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Audi A4 2004 and earlier

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  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    I will definetly wait for the 2002 1.8T, in hopes of the power seats. The 3.0 will be nice, but for the type of driving that I do, the 1.8T is sweet. The low end torque is inspiring, and this is an amazingly tossable little car. I just hope they dont mess with the body style to much, as currently it stands as a wonderful blend of sport and luxury. Thanks for your input.
    -getz
  • Does anybody knows that the 2002 1.8T comes with 170hp or 150hp? Last week I read it from Road&Track and Motor Trend that it would only comes with 150hp?? Are they correct? Any info would be much appreciated!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Good news! According to the January issue of Automobile magazine, the 2002 A4 1.8T will be 170hp. The A4 3.0 will have 217 horsepower and 221 ft-lbs of torque. The article also mentions that the U.S. launch time will be in July 2001.

    getz1: If I were you, I'd try to take a look at the pictures of the new 2002 model. I'm not too sure I like the styling of the upcoming model more than the existing model. That is why I had no problems buying a 2001 model. (I hope I don't regret it next year!) The rear end of the 2002 A4 seems to have a strong resemblence to the A6. From what I can tell, Audi may have tried to add some class and luxury to the look, at the possible expense of some of the "sporty" look of the existing model. There are a couple pics in the January Automobile issue. I think audiworld.com has a link to some pictures of the 2002 model.

    In favor of the 2002 model, there is more interior room, the body is more rigid, and the suspension is improved. According to the magazine, the 2002 A4 should be a better driving automobile.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    SAR21102:

    Thanks for the input but I guess I just didn't make myself too clear in previous posts although I did specifically mention "air" noise in post #541, 3rd paragraph. The "noise" I'm talking about is wind noise coming from the closed sunroof due to a bad seal or bad design... or both. I have no squeaks at all in my car - but too much wind noise with the sunroof closed. This is a well-documented complaint on the A4 Forum. I wish it was just a squeak because I can usually easily fix that kind of stuff.

    Cotmc:

    Congrats!! I've owned 3 BMWs in the past and I had to laugh when you said you were afraid the A4 would be a noticeable step down in quality and performance. The performance issue may be debatable, but from my experience, Audi is - if anything - a step up in overall quality. I'll be flamed by die-hard BMW owners for that, but who cares...it's just a personal observation. You're going to love the A4 but don't put too much stock in the MPG accuracy of the OBC. Use the good old manual method to figure your MPG on fillups. Sometimes my OBC shows 50 or 60 MPG and jumps all over the place. I always drive with the "miles remaining" display, which seems to be relatively accurate and much more useful.

    Enjoy the new ride! I still look back and admire mine in parking lots, where I always park in an end spot as far away as I can get. No dents or dings yet after a year and it's good exercise. Keep us informed on your new love affair.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    Does anyone besides me despise the spell check system on this forum? Probably the most annoying system I've seen in any program.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Yep, it's a great ride! Just the same, it's a good thing this isn't an A4 vs 3-series comparison topic, or there would be some flaming going on! ;-)

    I don't pay attention to the real-time MPG display in the trip computer, but the averaged MPG display seems to be pretty consistent so far. But I understand your point -- compute MPG the old-fashion way and see how much the computer's averaged MPG calculation deviates from that.

    The spell checker gets a big thumbs down from within every topic I've been observing. Our family car is the new Acura MDX SUV, and there were a handful of people in the MDX topic who all agree with you. I don't use this spell checker at all! I just do a quick visual double-check before I post, and I occasionally do one or two edits after the initial post. I also try to avoid any words that are tough to spell! ;-)
  • We must have the same taste in automobiles - my wife and I own an A4 and have an MDX on order, although I still may switch that to an allroad if the rumored tow hitch finally becomes available sometime before May when the MDX is scheduled to arrive.

    We sure LOVE the A4 though - a 98.5 silver 2.8Q with all the options - just past 30,000 miles with no problems, and it looks and rides like new.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    If possible, post some pictures of your new car on the A4 forum or e-mail me. I'm really curious about the interior color combination. I just can't imagine clay with ecru & melange and would like to see how it looks. My dealer doesn't have any cars with that combo.

    Thanks... and I imagine you've been driving the A4 as much as possible!
  • I guess we all have similar tastes, as my husband and I have the 2000 A4 2.8, and the 2000 Acura 3.2 TL. Although it is not the MDX, it is still an Acura. We have a Jeep as well for the real 4 wheeling.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I guess Audi's and Acura's go together! Neither manufacturer seems to have the vaunted "top-tier" reputation from their country (as Mercedes/BMW and Lexus have that ranking); but both offer upscale luxury, emphasis on value and performance; and reliability that is just as good as those "top-tier" nameplates.

    Equalizer1: If you ever need to reduce the vehicle count from 3 to 2, the MDX offers a great compromise between your 3.2TL and a mid-to-full sized SUV. (Well, it won't have the same offroad capability of your Jeep...) I had a 2000 TL as a loaner car just a couple months ago, and I really liked its low-end torque and good acceleration for its size. However, I was still happy to get back my MDX at the end of the day. :-)

    Jbaumgart: A May delivery of your MDX seems to be a fairly extensive wait! I hope the wait isn't too annoying for you. I can't help but think it would be annoying for me. Let me know if you live anywhere out west, if you might like me to check a couple of my local dealers. I've recently (3 weeks ago) had one dealer tell me she had unclaimed MDXs arriving in March. The Audi Allroad sounds like a great vehicle, but I think it is too expensive for my budget. Has the Allroad been in production for a year or more in Europe, or is it entirely new? If it is a brand new vehicle, I would likely trust the first-year reliability of the MDX more so than that of the Allroad. I could be wrong, and of course your mileage may vary, but I think companies like Acura tend to have fewer first-year production bugs.

    By the way, the MDX makes for a great complementary vehicle to the A4!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I'm not sure how to post pictures here. When you mentioned "A4 forum", I assume you meant here within Town Hall, correct? (As opposed to Audiworld?)

    However, I should have no problem emailing you some pictures instead. I just need some time to wash the car and take the pictures. Unfortunately, there is a cold front and some rain blowing through our state today and tomorrow. Give me at least a couple days or longer, and I'll email a couple pics to you.

    By the way, the ecru/clay interior goes very well with the melange exterior, but it doesn't provide the dramatic 2-tone interior look of the ecru/onyx interior. Nevertheless, I am still very pleased with the combination, and I would definitely choose these colors again if I was placing an order.
  • This is an open question to A4 owners:

    I am considering purchasing a used A4 (need AWD but undecided on 4-cyl. vs. 6-cyl.) in the next month and have even checked some online auction sites to compare prices.

    While the 1997-1999 A4 models look similar, I did notice that the newer (1998+) models have a more attractive steering wheel. Most of the 1997 models have a plain, black plastic "VW" grade steering wheel as opposed to the chrome rings logo on newer cars.

    Obviously, this is not a deciding factor for me but it made me wonder if the price difference of the 1997 A4 models was due to their having a lower standard level of interior finishes.

    Am I nuts or was 1998 a turning point with interiors? Do any '97 models have the fancy steering wheel?
  • That's a really good question to post at www.audiworld.com. I'm not really sure of the answer. They would definitely be able to answer it over there.

    Good luck!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Back in 1996 the basic black 4-spoke steering wheel was the standard A4 steering wheel, but Audi also also offered a 3-spoke thickly-padded "Sport" steering wheel (with the chrome ring logo) as an option. I believe it was a $150-$180 option. I'm sure that was also the case for the 1997 models. I'm not sure if this changed for 1998 or not. For 2000 and 2001, there is a 3-spoke thickly-padded steering wheel provided as standard equipment, but it does not have the chrome rings on it.

    My understanding is that 1998 models were not very different from 1997 models, but I could be very wrong on that guess. I knew the 1996 models very well, and I know the 2000 and 2001 models very well. Everything inbetween is rather blurry. Model year 1998 is in sort of a "black hole" for me. I believe it was the year that the 2.8L engine went to 5 valves/cylinder and 190hp, but I don't know much else regarding the changes for that model year. You might check the Used Cars section of Edmunds.com. Sometimes Edmunds will mention some of the items which were new to the vehicle for that particular model year.

    I have 3 additional guesses on why you might see the 1997 models priced much cheaper than 1998 models. First of all, 1997 models are out of warranty. Many 1998 models may still be under warranty. 1998 models may be the oldest models that Audi is willing to certify on Audi dealers' used car lots. Secondly, if you are examining the 1.8T models, 1997 was the first year of the 1.8T engine (at least here in North America). I'm not aware of this, but maybe there were some first-year reliability issues with that model? Finally, I believe that 1998 was the year Audi changed the 2.8L engine (as I mentioned above), giving it 18 more horsepower than the 1996/1997 model.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I was wrong at the end of the 1st paragraph in my previous post. The new steering wheel has chrome rings on it. Hence, it's basically the same wheel as the optional "sport" steering wheel of 5 years ago.
  • On the 2.8's there was a major increase in power on the '98's - from 170 HP to 190 HP - and as cotmc says that year it went to the 30 valve technology which allowed it to "breathe" much better for smoother performance especially at higher RPM's.

    If I'm not mistaken, the 98 models also saw the introduction of their upgraded interior's which Audi called "atmospheres" and I believe this added both variety and a richer ambiance at least with the 2.8's.

    There were also many other smaller improvements made, both inside and out, on the 98's. Then, there were further refinements with the mid-year '98's, also known as 98.5 models. I can't remember what all these were exactly, but I do remember them being posted once in the old A4.org site - now AudiWorld.com - and the list of improvements was surprisingly long. I'm sure that if you post your questions there under the A4 Forum people will be willing to help with the details.

    As far as the steering wheel goes, I have the "sport" wheel on my 98.5 model, and for my car this came with the optional "Sport Pkg" which also included a lowered and firmer suspension, different 16 inch wheels with Z-rated Dunlop 8000E tires (great in summer, bad on ice and snow - I use winter tires for 3-4 months a year here in Minnesota).

    One other thing about Audi that I've found is that they continually make changes from year to year, and even mid-year, both for reliability and functional reasons. Good luck in finding the right combination of features at the right price - there are literally hundreds of combinations to choose from if you span several years worth of A4's.
  • Regarding the Acura MDX, I've been following the acuramdx.org site, and as a first year model you do see people talking about the usual glitches. It's obvious that MDX owners really like their vehicles, but you can see where some think it falls short too.

    On the allroad forum discussion, there is a tremendous enthusiasm that's very evident, as owners are literally gushing with praise. It is extremely high quality on the inside, and it clearly will outperform and outhandle the MDX as a driving machine. The heated rear seats and steering wheel are nice, and the ESP is a major plus. Plus, it has full-time quattro, whereas the MDX is front-drive biased. All in all, it's a lot more fun to drive fast.

    The major disadvantages of the allroad include the price - about $6,000-$10,000 higher depending on options - and the higher price buys you a smaller, less flexible space inside (although in our case we only have 3, including our 9 year old). Plus, the outside styling is very "different" - either a station wagon (Avant) or an SUV - a personal decision but I think most would favor the SUV look, which could affect resale. The MDX could hold its value better, but since they're both so new who knows for sure?

    We'd be very happy with either vehicle, but if the allroad towing pkg. becomes available before the MDX arrives, I'm going to switch to the allroad. Based on my great experience with the A4, I have a lot of confidence in Audi quality. Their 4-year warranty with all maintenance included and my local dealer (very competent and conveniently located) give me added confidence, even though it's a first-year model.

    Sorry for vearing slightly off topic here...
  • After owning a 2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport for two months, I decided this vehicle was just to squirrelly for safe winter driving in MN. Fortunately I sold it with little loss, and picked up a 2001 A4 quattro yesterday. Having owned 4x4 trucks since I started driving, I was a little skeptacle about buying a car. Boy was I surprised, I feel like I have just found the best car I have ever owned!
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    I did in fact mean the AudiWorld A4 Forum because I know pictures can't be posted here. I just thought others besides me on this forum may be interested in seeing your new car, which they'd be able to do on the AudiWorld Forum. Do what's easiest for you...e-mail would be fine and I'm looking forward to seeing the new ride! If you have a high-res digital camera (2 megapixels or above), please reduce the picture size to lessen download time. Thanks.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks for filling me in with some info regarding the A4 changes for 1998. I should have been able to guess about the "atmospheres" introduction, but I didn't know there were several changes for 1998.5 models. It is interesting how Audi (and I guess VW) provide so many updates in mid-year. I believe the indash CD player was added for 1999.5. For 2001.5, Audi added the "Celebration Package", as well as 17" rims/tires for the Quattro Sport package.

    Regarding your next purchase, I have to admit I'm a little biased toward the MDX, but the new Audi Allroad seems to be an awesome vehicle. I can see why you would strongly consider it. I wouldn't worry too much about some negative feedback here and there within MDX discussion groups. I wouldn't compare the number of negative posts for the MDX versus the number of negative posts for the Allroad. The MDX has been on sale since the beginning of October, and they have been selling about 3000 per month. For example, JD Powers says Acura sold 3414 MDX's during January 2001. In comparison, I believe less than 500 Allroads were sold in January. Since people are more likely to write into discussion groups if they have a problem/complaint than if they have no problems, the MDX discussion groups would likely see more complaints than Allroad discussion groups. That's my theory, anyway, assuming all other things being equal. I also suspect there would be fewer negative posts if Acura dealerships were more consistent with their pricing and customer service. Unfortunately, it seems that a few Acura dealers in North America offer no better service than a typical Nissan or Honda dealer.
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