Audi's iPod interface is one of the worst we've seen. It works by reading a connected iPod as a huge CD changer. No information is given on the currently-playing track nor is there a means of selecting individual tracks, artists, or albums.
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One of our favorite features of the cell phone integration on the A4 is the way address book entries can be called up on the driver information display in the instrument panel, using the buttons on the steering wheel.
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We like the quality of the Audi navigation system's maps and direction graphics, but we're less enamored of the destination-input interface, which requires drivers to enter letters one at a time from a rotary letter dial.
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The 2008 Audi A4 is available with an optional 10-speaker Bose branded audio system ($1,000), which includes a subwoofer and Audiopilot noise compensation technology. The upgraded system sounded very good, with a rich, deep reproduction of bass, clear high and mid-range separation, and crisp vocals.
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The A4's 200-horsepower, direct-injection 2-liter engine delivers extremely sprightly low-end pick-up, especially when conducted using the A4's steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.
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With an MP3-equipped SD card inserted, music is selectable via the SD/CD button, which gives users the option of either iPod (select CD) or SD card (select MP3). Audi's MMI interface provides a straightforward means of browsing and selecting MP3 folders and files by name. One minor gripe that we had with SD card playback in the A4 was the fact that the "close screen" button is hidden from the drivers view when the LCD is opened, meaning that you will have to grope your way around under the screen to put it back up again.
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Sirius Satellite radio is available as part of the $1,000 Audio Package. Drivers can select music via the in-dash display or the LCD in the car's instrument cluster.
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To ensure that its superior performance characteristics did not go unnoticed, our test model's S Line Exterior Package endowed it with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, modified bumpers, and air inlets
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With its turbo-charged 2-liter engine and the acclaimed Quattro four-wheel drive system, the Audi A4 combines performance with sprightly handling and the availability of some stylish S-Line trim.
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Also part of the S-Line exterior package, the A4 gets a brushed aluminum belt-line trim, which accentuates its lines and gives it a flowing profile.
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