AUDI A4 Quattro

Looks . Snubby
Performance. Relaxed
Handling . Refined
Ambiance . Sophisticated
Comfort. Cozy
Quality. Detailed
Stereo . Polka Box
Fun To Drive . Modest
Gadget Factor . Red Zone
Heads Turned . Halfway
Emotion . EuroThink
Cachet. Softy
Best Trick . Bad Roads


Sticker. $ 28,545.
Power . 172 hp
0 to 60. 9-10 sec.
Mileage . 22.7 mpg
Seating . 5
Trunk . 14 cu. ft.
Parking . Snap

Warranties :
3/50 basic
3/50 powertrain
maintenance included



Trying harder, staying hipper, this silver slipper of an auto is a very agreeable mate. EZ on the eyes and road, the A4 has a unique personality and distinct functionality that makes for a personal satisfying connection to the machine. You are happy to move inside it. You feel hyper aware in its womblike structure as you command this modernette. Smart, subtle, engaging and very well made, this Audi presents a not seen before combination. Stunning paint, silver on our tester, but the metallic gold green is the color. A piece, no doubt about it. Perfect city size.

The A4 simply works; in each and every detail, so well, so elegantly and so nicely detailed, that one is very impressed. I was. Fashioned with as much care and craftsmanship as I have seen from any marque today, the A4 has quality. The personality of this individual is a likable one, grounded and stable, fairly adroit, and neatly cushioned. The A4 handles the worst of roads, with the best of 'em. The black interior is more accommodating than a lawyer's office, and sure to please. Black leatherette, fine accents of wood and synthetics mark a refined cabin. The dash is eurofunctional, legible dials, square typefaces and quite useful, with the exception of the button-happy radio, which was just too much and too little to operate intuitively. The wheel was particularly good, proper leather, and a shapely hub, smooth to the hands and solid as stone. You feel in control with that wheel, exactly in control.

Controlling what? Well - only 172 ponies which enabled brisk progress, but not a stirring sense of speed. More will be coming with the new 5 valve version of the Audi V6, now appearing in Europe. Expect it here in a few months. Power with this engine is workhorse like, not disagreeable, but not exciting. The 5 speed electronic automatic was a very sophisticated shifter, which made the most of the slight underpower. Good on the gas and a good gas to blast over bad city streets, with the FM on solid. Well suited to traffic. Carved foam seats, with form fit & height adjustment. Smaller forms for the rear section, but adequate space for normal size folks. Big, box trunk with a wide mouth opening.

Little touches abound to reinforce the value equation, the A4 is lots more car for the money than any of its competition. V6, 5 speed automatic, Audi/Bose 8 speaker stereo, electronic climate control, one touch down and up power windows, tilt/scope wheel, headlight washers, 4 reading lights - you get it all, right - listing for under $28.5. Good value. The new Turbo 4 version is rumored to be just as nice for thousands less than the V6. A Quattro version offers all wheel drive, but adds more weight to a porky chassis, so performance suffers. Reliability is still to be proven, so consider the 3 year lease which includes all maintenance.

The A4, a sweet ride, very flattering to the ego and the ergo.