2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro; photo courtesy Audi. Click image to enlarge
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By Paul Williams
2009 Audi A4
You may be thinking that winter’s over, so why are we still running our “Bring it on” winter driving series? But we’re writing from Ottawa, where snow often continues through March, into April, and sometimes – I know this is hard to believe – into May.
Guaranteed, my latest “Bring it on!” vehicle, a 2009 Audi A4 3.2, will have a full array of winter conditions against which to measure its quattro all-wheel drive system (and other features), even though many Canadians are thinking Spring.
The A4 is Audi’s most popular vehicle, and for many consumers “quattro” is synonymous with all-wheel drive. Our $50,900 test car is powered by a 3.2-litre, V6 engine that makes 265-horsepower and 243 lb.ft torque. Unlike many of the vehicles we test, this is a “base” car, with no options at all, although standard equipment is generous (which I think is the point of including a base vehicle in Audi’s press fleet). We’re driving an Aruba Blue Pearl vehicle, with light grey interior.
Included are a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, 17-inch alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, electronic stability control, “Up-Front” crash deployment technology (sensors determine crash severity and systems respond accordingly), Audi Side Assist (warns of vehicles approaching and vehicles in blind spot), rain and speed-sensing windshield wipers, bi-xenon adaptive headlights, headlight washers, and a back-up battery (in case the main battery is disconnected).
Convenience features include three-zone climate control, rear parking assist, Bluetooth communications connectivity, sunroof, leather seating surfaces, power driver’s seat, heated front seats, heated mirrors, “Homelink” remote garage door opener, multi-function steering wheel, auto dimming mirror with compass, satellite radio and a splendid 505-watt, 14-speaker Bang and Olufsen music system.