The changes under the hood seem modest, but the change in external appearance is clear and striking. From a dollars-and-cents standpoint, that's what really matters.
The A4's V-6 engine is the same as last years while the 4-cylinder engine gets more power. Also new for 2009, the engine is mounted lower and farther back in the body for noticeably improved handling.
On a practical level, the longer body creates more rear legroom, making the new A4 a much more comfortable choice for those with families.
There's also a financial impact, though. Radical redesigns always reduce the market value of their predecessor version. In this case, the new A4, with its sleek, aggressive appearance, makes the 2008 model look immediately old.
Meanwhile, incentives on the outgoing old-style Audi A4 are relatively good, totaling to up to $3,000 for remaining 2008 models. Even so, the damage the new A4 will do to the 2008 models resale value could ultimately wipe out much of those savings.
NEXT: 2009 Ford F-150