2009 Audi A4 Avant: Where are those controls?
March 08, 2010
The A4 Avant is one of, if not my favorite car that we have in our long-term fleet, so naturally I was pretty excited when I was offered the keys for the weekend. I could gush about how I like the way it looks, the way it drives, or that I like the added utility one gets with the wagon; but what stuck out to me the most this weekend was what I don't like about the car. Every time I drive an Audi I have to teach myself how to use a stereo again, and where all the controls are located. I wouldn't say that any of the controls are hard to use, but I also wouldn't say that any of them are intuitive either.
The two controls that constantly reminded me I was driving an Audi (and not in a good way) were the cruise control, and the dial on the center console that operates pretty much everything. The cruise control comes off the steering column, which inherently is not a problem however because of where it is placed it can't be seen from the driver's seat. If you look at the picture you can see the controls for the blinkers and the windshield wipers, but what you can't see is the third set of controls that is blocked by the spoke of the steering wheel. Unfortunately your view of these controls is blocked even when seated in the driver's seat.
My second complaint and I'll admit it's a small one, is the direction the user has to turn the main dial in relationship to the direction the curser moves on the main screen. If you twist the dial clockwise the curser moves up the list, and if you twist it counter clockwise the curser moves down the list. This seems backwards to me. To be perfectly honest I don't have a good reason as to why it seems backwards, however with no prompting from me my brother said the same thing while operating the radio from the passenger seat.
After a weekend in our Audi, even though the controls aren't as intuitive as some other brands, our A4 Avant is still one of my favorite long term test cars.
Seth Compton, Field Producer @ 23,669 miles