What used Audi A4 saloon will I get for my budget?
You can buy an A4 of this generation for below £10,000, but it'll be a high mileage affair, so we'd suggest you budget around £12,000 to £14,000 for a good 2015 or 2016 car with an average mileage for the year, bought from an independent dealer. Up the ante to between £14,000 and £16,000 and you'll find a good choice of 2017 and 2018 cars with an average mileage for the year and a full service history, while £17,000 to £19,000 brings you your choice of 2018 and 2019 cars, some from franchised dealers. Look at upwards of £20,000 for a post-facelift 2019 or 2020 model, rising to at least £25,000 for a 2021 or 2022 example.
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The diesel engines fare better, with the 148bhp 2.0 TDI averaging 50mpg under the NEDC tests, while the 187bhp version will return an mpg of mid-40s. The lesser of the 3.0 TDI engines will approach the 45mpg mark but the most powerful diesel, the 264bhp 3.0 TDI with an automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive, will average 30mpg.
Under the later WLTP tests, the 35 TFSI petrol claims an official 42.2mpg, the 40 TFSI 42.2mpg, the 45 TFSI with quattro four-wheel drive 36.7mpg, the 30 TDI 55.4mpg, the 35 TDI 54.3mpg and the 40 TDI 45.6mpg.
The 1.4 has the lowest CO2 emissions at 131g/km rather than 136g/km of the 2.0, although both are still in the same VED band prior to the 2017 changes. An S4 will set you back quite a lot each year because it emits 166g/km.
Go for the 2.0 diesel in Ultra form for free road tax, but even the 2.0 190 has a low-CO2 output of 102g/km. The lower-power 3.0 diesel has a very credible 115g/km while the higher-output version goes up to 137g/km.
VED rates vary quite considerably, from £0 for the manual 2.0 TDI Ultra to £240 for the S4. None of the 2.0 TDI models will cost more than £30 to tax, with the majority of the 1.4 and 2.0 TFSI models cost £150.
For cars registered after the changes of April 2017 came into force (and before the further changes of April 2022), there will be a flat rate fee to pay, currently £165 per year, and, on top of this, there is a supplementary luxury car tax to pay on all cars that cost over £40,000 new, a threshold that some A4s cross. This is currently £355 per year.
As for servicing, though not cheap, should be less costly than the equivalent from Mercedes. Better yet, you can spread the cost of two consecutive services, although it does vary depending upon how old the A4 is, and what size of engine it has. Once your A4 is over three years old, it'll qualify for Audi’s fixed-price servicing plan that currently stands at £190 for an interim and £360 for a major service on engines up to 2.0-litres in capacity, or £220 and £414 for anything larger.