Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Audi A4 saloon?
Many A4s will have been company or lease cars and, as a result, you should check the condition of the paintwork carefully. Most unsightly scuffs and dings will have been attended to at the end of the lease period, but these can often be of the ‘Smart’ repair type and the quality of finish can vary. Also, check for swirls in the paintwork from car washes.
The high-quality fit and finish of an A4 also makes it an ideal candidate for clocking, so ensure the history is absolutely watertight and there are no mileage discrepancies. Look at the seats, pedals and steering wheel to make sure wear is commensurate with mileage.
There are three recalls to be aware of on the A4, all for models built before December 2016. One concerns a potential seat backrest fault, one is for seatbelt pre-tensioners and airbags and a third affects TFSI engine coolant pumps.
What are the most common problems with a used Audi A4 saloon?
The number of reported faults on the A4 is relatively low as it’s so new, although problems with the car’s infotainment system are a cause for concern, with phones not connecting properly and flickering screens being the main complaints. The latest software from Audi can cure some of these ills.
Despite the A4’s reputation for having a great interior, there have been some issues with rattling parcel shelves and buzzing from interior trims.
Previous generations of the TFSI petrol engine did have some problems with camshaft wear and timing chain tensioner issues, but it would seem these problems have been ironed out for A4s from 2015 onwards.
There are no specific diesel problems to be aware of, other than diesel particulate filter (DPF) issues that can affect modern diesel engines if they don’t get hot enough for the DPF to regenerate. If the majority of your driving will be short urban trips, then a petrol-engined model is a better bet.
Is a used Audi A4 saloon reliable?
Although generally regarded as a reliable car, the A4 did poorly in our most recent reliability survey, finishing near the bottom of the executive car class. Diesel cars had more problems than petrol cars, but both suffered from electrical problems. Audi as a brand finished in 20th place out of 31 manufacturers, a disappointing result.