What's New for 2001
The entire Audi lineup receives a new 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and no-charge scheduled maintenance, a 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation, and 24-hour roadside assistance for four years. All A4s are now equipped with head protection airbags, have lengthier oil change intervals and an optional Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP). The 1.8T engine gets a horsepower boost from 150 to a racy 170 and meets ULEV standards.
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, among others.
For 2001, 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. The 1.8T models get a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine that now produces 170 horsepower and 166 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 models 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 a new Sport 3-spoke steering wheel with Tiptronic control buttons for the auto tranny, 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 standard as well.
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 by the texture and appearance of the seat upholstery and the color and type of genuine wood or aluminum trim. Main options offered by Audi include a Bose premium sound system, a six-disc CD changer, a navigation system, and sport seats.
With prices starting in the mid-20s, consumers can get a status car that's 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.