Test Drive: 2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Sport  car test drives luxury cars audi
Test Drive: 2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Sport  car test drives luxury cars audi
2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Sport. Click image to enlarge

So Darth Vader’s sport wagon looks mean enough, yet behind this visage lies a garden variety 2.0T – a two-litre direct-injection turbo four delivering its 211 hp from 5,300-6,000 r.p.m. and 258 lb.-ft. from 1,500-4,200 r.p.m. to all four corners via a six-speed Tiptronic auto and quattro drive. Not quite a sheep in wolf’s clothing, but pretty close. It’s eager enough, but the Avant’s 1,730 kg and all-wheel drive system ensure the little turbo four works for its keep.

This car would be very nice with the 265 hp version of this engine found in the TTS. But if outright speed isn’t your thing, the A4 Avant exhibits all the traits that make an Audi an Audi – exquisite build quality and attention to detail, lovely interior, silken composure and high levels of comfort – at least for the front occupants. Back seat room is tight for those long of leg.

The lowered ride height and wide sticky Pirelli’s imbued the wagon with some grippy, and largely neutral handling on my back road test loop, and the Tiptronic responded quite quickly to inputs from the paddle shifters – not as slick as Audi’s S tronic twin-clutch 7-speed tranny, but better than any Tiptronic in recent memory.

Surprisingly, the A4’s ride was quite compliant considering its low profile footwear.

Test Drive: 2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Sport  car test drives luxury cars audi
2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Sport. Click image to enlarge

But as with most Audis (R8, S5 and S4 excepted) the steering is over-assisted at low speeds, and while it does firm up at speed, the helm is never truly involving.

The Avant variant turns this A4 into a more useful hauler, offering 490 litres of load space behind the rear seats, expanding to 1430 with the seats folded.

While this press car is an interesting showcase of available accessories, I can’t imagine many people would spend that kind of coin to dress up an A4 Avant. Indeed, my local dealer in wealthy Oakville had never installed any of these bits.

When you consider the 2010 S4 with its 333-hp supercharged V6 starts around 53 grand, it might make more sense to try to import the European S4 Avant. Or buy the S4 sedan and have your local custom shop graft on the rear box.

Pricing: 2009 Audi A4 Avant 2.0T Premium
  • Base price: $47,000
  • Options: $22,661 (Rear side airbags, $500; Sport Package, $1,800; Technology Package, $2,200; Navigation Package, $3,500; Bang and Olufsen audio, $1,100; Audi Genuine Accessory body kit, $2,661.05; body kit painting and installation, $2,700; 19-inch Hollow Spoke BBS wheels with 255/35R19 Pirelli Pzero tires, $8,200)
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Freight: $800
  • Price as tested: $70,561
    Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives

    Specifications
  • Specifications: 2009 Audi A4

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    Competitors
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2009 BMW 3 Series Touring
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2009 Saab 9-5 SportCombi
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2009 Volvo V70

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • Pages: 1 2 All

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