2009 Audi A4 Long Term Road Test

2009 Audi A4 Avant: Audi Two Touch

January 06, 2011

Audi A4 Avant_steeringwheel_web.jpgKia hired a former Audi designer to give its cars some snaz. Maybe Audi should consider an exchange program, hire some Hyundai/Kia designers to help with their baffling electronics interfaces. Yeah, I know this is more nitpicking about audio/info controls. I see your eyes rolling. I see them! Really though, c'mon...

A volume knob set off to the right of the gear selector in the center console. Two climate control knobs masquerading as volume and tune knobs. Multiple other commands accessed through the primary dial wheel and four-corner buttons aft of the gear selector - clockwise for scrolling up the menu, counterclockwise for down. Thumb the knurled wheel on the left side of the steering wheel to scroll on the small screen between tach and speedo, press to select. Don't push at an angle though, or you'll be zooming back up the list.

Touch, twist, thumb, press. Good grief, man. Working the audio and navi functions in the Avant keeps your hands busier than those of unsupervised 16-year-olds at the movies.

Audi A4 Avant_centerconsole_04_web.jpg

Like any car, you'd get used to it, I suppose. But should you have to? Especially when you're dancing around the $40k threshold and there are cleaner interfaces in cars half the price - like the Sonata or Optima? If this was just your weekend canyon bomber, it's probably no thing. But if this is your daily driver, as it will likely be for most folks, it seems an unnecessary compromise.

And I'm only talking the interface here, not performance or driving experience, so don't flame me on the wrong premise. Once you're on the gas in the Avant of course, music, talk and directions succumb to more immediate cerebral cortexian sensations.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Audi A4 in VA is:

$132 per month*
* Explanation