Audi A4 Interior
The Audi A4 receives high praise for its comfortable and well-constructed interior. "Artfully designed and furnished with high-quality materials, the A4's cabin impresses immediately and continues to do so even after one has had the car for awhile," says Edmunds.
"Step into the A4, and let the senses explore," says Automobile.com. "The heady smell of supple leather. The flawless mix of high quality materials and textures, the tightness of the switchgear. The general consensus among our staffers is that Audi interiors are among the best out there." Automobile Magazine raves that the A4's interior is "so form-fitting it looks as if it were blown in."
Reviewers find that front-seat comfort is first-rate, though the back seats are short on room for adults. Automobile.com praises the seats as "equal parts comfort and support, imparting the feeling you could drive all day without fatigue. The six setting posterior heaters are a real treat in chilly temperatures." The A4's front seats are unusually well-bolstered, leading to comments from several reviewers that they took some getting used to, but ultimately proved very comfortable. "The seats may seem too firm for some folks," says Edmunds, "but they prove supportive and comfortable on long trips."
"Rear-seat room remains tight," reports Car and Driver. AutoWeek agrees, saying the "front seats are comfortable (the back seats are a joke)." In this class of car, that's par for the course. The A4's rear-seat dimensions are larger than those of the Lexus IS, and never more than two inches more or less than those of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-class or Volvo S60. The rear seats recline, and have an optional heating function.
A4 Sedans are available in two trim levels, each named for the engine that powers it. The 2.0T has standard cloth seating, including a six-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support and seat heater, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-CD changer with satellite radio preparation, and a power sunroof. The 3.2 models include standard leather seating with heated seats, brushed aluminum cabin trim, and add six-way power adjustments to the front passenger seat.
Options are packaged in a sporty S-line package, luxurious Premium package, and tech-centric Convenience package. Options that can be purchased outside of the package structure include a several color schemes of wood or metallic cabin trim, an upgraded sound system, a navigation system, parking assist, and power rear and manual side sunshades.
A4 Cabriolet models include a new roof reinforced with extra sound-dampening material. "The new Cabriolet features an optional "Acoustic Top" that has more sound insulation than the prior soft top and thus promises a quieter ride, especially at freeway speeds," reports Edmunds.
Stereo and Entertainment
The standard audio system includes a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 input. An available upgrade is a Bose Premium Audio option featuring 10 speakers with a subwoofer and center channel, and speed-sensitive volume technology. "The sound quality of this system is very good, with well-balanced speakers filling the small cabin of the A4 and making it difficult to pinpoint individual sound sources," according to the technology reviewers at CNET. However, Audi has had difficulty pairing this system well with its navigation system. CNET explains "The CD changer in this system is downright primitive. It's mounted in the glove box, the first sign of trouble, and it doesn't play MP3 or WMA CDs. At least that's its configuration when the car comes with the navigation system. Without navigation, the car gets an in-dash changer that plays MP3 CDs." When ordered with the Navigation system, drivers can input an MP3 player through two SD card slots hidden behind the navigation screen, but must fold down the navigation screen to use them, rendering it unusable when an MP3 player is attached.
Audi's Navigation system is available as a stand-alone option, which Automobile Magazine calls "a snap to decipher with no drama and no owner's manual help, the way it should be." The DVD-based system includes a full-color LCD screen that "is bright and relatively easy to read, while route guidance is precise and displays upcoming turns. The system doesn't have text-to-speech, a feature that reads out street names and is present on more high-end navigation systems," reports CNET. "When we intentionally got off course, it recalculated quickly and quietly, advising us on the next turn that would get us to our destination."
Bluetooth technology is available as an option on the A4. Motor Trend notes that "Bluetooth cell phone integration on the A4 works very well and includes very useful features for accessing a phone's address book and recent calls from the car interface."
Audi routes many of the available in-cabin technologies through a single interface, a device Audi calls an MMI, or MultiMedia Interface, which sits next to the navigation screen. The MMI controls the navigation system, stereo, paired cell phones and the trip computer. "The MMI is a very usable system and doesn't take long to learn," says CNET.
The A4's trunk offers 13.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is fairly typical for this class of car.
Those familiar with previous generations of the A4 may be aware that the cupholders of this car have long been a source of frustration to owners. The previous edition A4 placed them directly over the radio controls, but Automobile Magazine notes that Audi has at last come to its senses with "cupholders redesigned so as not to spill coffee on the radio." Car and Driver explains, "most German cars, if they have cup holders at all, have the most amazing contraptions hung on as afterthoughts when the designers finally acknowledged that Americans really insist on such things. These Audi receptacles suggest a Honda-like willingness to give us exactly what we want."