Used Audi A4 2000 - 2005 review

Category: Executive car

The Audi A4 has a strong image, strong interior and even stronger ownership appeal.

Audi A4 (00 - 05)
  • Audi A4 (00 - 05)
  • Audi A4 (00 - 05)
Used Audi A4 2000 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Audi A4 saloon like?

The Audi A4 saloon is one of those cars that's more rewarding to own than to drive. Don't get us wrong – it drives pretty well; it's just that it's even better to own.

For a start, the interior is crisp, contemporary and oozes quality. The materials are high class and there's all the kit you need, including plenty of safety equipment.


The Audi A4 has a strong image, strong interior and even stronger ownership appeal.

  • Solidly screwed together
  • Very classy interior
  • It's not as enjoyable to drive as the BMW 3 Series

It's roomy, too, but the transmission tunnel robs the middle rear passenger of some comfort, so think of it as a spacious four-seater. The boot is a decent size - the same as that of a BMW 3 Series and fractionally bigger than a Mercedes C-Class's.

You'll find most versions are refined long-distance haulers and cushion you adequately from bumps and potholes, although not quite as well as the C-Class.

Both front-wheel-drive and quattro four-wheel-drive versions are grippy and turn in smartly to corners, but the steering could do with more feel.

Ownership cost

What used Audi A4 saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Audi A4 saloon?

The Audi A4 should cost you less to maintain than a BMW 3 Series, Jaguar X-type, Mercedes C-Class or Lexus IS.

What's more, many of the engines and underpinnings are shared by other cars in the Volkswagen Group, so you're likely to find a competent independent garage that could save you a huge amount on franchised dealer labour rates.

Insurance costs are good compared with those of its rivals, too. The cheapest to insure, the 1.6-litre, slots into group 10, but you'll need big pockets for the extreme S4, which is group 20.

The frugal engines contribute to low running costs but, best of all, the A4 holds its value well as it ages, so it'll be worth a substantial amount when it's time to sell it on. You can see why we said earlier that it's even more rewarding to own than to drive.

Our recommendations

Which used Audi A4 saloon should I buy?

This Audi A4 saloon was launched at the end of 2000 and, although the model that followed it in 2005 looks completely different on the outside, it's essentially the same car underneath and is no more spacious inside.

The A4 range offers a wide choice of engines, from a basic 1.6-litre petrol right up to a 339bhp 4.2-litre S4, with every kind of diesel and petrol engines in between.

There are front-wheel-drive and quattro four-wheel-drive models, and trims include basic (no name), SE (our choice), and Sport (firmer suspension, and interior).

We'd go for the 1.9 TDI 130 as the best all-round choice, although the 1.9 TDI 100 is still easy to live with, if a little less powerful. If you want something a bit more potent, the 1.8-litre turbo petrol is swift and flexible, and the V6s (diesel and petrol) are refined and effortless.

Independent specialists are the best place to track down this generation of A4, but don't rule out car supermarkets or even private sellers. Some ambitious sellers try to cash in on Audi's reputation, so make sure you don't pay over the odds.

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