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2008 Audi A4 Overview

Introduced in 1996 and redesigned in 2005, the 2008 Audi A4 reflects few changes from its '07 edition. Recognized as Audi's competition for the BMW 3 series, the A4 has managed to fall between the more sports oriented Beemer and the more luxury oriented Mercedes C-Class.

The A4 sedan line's basic building blocks can be reduced to engine size, front- or all-wheel drive, and transmission type. Three basic engines are available: a 200-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four cylinder; a 255-hp, 3.2-liter V6; and a 344-hp, 4.2-liter V8. The V8s come standard with Audi's legendary Quattro four-wheel-drive system, while the inline four and V6 offer it as an option. All engines offer the six-speed manual transmission. The V6 comes standard with a CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the six-speed manual and Tiptronic transmissions as options. The turbo four cylinder mates with all transmissions, though reviewers recommend the manual. The 344-hp V8 offers either the automatic or manual.

Along with the Quattro system, Audis have a well-founded reputation for quality interiors and attention to safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the A4 as a "Top Safety Pick" in the midsize category. The A4 comes standard with dual front, front side, and side curtain airbags as well as antilock braking and an Electronic Stabilization Program. The A4 achieves the highest-level crash ratings.

Although impeccably appointed and built, the interior is tight in the rear for adults over six feet. Up front, the driver will find all controls ergonomically placed within easy reach. All interior materials are of the highest quality and build.

A very competent all-weather road machine, reviewers find the turbo four cylinder an excellent sports sedan and the V6 an excellent highway cruiser, while the V8 combines and magnifies both qualities. A manual turbo four cylinder achieved 27 mpg in highway cruising; the EPA rates it at 22/31 mpg city/highway.


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