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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
“Overall layout” is “much more practical”
“Useful rear-seat legroom at last”
Car and Driver
The 2009 Audi A4 has a handsomely built, far roomier interior than the last version did. Wagon room is particularly generous, and though legroom in the backseat is good, the seat itself could use more bolstering.
Automobile reminds readers that the new 2009 Audi A4 is now “significantly longer and wider than the [BMW] 3-series and the [Mercedes] C-class.” This improves interior space greatly, giving the A4 “a roomy interior, to which Audi adds a generous trunk.” Edmunds says the added length “does more than improve the 2009 A4's ride and handling”—it also gives the A4 “some useful rear-seat legroom at last.” Automobile agrees, noting that there’s “more space for long legs, broad shoulders, and tall heads than before,” and that “the overall layout…is much more practical.”
Cargo carrying is easier in the 2009 Audi A4, thanks to that “truly huge (i.e. flat, tall, and deep) trunk,” Car and Driver reports. The A4 Avant wagon is even more useful; with 17.3 cubic feet behind the rear seat, it “approaches the trunk space in full-size sedans such as the BMW 7 Series,” AutoWeek observes. And “with the rear seat folded, the Avant's 50.5 cubic feet approaches the space in small SUVs or crossovers such as the Ford Escape and the Nissan Murano.” Though “the vast majority of Americans don't seem to care for wagon variants,” Popular Mechanics thinks “the convenience offered by the A4 Avant's fold-down rear seats, its hatch and its comprehensive array of rear load-support bars, hooks and nets is worth a close look.”
Audi’s interiors have received high acclaim in the past decade, and this time around, the 2009 Audi A4 scores more positive reviews. “The design of the A4's interior sets a new standard for small premium sedans,” Edmunds says. “Not only is it fantastically comfortable, but also it looks beautifully modern and wonderfully constructed — nothing feels cheap.” Car and Driver feels that “clear attention was paid to the haptic quality of the A4's various buttons, switches, and other ditties that one must twist, poke, or pull.”
Here TheCarConnection.com’s editors differ. Though the 2009 Audi A4 has great front seats and plenty of headroom for all, the rear seats aren’t that comfortable. The bottom cushion is short, the seatback angle is more upright than you might expect, and the seating position is low—though there’s plenty of knee room, at last. The interior still looks quite handsome, but TheCarConnection.com’s team prefers the last-generation A4’s cabin by far; its combination of wide swaths of wood trim and tightly grained plastic are superior to the new car’s flat-painted trim on the door handles, for instance, or the dash’s more prominent black plastic. Audi does a better job than most companies in matching plastic textures and colors, though, so the A4’s interior still ranks above those from BMW and Mercedes in this class.
The 2009 Audi A4 has a roomy interior with high-quality materials, though some seat and trim details need more attention.