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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Paul-- Agreeing with comments already made (and btw, I do regret not getting the sports pkg. on my pre '02), as I stated before, there have been numerous comments about the '02 standard suspension "feeling" similar to the pre '02 sport package, I have a suggestion to make. I'm assuming you're looking at a 3.0, if so, it does come with the 16" tires as standard; so give it another test drive to see if it suits your handling cravings. If it does, you'll have a car that you might not have to change tires for snow (comes with all-seasons) and you can spend the money saved for Xenons Billy stated, get the Xenons. I wasn't impressed with them initially but now I couldn't buy another car without 'em! I know you already said that you could tell the difference with the Bose (probably because of the added subwoofer) but I do agree with Billy and Barry is overpriced. If I were to do it again, I'd skip Bose and maybe add a small after-market amp and a subwoofer would save a lot of $$$'s.

  • 1 Qt? or 2 Qt?

    And, ECU upgrade is good?
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Engine oil? You mean for an oil and change situation? Which engine you running? 3.7qt for a 1.8T engine oil and filter change if you have that engine.

    ECU upgrade? You mean chipped? Well your car will have a lot more torque and somewhat more hp but of course it will void the warranty if you try to claim the parts damaged due to chipping. It's like putting more chips on a gambling table.....if you win, you gain a lot more.....but if you lose, you are going to lose quite a bit. I was thinking about chipping for a while but now I feel with more power I'm going to get pulled over for speeding quite often.

  • I got a 1.8T, and I am thinking about ECU upgrade.
    Thanks for answer...
  • I am thinking of buying a new car. Looked on volvo s60 & A4. Any advice?
    By the way about buying a used or a new car. I had a honda accord 9 years ago I paid $15K for it. I sold it for $7500 with 75k miles on it. No repair no nothing. It cost me 10 cents a mile and the pleasure of driving a new car.
  • dej0dej0 Posts: 36
    Hi Gang,
    I know I don't post that much, but I do follow this board and the 3 series board every day. I noticed lots of folks saying they really need the xenons and others regret not getting them. So I ask, why? I do not drive too much at night, and I have never noticed a problem with my '97's stock lights. I hate it when I see the blue glare of xenon lights coming at me, probably because they are different from other cars and the change seems weird to me.
    After talking to my significant other and crunching some numbers it looks like I can maybe replace both my '90 Miata and the '97 A4. I drove the new A4 with the 3.0 and loved it, got to get my wife in it. We will drive a 325 over the holidays, though my local dealer says he won't have a manual transmission available (and he calls himself Performance!). We are also considering a Toyota Prius as a second car. Yes, I know, ugly, slow, very ugly, and very slow. But it gets 50 mpg in city driving, and that is all the Miata gets to do now that we have a child. It would be an OK commuter car, and it does leave some extra money for more goodies on the 'nice car.'
    So this is my question, why should I get xenon lights over, say, heated seats? If I don't do that much night driving, should I just bag them? Since I have a 2 year old, an improved stereo is not an option. She doesn't like my music loud, and actually prefers to talk through most drives. Thanks in advance and I hope to have news of a new vehicle after the Holidays.

    Happy Holidays to all.

  • If you have to make a choice, go for the bun warmers. Xenon's are great, but if you do little night driving skip it.
  • Hi Ned-- Yup, I agree with Curt. From what you've said, yes, I'd probably agree that maybe your money is better spent going with the heated seats than Xenons. I do a lot of night driving and a lot of that is in the rain so that's why I stated that it would be hard for me to buy another car without them. But if you are satisfied with your '97's headlights, then I see no reason why you'd be disappointed with the stock headlights although the new models now use projectors. Projectors throw out a more defined beam which have a distinct cut-off at their outter perimeters --so to some, it takes a little getting used to. As for the blue glare you refer to that come from Xenons, starting with the '01.5 models, Audi now uses a newer Xenon bulb which has a beam that appears more like an intense white light with a slight purplish-like color on its outer edges than the completely bluish color of the early Xenons. I thought mine were defective at first because they weren't the intense blue like those of the Bimmer, TL, MB, S2000 or older Audis.

    And as far as the heated seats go, that's another option that I'd have a hard time doing without now that I have two vehicles that have them. They're definitely an option worth considering.

    Prius! ...good decision! I'm assuming that more hybrids will appear in the future with hopefully better styling. I've heard that next year, Honda will be putting the system used in the Insight in a Civic sedan. I don't know when it's due to be available, but maybe you might want to wait and see how it will compare with the Prius. I'd definitely consider a hybrid for a commuter car and will be watching closely as the selection develops in the future.

    Good luck and keep us informed.

    yury-- I looked at the S60 too. I don't know, for some reason I just wasn't that impressed with it. It didn't handle like the A4 and I actually think that reliability would be worse from what I've heard from people who own Volvos. And yup, can't beat the reliability of those Accords, can ya? *chuckles*

  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    Well Hondalover, are you looking for the S60 AWD or the regular FWD S60? I drove V70's quite often as a rental car and they are nice vehicles. One big complaint about it is, the suspension is way too loose. It doesn't take turns well and you can hear tires squealing and everything. And you would think because of the soft suspension it should take highway expansion joints well.....nope. You can still feel them. It also doesn't have the German car doesn't have a soul. You get to Point B comfy in the Volvo, but in a German car like an Audi, you "regret" you are already there cuz you wanna keep on cruising around in the A4. I had an Accord for a little more than 5 years and drove it for 120k miles with minimal problems, none of them required a tow truck. The Audi might not be as reliable as the Honda, but heck, I am willing to trade that for the driving excitement (OK we're not talking about Pontiac's here).

    Ned, I regret getting Xenons cuz yes, I do a lot of night driving and with the icy white beams they look a lot brighter and sharper, and of coures there's the "luxury car" feel towards Xenons. If you don't do that much nite driving, I'd agree with 02A4Curt that you won't need Xenons. Bun warmers are a nice touch though, and of course that depends on where you live. Here in Chicago I like them a lot and wish I got the heated steering wheel like the Allroads.

  • lauk0dglauk0dg Posts: 563
    It's been a while since I read such a negative car review on Edmunds...... and Audi wins again.

    Just in case anyone out there who's considering it.....beware!! The engine is a close relative to Taurus's and the chassis is from a Ford Mondeo/Contour. EXciting.


  • ...but what do you expect, it's a FORD! ;-)

  • That is a harsh review.
  • Conventional lights are OK, especially if you drive little at night. However, as I consider them a safety item and the bun warmers a luxury item, I would possibly take a deep breath and contemplate the differences. My friendly dealer told me (and he sells all kinds of cars) that over the years he would notice people would spend large sums of money for sunroofs and other luxury touches (and sunroofs that they rarely open) -- but wouldn't spring for the optional airbags, or other -- fill in the blank -- safety oriented options.

    I bring this up not to disagree with the other posts, because I fundamentally do agree with them. The bun warmers are fantastic and they are good both day and night. But I am on my 5th Audi with Xenons, my last non-Xenon Audi being a 1997 A8, and I think they are GREAT.

    I just would hate to know that I haven't stirred up the pot a little bit.

    Happy holidays.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I guess that I am with you on this one; my current car has Xenon headlights and NO bun warmers. Given that I am the kind of person that sets the climate control at 64 degrees year round, said bun warmers seemed unnecessary to me.

    Best Regards,
  • Where heated seats show their worth is where there's a need to park the car outside in a very cold environment. Under those conditions the heated seats become your most cherished option.
  • *sheesh* ...if you're buying a 30K+ vehicle, why not just get both heated seats and Xenons? I really don't think it should be that much of a debate. At this price point and above, one should just get what suits ones desires. Since I've now experienced having both Xenons and heated seats, when I'm in the process of buying my next car, I'll definitely include both those options if available. I never thought I'd use heated seats but since I open the sunroof even when it's freezing out, I love the feel of warm buns as the crisp air circulates the cabin. I never thought HIDs would be necessary but after experiencing them, it'll be difficult to order another car without 'em. IMHO, if one is in the market for a luxury or near-luxury car, there shouldn't be any "on-the-fence" expressions when considering options. If you can afford that type of car in the first place, then you should be able to afford any of the options that you really desire ...if you know you won't use or need it, don't get it; if you suspect you want it, then get it.

    *heh* ...gee, that sounded kind of harsh so flames welcome but with that said, I know, it's easier said than done. I'm naturally a value conscious shopper so I'm always comparing prices and weighing the benefits against their cost of anything I purchase. Had the '01 1.8T I bought not come almost fully loaded, I might not have ordered the car with either Xenons, heated seats, Bose, ESP or maybe not even a sunroof. But since the car came with those options, I'm glad I purchased that particular car because I really have no regrets about paying for them.

  • Five Audi's currently grace our company's parking lot -- five other, former employees, also have or at least had Audis. Most of the Audi's are A4's although two of us have had either A6's or A8's in addition to the A4 models.

    Three of the current A4's are 2001 1.8T's, one is a 1999 A4 2.8.

    Two of the A4 1.8T's have ESP, Xenons, Bose, Sport Pkg (one even has an Audi rear deck spoiler). The other 2001 1.8T lacks the Bose, Xenons and ESP -- this owner regrets not getting the Xenons and the ESP. All the 2001's have heated seats, the 1999 came from Dallas -- where heated seats are in the minority.

    All are stick shifts.

    Wondering out loud, one owner said, can I have the Xenon's and ESP retrofitted? We all know the answer is yes -- but for a stack of 100 dollar bills "this high." In other words, while technically possible, financially impossible (practically speaking).

    The point about "at this price, what's an extra $500?" does have some merit. Audi seems determined to lease these things at a term between 30 - 39 months. The payment difference is real, but I think the point that was being underscored, is that at this price point it is (or should not be) material.

    See how easy it is to spend someone else's money?

    Seriously, those that opt out of the Xenons, etc. almost universally "regret" their then thrifty decision.

    At least this is the observation I have made. Now here is what most of them do -- they get the Xenons and don't get the optional paint (such as silver or pearl, etc).
  • a2374a2374 Posts: 6
    I agree that if you are going to spring $500 for either option, why not just get both, perhaps you can talk the dealer into a price suitable to you and the area. But if you HAVE to decide, I agree with Mark. The Xenons, to me, are a safety item. My 99 Accord's lights were 'ok' at best at night, but add some rain or other inclement weather and I felt like my lights were not even on. After a month with my '02 with the Xonons it'll be hard to go back. I feel it will provide me much more security in seeing the road during bad weather. My car has Xenons but now heated seats. Wanted both but the car on the lot did not have both (but I got my '02 without ordering). Being in NC, heated seats are not really a requirement as it may be in other parts.

    Good luck with the rest of your purchase!
  • Yesterday I had to traverse 60 miles of an almost glare ice MN interstate highway to get back home. This was my first experience driving my new A4 Quattro 1/8t under hazardous conditions. Numerous cars were in the ditch and others were creeping along at 20 mph. The Audi all wheel drive gave me a real feel of being under control of the vehicle. I felt quite comfortable cruising along between 40 & 50 MPH. When no other cars were around, I tried out the ABA, another first for me. The vibrating brake peddle and noise were a little unnerving but the car came to a straight, controlled stop in a reasonalble amount of time. Even my wife, who is really fearful of driving under these conditions admitted to feeling very secure. If you live in MN....don't even consider an Audi without Quattro.
  • kam66kam66 Posts: 31
    I've been following this board for quite some time during my research for a new car for my wife. While we've decided to get an IS300 sedan (manual), I've enjoyed reading your posts (although the shear volume makes keeping up a challenging task). Having recently driven an A4 3.0Q, I'd like to share my thoughts on the vehicle with you.

    -Great sports suspension with minimal comfort trade-off (car exhibited virtually no body lean during high speed sweepers, provides excellent feedback to the driver, and is not harsh at all)
    -Quattro drive train provides additional performance and safety margin over only one driven axle (I could definitely feel it pulling/pushing when salesman had me take a 35 mph curve at 70 mph)
    -3.0 engine felt strong, with a good sound (not sure why press calls it muted)
    -Offered in manual transmission (and stocked by dealers)
    -High quality materials, to include leatherette
    -Heated seat option includes rear seats as well

    -Clutch take-up is high and shifter feels rubbery. While this mirrors all VAG set-ups I've ever owned, it doesn't measure up to the best in the market (Test drive an RSX Type-S to see what I mean) Also, I found the armrest forced my arm into an uncomfortable position. While it can be tilted up to get it out of the way, this then renders the cup holders within useless.
    -Cramped rear seat (doesn't seem any bigger than 2001 models)
    -Accelerator pedal too close to center console
    -Pricey options

    If the car was going to be for me, I'd probably have opted for the A4 3.0Q with a manual. Since I'll be looking to replace my vehicle in a couple of years, I hope Audi makes the following improvements:

    -Improve clutch/shifter feel
    -Introduce diesel engine to NA market or improve fuel efficiency of gasoline engines (i.e., FSI direction injection gasoline engine)
    -Make xenon headlights standard
    -Improve ergonomics (cup holders are better in the new Passat)
    -Give the brakes a slightly firmer feel
    -Add European Delivery Option
    -Paint lower body cladding the same as the rest of the car

    Just my two cents,

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