Though loaded with security equipment, the Volvo V40 is hampered by its small size and aging underpinnings. Volvo V40 Wagon offers the following pros: Strong complement of security features, cheap base price tag, smooth turbo motor, usable trunk room. Volvo V40 Wagon drawbacks are: No manual transmission provided, lacks sporting intentions, pricing can rapidly escalate with auxillary equipment installed.
The 2012 Audi A4 provides refinement in both look and road manners. So, too, does the Audi A4 Avant wagon, along with a healthy dose of utility. Audi A4 Sedan offers the following pros: Luxury cabin; great fuel efficiency; sporty handling; available wagon body style. Audi A4 Sedan drawbacks are: Unintuitive traditional control layout; wagon has limited trunk capacity.
The 2012 Audi A4 is available in sedan and wagon (avant) body styles. Both come in Luxury, Luxury Plus and Prestige versions. The high-performance S4 model is covered in a separate review.
The Luxury trim comes traditional with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof (panoramic on Avant), automatic headlights, automatic wipers, cruise control, foglamps, automatic conditioning, eight-way performance front seatings, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped helm, leather upholstery, a dash-mounted Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player, optional stereo slot and radio. The Avant also adds split-folding back seatings. An auxillary Comfort suite adds Bluetooth and an Ipod interface, while the Style suite contains bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, self-leveling headlights and bright metal look trim.
All of the above features are included in the Luxury Plus trim, along with 18-inch wheels, sporty S line bodywork, three-zone automatic conditioning, heated front seatings, driver memory functions, split-folding back seatings, auto-dimming mirrors and an improved trip computer. The MMI Navigation Plus suite adds a navigator with real-time traffic, digital audio cargo, a rearview camera, back parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio, a color trip computer display and MMI controls located on the center control panel.
The Audi A4 Prestige comes traditional with adaptive headlights, a performance liftgate (on Avant models), keyless ignition/entry, a blind-spot warning system, the Navigation suite and a Bang & Olufsen luxury audio system (optional on Luxury Plus). Features original to the Prestige include the S line suite (19-inch wheels, summer tires, faux-suede bench inserts and special look and dashboard trim), the Drive Select suite (which offers adaptive suspension dampers as well as adjustable options for the suspension, steering and transmission), adaptive cruise control, a performance back sunshade and manual back side sunshades.
The Sport suite (also provided on the Luxury Plus) contains a sport-tuned suspension, a three-spoke helm, more aggressively bolstered seatings and automatic transmission shift paddles. Auxillary back side airbags are available on Luxury Plus and Prestige trims only, but any Audi A4 is eligible for wood dashboard trim. .