The Secret of Good Design - 2009 Audi A4 Avant Long-Term Road Test

2009 Audi A4 Long Term Road Test

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2009 Audi A4 Avant: The Secret of Good Design

April 08, 2009

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What's the secret of the appeal of the Audi control layout?

Could it be a sound driving position, instruments that combine clarity with style, useful control stalks on the steering wheel, a comprehensive selection of readouts, soft-touch buttons, a proper interplay between analog controls and digital readouts, discrete adjustments for ventilation source, temperature and fan speed, a red night-vision light for every control touch point, and the best of the remote-control interfaces for the navigation and entertainment system?

Or could it be that the layout never really changes? Not from car to car, and not from year to year. As much as we like to talk about the human-factor goodness of the Audi control layout, much of the appeal comes from the fact that it rarely changes, so it's easy to use.

Sometimes the science of control placement can be just as simple as resisting the impulse to change the design just for the sake of newness. To experience the confusion of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz cabin is to appreciate once again the smart design strategy from Audi.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor @ 10,778 miles

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (5)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

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