Used 1996 Audi A4 Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

All new, the A4 replaces the compact 90. This car performs better than the lackluster 90, and features a full load of standard features. Plus, it's drop-dead gorgeous. For the first time, a five-speed automatic transmission is available with the optional Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Vehicle overview

This all-new replacement for the 90 marks a new direction for Audi. The A4 is sleek, sophisticated, and speedy; attributes that the 90 did not possess. On the market in Europe since the beginning of 1995, the A4 has won praise from the automotive media and has scored best in its class in the 35-mph offset crash tests performed in Europe. For US buyers, this translates into a competent and safe alternative to the BMW 3-Series, Acura TL-Series, and Volvo 850, among others.

Larger inside and out, the A4 is powered by a 2.8-liter V6 engine putting 172 horsepower through the front wheels. A new multi-link front suspension virtually eliminates torque steer, according to the people at Audi. Quattro all-wheel drive continues as a stand-alone option, reasonably priced at about $1,500. For the first time, an automatic transmission is available with the Quattro system. Dual airbags, antilock brakes, and traction control all come standard. The A4 also passes 1997 side-impact standards. Purchase an A4 and enjoy free maintenance for three years and 50,000 miles.

Other standard equipment includes automatic climate control, alloy wheels, fog lights and five mile-per-hour bumpers. A power driver's seat with lumbar support should prove as comfortable as those found in other Audis. A theft alarm keeps thieves from making off with the radio or anything else left in an unattended car.

A short options list reveals that almost everything you need comes standard on the new A4. With prices starting near $27,000, this means that you can get a status car that is comfortable, well equipped and costs less than it does to send your kid to college. We think that Audi has a winner with the A4.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.