2009 Acura TL vs. 2009 Audi A4: Part 2
Joe Bruzek and Kelsey Mays, Cars.com
Yesterday we introduced our latest comparison, between the redesigned Audi A4 and Acura TL. In our comparison, these competing luxury cars are similarly priced around the $40,000 mark, which made for a perfect matchup of which car offers the most for the money. Perceived value will of course be in the eye of the buyer, and both cars we tested had their own merits. In the end, though, there can be only one Highlander … er, winner.
The A4 provided an upscale interior experience with finer materials and more precise build quality. While our preproduction TL lacked such finesse, it offered more gadgets, interior room and a sportier performance for less dough, earning the value-winner nod.
Throughout our Audi A4 and Acura TL drive, we kept bringing up “what ifs” for the Audi’s somewhat lackluster driving performance compared to the sporty TL SH-AWD. What if it had the optional sportier tires, or what if it had the optional stiffer suspension, or what if it were the S-line model?
In the end, those options would have put the Audi out of the price range we targeted. On top of the performance items, the TL also gave us a navigation system with a rearview camera and smart key ignition and entry, plus it’s a larger car with more interior room. Navigation with a rearview camera on the A4 is a $2,500 option, while a smart key option is only available on the highest, Prestige trim level, which starts at $43,300 with the six-cylinder engine.
The A4’s interior may have offered less room, especially in the backseat, but the Audi had 16.9 cubic feet of trunk space, compared to the TL’s 12.5 cubic feet. The Audi also has a 60/40-split folding rear seat instead of the TL’s smaller rear pass-thru, giving the A4 more cargo versatility. In the end, though, Acura’s combination of handling prowess and value for the money outpaced the A4’s strengths. The TL wins this one.
2009 Audi A4 sedan 3.2 Quattro: $40,000
Ash Almond Beige interior: $400
2009 Acura TL SH-AWD: $38,505
Technology Package: $3,730
Overall winner: Acura TL