pounds of torque. Both engines can be ordered with a five-speed manual or a five-speed Tiptronic automanual transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard on Avant wagons and optional on the sedans.
Besides engine selection, the 1.8T vehicles differ from the 2.8 vehicles in only minor trim. The 2.8 Sedan and Avant have bigger wheels and tires, 10-way power seats, aluminum trim on the window frames, and wood interior decor. All cars feature goodies like automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, heated outside mirrors and windshield-wiper nozzles, an eight-speaker CD audio system, and 60/40 split folding rear seats.
Avant wagons have 31.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seat up and 63.7 cubic feet of cargo room with the seat folded down. They also come with a retractable rear luggage cover, a luggage net, and a three-point center seatbelt. Tether anchors for a child seat are now standard.
Audi buyers can also personalize their cars by choosing from three different interior themes: Ambition, Ambiente and Advance. The three environments, as Audi calls them, differ on the basis of the texture and appearance of the seat upholstery and the color and type of genuine wood or aluminum trim. Optional features include a Bose premium sound system, a six-disc CD changer, a navigation system sport seats and, new for 2000, xenon HID headlights.
Dual front airbags, side-impact airbags for front passengers and antilock brakes come standard. Head curtain airbags for front and rear passengers are optional for 2000. All A4s enjoy free scheduled maintenance for three years, as well as three-year/50,000-mile basic warranty coverage.
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. Pricing can escalate when heavily equipped, but the A4 is still one of the best entry-luxury sedans on the market.