excellent design, reliability much worse than in the past
written on 12-31-2010
Went from the 2003 A4 model to 2009 - old model was a real german design - tight handling, powerful, good brakes. The new one gained in dimensions - you feel inside like in a mid-size car, but the steering is too soft, I guess to appeal more to american drivers. Just one note - the car is not anymore a 100% german car - parts are made in other parts of the world and the overall quality has suffered. Have that in mind - repairs over the 4/50k warranty are very expensive both parts and labor - currently at 35k miles and thinking to trade-in.
This is an update from my original review. I've had my A4 for a 16 months and 24k miles now and I think it's only fair to review it past the 'new car feeling'. Still handles like a champion. Have had ZERO issues with the car. Haven't had any unscheduled dealer visits. I would definitely recommend the car to someone looking for a 3 series alternative. The A4 is way more affordable and offers the same level of confort at a higher value. The car needs to be serviced at 5k, 15k and 25k. I added 1 qt of oil at 21500 miles which I consider normal given the interval within services.
I bought the Audi A4 2.0T Premium 4 door sedan from my best friend (30 plus years) and his wife in April 2015 with 38,000 miles. I was extremely happy with the car - especially the acceleration and road handling. The first week of August 2016, with 47,000 miles on the car - the check engine light goes on and some unholy sounds begin emitting from the engine block. After two mechanics, I was directed to bring the car back to the dealer. After a day and a half, the verdict - motor and turbo are done. The dealer informed me that the motor/turbo parts were a mere $14,000! If I wanted to trade the car in, they would give me $500. Currently, the car is in a mechanic's shop in Brooklyn - it looks like the repairs, parts, labor will be around $11,000. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I had a Toyota Camry for 15 years and never once had to make a repair of that cost and magnitude. Or maybe I would be better off with a Hyundai. February 2017: Ended up paying $12,700 for a new motor, turbo and alternator from my friends mechanic in Brooklyn. Had contacted Audi and a personal service representative informed me that they would only pick up the costs if I had the car repaired at an Audi dealer. Spoke to a Vice President of Audi who directed me to their service website. I filled out a long, detailed questionnaire and NEVER received a response. My 2009 Audi A4 Turbo is running better than it did before these repairs. I have every intention of using the car through the end of the NY winter and then trading it in for a Lexus, Acura, or a Volvo. I've spoken with many mechanics who have agreed that it is near impossible for them to work on an Audi. Obviously, I will tell anyone to avoid the 2009 Audi A4 and the whole line of vehicles. The Audi representatives exhibited complete indifference to my problems with a 2009 line of vehicles that had a detailed history of inferior manufacturing problems.
I've had my A4 back to the dealer 4 times for excessive oil consumption. They've gone as far as replacing all of my pistons/ring (took 30 days) to complete and it still consumes about 1 qt. every 1500 miles. Power steering hose is on recall so had that repair completed at the same time and had to take it back again for the power steering hose. This car looks awesome but just isn't very well built I have confronted Audi and they say it is NORMAL for a car to burn up to 1 qt. every 1000 MILES. This would be 9 quarts of oil between oil changes. My 1997 Explorer with 185K miles didn't go through oil like this.
I have owned the Audi A4 for over eight months three days after driving the car from the dealership the oil low alarm came on. I called the dealership that sold me the car they said that having to add one quart of oil after driving 800 miles was acceptable?????? "Acceptable" really, I called Audi USA and asked why were they selling cars that used oil off the show room floor, I was told that in the eyes of Audi this was an acceptable level of normal oil consumption. Fast forward from 2009 till present in total the car has spent more time in the repair shop than on the road, we have replaced the motor and turbo and the oil consumption increased to a quart of oil with every fill up of gas.