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Audi updated its A4 small sedan for 2009, with new styling cues, a returned engine, and an upgraded interface for accessing car systems.
Audi works its blade styling, first seen on the R8, into the air intakes and grille of the new A4.
LED parking lights are starting to work their way through the Audi model line-up, originally on the R8 and S5, and now on the A4.
Our Audi was equipped with the 3.2-liter V-6, a pretty capable engine for this car. A turbocharged 2-liter four cylinder is also available.
Audi moved the center differential forward, letting it move the front axle forward, as well. Here you can see that the front wheels are almost at the bumper.
Quattro is now standard on all A4s, and is enhanced with a rear differential that sends torque between the two rear wheels.
Trunk space is small, but reasonable. We fit a case of wine under the cargo net, which held it in place through some spirited driving.
We also found that the bottle holders in the doors are the perfect size for a bottle of wine.
The interior abounds with luxury materials, including wood insets. But that's not a surprise when we consider that the car costs close to $50,000.
Dynamic steering is a new technology for the A4 that adjusts the turn ratio depending on speed. The A4 also uses electric power steering to save gas.
As in previous Audis, the A4 has a small LCD between the tach and speedometer for showing trip, audio, and navigation information.
The six-speed automatic transmission has a manual mode, but it doesn't feel like a high-performance transmission, exhibiting some slush.
Drive Select is a new feature that lets you choose comfort or sport characteristics for the car's steering, suspension, and transmission.
The blind spot warning system turns on LEDs in the mirror casing when a car is in the lane next to the A4.
Among all the updates for 2009, the navigation system was left out. It is still DVD-based and offers no advanced features.
Destination entry is a little tedious with this rotary dial input method.
The telephone system works very well, and can download your phone's contact list so you don't have to enter numbers.
The Audi Music Interface lets you plug in an iPod or USB adapter, among other devices. Sirius satellite radio is also an option.
Audi has this unique interface for playing music. You can browse for music on an iPod by genre, artist, and album. On a USB drive, you have to browse through folders.
The optional Bang & Olufsen audio system has a 505-watt amplifier and 14 speakers, producing excellent sound quality.