Audi A4 (95 - 01) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

This my third A4 over a period of 16 years. I planned to buy a 2.0 TDI four years ago but the smooth power of the 3.0 TDI was so impressive and vastly better than any other diesel car I have experienced. The Quattro four wheel drive gives perfect grip on wet roads and OK on snow, but really needs winter tyres for that. The ride, handling and reduced road noise is far better than my previous 3.0 petrol 2002 A4. Long distances are completed with ease as the 40mph per 1000rpm in 6th allows for a smooth and economical cruise. Nearly 50 mpg is possible on a long motorway trip. The cabin quality is first class and after five years is wearing very well.

Alastair MacGregor, Dorset, October 30th 2014

TDI Quattro SE 4dr S Tronic

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

This my third A4 over a period of 16 years. I planned to buy a 2.0 TDI four years ago but the smooth power of the 3.0 TDI was so impressive and vastly better than any other diesel car I have experienced. The Quattro four wheel drive gives perfect grip on wet roads and OK on snow, but really needs winter tyres for that. The ride, handling and reduced road noise is far better than my previous 3.0 petrol 2002 A4. Long distances are completed with ease as the 40mph per 1000rpm in 6th allows for a smooth and economical cruise. Nearly 50 mpg is possible on a long motorway trip. The cabin quality is first class and after five years is wearing very well.

Alastair MacGregor, Dorset, October 30th 2014

TDI Quattro SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG38 mpg

Another reviewer has pretty much nailed specifics about this car which I agree completely with so I won't repeat. As far as the diesel A4 range goes it is evident which is the more popular engine based on the reviews here - which is consistent with What Car's thoughts. However I hoped that the official review would have been more holistic – focussing on the running costs in comparison to the 2.0 litre version is completely missing the point of this car and engine. Based on what’s currently available in the automotive world, is it reasonable to expect fuel economy from a diesel car of this size that does 0-60 in 6.1 seconds? To put that in context that’s faster than many hot hatchbacks! For those extra enthusiastic, a three figure sum outlay and this engine can be safely be remapped to over 300BHP with 0-60 figures touching the previous outgoing V8 engined S4! Coupled with the Audi's Quattro all wheel drive know-how and this is the only standard A4 I know of that even BMW Enthusiasts begrudgingly admit amongst themselves that is up there with their cars. Despite this I have achieved high 30s MPG – and this is bearing in mind that I cannot help but regularly put my foot to the floor with this amazing machine. Bizarrely this car is cheaper to tax with lower residents permit costs than my Ford Focus - which was a 2.0 petrol that did 0-60 in 9.3 seconds! So as logical as it may seem to do an apples for apples comparison with the 2.0 diesel - it does miss the point.

Mueed Sheikh, August 16th 2012

TDI Quattro SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

Another reviewer has pretty much nailed specifics about this car which I agree completely with so I won't repeat. As far as the diesel A4 range goes it is evident which is the more popular engine based on the reviews here - which is consistent with What Car's thoughts. However I hoped that the official review would have been more holistic – focussing on the running costs in comparison to the 2.0 litre version is completely missing the point of this car and engine. Based on what’s currently available in the automotive world, is it reasonable to expect fuel economy from a diesel car of this size that does 0-60 in 6.1 seconds? To put that in context that’s faster than many hot hatchbacks! For those extra enthusiastic, a three figure sum outlay and this engine can be safely be remapped to over 300BHP with 0-60 figures touching the previous outgoing V8 engined S4! Coupled with the Audi's Quattro all wheel drive know-how and this is the only standard A4 I know of that even BMW Enthusiasts begrudgingly admit amongst themselves that is up there with their cars. Despite this I have achieved high 30s MPG – and this is bearing in mind that I cannot help but regularly put my foot to the floor with this amazing machine. Bizarrely this car is cheaper to tax with lower residents permit costs than my Ford Focus - which was a 2.0 petrol that did 0-60 in 9.3 seconds! So as logical as it may seem to do an apples for apples comparison with the 2.0 diesel - it does miss the point.

Mueed Sheikh, August 16th 2012

TDI Quattro SE 4dr S Tronic

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

Despite warnings that it is not as good as a BMW or even a Mondeo to handle, it goes where you point the wheel with no fuss and is fun when hacking across country. And the 4 wheel drive allows rapid pull out of turns or roundabouts with confidence. The grunt makes overtaking so easy, even fully laden. Over 41 mpg long term with brisk driving. Quiet and refined on motorways and difficult to keep speed legal at less than 2000 rpm in 6th. All in all, near perfect. Only fault is the voice recognition that does not recognise regional accents (my wife has tried a German accent, but makes no difference)and on this model, the sat nav does not recognise UK postcodes (apparently sorted on next generation Audis). Select Hill Hold Assist as an option - I didn't and wished I had.

M Selby, March 30th 2012

TDI Quattro SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG41 mpg

Despite warnings that it is not as good as a BMW or even a Mondeo to handle, it goes where you point the wheel with no fuss and is fun when hacking across country. And the 4 wheel drive allows rapid pull out of turns or roundabouts with confidence. The grunt makes overtaking so easy, even fully laden. Over 41 mpg long term with brisk driving. Quiet and refined on motorways and difficult to keep speed legal at less than 2000 rpm in 6th. All in all, near perfect. Only fault is the voice recognition that does not recognise regional accents (my wife has tried a German accent, but makes no difference)and on this model, the sat nav does not recognise UK postcodes (apparently sorted on next generation Audis). Select Hill Hold Assist as an option - I didn't and wished I had.

M Selby, March 30th 2012

TDI Quattro SE 4dr S Tronic

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG41 mpg

I have run this as a company car for the last six months or so. It is a decent comapetent car which goes and handles resonably well, particularly if you push on with it. Downsides - the ride is not good being both hard and underdamped at times. Also average fuel consumption 47 mpg despite driving carefully and the stop/start. A decent car that looks good but is overpriced in my view

Peter Malkin, November 8th 2011

TDI 136 S Line 5dr [Start Stop]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

Beware the multitronic gearbox and clutch. They come standard with a 5 plate clutch but the replacement part is a much better 7 plate version. Β£1500 to replace the clutch or Β£4000 for clutch and gearbox! Makes for a nervous owning experience, knowing this could fail and cost big bucks... Expensive when there is repairs - Β£300 for wiper motor and linkage, Β£900 gearbox ecu, Β£100 main ecu plastic cover, Β£100's++ in sensors for this and sensors for that. Dodgy electrics - lots of problems with the audio - Β£600+ to replace. Anything Audi = expensive to fix. The good points? My 2004 drives as well in 2011 as it did when I bought it in 06. If you already have one, heed my warning and replace the multitronic gearbox oil every service!!! It's critical for this gearbox.

Matt Smith, September 12th 2011

TDI 130 Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

I have had the A4 for just over 26 months now and it is an excellent car. It was my first foray into premium brands having owned mainstream cars before and the car and service from the dealer has exceeded my expectations. The 120bhp engine is modest but has more than enough power for day to day driving and the handling is excellent for such a heavy car. The car looks great in Quartz Grey but the 18" wheels can transmit a lot of tyre roar into the otherwise quiet cabin. The off-set pedals are not too much of a pain however the raised floor in front of the clutch pedal means you need to have an accurate left foot. Overall I would recommend the car to anyone, so much so that I have just ordered my next Audi although this time I have gone for an A6.

Rob Follett, Hampshire, August 7th 2011

T FSI S Line 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG29.4 mpg

Fuel Economy: Not too sure why one guy commenting here is not getting good mpg, my TDI 130 is pretty impressive. Im always getting over 700 to a tank and thats 50% commuting in London plus a couple of long weekend drives. Im not a conservative driver by any means so almost 55mpg from an auto is very good in my book. Beautiful solid and nippy car to drive, I purchased it used (60k miles) after trawling thru Whatcar reviews and am very happy. Only issue would be the quality / robustness of some of the interior. The previous owner had broken a number of fixtures including the glove box hinges and the centre armrest plastic clips.

Steve Goddard, February 16th 2009

TDI 130 SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG53 mpg

Bought my 52 plate 2003 1.8T 163bhp Sport Quattro in July last year. So far its been excellent car with none of the problems usually reported with this model (ignition coil etc.) Build quality is excellent and very smooth drive. Engine is excellent with more than enough power. Performs well on 'A' roads but can be a little noisy on motorways, although that probably because it's the Sport model. The 163 engine could easily carry a 6th gear and my next A4 will have the 6 speed box. Grip from the Quattro 4x4 system is immense and don't think I'll go back to a front wheel drive A4 even though my last 2 wheel drive A4 TDi was still a good car. MPG averages at 35.0 around town, on country lanes and A roads but if you use the right foot it will come down quite a bit. For a saloon car though, it doesn't half go well when you show it the loud pedal. Don't know how they justify the money for the S4 and RS4 when you can pick a decent used 1.8T up for under Β£10K. For servicing, I use an independent specialist who I think are better in the Workshop than Audi themselves. They use genuine parts, stamp the service book and are a fraction of the cost of overpriced Audi dealers. In summary, a good, safe car with great build quality, excellent performance and grip. Go for the 190bhp with the 6 speed box and s-line pack though.

Jim Parker, February 13th 2009

T 163 Quattro Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg

The good - it gets admiring looks, economy is good, engine generally OK, alloys are nice, needs cruise control as standard (I paid extra for it)Ride can be harsh - in hindsight, I have driven the SE which has better seats - and the drivers seat goes further back in the SE! I asked Audi why, but had no response. The not good: I am 6 ft 3 inches, and the offset pedals are just criminal. I find that my right leg is so far to the right, to reach the accelerator, that my leg is resting on the metal supprt under the seat cushion, and over any distance I have to stop, get out and rest my leg. What kind of design is that - that you cannot drive a car!! Why is my nice (optional, expensive) brushed aluminium dashboard only on the passenger side - the driver gets cheap, coloured plastic!! It had to go into the dealer twice, to locate a strange rattle at high speed. Carpets cheap. Summary - I hate it. If you cannot get comfortable in a car, what is the point of anything else.

Rob Kuhner, Berkshire, February 6th 2009

TDI 143 S Line 4dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I took delivery of the car just before Christmas having ordered it some 5 months ago. Apparently the delay was due to the extras I put on it. Having only ever driven a manual 4dr se model at the dealership in Wakefield – (who incidentally could not offer a better service if they tried). I was slightly nervous/apprehensive about the auto box and the ride (harshness) and handling. Having picked up the car I drove straight up to the lakes, which was an absolute joy. I have now covered 3000 miles. Gearbox and engine are really well suited – I don’t know what I was worried about! Ride is firm yet not too firm and the handling for enthusiastic day-to-day driving is great. Fuel consumption is around 40 on a run. Maybe that is my heavy right foot and the auto. Build quality is solid – however I had an annoying rattle, which turned out to be the power switch on the rear view mirror. If you have the same rattle check the switch as obvious as it sounds it took me ages to locate. Music and SD card slot are fantastic. Control screen is the usual gimmick can be fiddly but once you get used to it then it is easy to use. I will get to first service and post another review – Lets see if my opinions have changed. All in all a great car and I am very pleased with the choice.

Andrew Palmer, Yorkshire, February 3rd 2009

TDI 143 S Line 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this 97P 150bhp Audi A4 1.8t sport about 6 years ago with 50k on the clock. It now has 130k - but I am loathed to sell this superb car. Its had a few problems, track rod ends, CV joints, blower fan, cambelt tensioner all needed replacing, but over 80,000 miles, Id say par for the course. The drive is superb. Hardly any body roll and acceleration that will put a smile on your face. If youre the tinkering type (like me) simple jobs are very easy. Audi servicing super expensive, so I found an ex-VAG mechanic to do anything tricky (cam belts etc) at reasonable rates. I replaced the blower motor myself (ebay Β£40, 30 minutes and 9 screws - Audi wanted Β£370!). Dashboard bulbs also took just 30 minutes 2 screws, and Β£3 (again, laughable Audi wanted over Β£200!). Buy a Β£10 haynes manual and use excellent enthusiast web sites for cheap luxury motoring. Biggest gripe, rear seats dont fold down...irritating when buying anything big at B&Q. Boot space otherwise very good. Rear leg room not great, but fine for kids of for when its my turn to drive to the pub with mates. Leather interior still looks new after 130k. Outer rubber door trims peel away after 100k - Β£15 each from Audi and 10 mins to replace to keep your car looking new. Quality metalic paint will glow forever. I drove 620 miles in one day and felt fine after - this is an excellent touring car that eats miles. Built to last and an absolute bargain at todays prices. motorway runs give 40mpg, else 33 around town

Steve Cogger, January 26th 2009

T Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG33 mpg

Purchased my A4 form a Toyota dealership and paid less than they brought it for. After reading alot of reviews on this site I felt uncertain about my purchase, however have now done about 2500 miles and am most impressed with the overall performance of the car, averaging 49 miles to the gallon with a mixture of town and motorway driving. It has the optional bluetooth fitted which is much better than the BMW system and more user friendly. The steering wheel could be slighty smaller but everyone has their own opinion on size. The only bad point I have found up to now is the boot opening and when you close the boot it does not feel as solid as a BMW, but bear in mind the cost of an equivilant BMW would be about another 4,000 so would be alot to pay for a solid sounding close of a boot. Ok so it has not got parking sensors but for Β£200 a problem easily overcome, again cheaper than opting for BMW. Some people who have written negative reviews about Audi are obviously very picky people after all all mechanical things have faults. Humans are not perfect.!!

rob edwards, nottinghamshire, December 29th 2008

TDi TDV SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG49 mpg

Had this car for 5 years and has been mainly trouble free up until today - oil pump failure. The car has done 80K miles with a full Audi dealer service history - just had major service at dealer 5K miles ago. The driver of the recovery truck that towed the car away says this is a known problem with this engine - I am not impressed and believe that Audi are probably aware of the problem but are not admitting any liability. I do not drive this car hard at all. Also the cost of servicing an Audi has increased dramatically since I first boght this car. Beware the oil pump - there is not indication it is going to fail.

Paul Whyman, Hampshire, December 28th 2008

T 163 Quattro Sport 4dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have a brand new Audi A4 1.8tfsi 160bhp SE Model. And it's been nothing but a headache. I've been without it more than i have with it!! The Bad: Airbag warning light appeared 3 times! Audi kept the car for 2 weeks to replace the airbag system, Clutch is knackered and sticks in 1st even when i change up and i get the lovely clutch smell, trim is so cheap and nasty it falls off and breaks without even touching it. Economy isn't good on this vehicle and it looses power unless your cruising on the motorway then the turbo helps a lot. It's not really a sporty car at all. You get 2 cup holders unless you splash out on their ridiculous storage packs. Handling / Turning circle isn't fantastic. The car is down right dangerous now we have icy weather, it's slipping and sliding all over the show, when my sisters x reg 1.3 Fiesta is pulling ahead of me.... very embarrassing! The Good: Very comfortable especially on long journeys, easy to drive (when it works), very nicely styled. Very smooth car. Luckily it's a company car and due to the amount of problems i've had with it, it's going back and im swapping for a Lexus.

Gary Bowers, December 12th 2008

T FSI 160 SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG25 mpg

Just purchased my new A4 in November. Just love it! Good ride, nice interior, good economy so far. Tried a Honda Accord - plastic & a BMW 3 series - nice but really expensive. Spent a week up in Yorkshire with the A4, bombing around back roads. Lots of grip and very nimble, but also a great motorway ride home. Audi dealer (Huntingdon) really helpful and did everything they said they would. Changed from A VW and can't tell you what a difference - the car, the service, everything!

Jonathan Martin, Cambridgeshir, December 11th 2008

TDI 143 SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

My fiance purchased for me a 04 Audi A4 1.9tdi diesel estate recently,and I'm very impressed with it. Roomy, fast, economical. Comfy leather interior and hurrah, no armrest which is the lazymans gadget in my view. I clicked her into Sport and had to hold onto the wheel, plenty of poke in this car. Feels bigger than it is which is great also for parking. This car doesn't need the flash trash exteriors of other executive cars i won't mention, which are designed not for the driver but in my view for onlookers. Its understated and classy. This car is designed for the drivers pleasure and quitely performs as it should.

ursula collins, cork, October 29th 2008

TDi TDV 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG46 mpg

Had an '06 320d before this but after seeing the facelifted model I decided that BMW had finally made the 3 series ugly enough for me to stop buying it. It's a clichΓ©, but the best thing about this car is the interior which makes the car feel expensive. The exterior also looks good and isn't bland or weedy like the current 3 series. The Audi rides better and can take corners faster but isn't as satisfying as the BMW to drive (at any speed). I think this is mainly to do with the size/weight but the steering can also be a bit unpredicable. However, given the overall strengths of this car I'm glad I switched and will be surprised if doesn't outsell the 3 series in 2009.

Colin Tempest, October 19th 2008

TDI 143 SE 4dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg