Used Audi A4 2008 - 2015 review

Category: Executive car

The A4 is a very competent, classy compact executive, but overall it's just beaten by the competition from BMW and Mercedes

Audi A4 (08 - 15)
  • Audi A4 (08 - 15)
  • Audi A4 (08 - 15)
Used Audi A4 2008 - 2015 review
Star rating

What's the used Audi A4 saloon like?

This Audi A4 was designed to beat the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, but fell just short. Then again, it retains Audi's restrained styling, so if you're looking for understated elegance, this could be the car for you.

The handling is balanced, and there's plenty of grip through bends. The steering can feel rubbery, but it provides reasonable feedback. However, the ride is on the firm side and the A4 doesn't cope with bumps very well. Watch out for the off-set pedals in manual models.


The A4 is a very competent, classy compact executive, but overall it's just beaten by the competition from BMW and Mercedes

  • Spacious
  • Desirable
  • Handles well
  • Poor ride on rougher road surfaces
  • Smaller petrol engines can become noisy when pushed

The cabin is well laid out and spacious enough for four adults. Visibility is good, and the driver's seat is easily adjusted. The boot is bigger than both the 3 Series and the C-Class's. The A4 is no longer the class leader in terms of fit and finish, but the interior is generally good, built with quality materials that have a solid 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?

Predictably the diesel A4s are cheapest to run, with stronger residual values and much better fuel economy than the petrols. The 2.0-litre diesels average between 55.4 and 47.9mpg, with the 2.7-litre does 44.1mpg and the 3.0-litre 42.8mpg. Compare that with the 1.8-litre petrol's 39.8mpg, the 2.0-litre with between 42.8mpg and 38.2, and the 3.2-litre with 31.7mpg.

Servicing costs are on a par with those of rivals, but Audi dealers tend to have some of the highest labour rates. You'll save by switching to a reliable independent garage, or you could try a franchised dealer from one of the other VW Group of companies (Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen itself). They share many of the engines and gearboxes, so should be able to carry out any work.

So far there are few reported reliability issues, and no obvious weaknesses, but the previous A4 has a reputation for being less than perfect, so time will tell.

Our recommendations

Which used Audi A4 saloon should I buy?

You'll need a good reason not to consider the diesel models. The 2.0-litre TDI engines, with between 118bhp and 168bhp, are the best option - not only for availability, but for running costs and residual values, too. There's also a 2.7-litre with 187bhp and a CVT automatic gearbox and a quattro four-wheel-drive 237bhp 3.0-litre. There is no auto option on the 2.0-litre engines, but the 3.0 is also available with an S-tronic semi-auto gearbox.

The petrol versions start with the excellent 1.8-litre turbo, with between 118bhp and 158bhp, and a 2.0-litre version with 208bhp. Both are available with a CVT automatic gearbox. The four-wheel-drive 261bhp 3.2-litre is more of a car for keen drivers, but is rare on the used market.

Entry-level specification is good, with stability control, electric windows all round, climate control and remote central locking, while SE adds alloy wheels, parking sensors, upgraded stereo and interior trim, plus multi-zone climate control. The S line version sits on lowered sports suspension, gets larger alloys, and sporty cabin trim and a body styling kit.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here


What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi A4 saloon?