2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro
2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro. Click image to enlarge

Related links on Autos
Autos’s Bring It On! home page

Manufacturer’s web site
Audi Canada

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

Review and photos by Paul Williams

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2009 Audi A4

Something you notice while driving the 2009 Audi A4 3.2 is its effortlessness. Not that the experience isn’t engaging, but there’s a level of refinement here that should continually validate one’s purchase of this vehicle. Everything fits, nothing rattles, shut lines are straight, controls operate precisely, shifts are crisp, and quality is evident throughout. For $50,900, as you would surely expect, the car delivers.

But our winter weather hasn’t. What a bizarre climate we now enjoy in the Ottawa region: a mere five centimetres of snow in the entire month of March, which is a time when residents typically battle mountains of snow at the end of their driveways, and Arctic conditions prevail. Not this year.

For our “Bring it On!” series, the A4 had little to challenge it, besides some heavy rain and wind. On that note we can report that the car is wonderfully stable, even in very strong crosswinds, and the rain-sensing windshield wipers actually worked (in many vehicles, they are often reluctant to keep pace). Likewise the automatic climate control system, which kept all the windows clear of condensation.

2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro
2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro
2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro
2009 Audi A4 3.2 quattro. Click image to enlarge

As reported earlier in this series, the A4 drivetrain – quattro permanent all-wheel drive, 3.2-litre V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission — is notably efficient and largely silent in operation. The car is comfortable to drive for short and long trips, and is unsettled by the broken pavement and heaves which have become features of our local roads.

Due to a substantial increase in size and wheelbase of the all-new 2009 Audi A4, it now offers improved space for rear-seat passengers. Width is up by 54 millimetres (2.0 inches), and length this year is 4,703 mm (185.2 in) versus the outgoing model’s 4,586 mm (180.6 in). Wheelbase rose from 2,648 mm (104.3 in) to 2,808 mm (110.5 in). So you can see that the increased length of the A4 is accounted for entirely in the wheelbase, which translates to a roomier cabin.

Despite the larger size, the new A4 is 10 per cent lighter than the previous model, which translates into sharper handling and a more agile feel on the road. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 6.4 seconds, which the A4 achieves with a barely audible roar from the exhaust.

Amenities are plentiful, from the side-sensing warning system, to the smart key that can remain in your pocket while you lock/unlock the doors and start/stop the vehicle via the centre-console mounted push button. There is also the electrically operated parking brake, the clever audio remote controls in the steering wheel, the internal power for the alarm system that resists tampering, effective ambient lighting, excellent audio system, and heated windshield washer nozzles, mirror and seats. Other than a navigation system or an upgraded audio system (optional extras), everything you need or may want is standard equipment on the A4 3.2.

The brakes may be a bit aggressive for some, but it’s hard to criticize effective stopping power. And the all-wheel drive system is so well-integrated into the operation of the vehicle that the end result is simply a stable vehicle in all conditions, with excellent traction from a standstill on slippery surfaces.

The Audi A4 3.2 was the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s 2009 “Best New Luxury Car over $50,000.” It just squeaked into that category, but even though it was at the “low” end of the luxury price spectrum, the high level of quality, excellent performance and pleasing style was sufficient to get the win.

We’ll get this car back next winter, and run it through some blizzards. I expect it will be fine.

Connect with Autos.ca