2001 A4 New Car Test Drive
Audi's A4 remains one of the best cars in this class. It combines clean looks, excellent handling, a brilliant interior, and granite build quality. For 2001, the 1.8 T turbocharged engine gets a big boost in power.
There's also a boost in safety: An electronic stability program is available to help keep you on the road during those moments we try to avoid, along with Audi's superb quattro all-wheel-drive system. Curtain-style side-impact airbags with rollover protection are standard.
A4 is available in sedan and wagon body styles. The wagon is called an Avant.
Two engines are available, a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine now rated at 170 horsepower (up 20 horsepower from the 2000 model), and a 2.8-liter V6 rated at 190 horsepower. All A4s come standard with a five-speed manual gearbox. A five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission ($1,100) is optional.
The A4 1.8T sedan starts at $24,540, while the 2.8-liter version retails for $30,340. The A4 1.8T Avant quattro wagon starts at $27,290, while the A4 2.8 Avant quattro wagon goes for $31,990.
Standard upholstery is a choice of cloth or leatherette. Leather upholstery is optional on the 2.8 Sedan ($1,320).
Audi's fantastic quattro all-wheel-drive system comes standard on Avant wagons. Quattro is a $1,750 option on the sedan models; Audi's sophisticated traction control comes standard on front-wheel-drive sedans not equipped with quattro. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all models.
New for 2001 is an optional electronic stability program, or ESP. Like similar systems from BMW and Mercedes, ESP monitors vehicle dynamics during aggressive driving or emergency situations and intervenes to help keep the car pointed in the intended direction whenever it senses the driver is beginning to lose control.
Audi's Sideguard curtain side airbags are now standard on all models. The airbags cover the entire side window area to protect occupants in both the front and rear seats; unlike standard airbags, they remain inflated for about 5 seconds to provide protection if the vehicle rolls over. Xenon high-intensity discharge low-beam headlights ($500) improve visibility on stormy nights.
Other notable options include sport front seats ($500) and a sport suspension package that includes performance wheels and tires ($750 on the 1.8T, $500 on the 2.8). Also available is a Bose premium sound system ($650), a six-disc CD changer ($550), a navigation system ($1,280), and an integrated hands-free mobile telephone ($495).