Ro, I have a 2004 A4 1.8T and it's been great - I just had my 25k mile
service done yesterday. The only on-going issue I have had (and it's
certainly not a major item) is the glovebox, they just ordered my third
latch for it..... In terms of buying a used one, I would be sure to get
the service records, if they are available. If it's the 1.8T engine,
you'll want to make sure it's had regular oil changes at the VERY least
in conformance with Audi's recommendation, and preferably more
frequently (like 3 - 5k).
What are the details on the one you're looking at?
'04 A4 1.8Tq MT-6
Central NJ USA
I've had 3 Audis. First one was 1999 A3 1.8 Sport, which rather sadly
met its demise when it had an argument with a hedge at 50mph (however I
walked away from that!). I was most upset, I really liked that car!
Niggles... the dashboard lights were always illuminated even when the
headlights/sidelights were off, as a result a couple of times at night I
drove off forgetting to turn lights on. Other niggle, the dashboard
clock was analogue.
Second one was a 2001 A4 1.9 TDI (the 130PS model with the red I). This
was great, niggles... rear windows were manual, and it had a tendency to
eat front tyres. 130bhp going through the front wheels (with 229lb/ft of
torque - diesel power remember) meant it chewed its way through 3 sets
of front tyres in 25,000 miles. It also tended to slip the front wheels
when changing up to 2nd following a quick take-off (eg off the lights),
but didn't have a problem with torque steer. I've since driven the new
shape A4 (2005 model) with a 2.0 TDI engine, and this suffered a lot
from torque steer. 140bhp with masses of torque going through the front
wheels... the 2.0 TDI *needs* Quattro.
This car developed a serious problem with the braking system, which
started with the vacuum pump failing (meaning that I lost all servo
assistance). This was rectified, then the brake servo failed, then other
parts were replaced, end result being that the car went in 6 times in as
many weeks. In the end I lost confidence in this car and traded it in.
Currently have a 2003 A4 1.9 TDI Quattro (again the 130bhp engine with
red I). Much the same as the previous one, but with the two niggles
sorted out. The rear windows are now electric, the front wheels don't
slip when accelerating hard, and as for tyre wear... I've done 8,000
miles in it since I got it in August, and the tyres aren't showing
visible wear. On the front wheel drive version I'd have been down to 3mm
tread after 8,000 miles on the front wheels.
To drive though... they're fantastic, whichever one you get. Even the
A2's not bad (I wouldn't buy one of these though). So far in Audi's
range I've driven:
A2, 1.4 TDI, 1.4 TDI Sport
A3, 1999 1.8 Sport, 2005 2.0 TDI Sportback
A4, 2001 2.0, 2001 1.9 TDI, 2003 1.9 TDI Quattro, 2005 2.0 TDI
A6, 2005 2.0 TDI
Haven't driven an A8 yet, or any of the S-series. Although the local
dealer has promised me a go in the RS4 when they get their demonstrator
in next year!
I've also driven a couple of Merc C-classes, and the A4 is much more a
driver's car. The C-class is lovely to ride in as a passenger, but if
you're sitting in the driving seat I'd pick the A4 every time. Although
this may be because I really didn't like the automatic gearbox in the
Merc, my A4Q has a 6-speed manual.
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