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2007 Audi A4

Martha Hindes

Audi A4
2007 Audi A4 interior

Part of entry level luxury lure is the expansive audience it can reach. Manufacturers know the segment almost always is the most popular in luxury lineups, thanks to more affordable, generally compact offerings that fill the greatest vehicle need with lower fuel requirements. That doesn't mean to say they aren't as fun. Just more practical. With that said, we'll skip the smaller A3 and concentrate on A4s that compete with the likes of BMW's 3 Series or Acura's compact TL.

Audi's A4 was redesigned for 2006 although it went on sale earlier last year. The makeover featured more assertive exterior styling changes, plus a tonier interior with subtle wood and bright metal accents and optional leather trim.

Audi seems to like unusual names to describe functions. Wagons are called "Avant." The A4's front wheel drive is "FrontTrak." And Audi's spot-on four-wheel-drive system gets the name "Quattro," a play on some Latin language's term for "four." The 2.0T model is powered by a turbocharged 200-HP four and 3.2 models get a 255-HP V-6. The sporty S4 sibling gets a 340-HP V-8, one reason pricing gets pushed into the mid-$40 K range.

Audi has added some fine tuning changes to the A4 for 2007, including the redesigned Symphony radio's MP3 CD capability, now sans cassette player. The 2.0T A4 sedan and Avant combine three option packages into two, add a trip computer as an option and a four-spoke, multi-function leather steering wheel. The 3.2 models have a sunroof as standard, 17-inch, five spoke wheels plus optional sports suspension and rear "Parktronic." Heated rear seats remain available on the 3.2 models with the Cold Weather Package, but have been discontinued for the 2.0T. Both models keep full-size spares, now with steel rather than alloy rims.

Expect prices for '07 models to start in the high $20,000 range. Fuel economy numbers should remain in the low 30s/low 20s for manual trans base sedans. Skip fuel economy concerns if you choose the new RS4 Sedan for '07. Its 4.2-liter, 420-HP V-8 is limited to 155 mph. Credit card, anyone?