Premium compact car; Built in Germany
  • 2-door convertible
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,200 – $43,800*


2009 Audi A4 Front


2009 Audi A4 Rear


2009 Audi A4 Interior


2009 Audi A4 Wagon Rear


2009 Audi A4 Front-2

Pros:
  • Acceleration (S4)
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Interior materials
  • Ride (2.0T)
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Navigation-systems controls
  • Fuel economy (S4)
  • Rear-seat room (2009 Cabriolet)

All A4s are Recommended picks because they’re fun to drive and offer relatively good value compared to other cars in the class. The 2.0T four-cylinder engine delivers respectable acceleration and fuel efficiency, though it lacks the smooth power delivery and premium feel of rival six-cylinder engines. In any form, these Audis are solid, sophisticated premium compacts that match anything in their class for performance, dynamic balance, features, and materials quality.

Overview

Audi’s premium compact sedan was redesigned for 2009, growing in size and gaining power. The German automaker’s top-selling car line included four-door sedans and Avant wagons in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Also offered was the Cabriolet convertible, but that model continued for one more season with the 2008 body style. So did the 340-horsepower V8 high-performance S4 version of the Cabriolet. Sedans and Avants came in 2.0T form and contained a turbocharged 211-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The 3.2 quattro came in sedan form only with a 3.2-liter V6 that produced 265 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT), which performs much like a conventional automatic, was standard on front-wheel-drive 2.0Ts. The 2.0T quattro models were available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.2 quattros were automatic-only. All body styles could have Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive, but the four-cylinder sedan and convertible were available with front-wheel drive instead.

Standard safety features included antilock brakes, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, rear side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Other available features included a navigation system; Audi’s MMI control for audio, climate, and other functions; a self-opening trunk lid; Audi Drive Select, which allowed the driver to customize steering and suspension settings; blind-spot alert; keyless entry and starting; a wireless cell-phone link; and a rearview camera. With its A4 line, Audi competed against the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Saab 9-3.

Yearly Updates

2010 A4
A revived and refreshed high-performance S4 sedan joined the 2010 lineup, but the redesigned Cabriolet became part of the A5 series. Offered only with quattro all-wheel drive, the new S4 held a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that generated 333 horsepower. Transmission choices for the S4 includes a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual, which behaved much like an automatic. Riding on 18-inch tires, the S4 had unique exterior and interior trim. Every A4 model had a turbocharged four-cylinder this year, as the V-6 powered 3.2 quattro was discontinued. A4 sedans were available with a CVT and front-wheel drive, but wagons were AWD-only. LED taillamps now were installed on Premium Plus and Prestige models, and the third-generation MMI system gained Sirius traffic information. Bang & Olufsen premium audio was optional on Premium Plus models.
2011 A4
The 2011 Audi A4 2.0T received a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
2012 A4
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Audi A4.
2013 A4
The 2013 Audi A4 got tweaked exterior and interior styling and drops its Avant wagon body style. Also, some new technology options are available.
2014 A4
The Audi A4 had few changes for 2014.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Audi’s A4 was available with a choice of four-cylinder or V6 power in 2009, but the V6 dropped out for 2010. In 2.0T models, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder develops 211 horsepower (220 for 2014), while the 3.2-liter V6 in 3.2 models generates 265 hp. A 4.2-liter V8 went into the high-performance S4 Cabriolet for 2009. Four-cylinders might mate with a six-speed manual gearbox, six-speed automatic transmission (eight-speed starting in 2011), or continuously variable transmission (CVT). The V6 came only with the six-speed automatic, but the 2009 S4’s V8 could drive a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 generating 333 horsepower went into high-performance 2010 S4 models. Front-drive and quattro all-wheel drive have been available.

Turbocharged dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 211
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

22/30

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 211
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
8-speed automatic
21/27
21/29
Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 211
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic

23/30

Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/195
Engine HP 265
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 243
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/26

Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 333
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual

18/27

Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 333
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
7-speed automatic

18/28

1. Turbocharged I4 horsepower increased to 220 for 2014.

Road Test

Acceleration with the 2.0T engine is strong at any speed, though it can be slow to respond to throttle inputs at highway speeds when mated to the six-speed automatic transmission. We have not yet had the opportunity to test an A4 with the eight-speed automatic introduced for 2011. A test 2009 Cabriolet with the 3.2 V6 also proved strong from any speed, but suffered annoying non-linear power delivery. The 2010 S4 sedan is not neck-snapping off the line, but delivers impressive acceleration once underway. The S4’s seven-speed automated manual transmission generally delivers quick, crisp shifts, but may balk occasionally.

Fuel economy isn’t bad with the turbo four. A test 2.0T sedan averaged 22.5 mpg with more city driving than highway use. A test S4 averaged a less-frugal 17.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Worse yet in city driving was a 2009 V6 Cabriolet, averaging 16.0 mpg. Audi recommends premium-grade gasoline for all models.

A4 models are impressively solid. The 2.0T sedans are generally supple and composed over just about every type of road surface. An S4 sedan is similarly composed, though its sport suspension and 18-inch tires make for a stiffer ride over sharp bumps and rough pavement. The 2009 Cabriolets suffer impressively little body quiver that’s typical of convertibles.

These are true drivers’ cars, excelling in steering/handling. Steering is nicely weighted and direct. An A4 adeptly balanced around-town maneuverability with sporty road manners. As expected, the S4 yields sharper moves all-around. One test S4 equipped with winter tires performed admirably in snowy conditions.

Road and wind noise are well muffled on all A4/S4 models. Though smooth overall, the 2.0T engine doesn’t quite match the overall refinement of Audi’s (or other German automakers’) six-cylinder engines. Audi’s V6 engine purrs at cruise and snarls discreetly at full throttle. The S4’s supercharged V6 emits a sporty, sophisticated growl that should please enthusiasts. Cabriolets show modest top-up wind noise and minimal top-down buffeting, the latter helped by the available wind deflector (if installed).

Gauges are clear and well-lit. The dual-zone automatic climate system is a bit complex, and its controls are awkwardly low on the dashboard. Audi’s MMI control system absorbs most audio and some climate functions, so it can be distracting. In all models, the front center armrest blocks use of the handbrake lever and cupholders. As expected from Audi, A4 cabins impress for their classy design, materials, and workmanship. The S4’s sport seats, steering wheel, and carbon-fiber-look trim add a suitably sporty vibe.

Front seats are firm and comfortable in both A4 and S4 models, with ample headroom and legroom, though the center console steals enough knee space to annoy some drivers. Rear seats are supportive and nicely contoured, which helps on longer trips, but sedans have only adequate headroom, and legroom is tight behind taller drivers. Cabriolets are cramped, with taxing entry/exit.

Sedans have a long but narrow trunk, which offers more actual space than most cars in this class. The 2009 convertible’s trunk shrinks from small to tiny with the top down. Cabin storage ranks as subpar, limited to the glovebox, door map pockets, and a small center console bin.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 Audi A4

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 62

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.5 180.0 75.0 54.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.2 18.5 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.0 36.3 41.3 32.4
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
110.6 185.2 71.9 56.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.0 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.0 37.5 41.3 35.2
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
110.6 185.2 71.9 56.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
50.5 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.4 38.2 41.3 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2009 A4 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioner may quit due to failure of the A/C temperature/pressure switch. (2009
Cruise control
Description: Adaptive cruise control may deactivate if there is snow or dirt on sensor. (2013-14)
Doors
Description: The door gaskets may come loose due to poor adhesive. They may need replacement if more than 4 inches has come loose. (2009)
Engine misfire
Description: A loose camshaft-adjustment-valve filter may cause engine to run irregularly. (2013-14)
Engine misfire
Description: The turbocharger waste gate flap may be loose on cars. (2009)
Ignition switch
Description: If something other than the ignition key (the wrong key, for instance) is inserted in the ignition lock, the remote keys will not work. In vehicles with the Advanced key, the trunk will not release; the start/stop button won’t work either. (2009-10)
Ignition switch
Description: Some cars may have problem with removing the ignition key. (2009-14)
Mirrors
Description: Under certain circumstances the blind-spot alert may not function. (2013)
Steering problems
Description: On models with turbocharged engine, the steering may shudder during low speed turns such as parking, requiring a revised power steering hose. (2009-10)
Steering problems
Description: A software problem can cause irregular steering in sub-freezing temperatures. (2012-14)
Electrical problem
Description: The rearview camera image may display because of faulty wiring. (2013-14)
Software problems
Description: The 12-volt power outlets may not work due to a problem with the software in the convenience control module. Reprogramming it may also correct other issues including remote keyless entry, lack of trunk light, and others. (2009)
Software problems
Description: The parking lights may stay on permanently if the system gets a wake-up (remote keyless entry unlock command, for instance) while in the fall-asleep mode, requiring reprogramming the control module. (2009-10)

Recall History

2013-14 A4 S4
Description: Front airbags may not inflate if side airbags are already inflated.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.