ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2002.
Even though the Audi A4 is one of the oldest designs in its class, and a redesign is just around the corner, it remains highly competitive. In fact, the A4 is nearly everything a compact sports sedan should be. It has a solid, high-quality feel, and the interior is exquisite. Agile handling makes it fun to drive, and the ride, though quite firm, is supple and controlled. The cabin is quiet unless you ask the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to work hard. Otherwise, it sounds civilized and the seamless eight-speed automatic transmission is terrific. Fuel economy is a very respectable 25 mpg overall, made more impressive given our test car's added weight from its popular Quattro all-wheel-drive. For a punchy higher performance A4, you'd have to opt for the supercharged V6 S4.
One benefit of the A4's long model run: most of the problems have been worked out, as evident by its above-average reliability. If you want more cargo space, the Allroad is essentially a wagon version.