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2003 Entry Level Luxury Buyer's Guide
by Steve Siler

Audi A4
2003 Audi A4

Okay, we know that looks are subjective, but really, is there a better-looking entry-level luxury sedan on the road that's as handsome as the Audi A4? Certainly, Audi just keeps knocking them out of the park in terms of sheer beauty. From every angle and in every iteration (sedan, wagon or the all-new convertible), the A4's pure and cohesive design manages to have a distinct identity without looking the least bit contrived.

A similarly high level of sophistication is found inside the A4 as well. Its gauges are simple and clear, and the fit and finish are absolutely stellar. Like so many others in this class, wood or metal swaths adorn the dash and doors, complimented by bountiful chrome accents. All seats are very German in terms of firmness and support, and while the rear seat isn't for the long of leg, it's better than some of its primary rivals.

The A4 is available with either a smooth, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (170 hp) or a delicious 3.0-liter V-6 (220 hp). As with many sport-flavored entries in this class, you can either shift it yourself or have it shift for you, with the 3.0-liter even offering a state-of-the-art continuously variable transmission that must be felt to be believed. All A4s are available with either front-wheel drive or Audi's legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system.

Prices for the A4 sedan and wagon start in the mid-Twenties and rise to the mid-Thirties, while the convertible starts in the low Forties.