2009 Audi A4 Avant: All the Car You Need
August 03, 2009
I took the A4 Avant down to San Diego for a three-day weekend, picking my parents up at the airport along the way. The Audi provided enough space for four people (my girlfriend included) and a weekend's worth of our luggage Tetrised under the clever cargo cover. Although the Avant is hardly the most utilitarian wagon, it certainly provided more room than the sedan would while being infinitely better looking. But that's an argument for a another post.
For both the highway and city portions of the journey, the A4 was a champ. The 2.0T engine sounds a little ratty, but it provides just enough power for this sort of car, while returning 25 mpg on the congested freeway drive home. Indeed, more luxury cars could stand to have a turbocharged four-cylinder base engine in their lineup. The six-speed auto delivered quick enough downshifts to avoid overriding its judgment with the shift paddles.
The A4's small dimensions and nimble handling were also a boon around town, while the firm European ride wasn't so firm that it grew tiresome or sore over the craptacular freeway surfaces of I-5, I-8, I-405, I-110 and I-10. Impact harshness was a little much in downtown San Diego, though you'd need a Rolls-Royce to make that minefield comfortable.
In total, the Audi A4 Avant is the sort of "just enough" car that I would buy. Just enough passenger space, just enough cargo space, just enough power, just enough fuel economy, just enough handling, just enough luxury and more than enough style.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 16,414 miles