2009 Audi A4 Review
2009 Audi A4 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Luxuriously appointed cabin, above-average passenger and cargo space, good ride and handling balance, widely available all-wheel drive.
- Not as quick as many rivals, controls can be fussy, convertible employs previous-generation platform.
Audi's entry-level sedan and companion Avant wagon get a complete redesign for 2009. The new A4 is longer and wider, resulting in more interior room and cargo space. The optional Drive Select system allows the driver to customize steering, suspension and transmission settings, and a rearrangement of the front axle has yielded a less-nose-heavy weight distribution. New technology features include direct injection for both engines, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system and a revised version of Audi's MMI systems controller. The convertible A4, however, carries over from last year.
The redesigned 2009 Audi A4 sedan and Avant wagon boast more space, better driving dynamics and more gadgets. They're worth a look for shoppers desiring good looks and sharp handling.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2009 Audi A4 2.0T Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$187/mo for A4 2.0T Premium
A4 2.0T Premium
Avg. Midsize Car
Despite being a longtime top seller in Europe, the Audi A4 has historically trailed a distant 3rd behind those other German automakers' compact luxury sedans in the North American market. The folks in Ingolstadt are hoping to change all that with the newly redesigned 2009 Audi A4.
The new A4 sedan is nearly 5 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the previous model, which yields more headroom, more shoulder room and an additional 1.4 inches of rear knee room, as well as class-leading trunk space. Also new on the A4 this year is a pair of direct-injection engines -- the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and an available 3.2-liter V6 (sedan only). The 2009 A4 additionally offers a plethora of techno-gadgets, including radar-based adaptive cruise control, a new park distance control system and revised controls for Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system.
Driving enthusiasts will appreciate that the drivetrain's AWD layout has been adjusted to improve weight balance for better handling. In addition, the optional Drive Select system permits the driver to adjust ride compliance, steering effort and shift response -- there are three different preset modes as well as a personalized mode where you can mix and match settings.
Of course, the 2009 Audi A4 faces stiff competition, such as the more engaging BMW 3 Series, the affordably priced Infiniti G37 and the solidly built Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Since the convertible A4 is a carry-over from the previous generation, we'd definitely hold out for the upcoming A4-based A5 and S5 convertibles. But for those in search of a good-looking and sharp-handling compact luxury sedan or wagon with AWD and the latest technology features, the 2009 Audi A4 is a solid choice.
Performance & mpg
Two updated engines make their debut in the 2009 Audi A4 sedans and convertibles. The turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 in 2.0T models makes 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The 3.2-liter V6 boosts output to 265 hp but cuts torque to 243 lb-ft. The corresponding engines in the Cabriolet make 200 hp/207 lb-ft and 255 hp/243 lb-ft, respectively. Front-wheel drive is standard on the base A4 2.0T sedan and Cabriolet 2.0T; both are equipped with a continuously variable transmission. The 2.0T Quattro sedan comes standard with a six-speed manual, and its optional six-speed conventional automatic with manual control is mandatory on all other A4 models.
At our test track, the A4 3.2 Quattro sedan made it from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds -- not a competitive performance for this class. The news is better for the A4 2.0T Quattro sedan, which ran from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds with the automatic. EPA estimated fuel economy for the automatic-equipped 2.0T Quattro sedan is 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Going with the V6 drops those numbers to 17/26/20, but the base front-drive A4 2.0T manages an impressive 23/30/25. Convertible fuel economy is comparable.
All 2009 Audi A4s come standard with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags (except Cabriolets). Rear-seat-mounted side airbags are available as an option for the sedan and wagon. In government crash testing, the A4 garnered perfect five-star scores for both front and side impacts. Likewise, in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the A4 without the optional rear-seat airbags nonetheless earned perfect ratings of "Good" in both frontal offset and side impact crash testing. The carry-over A4 Cabriolet received the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset test, but the second-worst rating of "Marginal" in side impact testing.
The 2009 Audi A4's handling is remarkably neutral, a testament to its more balanced weight distribution compared to the previous model, as well as its available rear-biased Quattro AWD system. It won't win any drag races, however, even with the new direct-injection engines -- the V6's performance is particularly disappointing. That said, acceleration is smooth, and shifts from the six-speed automatic transmission are consistent.
The Audi Drive Select system -- which allows the driver to control ride compliance, steering effort and transmission responsiveness -- is an interesting concept, but it's pricy and can be finicky to use. Most shoppers will find the A4's standard (or Sport-packaged) suspension, steering and transmission calibrations perfectly adequate.
The build quality of the new A4's cabin mostly lives up to Audi's enviable reputation in this area. Smooth leather surfaces and plentiful soft-touch dashboard material impart an upscale feel, though some peripheral plastics are a bit lackluster. Small touches, like ambient lighting for passengers underneath the driver seat, add to the premium feel.
For 2009, Audi has relocated its MMI controls aft of the gearshift on sedans and wagons equipped with the navigation system, which makes them easier to access. However, the controls remain on the dash for the Cabriolet and navigation-less sedans and wagons. Other controls, such as those on the center stack and steering wheel, are generally intuitive and well laid out, though accessing certain features can be an exercise in frustration -- adjusting something as simple as the fan speed, for example, is a two-step process. An electromechanical parking brake eliminates the need to yank up on a traditional lever and saves space on the center console. The convertible's aging interior looks outdated by comparison but is still well-constructed and boasts high-quality materials. Trunk space in the sedan is an impressive 16.9 cubic feet. The drop top's trunk is smaller but still remarkable for its class at 13.4 cubic feet.
2009 Audi A4 models
The 2009 Audi A4 is a four-door compact luxury vehicle available in three body styles: sedan, convertible (Cabriolet) and wagon (Avant). The base A4 trim level is the sedan-only 2.0T FrontTrak, which comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Next up is the AWD 2.0T Quattro, which is available in all three body styles. The 3.2 Quattro trim is limited to the sedan and convertible. Note that the convertible's standard and optional features are listed separately below due to its previous-generation platform and equipment roster.
Standard features on sedans and wagons are clustered into three packages -- Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige -- that can be specified across the lineup except for the base Premium package, which is unavailable with the 3.2-liter Quattro. Premium models include 17-inch wheels, foglamps, a sunroof, air-conditioning, power front seats, leather upholstery, cruise control, a split-folding rear seat, Audi's MMI system and a 10-speaker CD audio system with a subwoofer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Premium Plus adds bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming side and rearview mirrors, Bluetooth phone connectivity, three-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an iPod jack and a six-CD changer. The Prestige rolls on 18-inch wheels and adds rear park distance control, keyless ignition and entry, a lane-change warning system and an upgraded 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The optional Sport package firms up handling (the S-line package for Prestige models is essentially an upscale Sport package). Other options include a navigation system with a back-up camera, adaptive cruise control, the Drive Select adjustable suspension system, rear-seat side airbags and a choice of wood trims.
The 2009 Audi A4 Cabriolet 2.0T comes standard with 17-inch wheels, an automatic soft top, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker audio system with a six-CD/MP3 changer. The 3.2 model adds 18-inch wheels and heated front seats. Major options include adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a navigation system, the last-generation MMI system and upgraded Bose speakers.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
2 out of 5 stars
2009 Audi A4 2.0T Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
I bought the Audi A4 2.0T Premium 4 door sedan from my best friend (30 plus years) and his wife in April 2015 with 38,000 miles. I was extremely happy with the car - especially the acceleration and road handling. The first week of August 2016, with 47,000 miles on the car - the check engine light goes on and some unholy sounds begin emitting from the engine block. After two mechanics, I … was directed to bring the car back to the dealer. After a day and a half, the verdict - motor and turbo are done. The dealer informed me that the motor/turbo parts were a mere $14,000! If I wanted to trade the car in, they would give me $500. Currently, the car is in a mechanic's shop in Brooklyn - it looks like the repairs, parts, labor will be around $11,000. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I had a Toyota Camry for 15 years and never once had to make a repair of that cost and magnitude. Or maybe I would be better off with a Hyundai. February 2017: Ended up paying $12,700 for a new motor, turbo and alternator from my friends mechanic in Brooklyn. Had contacted Audi and a personal service representative informed me that they would only pick up the costs if I had the car repaired at an Audi dealer. Spoke to a Vice President of Audi who directed me to their service website. I filled out a long, detailed questionnaire and NEVER received a response. My 2009 Audi A4 Turbo is running better than it did before these repairs. I have every intention of using the car through the end of the NY winter and then trading it in for a Lexus, Acura, or a Volvo. I've spoken with many mechanics who have agreed that it is near impossible for them to work on an Audi. Obviously, I will tell anyone to avoid the 2009 Audi A4 and the whole line of vehicles. The Audi representatives exhibited complete indifference to my problems with a 2009 line of vehicles that had a detailed history of inferior manufacturing problems. Additional: I traded in the Audi A4 for a pre owned 2014 Lexus GS350 AWD during March of 2017 that had 24,000 miles. I am extremely happy with the performance of the Lexus and the service received from the dealer - Ray Catena Lexus of White Plains. One final telling indication regarding the 2009 Audi A4 Turbo- it routinely appears as a Used Car to avoid in Consumer Reports annual car ratings. I'm aware that Audi manufactures several high quality vehicles but would not recommend an Audi based on my experience with the vehicle I owned. I will wholeheartedly recommend a Lexus & have two friends who have purchased or leased a Lexus based on their experience with my GS 350.
3.75 out of 5 stars
excellent design, reliability much worse than in the past
2009 Audi A4 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Went from the 2003 A4 model to 2009 - old model was a real german design - tight handling, powerful, good brakes. The new one gained in dimensions - you feel inside like in a mid-size car, but the steering is too soft, I guess to appeal more to american drivers. Just one note - the car is not anymore a 100% german car - parts are made in other parts of the world and the overall quality … has suffered. Have that in mind - repairs over the 4/50k warranty are very expensive both parts and labor - currently at 35k miles and thinking to trade-in.
4.38 out of 5 stars
Better than A5 Cab
2009 Audi A4 2.0T quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I have owned a 2009 A4 Cabriolet for about a year now and let me tell you the experience has been great! I wanted a convertible that was TRULY a year round vehicle, and this car definitely fit the bill. I looked at the BMW 3 series, Volvo C70 and Volkswagen Eos prior to purchasing this A4 and I am very happy with my decision. The 3 series is RWD which did not give me a good sense of … security when driving in the snow. The others (Volvo and VW) just did not have the aesthetics I was looking for. The A4 cab is just a beautiful car, and handles well in all types of weather conditions. The Audi A5 cab is also a very nice car, but for the price it does not make sense to purchase one.
2 out of 5 stars
Way Too Many Problems....
2009 Audi A4 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I love Audis, and have always wanted one for myself. I purchased my first Audi less than a year ago - a used 2009 Audi A4. It was fantastic for a few months....and then the oil problems started. Less than a year in and I have spent over $2,000 fixing oil problems which are not covered under the recent lawsuit. It really has made the car not worth it in the least. Additionally, the first … Audi dealership I went to, had the worst service I have ever experienced. STAY AWAY FROM AUDI OF WESTWOOD MASS! They literally broke my engine hood one of the times I had to leave my car there. Everything about them was terrible from misquoting repair costs to not getting the right repair done the first time. They are horrible. So yeah, love the car but it's unfortunately not worth it. Go for a Benz or BMW I guess.
2009 A4 Highlights
|Combined MPG||23 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$207/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood