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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • Hi all,
    My wife and I want the buy a new A4 with virtually no options (except color) or possibly the sports package. What are some prices those who bought in So. Cal paid? And could anyone recommend a good dealer? I'm in San Diego, but I'm willing to travel. Thanks for any help
  • I want to get the right CD changer for my '99 A4. Should I get the changer made for my car, and if so, where can I get it? If I get this changer, will it be easier to install, vs. any other brand. Also, any recommendations for other products?
  • My husband and I have the A4 2.8 and the Acura TL (equivalent to some degree to the Accord). The Acura is a wonderful car, but there is no comparison in any way to the A4.

    Also, I have the Bose system and I think it's great. I don't know what the stock system sounds like, and although I am no audiophile, I would definitely get the Bose system. We have a Bose system in the Acura, and I think the Audi's system is much less bassy. I like it much better.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make. BTW, I have had the A4 for about 15 months, and have had no problems other than a remote that didn't work when I picked up the car and a small squeak, which was quickly remedied.
  • I just purchased a 1997 A4 1.8T with an automatic transmission. The car is in great shape and I love it. The transmission shifts differently than any automatic I have driven. When I accelerate normally the car shifts quickly to a higher gear ie. fourth. If I accelerate faster and then let up on it a little it seem to take a second before it goes into fourth. Once in fifth the car does well. While the car shifts smooth and is consistant in the way it shifts, it seems a little quirky to me. Is this my lack of experience with the car or should I have it checked? Thanks.
  • I read with interest equalizer1's comments re. the two cars. I have just thoroughly reviewed and evaluated both and decided on the A4 1.7T. Interestingly, I believe the TL may be a "better value",(as does most of the Auto World) and to make things even more difficult, during the last few days of the year the dealers were pushing hard to achieve their year-end numbers, and I believe I could have signed a deal at or very near dealer cost. But it wasn't German... and I decided on the Audi based on the handling and the feel of the car as I was on the test drive. (Those of you who have not used the Acura web site and used the "Comparison" feature are missing out on a good info source. Take a look at it on ) The TL is a great value... but I bought the A4. Equalizer1 and her husband have solved the problem by getting both! (Does the first person out get their pick of the day's transportation?) GREAT SOLUTION!
  • Actually, the A4 is my car, and the TL is my husband's. He loves the TL, and I love my A4, so there is no fighting. He likes the luxury of the Acura, and I like the sportiness and quattro of the A4. We both like each other's cars, but would choose the same cars we each now have all over again if we could.

    And yes, the TL is a great car for the money. It has a wonderful Navigation system and is very comfortable (moreso than when I am a passenger in the A4), but the A4's driver's seat position is more comfortable.

    Both are great cars, you can't go wrong with either. They just serve slightly different purposes.
  • wondering if any one experienced problems with the cruise controll? The dealer has cleaned contacts many times and it continues to not work some days in the morning and then it will work on the way home. It will also turn off while I am driving without touching the control.
  • cote_mcote_m Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem, although it hasn't showed up in the last few weeks. Anyway, the car is scheduled at the dealer later this week to have the pump replaced. Personally, I'm not convinced that this will solve the problem. Like your dealer thinks, maybe it's a bad contact. I guess that I'll find out soon enough.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    This seems to be a sporadic problem and has been documented on the AudiWorld A4 Forum. I have a '00 1.8T that does the same thing. Strange but it'll do it on short local trips, ie: 50-75mi, but I recently took an 1,800 mi round trip and had no problems at all. My 10K mi service is coming up so I'll have the dealer check it anyway. Who knows what the problem problems, construction/assembly inconsistencies?
  • Does anyone knows when the dealer is taking orders for 2002 A4?? I need a new car by this year by early August. I have not heard anyone order their 2002 A4's yet! Any feed back would be much appreciated :)
  • cgwcgw Posts: 7
    No one seems to know on Audiworld, but one post there reports seeing the new models in a showroom in Germany. This suggests that tooling for the production change has already occurred, at least in one factory (I don't know if A4's are made at more than one place). I ran a search on "2002 Audi A4" and found estimates ranging from March 2001 to sometime in 2002 for availability in the US. The January issue of Automobile magazine has a short (positive) review of the new A4 and says that the 4 door sedan will arrive in the US in July 2001, with a later rollout of the wagon and, eventually, of a coupe. It appears that, in addition to the new V6 engine, the new model will get dual climate controls and memory on the driver's power seat. German model shown on the Audiword site (under archived news) shows a nav system with a color screen. However, this option, referred to as nav plus, has been available on German A6 models for some time but not on US A6's. So it is not clear whether it will be a US option.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Hi! I haven't been in here for over a year! Equalizer1, glad to see you are still providing fine contributions! I also appreciate drc4's recent comments. Anyway, I'm once again considering an A4 1.8T purchase. Now that the stock engine is 170hp, the warranty extends 4 years, side curtain airbags are standard, and the former premium package is signficantly reduced in price, it's gonna be hard to change my mind this time!

    One concern I have is that I read in another topic how someone had difficulty using an infant seat in the back seat of an A4. We would require a forward-facing child seat to be installed, preferrably behind the passenger seat. Although this would be my car for commuting to work, we'd also like to have it equipped for transporting our 2-year old occasionally. When I test drove a 2001 A4 last week, it looked like there was plenty of room back there for a typical child seat. And why would Audi provide the tether strap anchors if a seat wouldn't fit? Anyway, I asked the same question in that other topic, but I never received a reply. Does anybody here have any experience with a child seat in their A4? Can one be used without TOO much difficulty?
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I saw the reference to previous posts in the Audiworld forum stating problems with the bose system in the A4. I would greatly appreciate it if you could post a quick description of those problems which were most predominantly reported. For instance, were the Bose audio problems mostly functional problems, or were they issues such as poor sound quality? TIA!
  • Good to see you back.

    I can answer the Bose question, but the baby seat would be better answered on Audiworld. In fact if you go to the search function in Audiworld, I believe there has been alot written about this.

    I have the Bose stereo and think it's great. I am certainly not a major audiophile, but I had a Bose system in my Pathfinder, and my husband has it in his TL, and I prefer the Audi's system to all of these. I have never had a problem with the Bose at all. I think most of the problems with the stereo came from the stock stereo, not the Bose.

    Also, the people on Audiworld are major audiophiles, and nothing would make them happy, except spending thousands on a new system.

    I also have the 6 CD disk player and also have never had a problem. I now have the car 15 months, and feel I can appropriately give a decent opinion on this system. I would definitely spring for the upgraded system if I were to buy another Audi. I am not big on taking out the dashboard and screwing up the continuity of the lights, etc.

    Good luck. Hope to see you in an A4 soon. It is a great car. I still look forward to driving it every day!
  • tarmantarman Posts: 12

    We have the 2001 1.8T A4 and we were able to fit one of the bigger (and older) car seats in the rear passenger area behind the driver's seat (it's easier to reach for the person riding shotgun)...but just barely. For example, when we flipped the arm rest up over my son's head, it hits the ceiling and can't fold all the way back. But if you have one of the newer versions that don't have one of those bulky plastic guards in the front, then you'll have plenty of space. On a weekend trip to my parents, we were able to fit my family of four and our luggage easily. Usually we take our '99 Isuzu Trooper but I wanted to use the A4 to see if we could travel in it.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks for the response! I really appreciate the info on the Bose stereo. I posted a similar question on audiworld, and I think 2 people gave the Bose system a thumbs down, and 1 person said it was great. Of the 2 people that panned the Bose system, neither gave much of any detail why they didn't like it. I searched some more (the internal audioworld search engine was down, but they have a link to "google" with instructions how to use it), and saw someone's post which said the Bose system lacks bass. I'm not too concerned with bass. I'm more concerned with good dispersion (transparent sound), dynamic response, and clarity in the upper frequencies. I hope I can find an A4 with Bose at my dealer before I order one, but last I checked, all their A4's had a base stereo.

    Regarding the baby seat, I'm just gonna take one of our seats with me and actually try to insert it into an A4 on the dealer's lot. Better to try it out with the actual seat than to rely on feedback from people who have different types/sizes of baby seats. I don't expect this to be a problem. It might not be very convenient, but it won't be the primary "family" car, anyway.

    I don't know if I had mentioned this before, but I dropped out of the A4 hunt back in Nov 1999 because I found a great deal on a used '99 328i. In fact, it was SUCH a good deal that I believe I can now sell it for the same price I paid. And here in Arizona, we don't have to pay sales tax on cars purchased from a private seller. I'm thinking of selling it because we need to get some money back out of it, and we also need to cut down on expenses where possible. If I sell it, there's no doubt what I would buy in it's place! I could order a 2001 A4 1.8T FWD with 2-4 options on it, and still have some extra $$ leftover from the BMW sale (with a NEW car and warranty!). With 170hp, 4-yr warranty, and the reduced price on the Premium Package, it's looking quite favorable I'll factory order an A4 later this week, in order to get into March production.

    What would you think of the white exterior combined with the ecru seats and navy blue dash/carpet? Or do you think the clay dash/carpet would work better in this instance? I purposely didn't ask about the onyx dash/carpet because that's what all the A4's have on our dealer's lot, and I don't know that I want black here in Arizona.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks for the feedback on your baby seat in an A4. We have a 2-year old model with the flip-up front guard. It also doesn't flip up all the way in our BMW, but it gets out of the way just enough so that we can lift our son out of the seat without any real difficulty. We also have an SUV for most family traveling.

    I'm sure if I'm serious about ordering a new A4, my dealer will not have any problems with letting me try out our baby seat in one of the A4's on their lot. I'm guessing it will be tight, but it will still work for occasional commutes.
  • Would like to purchase a A4 1.8T tiptronic, celebration, sport package in Texas. Any info on purchasing deal specifics would be helpful. Willing to purchase in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.

    Cheers :)
  • As far as color is concerned, I personally really like the white with the clay interior. It is easier to keep clean. My boss had the ecru interior and it got really dirty really fast. I think the clay is the perfect compromise. Really nice interior, doesn't get dirty that easily, and cool in the summer.

    Good luck!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks for the advice. I guess you recommend getting the entire interior in clay? My (very) preliminary decision was to get the ecru leatherette (1.8T) seats, but choose between navy blue and clay for the dash and carpet. I didn't give much previous consideration to clay for the seats. I'll think about that some more, and give your feedback some additional consideration. Thanks!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I'm strongly considering ordering an A4 1.8T similar to what you are considering, but with stick instead of tiptronic. I'm also strongly considering the xenon lights, and giving some thought to the Bose audio upgrade. I'll know more about pricing very soon, but preliminary feedback from my sales associate was that 4% or $1000 over factory invoice would work fine for her. I don't know how hard I should push to lower that, if at all. I know the dealer has to pay a fairly significant advertising fee, and for whatever reasons, sales managers seem less willing to deal on factory orders than the cars on their sales lot. With the reduced cost for the celebration package, I can't complain about this price. My dealer is in Arizona.

    Please let me know if you get any good pricing info there in Texas. I'd be interested in comparing prices!

    By the way, are you aware of the new Sports Package for the 1.8T Quattro? Audi raised the price a couple extra hundred dollars, but they are now including 17" rims and tires on it! I don't know if dealers have started to receive these versions yet, but it's mentioned on either's or Carpoint's car pricing, as well as It was confirmed in This upgrade is only for the Quattro version of the Sports Package. Looks like the FWD Sports Package still comes with 16" rims, at the same $660/$750 price as before.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    Welcome back!

    As a previous owner of 3 & 5 series, I can understand you jumping on a great deal. 328s are fun to drive but there's just something about the A4s and Audi in general that now has my interest. Except for the BMW front end (always loved the look of BMW front ends), I prefer both the exterior and interior styling of the A4, but of course that's a personal thing. The Audi build quality also seems a little better and the quattro is wonderful.

    Equalizer1 mentioned her boss' ecru seats getting dirty fast and I have the same problem. Mine is a melange 1.8T with ecru/onyx ambition interior, which I think is the classiest looking interior but if you wear jeans and dark clothing in general a lot, the ecru leatherette starts to look worn and it's hard to clean. I tried several products and finally found Westley's works the best. I'm from S. Florida so I certainly understand why you don't want black! Personally I love the look of the ecru seats but you may be better off overall with clay. I sure wish all Audis came with leather because it's much easier to take care of.

    I have confidence you'll end up with an A4 and know you'll love it. I've had a few little annoying issues with mine but overall it's been rock solid, dependable and like Equalizer1, I look forward to driving it every day.

    Let us know what color/interior you order.
  • stone19stone19 Posts: 28
    I am considering a purchase of the a4 2.8Q - dealer has given me a price 1000 over invoice in NJ, should I try and push for me or take it?
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks for the welcome, drc4!

    Well, I went to the Audi dealer again yesterday, and I believe I will go through with the order, but I haven't placed it, yet. We have a 2-year old son we adopted, and we want to start the ball rolling for another adoption. Getting our money back from the 328i would definitely help us out, because it certainly looks like my few stock investments aren't helping at all! ;-( Another test drive, this time in a sport model, helped remove some of the cold feet involved with this decision. But I still need to make a couple final decisions...

    The ecru/onyx (Ambition) interior seems to be the most popular A4 interior choice at our Audi dealer. I think it would look quite sporty with the white exterior, but as I said in a previous post, I'm still leaning away from the black dash, doors, steering wheel, trim, etc. I think it might be a little too much black for my taste (and for this heat), and it would also show dust easily here. But.., it's still a strong consideration.

    My wife has now objected to the ecru/blue (Ambiente) combination; and if there was any question before, it's out of the picture now! I also discovered yesterday that the "clay" (Advance) is not an option with leatherette. (I'm fairly certain I would like leatherette more than cloth.) And as you would suspect, onyx leatherette (the other Ambition option) is out of the question here in Arizona!

    That leaves me with two other options besides ecru/onyx (Ambition) for the interior: "opal gray" (Ambiente) or "ecru/brownstone" (Advance). Hence, I am debating between one color combination from each of the three Atmospheres. Based on feedback from you and equalizer1, it sounds like the opal gray interior might be the best choice for reducing cleaning effort and maintaining a newer look for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, this option doesn't provide that classy two-tone interior that the ecru seats provide. I'm wondering if it might be too boring? The ecru/brownstone looks promising, but it also contains some light colored (ecru) carpeting; it has the "hard to keep clean" ecru seats; and it likely wouldn't look as sporty as the ecru/onyx when mated to the white exterior. Still, it is probably the most appealing choice to me, but I almost hope I can be talked into liking the opal gray interior in the long run! Our dealer had one opal gray interior, but with the cloth sports seats. Upon initial inspection, it didn't do much for me. But it might grow on me. I'm wondering if it might look better to me when equipped with the 'normal' leatherette seats?

    Being so indecisive about this, I sure wish us A4 1.8T buyers had all the interior options that Audi provides for the A6! ;-) It almost (but not quite) tempts me to wait another 6-9 months and spend more money on the new 2002 A4.

    Since I am debating one color combination from each of the three "atmospheres", does anyone have any strong opinions on the different 1.8T aluminum trim designs that come with these atmospheres? Or any opinions on how good the aluminum trim looks with the black, brownstone, or gray dash?

    Feel free to post any additional opinions -- I'm always interested in reading them!
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I'm not as knowledgeable on the 2.8, as I have mostly reserched the 1.8T. I'm not aware of any incentives from the factory. Assuming your 2.8 has the Celebration Package instead of the Premium Package, I would say you are getting a good deal. As you may be aware, both packages have the same contents (sunroof, homelink, auto-dimming mirrors), but the Premium Package is hundreds of dollars more expensive. The Celebration Package was introduced a few weeks ago in order to lower the price and make these last-year A4 models more tempting to consumers. If, on the other hand, your A4 has the more expensive Premium Package, you might argue that you are being charged extra for the same contents included in the Celebration Package. Thus, you may have a little room to negotiate.
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    Sounds like you're doing your homework! The first time I saw the ecru/onyx ambition interior I actually laughed and thought to myself, "You have to be kidding. What's with this high contrast 2-tone stuff??" The car was sitting beside another A4 with an all-clay interior and the more I looked at both cars, the more I started to like the bold uniqueness of the ambition interior. The clay quickly began looking bland and boring in comparison. I was interested in the melange with ecru/onyx ambition so the dealer gave me the car for the weekend and after spending a significant amount of time in it, I was hooked. The ambition interior to me is an extension of the forward-thinking, cutting edge, unique design philosophy Audi has adopted. But as I said before this is all very personal. I get a lot of "wows" about my car and particularly the interior.

    I didn't think I'd like so much black either but now it looks incredibly rich with the brushed aluminum trim, and in the major heat of S. Florida the black dash, etc is no problem. I bought 2 sets of those fabric fold-up window shades and in extreme heat/sun I use them front and rear, providing good protection and they're quick to use. Dust wasn't been a big problem or inconvenience, but then I'm anal about keeping my car clean and wipe the dash area down frequently out of habit.

    I guess the best thing to do is pick the interior you think you'd be happy with and if your dealer has one on the lot, drive it around and see how it affects your senses. Could you live with it for the next several years or maybe get tired of it in a few months? Do you get a "bland" feeling when driving, or do your surroundings provoke some excitement? I wouldn't let the fact that you'd have to invest a little more effort to keep the ecru seats clean deter you from considering them. They look great and if you clean them with Westley's on a regular basis, they'll be fine. I know I said the gray interior may the best decision for you but I think better advice would be to choose whatever makes you excited to drive your car every day and just deal with the minor inconveniences. Some people love black cars and just accept the extra effort involved in keeping them clean.

    Unless you go with a different brake pad, the biggest battle you'll have will be keeping the rims clean. The brakes on the A4 are excellent but the rims sure get filthy... fast! As you no doubt already know, German cars are famous for brake dust building up very quickly with stock pads. My previous BMWs had the same problem. If you like clean rims you'll be wiping them down daily, and with 10 spokes on the sport rims it can take a while. I wipe mine down daily or every other day, and use a wheel cleaner a couple times a month.

    Take care and I'll be curious to see what your final decision will be.
  • I've owned my Passat B5 Wagon for 2.3 years, but it's new car time! I'm interested in moving to AWD. I've ruled out the BMW 325xi and Audi A4 V6 because of price, leaving me with the choice mentioned in the subject, which is really B5 vs B5. Do you all think it comes down to aesthetics? I'm also a chip-wimp, and probably wouldn't do any mods, except wheels and tires on the Passat. My 45-minute, 35-mile commute is 75% true canyon run, and 25% expressway, so I look for comfort and fun.

    The Passat is a V6, with +20 HP and +40 torque. It's longer in both length and wheelbase, and bigger inside.

    The Audi has alloy wheels and CD player standard. The leatherette seems nicer than Passat cloth (but I might think otherwise in summertime). Mileage would be better, and it has a better warranty for the shorter-term owner like me.

    The cars are priced nearly the same for the Tiptronic I would want.

    I've driven the Passat but not the Audi yet. Some seem to think the Audi's steering is tighter, which I like. (My Wagon's steering quality has degraded significantly over 45,000 miles. And I eat tires, but that's true with all my cars because of the nature of my commute.) I THINK I like the B5.5 Passat's looks better.

    Does anyone have any salient points that would be helpful in this decision? Or is it really aesthetics and feel?

  • SAR21102

    You must test drive the A4 before you make any type of decision. I also thought I was going to get the Passat, and then drove them back to back, and there was no contest.

    My brother bought the Passat without first driving the Audi, and after driving my A4, he regrets not getting the Audi.

    The Passat is a nice car, but the Audi is a sportier and more tossable car. It depends on what you are looking for.


    I absolutely agree with everything DRC4 has expressed. I have an all onyx interior, and it is not difficult to keep clean at all. I would imagine an onyx/ecru combination (especially in the leatherette), would be easier to keep clean than leather. My husband uses simple green on his ecru TL leather, and it easily gets out all stains. As far as dust on the onyx dash, there is virtually none. I very rarely have to take the feather duster I keep in my glove compartment out to dust it. I thought I'd have a big problem. Even in the summer here in the NE, which can get pretty hot(not as hot as Arizona), the dash and steering wheel never felt hot.

    As DRC4 said, the only real maintenance item, which is a pain in the butt, is the brake dust, which you would have in any color. Also, the onyx carpeting will show sand a little more (which is easily rectified with a quick car vac), but on the other hand, the lighter carpeting will show dirt easier. Six of one..........

    Good luck. Go with one makes you the happiest. There are upsides and downsides with each color combination, but none are very time consuming. Like DRC4 said, getting a black exterior is the most time consuming maintenance item I can see.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    The A4 is definitely more of a sport sedan than the Passat. Add the $660/$750 sports package to it, and it provides a very tight, but forgiving, ride! If you want a little better steering feel, and you want to avoid body sway on turns, then go with the A4.

    I also like the interior of the A4 more than the Passat. Also note that you can factory order an A4 equipped exactly the way you want it. A VW dealer told me I could NOT special order a Passat.

    You will also generally get better treatment with Audi service centers than the typical VW service centers, but your mileage may vary. The 2yr bumper-to-bumper warranty on new VWs concerns me, whereas the improved 4yr 50K bumper-bumper Audi warranty, with free maintenance during that entire interval, is a much better warranty.

    The Passat is the choice if you need to routinely carry more than 1 other passenger at a time. The back seat of the A4 is tight, whereas the Passat does quite well as transportation for a family of four; with more storage capacity in the trunk. I like the rear shade feature of the Passat, and I wish it was a factory option on the A4.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Thanks again for all the info and advice!

    I forgot to mention, as a follow-up to equalizer1's earlier post, that I am now planning to order the Bose stereo upgrade. I listened to both stereos at my local dealer last week (they had an A4 2.8Q with Bose), and I could detect a little better clarity and dispersion with the Bose system. I understand the arguments that it isn't worth the ~$600 cost, but I'm willing to pay it if it makes any noticeable sound quality difference at a mid-volume listening level. To me, it does make that difference. I wish it was less expensive, but I've decided I really want the better clarity, at least for the type of music I listen to.

    I also contacted a 2nd dealer 100 miles away from me, and they have a car nearly identical to the one I was planning to order. I wanted white, but they have a melange. Otherwise, the options are identical to what I wanted: FWD, 5-spd, Bose, Sports, and Premium. Even though it has metallic paint, and it also has the higher-priced Premium Package instead of the cheaper Celebration Package (same equipment, however), they are offering it to me for the same price I would get if I factory ordered a new white model with the Celebration Package. ($25,340)

    Although I was planning on ordering with white, I also like the melange color. They are almost a toss-up, as far as I am concerned. I was planning to order the white exterior mostly because I didn't want to pay $400 more for melange.

    I know that melange has ecru seats, but I don't know if the dash is onyx or brownstone.

    Anyway, this definitely makes things more interesting!! I wasn't anticipating taking delivery anytime soon, but now I have to give it some strong consideration. If my co-worker doesn't really want my BMW afterall, I should be able to sell it slightly higher now than if I wait until April/May.
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