What's New for 2007
The most significant change for the 2007 Audi A4 family is the updating of the Cabriolet body style. In addition to adopting the refreshed styling and hardware already on the sedan and wagon, the Cabriolet features a new acoustic top that promises a quieter ride. Other updates this year include a revised "Symphony" audio system, which can now play MP3-encoded CDs, and some shuffling of features. The 2.0T gains a new four-spoke steering wheel but loses the option of having a driver seat/mirror memory feature or heated rear seats. The 3.2 gets a standard sunroof (excluding Cabriolet versions) and paddle-shifters for automatic transmission-equipped models. Finally, satellite radio choice is now limited to Sirius, and Audi's free maintenance program has been discontinued.
Introduced in the mid-1990s, the Audi A4 was the vehicle responsible for kicking the company out of its late '80s and early '90s funk. With its classy styling, comfortable ride, well-weighted steering and buttoned-down suspension, that first A4 attracted a whole new fan base for Audi. More than a decade later, the latest A4 (now in its third generation) is still taking up the point position.The 2007 Audi A4 may be the company's entry-level luxury car, but it doesn't give much away except space to its larger siblings. A stylish cabin boasting fine fit and finish is one evident Audi trait, and the A4 upholds this tradition. But there's more to the A4 than just a nice interior. Thanks to its available quattro all-wheel-drive system, the A4 is capable of providing both enhanced traction on slippery roads and better road-holding on dry pavement. Additionally, Audi has fitted the car with two impressive direct-injection engines: a powerful yet relatively frugal turbocharged 2.0-liter engine called the 2.0T, and a sweet-sounding 3.2-liter V6.The major news for the 2007 A4 is a full update for the Cabriolet body style. For the past couple of years, it was a bit behind in terms of receiving the latest mechanical A4 hardware. This year, the 1.8-liter turbo four and 3.0-liter V6 are gone and replaced with the 2.0T and 3.2. Other updates for the Cab include new exterior styling, a revised suspension design and a new, quieter convertible top.Aimed chiefly at BMW's 3 Series, the 2007 Audi A4 isn't quite as involving a drive as that benchmark sport sedan from Bavaria. The Audi also faces solid competition from the Lexus IS and the Volvo S40. But with a price tag thousands less than the Bimmer, a richer cabin than any of them, a wider choice of body styles and a well-rounded personality, the Audi A4 is a mandatory consideration for those shopping in the sport-oriented entry-level luxury car market.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Audi A4 is available in a full spectrum of body styles including sedan, convertible (Cabriolet) and wagon (Avant). The names of the two trim levels indicate which engine is employed: 2.0T and 3.2. The 2.0T's standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, an in-dash six-CD changer and, for convertibles, an automatic top. The 3.2 adds 17-inch wheels, leather seating (with a power front-passenger seat) and real wood cabin accents.
For those wanting more, Audi offers three main option packages. The S line Package includes sport suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels with 235/40 performance tires, unique front and rear fascias and aluminum cabin accents. The Premium Package (available for the 2.0T) includes a glass sunroof, leather seating and 17-inch wheels. The Convenience Package includes a HomeLink transmitter, rain-sensing wipers, a power passenger seat, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a trip computer and auto-dimming mirrors. Stand-alone options include Sirius satellite radio (which includes a Bose premium sound upgrade), a navigation system, power rear and manual side sunshades, rear parking sensors, and various wood and metallic cabin accents.
Powertrains and Performance
A pair of feisty engines sees duty in the Audi A4. The A4 2.0T comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four, good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, while the A4 3.2 has a 3.2-liter V6 with 255 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Direct-injection technology for both engines means crisp, linear response. The 2.0T is a little light on torque down low, but once the tach sees 2,500 rpm, there's plenty of pull on tap. It's also pretty frugal, with an EPA highway mileage estimate that's more than 30 mpg. All wagons come with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive as standard, while the sedans and Cabriolets can be had in either front-wheel-drive or quattro guise. Buyers who choose an A4 quattro can have either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while front-drive A4s (except for the 2.0T sedan) come only with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that functions like a regular automatic but has no fixed gear ratios.
Virtually every modern safety feature, including stability control, antilock brakes (with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist), front seat-mounted side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (except on Cabriolets) comes standard on the A4. Rear seat-mounted side airbags and a tire-pressure monitor are optional. In NHTSA crash tests, the A4 scored four stars out of five in frontal crashes, while side impact testing garnered five stars for front occupants and four stars for rear occupants. In IIHS crash testing, the A4 received the highest score possible of "Good" in both the frontal-offset and side-impact categories.
Interior Design and Special Features
Artfully designed and furnished with high-quality materials, the A4's cabin impresses immediately and continues to do so even after one has had the car for awhile. The seats may seem too firm for some folks, but they prove supportive and comfortable on long trips. Most controls are fairly intuitive, though the navigation system, like that of most German cars, takes some acclimatization. The new Cabriolet features an optional "Acoustic Top" that has more sound insulation than the prior soft top and thus promises a quieter ride, especially at freeway speeds. Maximum cargo capacity stands at 13.4 cubic feet for the sedan, while for the wagon, it's 27.8 cubes with the rear seats up and 60.6 cubes with those seats folded down.
The 2007 Audi A4 is one of the most balanced cars in the entry-luxury segment in terms of ride and handling. It's comfortable in day-to-day driving, as the suspension soaks up most bumps and potholes. A4s equipped with the "S line" sport package provide expanded handling capabilities with less body roll and more outright grip. While the A4 still isn't as razor-sharp as the BMW 3 Series, the extra foul-weather traction afforded by the quattro all-wheel-drive system could justify the trade-off for many drivers.