Year / Model Reviewed:
2005 Audi A4 Quattro 3.0
All around excellent performance and a great driving experience. Beautiful car with great build quality. Balance of luxury and performance for a very reasonable price.
It's governed at 130 because of the stock tires. Fuel economy could be a bit better. I know, I know, slow down to 85 and I'll get better mileage.
This car is simply a blast to drive. Steering is the most accurate and nimble I've ever experienced and has near perfect weight and feel. This thing communicates better than Dr. Phil. You can feel exactly where the wheels are going...right where you pointed them. Handles like it's on rails but doesn't thump your kidneys on rough roads. Engine has good power and throttle response. In drive, the transmission shows only a small amount of hesitation. In sport or manual shift mode there is even less. This is the most technologically advanced automatic I've ever driven. Drive will get you decent fuel mileage if you take it easy but will happily supply a racier package should you choose to apply more pressure with your right foot. Sport mode gets you that all the time. It stays high in the rev band in every gear. The Quattro system is the benchmark for all-wheel drive. Feel like doing 130 in a down pour? No problem. The only difference between that and dry pavement is having to turn on the wipers. The Electronic Stability Program is so non-invasive you have to be right on the ragged edge before you even notice it exists. The car is so solid and stable you don't need it until then. Like the twisties? This car handles them like a champ. Like to romp down the highway? This thing cruises like a dream. Oh yeah, the brakes are great too, but who cares, you won't ever want to use them. Fit and finish inside and out are superb. No cheap, cheesy materials here. The leather seats are immaculate and the wood trim is tasteful without being overstated. Ergonomics are very good and there is not a cubic inch of wasted space. Front seat room is more than ample (I'm 6'2") and is complemented by an 8-way adjustable driver's seat and tilt and telescoping wheel. Leg room in the rear is snug for an adult. The trunk is cavernous and still cargo space can be increased by the locking fold-down rear seats. The list of standard features is excellent and a great deal of optional features can be had in reasonably priced packages. Too many to list here, so just a few examples. The 4 driver memory settings include seat, mirror, and even dual-zone climate control. The HomeLink system eliminates the need for a separate garage door opener. Steering wheel audio controls, 6 disc in-dash CD changer, Bose surround sound, and available XM Satellite. The dash-mounted cup holder is further proof of the superiority of German engineering. Tap the front of it and it slides out of the console and expands like an Erector set. Slide it back in and it folds up like a contortionist and disappears. Obviously an afterthought installed to satisfy the needs of us silly Americans who so often forsake the real purpose of driving a car like this for a hot cup of over-priced coffee. Regardless, it would be useless to any self-respecting German. It's too small to hold a Bierstein. 4 wheel ABS, 8 airbags, built in child LATCH system, and a front sub-frame that collapses in a head-on so the engine doesn't come through the firewall. Yeah, it's a pretty safe car. All this makes me want to buy one...for myself. It's my wife's car.
Similar Products Used:
Drove a friend's BMW 330i. Performance is similar but the Bimmer cost him $12K more and still no all-wheel drive. Brakes were way too touchy and the steering didn't communicate as well. At even money the Audi would still be a better value. At $12K less it kicks Bavarian butt. Infiniti G35 sedan claims to be in the same class for less money. The less money part is true. Steering and handling aren't nearly as good as the Audi or BMW. It does have more power than either. The interior is slathered with cheap plastic.