By David Colman
For: Understated Good Looks, Practicality, Road Burner
Against: Weenie-looking Brake Discs Revealed by 19” Rotor Wheels
For German manufacturers, the most important racing championship in the world is the DTM. In English, that acronym translates into “German Touring Car Championship,” and every win in this series bestows bragging rights on the company that finishes first. For years now, the winning company has been Audi, and the winning car has been the A4. After spending a week in a well optioned A4, it’s not hard to see why this model wins the DTM so often, over fierce competition from Mercedes, Opel, and now, BMW. A properly equipped A4 is one of the best sports sedans in the world, and also one of the most affordable.
Over the years, the A4 has grown marginally in size, to the point where it’s now nearly as large as its bigger brother, the A6, once was. With an overall length of 185” and a wheelbase of 110” the A4 serves well as a 5 passenger sedan, with enough trunk space and interior room to keep all occupants happy on long trips. Given its 16.9 gallon tank, and highway mileage of 31 MPG, the A4 is capable of traveling over 500 miles between refills. If your A4 is equipped like our test car, you will relish every one of those miles. Let’s start with the base price of just $33,300. That buy-in gets you the base powerplant, a 2.0 liter, turbocharged in-line 4 cylinder motor that produces enough horsepower (211hp) and more than enough torque (258 lb.-ft.) to cope with any driving need. The base package also includes an ultra slick-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox, with well-defined gates between gears, well-chosen gear ratios, and an easily modulated clutch that makes choosing a gear a joy rather than a chore.