2010 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro MT6 Review


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THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS

Model: 2010 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI Quattro MT6
Engine: 2.0-liter TFSI DO”HC turbocharged four
Horsepower/Torque: 211 hp @ 4,300-6,000 rpm/258 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,200 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Wheelbase: 110.6 in.
Length/Width/Height: 185.2 x 71.9 x 56.2 in.
Tires: P245/40R18
Cargo volume: 12.0 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway
Fuel capacity: 17.2 gal.
Curb weight: 3,704 lbs.
Sticker: $38,255 (includes $825 destination charge and $5,080 in options)

The Bottom Line: The A4 maybe near the bottom of Audi’s line of cars, station wagons and SUVs, but it isn’t at the bottom of anyone’s list of desirable cars. It has performance, handling and reasonable economy in a car that competes favorably with the BMW 3-Series.

When you get behind the wheel of an Audi A4, you expect a compact car with exceptional performance and great handling. And boy, does the A4 deliver all that in spades. Here is a car that is the size equivalent of the BMW 3-Series that has a smaller, yet more powerful engine, thanks to Turbocharging, all-wheel drive and the handling quality you expect from a German car.

First, the engine. It’s a 2.0-liter four, but with turbocharging it delivers a healthy 211 horsepower through a wide rpm range, from 4,300-6,000 rpm. There’s no turbo steer, either, meaning you don’t have to hang onto the wheel for dear life every time you punch the accelerator.

The engine drives the wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission that is very smooth. I’ll readily admit I’m not the smoothest shifter in the world, but the A4 makes even me look good. I liked the fact that the instrument panel displays which gear you are in. I always fear that I’ll “assume” I’m in fifth, when I’m really in third, and when I downshift two gears I’m suddenly in first and facing an expensive engine overhaul. This obviates that fear.

The speedometer goes all the way up to 180 mph, meaning it’s essentially useless in the “real” driving range. Fortunately, there’s a digital speedometer between the speedometer and tachometer that compensates. I don’t believe I looked at the analog speedometer more than one or two times all week.

Handling is very good on all corners with no harshness to the suspension. The A4 has a relatively long 110.6-inch wheelbase, which smoothes out some of the smaller road roughness.

Quattro all-wheel drive is a pleasure in heavy rain, which was the weather we used to test it. I was confident there would be no slipping and sliding, especially SURPRISE slipping and sliding, so I could go into a winding portion of a road without fear.

As with many German cars, the audio is a piece of work. It’s difficult to figure out and tune, but I was able to locate my favorite Sirius XM stations and navigate between them without having to resort to the owner’s manual. Sound quality was excellent.

I also had trouble with the wipers, and since it rained a lot when we had the A4, they were in constant use. When you start up, the wipers are off, no matter where you left them. Therefore, they must be “primed” to get them going.

The front seats are comfortable and have good side support, both in the kidney and thigh areas. The rear seats are average, and the backs fold to increase cargo carrying capacity.

I liked the leather/microfiber steering wheel that had a nice feel to it. I also like Audi’s creative daytime running lights. These LEDs in the front are smiling, while in the rear they’re like arrows. You always know when an Audi is coming at you on the road.

There’s an electronic parking brake that’s sometimes disconcerting. Sometimes you aren’t sure it’s going to work, but it does. It automatically disengages when you start the car.

The instrument panel consists of a small water gauge, large tachometer, information panel, large speedometer and small fuel gauge. The info panel has the digital speedometer, odometers, outside temperature and a real trip odometer that tells you how far you’ve traveled on this trip.

The A4 has a pushbutton start and stop. You insert the key fob into a slot in the dash to start and stop the engine. Sometimes it’s hard to get the fob out if you haven’t learned to grasp the fob and not the leather attachment when you pull.

The Audi A4 is a nice package at a price that isn’t as attractive as the car. Still, compared with the competition, it’s in the right ballpark.

2010 The Auto Page Syndicate

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