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I've had my Audi A4 1.8T Quattro for a few months now, and it really is time for a proper review, especially considering the amount of enjoyment and love I have for it. Now the thing about reviewing a car is there is so much you can talk about, and you really could go on forever, so I'm just going to hit off the points that I feel are important for ANYONE that is purchasing (or rather, considering purchasing) a vehicle like this, as well as things that are notably good about my Audi A4, and things are notably poor about it. Should be fun, let's begin...
.:Handling & Steering Responsiveness:.
The steering in the Audi A4 is very responsive when compared to other cars of its size and class. If you've ever driven a Mazda, like a 3 or a 6, you'll probably recognize them as the king of steering responsiveness, at least until you get into your more expensive BMWs. Not really sure where this comparison is going except to conclude with, the steering is very responsive but not quite as responsive as Mazda, but that's still saying quite a bit. You can really feel the road through the A4, the grip of the tires, your turns, it's all responsive and stimulated.
If you take a look at the A4's owner's manual, you will read that it is made for cornering and great for braking whilst cornering. This is nothing short of the truth, in a 100% good way. Audi is known for putting their engines rather far front, but as they usually do, they make it work. The handling of the A4 is fantastic. I haven't done anything really stupid with it, but I've taken some very quick turns, and it's performed at least, if not better, then I expected it to.
.:Acceleration & Turbocharged Engine:.
Obviously we're talking about a 4 cylinder, 1.8 liter engine here, albeit it is turbo-charged, but regardless you won't have a great amount of power under the engine. However, the acceleration is still quite satisfying, and you definitely notice it when you put your foot down, and when you rev it the red line when shifting (assuming you have a manual transmission of course.) As for the turbo lag, it's hardly noticeable at all, when you put that foot down it's pretty much an instant gratification of speed. As for the turbo itself, it seems pretty trustworthy... at least within the standards of turbocharged engines. It does seem to make a noise of the turbo dying down after you turn the car off, but it doesn't appear to be anything harmful. Furthermore, basic turbo care should be taken, such as letting your car idle for approximately 30 seconds or so after you get wherever it is that you're going, simply as a precaution and some basic care.
.:Quattro (All Wheel Drive) and Gas Mileage:.
First of all, I'm going to be blunt- the gas mileage is not as good as I would like it to be. Now part of that is going to be because of the turbocharged engine, but the fact of the matter is it's still a small 1.8, and it's more due to the all wheel drive. Personally, I've found that, whilst driving conservatively, I can get around 22 MPG (mind you that isn't highway driving.) However, if I want to really enjoy the car, it'll take me down to about 19 MPG. It's a little disappointing, but it's the cost of having an all wheel drive car, and perhaps if you were doing a lot of conservative highway driving, you could get some more decent mileage. Heck, I'm perfectly willing to admit I am not the best at driving conservatively, so maybe it's just me.
Now as for the usefulness of the all-wheel drive, then it's a bit of a disappointment. Really all I can say about it is this- it's nice, but not as nice as all weather tires would be. My A4 came with grand touring tires, and they're nice and all, but even with the all-wheel drive, I have managed to spin out once in some heavy rain once. Luckily I was fine, and I haven't had a problem since, now that I'm more familiar with how to control the car's grip and avoiding the action of hydroplaning. As for the snow, I have yet to drive it in it, so I really am not in a position to say, but I'd imagine it's the same. It's not a hate on the all-wheel drive, I'm sure it's quite competent, but it's just that you would probably be better off in a rear wheel drive car with all weather tires then an all wheel drive car with grand touring tires. Maybe it's just my preference, but personally I think the whole idea of all wheel drive is overrated, and is used more as a selling point to make people buy cars that they will be more comfortable with in the rain, snow, or other less than ideal driving conditions.
Here's where we have a serious knock against Audi in general. Audi is stereotyped as having expensive upkeep, and that is nothing less than the truth. It's recommended that you find a place that's capable of performing basic functions on your Audi, or learn to do them yourself, because having a dealership or anything directly associated with the company itself is going to cost you... big time. But also, in a way, it's really nothing that you wouldn't expect coming into purchasing an Audi.
Another note, many Audi's, my A4 included, take premium petrol. Gas prices are expensive as heck now, so make sure you're ready to take on this extra cost and burden, or at the very least look into what kind of fuel the A4 you are looking at takes. They don't all take premium, but many do.
Now that I have gone over all of the basic car "stuff" I'm going to mention some little details about my A4 that either really please me or really bug me.
Air-Conditioning: The AC is nothing short of excellent. You can set it to a temperature, select Auto, and then whenever you start your car it'll hit that temperature within seconds throughout your vehicle. It's fantastic for hot and humid summer days, within a minute your car will be the exact temperature you desire.
Leather Interior: Honestly the interior in its entirety is a thing of beauty. I've always preferred Audi interiors to BMW interiors (putting speed and other performance aside.) There are tons of creature comforts... and man that leather really is comfortable. What's more, the leather seems to be of good quality, I have no rips yet despite all of the use.
Floor Mats: I don't know what they've done, but the floor mats are some of the worst I've ever run into. They have these little white screw things that you turn into the floor itself. Great idea right? Wrong. The little screw things are only in the back of your floor mat, not the front. This means when I shift and quick bring the clutch out and the gas down, the mat scrunches up at your feet. Not only is it unsafe, it's downright frustrating. At one point it got so bad I just ripped the whole mat out so as not to have it distract me in a situation. You really need to have them ironed or something so that they're flat because man they have quite the tendency to scrunch up.
Key Fob: They wear out easily, and they're expensive to replace. Not a big deal, I can live with turning my key to unlock the car rather than pressing a button, but it's just a minor annoyance. Plus I could see how this could be a bigger deal for some people, if it's night time and your not in an area you feel comfortable with, it's much faster to hit the button and hop in your car.
Audio Systems: Mine has the BOSE stereo system, I'm not sure but I THINK that pretty much all the A4s come with it. It's nice, the sound is crisp and clear. Quick note- my 6 CD changer is in the trunk of the car, which is apparently pretty common. It's nice in that you have more space on the dash, but I could see how this could annoy some people, especially if you're the type that changes CDs often, as you have to walk all the way around to the back of your car. Of course, you can have 6 CDs in at once obviously, so I'd imagine that it makes more sense with the trunk design.
So would I recommend the Audi A4? If you can afford it, you sure bet I would! It's a lot of fine to drive, it's classy, it performs, it's really the complete package for almost anyone. However, do make sure you can afford to own one. Notice that I didn't say buy. Many people can buy an Audi, few can afford to own one, that means keep up with everything that needs to be kept up with. I've left out reliability until this point because there really isn't a lot I can speak of for across the board. Unlike many cars, the Audi A4 seems to truly be you get what you put into it. If it's treated properly, you'll get a reliable car. If you don't, you'll get what's probably an overpriced bill. If you're prepared to handle that, then the car will handle you and treat you kindly for one of the smoothest, yet most exciting rides in your driving experience.
I thought it was about time I reviewed my car. I'm not a car person so don't expect a technical review but I can tell you about how it drives and what I like or dislike about it.
Tried and tested
I've had my Audi A4 diesel car for a year and a half now and still like it. I bought it second hand and it's an 03 plate so is around seven years old now.
Why the Audi A4?
My previous cars have been all Fords (Fiesta, then a Puma) but I felt ready to move on to a bigger car and this was described as a 'junior executive' car. I loved the Audi TT but knew it wouldn't be practical for me as we were planning a family. The used car garage we went to specialised in Audi cars, minis, BMWs (and Bentleys) and I think I ended up buying the cheapest car on the forecourt!
Mine has a saloon style boot and in retrospect, this means it sticks out a lot on the back so when parking I wish I had sensors although I haven't bumped into anything yet! The boot space is tremendous and it goes back miles so can fit in mammoth amounts of shopping and will be really handy when I need to fit in a pushchair when our child is born. Unfortunately the seats don't fold down which I miss, having had this functionality in my previous cars. My husband's car (Focus) does this though so we just take his car when we want to fit something long in the car.
I was really pleasantly surprised with the fuel economy in this car. Doing a regular commute of around 40 miles per day, my previous car (the Puma) needed filling regularly and I hate that job. A full tank in this car does me around three normal weeks at a time although the tank is bigger and it's Diesel fuel. I spend around £70 filling it up and since commencing maternity leave it's lasting me a heck of a long time. To put a better idea on how this lasts, I get around 700 miles out of an average tank full. Obviously this changes if I do more or less motorway driving but I think that's quite good really.
On board 'computer'
This is the first car I've had that's been a bit whizzy and my car's 'computer' tells me what fuel economy I'm getting, and how many miles are left in the tank. I don't get obsessed with it but it did keep me occupied for a while at first. The computer also flags up if a light's out or if there are any car alerts which is good for peace of mind.
I don't sit in the back of my car as I'm always driving, but I find my seat comfortable enough with plenty of seat adjustment options to get the position. One of the features on this car is the dual climate controls, which means the passenger can choose a different heat setting on the air conditioning or heater so if you're hot and cold you can both be happy. Obviously you're still only inches apart so that only works to a certain extent. Windows and wing mirrors are all electric as you'd expect of a car like this and you can also control the window of your passenger from the driver's side which has caused numerous arguments between me and my husband when I threaten to chop his fingers off!
Speaking of chopping fingers off... no seriously though, my car has a useful function that when I set off and get to above 10 miles per hour the car automatically locks itself. So when you stop at traffic lights you can be safe that no one will try and jump in. It can be a bit alarming for passengers when they don't know they are locked in and try to get out but you just have to do a double release on the door handle for the car to unlock. I believe that in an impact or accident situation, the lock disables itself but I have never had the opportunity to test this so far, thank goodness. You can disable the auto lock if you prefer it not to be on.
The in car stereo is easy to use and impressively titled 'Audi Concert' and my husband is suitably impressed by the 'surround sound' effect the numerous speakers provide. I just crank up the radio when I feel like it and turn it off when I want some peace and quiet. No MP3 options due to the age of the car but a perfectly functioning CD player provides me with a different choice from the radio when I feel like it.
An idea of costs so far
Since getting the car, other than routine MOTs etc. I have had the air conditioning redone and my second key needed to be reprogrammed so I had to go to an official Audi dealership to get this done. It did cost a lot for the A/C (£350) and they informed me, I'd need the clutch replacing soon, due to a high biting point and they quoted an extortionate price (£599) which took my breath away! I'll use a local garage when that job really needs doing thank you! My Insurance is £340 per year and Car tax costs £150 per year on this model. Gosh, driving is an expensive pass time isn't it!
In 2009, I paid just under £8,000 for my Audi A4 (this includes the trade in price I got for my beloved Puma). It's going to have to last me a good while now so I hope it continues to perform well and need little fixing, we'll get on just fine if that's the case. My car is blue which ironically wouldn't be the colour I would have chosen had I had a choice (which technically you could argue that I did) I would have had black or silver but this one had low mileage and I can live with the colour without it bothering me that much.
What a beautiful car!
I must confess, it is not mine, it is my husbands but I drive it at every little opportunity!
A third generation s line it has all the va va voom tiere talks about in those clio adverts!
Our car is an automatic with two main modes: drive and sport.
Sport is a lot of fun!
Six gears mean that you can use the car really economically in drive mode.
Drive quality is really smooth and it does seem to grip the road really well.
The interior seems to be typical audi however this is a formulae which doesnt need improving. The standard aluminium inlays with cloth an leather finishings around the interior.
In built satnav is a real plus however it does tend to get "stuck" at times which has caused us a few problems.
The front passenger airbag can also be deactivated quickly and easily without much faffing around.
The sat nav screen doubles up as a screen with all the radio details on and audio is played by an sd card however despite having the car for two years we have not used this once.
The car feels luxurious and for the forgetful sorts like me will lock its self when you forget!
Audi isnt the cheapest make around but we have not had one scrap of trouble from this car so it would seem that quality does cost more, but its worth it!
I bought my Audi A4 1.8SE at Brightwells Leominster Car Auction last November. It was registered in 1996, had full service history, climate control, alloys, electric front windows, adjustable steering wheel and all the usual things. It even has a little sun visor over the rear view mirror in case you need it. The car was in immaculate condition without even a stain on the seats. I have now driven 12,000 miles in it and it has been reliable. The driver's seat gives excellent support and even after a very long journey it is comfortable. The interior is spacious (even my children don't squabble in it), and well designed. I have found an Audi trained self-employed mechanic who has serviced it and replaced the cam belt. Although the car has full service history there was no indication that this vital job had been done and the dealer who serviced the car at 80,000 mles had gone out of business. The only problem I have had is with the snobbery some people have: some ***** has keyed a long scratch down the passengers side when I left it parked. I haven't looked into the cost because I am afraid that it will just happen again.
I reckon that the A4 is a really class looking car . There’s a good range of engines, from 1.6-litre petrols and 1.9-litre turbo diesels right up to really smooth 2.6-litre V6 units. The gearshift is slick and the brakes have an efficiency that you come to expect from the German car producer. When I test drove the A 4 I found that the suspension handles bends with ease and cushions the bumps, even when these happen to come along at the same moment. I found that you don’t really notice the front-wheel drive –except in extreme low gear and tight uphill corners. I do think that it would be better if the steering wasn’t so light. Inside, the A4 is roomy and trimmed with high-grade material and soft-feel plastics. Alloy wheels are standard on SE models, and there’s a pull-out radio, fully adjustable steering column, a sunroof with electric pre-select opening and plenty more besides.