The idea of variability within a certain car model seems very rare. Vehicles normally come in a single format or at best two offerings. This does not cater to buyers who want certain cars depending on their power, reliability, or some other special traits, but they get stuck with a single body style. Most people rarely step outside of the body style that they know and love. However, Audi sees this gap in the market as a challenge and quickly accepts it.
The 2008 Audi A4 marks the result that includes multiple models and body types within a single car lineup. One of the primary selling points revolves around the idea that a driver gets to personalize his or her own vehicle with ease. It remains one of the few entry-level luxury cars available as a sedan, wagon, and convertible. However, the good qualities do not stop there. The A4 gets built for luxury both on the inside and outside. It easily morphs to please even the pickiest car buyer. As an Audi, it includes several innate characteristics in terms of performance and drivability. The A4 does not disappoint with its solid maneuvering and smoothly delivered power despite an array of engines that cannot be considered powerhouses when compared to the competition.
Body Styles: sedan, hatchback, cabriolet convertible
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 3.1-liter V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, continuously variable six-speed automatic
Models: Audi A4 2.0T, Audi A4 2.0T Special Edition, Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, Audi A4 2.0T Special Edition Quattro, Audi A4 3.2, 3.2 Quattro, Audi A4 2.0T Avant Quattro, Audi A4 2.0T Avant Special Edition Quattro, Audi A4 3.2 Avant Quattro, Audi A4 2.0T Convertible, Audi A4 2.0T Convertible Quattro, Audi A4 3.2 Convertible Quattro
Like all Audi cars, the tried and true composition of the A4 hardly ever needs to go through a massive overhaul. In this fashion the 2008 A4 only receives a few minor modifications. Styling changes for the exterior remain relatively subtle. The previously available S line sport optional package for both the sedan and wagon now come standard. This means that the front and rear bumpers get revised along with the lower side door trim. An integrated trunk lid spoiler has been added with a new front grille and of course the S line badge package. These changes cause the actual S line package to rearrange itself. The optional Sport Package has been modified to only include a sport-tuned suspension, a sport three-spoke steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, aluminum trim, and leather upholstery with distinct stitching. Meanwhile, the A4 Cabriolet features standard heated front seats. All A4 models offer an optional iPod interface as well.
One of the most successful aspects of the 2008 A4 applies to the amazingly styled exterior body. Its sleek appearance represents exactly what someone would expect from any high-class entry-level luxury car. A slightly low front-end slowly sweeps up along a very smooth and curve-happy body style, starting with the new grille added for the 2008 model year. It has a very aerodynamic and luxurious appearance. Even the wagon body for the Avant models conveys a sense of elegance with its sleek exterior that offers a smooth ride as well as increased functionality as a hatchback.
The 2008 A4 holds true to all previous Audi standards of letting a luxurious cabin really take the cake. Both the design itself and the materials are of the highest quality. The control layout feels pleasantly intuitive, but the navigation system takes some getting used to as it seems a bit clumsy at first. The seats feel very firm, which provides prolonged support for extended road-trips. Although those with more delicate backs might find them a bit too firm.
Performance & Handling
Despite the numerous models and body options for the A4, it only offers two standard engines. A two-liter, turbocharged inline-four produces 200 horsepower and 207-lb-feet of torque. The larger engine, a 3.1-liter V-6, generates 255 horsepower and 243 lb-feet of torque. While these two engines seem very smooth at delivering power, they do not meet the get-up-and-go elements of other engine selections in the entry-level luxury car market. Avants only offer all-wheel drive that gets controlled by either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The sedan and Cabriolet get a choice between front drive and all-wheel drive. Those with the smaller engine and front drive receive a mandatory continuously variable automatic transmission, while front drive on the V-6 and the all-wheel drive models can choose between the six-speed automatic or six-speed manual.
Safety elements that come standard with all 2008 Audi A4 cars include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, and front-seat side airbags. Full-length side curtain airbags come standard on both the sedan and Avant but not on the Cabriolet.
EPA Fuel Economy
Audi A4 four-cylinder: 21/31 mpg city/highway
Audi A4 four-cylinder Quattro: 20/29 mpg city/highway
Audi A4 V-6: 18/27 mpg city/highway
Audi A4 V-6 Quattro: 17/25 mpg city/highway
- Appealing cabin design
- Communicative chassis
- Varied body styles
You Won't Like
- Mediocre engine power
- Cramped back seat
A nice selection in the entry-level luxury car category with a reasonable price, a high-quality cabin, and pleasant drivability.
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