- Nicely detailed interior
- German ride and handling
- Available quattro
- Available rear-side airbags
- Rear seats are snug
- Wagon (Avant) not too spacious
- Multi-Media Interface (MMI)
The 2008 Audi A4 is a competent, high-quality entry-level import that’s in its last year of production.
The 2008 Audi A4 has been a longtime favorite of editors from TheCarConnection.com. In Avant wagon and sedan body styles, the Audi A4 is a great performer wrapped in a practical package. The current generation of A4 was new in 2005, and a new version is due for the 2009 model year--just around the corner.
To keep up interest in the current A4, for Audi, 2008 is the year that the company makes the more aggressive S-package styling standard on the A4. The look is bolder, with different front and rear fascias. Most everything else is carried over, and that's not a bad thing, since the 2008 Audi A4 is a tastefully designed sedan or wagon with one of the auto industry's best interiors.
The two body styles of 2008 Audi A4 are available with either front-wheel or quattro all-wheel drive. Power comes from a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines. A 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection inline-four that generates 200 horsepower is standard; the optional 3.2-liter V-6 is borrowed from the larger A6 and likewise uses direct injection to produce 255 horses. The four-cylinder can be mated to either a six-speed manual or Multitronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic in the sedan version; the wagon and all V-6 models offer a choice of the six-speed manual or a conventional six-speed automatic gearbox. The V-6 sedans and wagon include a standard sunroof, and all automatic-equipped A4s get F1-style shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, the latest version of Audi's Electronic Stabilization Program, traction control, and front-seat side-impact and side curtain airbags all come standard, along with heated washer jets, which are great to have when the snow flies.
Options include adaptive high-intensity discharge headlamps (an upgrade from the standard projector beam units) and a navigation system with Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI). We're not too crazy about MMI, as it's like BMW's iDrive. A well-designed conventional interface works better for us.
Dynamically, the 2008 Audi A4 is as excellent as ever, especially considering the enthusiasts from TheCarConnection.com tend to prefer more sporting rear-wheel-drive layouts.
Dynamically, the BMW 3-Series is the standard bearer, so while the Audi A4 is good, if you're looking for the best driving experience, the BMW is still tops. However, the Infiniti G35 sedan is an excellent choice for the enthusiast, as its standard V-6 is velvety smooth and its chassis is very sophisticated. The Cadillac CTS is also very capable and offers the room of an Audi A6 for the price of an A4.
The Acura TL, also front-wheel drive, offers handling nearly as sharp as the Audi A4's, but it doesn't quite match it, nor does it offer all-wheel drive. The same goes for the more luxury-oriented Lexus ES 350.