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STYLING | 8 out of 10
“Grows from one of the smallest…to one of the largest”
“Infinitely more presence”
Car and Driver
“Planted, sportier stance”
Interior has “clean, attractive design”
The 2009 Audi A4 sports a larger body with a sense of style like that of the bigger Audi A6, according to reviews from across the Web and the firsthand experience of TheCarConnection.com’s editors.
For the new model year, the 2009 Audi A4 has grown substantially larger in both sedan and wagon form. It’s “4.6 inches longer and two inches wider than before,” Car and Driver says, and it “grows from one of the smallest cars in its class to one of the largest, versus competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series,” according to AutoWeek. That increased size gives it “infinitely more presence,” Car and Driver adds. “Imagery doesn’t do justice to the new A4.”
Cars.com notes the similarities with Audi’s larger four-door and wagon. The new 2009 Audi A4 “isn't a radical departure from the outgoing model, but it now bears a greater family resemblance to the larger A6,” they report. Motor Trend likes the new “sculpted lines” and the “more aggressive front end,” noting that the changes give the A4 “a planted, sportier stance” that “holds the road with a new sense of confidence and enthusiasm.” Car and Driver approves of the new lighting applied to the nose, calling it “LED eyeliner”; Cars.com says these lights are “an uncommon feature, but they are very good at grabbing the attention of oncoming motorists thanks to the bright, white light they emit.” Popular Mechanics calls the new design “crisp and attractive, with a face resembling the A5 coupe.”
AutoWeek also reviewed the new 2009 Audi A4 Avant wagon and said it’s “good-looking to boot,” with “muscular proportions, short overhangs and gracefully arcing roof.” They argue that “the wagon is arguably more dynamic-looking” than the sedan.
The 2009 Audi A4’s cabin is entirely new, and it’s “a huge step forward,” in Car and Driver’s opinion. “Even without the sunroof, the space feels open and airy.” Motor Trend gives their approval to the “high-quality materials and clean, attractive design [that] continue to live up to Audi's stellar reputation as the industry benchmark.”
In TheCarConnection.com’s stint behind the wheel of the 2009 Audi A4, editors noticed the strong resemblance to the Audi A6—particularly in the “tornado line” that borders the passenger cabin from the front fender to the rear fender. The deeply cut-in grille isn’t a favorite detail, as it leaves a large opening in front framed by headlamps and air intakes that draw a squint on the car’s nose. The LED running lights are an interesting, forward-looking filigree. In general, the exterior shape is more balanced on the wagon.
Inside, the cabin has good materials, but to the staff at TheCarConnection.com, Audi’s stepped away from the styling that put it far above other brands. The new interior has more black plastic facing the front passengers; it’s angled more like a cockpit—or a battleship. It does have some wonderful details, however, like a thick steering wheel, a choice of brushed-aluminum or wood trim, and a more substantial look than either the rival BMW 3-Series or the Mercedes-Benz C-Class—as well as the ubiquitous starter button.
Some details are jarring, but the 2009 Audi A4’s handsome genetics are on full display.