The A4 is Audi’s top-selling line and it’s available in three different models and nearly 20 configurations in sedans, wagons and convertibles. Categorized as a premium compact car, it’s a fine choice for drivers seeking a sporty sedan that smoothly finds its way in any driving scenario via stellar steering and handling and a sophisticated design.
But not everything is quite right with the A4 and its price point, particularly considering several option packages, provides more than one reason to consider other manufacturers’ offerings.
My weekly test drive was the 2007 A4 sedan 2.0 T quattro AT6. It featured a 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower, DOHC turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.
The A4 is a handsomely designed sedan and its attractive body style and exterior color (ocean blue pearl) combined to attract a good share of attention. Add the platinum-colored interior to the mix, and the Audi is among the nicest-looking sedans on the road.
Audi’s other signature component is its aforementioned superior steering and handling. Every time I drove the car, I was impressed with Audi’s engineering and the savvy permanent all-wheel drive system (quattro). The A4 grips the road, the steering seems ideally weighted and the vehicle gets above-average quietness marks.
The instrumentation and console offer clean lines and the gauges are well-designed, but awkwardly positioned. Why, for example, are the controls positioned so low on the dash?
One major issue with the A4 is that it’s classified as a four-passenger sedan. The Audi has a rather deep and extended trunk, and as a result, even regular-sized rear seat passengers are pressed into tight quarters. There’s minimal head and leg room, the rear cabin is cramped and the entry/exit areas are tight.
The A4 has a long list of impressive standard features, but the vehicle doesn’t have seat warmers. While that may seem like a small complaint, many cars with base sticker prices $10,000 less have heated front seats among their respective standard features list.
My weekly driver included nearly $8,500 in options, including Convenience ($1,900, Premium ($1,900) and Audio ($1,000) packages. The Convenience package features Xenon headlights, dimming mirrors, power passenger seat, trip computer and rain/light sensor; The premium package includes the sunroof, leather seats and 17-inch double-spoke wheels and all-season tires; The Audio package includes a Bose sound system, and satellite radio.
Next add $750 for premium paint, $500 for Bluetooth technology, $250 for sport suspension and $720 for the standard destination charge and the A4 exceeds $40,000.
There are many reasons why the A4 is Audi’s best-selling line, and there are far worse vehicles in the premium compact class. But it’s hard to justify the A4’s price tag and its costly options when interior space and a simply feature like seat warmers are not available at any price.
The Weekly Driver: 2007 Audi A4
Safety Features – Dual front, side and side curtain side airbags.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) – 22 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway).
Warranty – Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles; (24-hour) roadside assistance program, 4 years/50,000 miles.
Base Price – $31,540.00