Used Audi A4 2005 - 2009 review

Category: Executive car

The Audi A4 is a classy compact executive saloon and shouldn't disappoint.

Audi A4 (05 - 09)
  • Audi A4 (05 - 09)
  • Audi A4 (05 - 09)
Used Audi A4 2005 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Audi A4 saloon like?

Despite looking like an all-new car, this Audi A4 saloon is actually a heavily revised version of its predecessor. It's slightly bigger inside, but dynamically very similar.

With precise handling and good roadholding, the Audi is entertaining to drive, and unsettled by only the bumpiest surfaces. It grips well and turns into corners crisply, and rides comfortably over most surfaces. Although the Audi ultimately falls short of the BMW 3 Series for driver enjoyment, it's perfectly acceptable.


The Audi A4 is a classy compact executive saloon and shouldn't disappoint.

  • Elegant
  • Quiet
  • Desirable
  • Not as good to drive as a BMW 3 Series

This A4 retains Audi's tradition for clarity, quality and comfort inside the cabin. Controls are logically laid out and feel durable, and four people can sit in comfort. However, five will struggle due to the bulk of the transmission tunnel. Wind and tyre noise are kept in check.

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 is cheaper to own than to rivals, taking depreciation into account, and should prove as reliable. Audi main dealers have a reputation for higher prices, but stick to independent specialists and you can cut up to 35% off your service bills. However, franchised dealers can use this as an excuse to undervalue your car, so be wary when getting newer cars serviced.

The 2.0-litre diesels are popular with fleet buyers because of their economy and low group 12 insurance rating. The petrol 2.0T FSI does 36.7mpg and is the more-expensive insurance group 15, so residual values aren't as strong as a result.

The 4.2-litre models may have the performance of junior supercars, but running costs will reflect this, with an insurance group rating of 20, a special servicing schedule and only 20mpg.

For cars out of warranty, the average repair bill works out to roughly £330 according to Warranty Direct.

Our recommendations

Which used Audi A4 saloon should I buy?

Go for the 2.0 TDI engine, which is smoother than the 1.9-litre diesel option. You get 138bhp and an average of 47.9mpg. Large diesels comprise 2.5-litre, 2.7-litre and a 3.0-litre V6s

Diesel models have better residual values, but if you want a petrol car the turbo-charged 2.0-litre FSI engine is a sensible choice. Avoid the underpowered 1.6-litre model, but the 1.8 turbo model is worth considering.

The 3.2-litre petrol-engined version is rare and not that exciting, as opposed to the 4.2-litre which produces up to 414bhp, and the rival BMW M3.

The more powerful versions of the A4 come with four-wheel drive, which noticeably improves traction but lowers fuel economy.

The entry-level trim (unnamed) is poorly equipped, so opt for the mid-level SE with four electric windows and a CD player. The S-line model comes with sportier trim, seats and detailing. An early version of Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) is a desirable option, and like BMW's iDrive, lets you control the radio, CD player, ventilation system and sat nav.

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