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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • A4 and A6 are much more like big and little brothers than the Civic and Accord. The Civic and Accord don't use the same basic frame, A4 and A6 do. Its more like the similarity between the Civic and the Integra.

    The A6 about the size of a Camry, inside and out. I can't think of a comparable Japanese car to the A4 in size. Inside its bigger than a Integra, but much smaller than an Accord. Outside, there is no real comparable car, except the Lexus IS300 I guess. It's not that the car is super funky, it's just that Japanese cars tend to get lower (roofline) as they get shorter, and the A4 isn't like that. It is about the height of an Accord, but in a length more like the Integra.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    The driving dynamics are also different when comparing the A4 to the A6. The A4 steering feels more responsive, and it has less body roll into corners. The A6 provides more steering assist too, so parking lot maneuvers could be done with 1 finger. The acceleration on the A4 is also more responsive (A6 is heavier).

    To me the A4 feels more on the sport side and the A6 more on the luxury side. I prefer the A4 over the A6, but my wife likes the A6 better (we got the A6).
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    Since you have the A6, what do you think of it? Which engine, did you get quattro, which interior, acceleration, mpg, etc. Are you happy with it. Dealer OK? Would you get another one? All the usual questions that posters usually ask.
  • I recently bought a 2001 A4 1.8T Quattro. I really love this car. I have had one strange issue. Whenever I run the windshield washers (as happens quite a bit this time of year), the noxious smell of wiper fluid comes into the cabin through the vents. I now have to set the HVAC to recirculate before I run the washers. I then wait several minutes before I can remove the recirculate, or the smell will come right on in.

    Has anyone else had this problem?
  • This is very normal. Audi puts in a special windshield wiper fluid that is very toxic smelling initially. It goes away with time. If you go to you will see how often this subject has come up in the archives. Don't worry, though, there is nothing wrong with this odor.
  • The smell, in my car, was more like that of
    alcohol than anything else. Just make sure
    you don't wash your windshield if you are
    about to be stopped by an officer! :)
    And, yes, the smell, which never really bothered
    me, is now gone after about a year.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    Did you buy a 5-speed or a tip ? Is the 1.8t quattro tip combination very slow ? I test drove one and found if it is in "D", it's liked not willing to move (turbo lag ??). If I put it into tiptronic mode and shift the gear myself, it seems to be much better (although no surprise).

    P.S. I am afraid of breaking the manual height
    adjustment tag.
  • I'm trying to find out if the A4 quattro is good in the snow. I've heard that on wet roads it is great, but only so-so in snow. Any help?
  • I have a 1998 A4 1.8T Quattro that is on lease until April 2001. However, the warranty is up in January (3 years). I am thinking of buying the car at the end of the lease, but I am hesitant because the warranty will be up, although I can get an extended one, and I hear that these Audi's are very expensive to fix. I'd like to hear all of your comments for the long term ownership prospects of this car.

    Alternatively, I'd like to lease another A4, but the 2002's won't hit the dealerships until the end of the summer, so I'd have to come up with a car for about 5-6 months to tide me over. Does it make sense to buy my car and then try to sell it 6 months later? My buyback is $18,300 but I have no idea what it might be worth. It's in phenomenal condition, having spent most of the three years in a garage or on the highway, and has about 34k miles. I am told that Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds prices are very unrealistic.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    My friend has a 2.8 A4 quattro and he told me the car is good on snow but he suggested me to get the ESP too. ESP can help on icy surface. He told me he never got stuck in snow.
  • Florida roads can be ok depending on where you're at, just stay away from the I4 destruction zone by Tampa. Decent twisties in some areas, working on getting my wife a 2001 A4 sport, although she wants to look at the Passat before her mind is made up. Big change for me though (selling my 300+HP 95 mustang so she can get the A4). Probably going to chip the car plus wheels and basic mods after the first year.
  • The A4 is great in the snow, especially from a starting position. I have the all season tires, but I bet with dedictated snow tires this car would be unstoppable in the snow.

    Last year was the first winter I had my A4 and the only thing I had to be aware of was stopping. No AWD can prevent mistakes if you stop too close or too fast on slippery surfaces, otherwise it was great. Better than my Pathfinder.
  • For anyone who doubted the advantage of quattro, consider the following two experiences that I had.

    On a cold and raining night in Boston two years ago, I was driving my A4 1.8T Q around 2:00 in the morning. There was black ice everywhere. You couldn't drive more than 15-20mph without getting into trouble. As I was approaching one intersection I began to apply the brakes and the ABS brakes immediately kicked in, but clearly were not going to stop me in time to avoid entering the intersection. What I did instead, was throw the car into first gear and let the clutch out all the way, while continuing to apply the breaks. The engine slowed the car down significantly as the RPM's came down, bringing the car to a speed which the ABS brakes could then be more effective and completely stop the car. I propose that it was QUATTRO which saved my [non-permissible content removed] on this occasion for this reason: ABS brakes applies equally to all wheels, the quattro can apply power, or in this case deceleration, to whichever wheels were gripping the ground. So, when I was down to only 1 or 2 wheels of traction, I was still able to use the full breaking ability of the engine to slow the car down.

    Moments later, sitting at the same traffic light, I saw flashing red and white lights in my rearview mirror. I figured it was a cop and I was in trouble, but on closer inspection, I realized that it was a spinning pickup truck, doing consecutive 360's. I was seeing headlights, tail lights, headlights, tail lights. It was coming straight at me with no signs of slowing down on the ice. So, I looked to make sure the intersection was clear and floored it through the intersection to get out of the way of the truck. There was some initial slippage and thus a slow start, but once power was transfered to the other wheels, the car took off just fine. The pickup truck missed me be about 10 feet and also cleared the intersection before finally stopping some 50 feet after the traffic lights.

    For anyone who doubts the value of quattro in the cold northeast winters, take it for a test drive on the snow and ice.
  • Help! I have been reading posts on the Audi threads now for over 2 years, and have finally decided to buy a 1.8T, 2001 model. I am super excited, but my dilemma is that I keep going back and forth between the sedan and the avant. My wife and I will start a family next Spring, but other than that, probably have no need for the extra space.

    What are the thoughts out there by you avant owners? Are you glad you have the extra space? Any sedan owners out there with babies/toddlers who make do in the sedan? I prefer the styling of the sedan, but am also practical.

    Also: am still debating on a few options - namely, ESP and xenon headlights. Automobile mag (I think) just did a report on xenons, and the review was mixed.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!!
  • You might benefit by going to There are plenty of people there who have a family and can advise you of the merits and detriments of both cars for a family. Both are really appealing, so it really doesn't matter which one you go for. According to the people who own Avants, they say it is exactly the same as driving an A4.

    Defintely go for the Xenons. I have them and could not imagine a car without them. As far as the ESP, if it were an option in 2000, I would have gotten that as well. I am sure alot of people will say with quattro, why get ESP. My feeling is you can never have enough safety apparatus's.

    Good luck!
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    It seems that 2001 1.8t quattro price is around 6%+ over invoice right now. Can I get around 5.5% ? Is the price usually more expensive near winter/snow time ? From now to May, which month(s) is a good time to get a good deal ?


    IMO, Xenon lights are just brighter lights. They help you to see things at night more clear and make you car looks nicer but I don't think it is worth $550. I would rather spend $500-$600 on heated seats or Bose speakers. What do you think ?

  • I think heated seats are the best thing since sliced bread if you live in a cold climate. I have them and again, wouldn't get a car with leather without them. Total necessity in the cold weather. I have the Bose and think it's great, but then again, I'm no audiophile. Many people on Audiworld don't like the Bose and have opted for aftermarket systems.

    Personally, I think the Xenons are definitely worth it. If you drive a car with them you will see the difference. I also think that most cars in the very near future will have them standard and/or as options, so for resale value it would probably be a good option to get, but if I had the choice of the three, I would get the heated seats.

    Good luck!
  • Ditto on the heated seats. I just tried mine out for the first time last Saturday in my IS300...of all the creature comforts, that's the best!
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    I think the A6 is great. I got the 2.8Q. From the stand still it feels "ok" when accelerating. Once rolling the car accelerates very well.

    I originally was looking at the darker interior(forget the name), but ended up getting the melange interior(much better). I get combined mpg of about 20. Dealer was (and is) great.

    I would buy another one, but I really like the re-designed A4 and may go for cars in that class (not like there is really much diff anyway). A4 has many more competitors now too.
  • I am coming up on the end of my lease for my 1998 A4 1.8T and I'm thinking of buying the car and chipping it up to 200 bhp and about 250 lb-ft torque. I've heard of this chipping concept to boost horsepower and torque from folks on this board and looked into it. I understand there are about 4-5 different chip vendors out there that will do this. Can anyone tell me of their personal experiences with any of these chips? Also, what are the long term effects of doing this? Will I also have to make other modifications to accomodate the chips? Which is the best chip to get?

    Thanks for all the help.

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