1999 A4 New Car Test Drive
If you still think station wagons are clunky and boring and old-fashioned, then you haven't been in an Audi showroom lately. If you had, you would have seen the A4 Avant, which is how you say station wagon at Audi, and your opinion of wagons would have undergone some major revisions.
Whether you like wagons, you've got to admit this is just about the slickest small hauler ever conceived. In some ways we think it's even more of an eye-grabber than the A4 sedan, which we think is an elegant piece of work.
The Avant is the latest addition to the front-drive A4 lineup and it shows, once again, that the folks in Audi's design studios have been taking plenty of Vitamin I, for Imagination. In an era when U.S. manufacturers have all but abandoned wagons, Audi is demonstrating that light cargo capability and svelte sheetmetal are not mutually exclusive concepts.
Beyond that, the A4 Avant, like all Audis, offers the option of traction at both ends of the car with its excellent Quattro all-wheel-drive system. And it comes standard with all-around performance no sport-utility could ever hope to match.
Our A4 Avant tester was pretty much a top-of-the-line unit, complete with Audi's new 2.8-liter V6, Quattro system, and Sport package. It isn't exactly cheap at $34,230, but it's hard to imagine a better car for ripping around Michigan back roads in mid-winter, making trips to the home improvement center, then impressing the valet parking crew at a black-tie dinner in the evening.