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Audi A4 2004 and earlier



  • "Even the automatic BMW 328i I drove felt like a GM car:... "

    That's probably because BMW buys the auto transmissions from GM.
  • Just test drove the '02 1.8T with manual, quattro and sport package. Great looking car. Great handling. Blast to drive. Despite the increased size over '01, though, still one of the smallest interiors in its class. (Anyone know of a good aftermarket cupholder that works in an '02? Factory ones look pretty suspect.)
  • If you want great looking, great handling, great reliability, excellent interior space, and the finest cupholder of them all, try the Saab 9-5.

    If you're looking for a car that's a blast to drive with the best all-wheel-drive available, then the A4 1.8T Quatro is the car for you.

    By the way, you're the first person I've heard anywhere on these forums knock the '02 A4 cupholders. What did you find about them that was bad?
  • The 4-speeds were from GM; but this was a 5-speed automatic from ZF :-)
  • I've got leather seats and a power driver's seat in my current 1999 A4, 2.8 quattro. My lease expires in January and, as much as I love the car, I'm probably going to lease a new 2002 Audi A4.
    I didn't see much of a difference in driving the new 1.8T manual compared to the 3.0 manual.
    However, you can't get power seats or leather as options with the 1.8T.
    Would I be making a big mistake by buying the 1.8T and getting the manually adjusted leatherette seats vs. paying the extra money for the 3.0 in order to get the power adjusted leather seats? Would anyone with leatherette seats care to say how they like them (or dislike them?).

    P.S.: My wife asked me to check out the BMW 325xi, just to consider a different brand for the heck of it. She thinks the BMW seats are more comfortable than the Audi seats.
    The BMW sales people said that the 68/32 rear/front power ratio in the BMW 325xi AWD system is better than the Audi quattro 50/50 rear/front power split. They say it makes the BMW handle more like a sportscar than the Audi.
    Is there any truth to this? My goal is to pick a sporty car with the best AWD system to make it through the winter safely. Is Audi's quattro better than BMW's AWD? Or are they both "good enough"? Are any differences not worth quibbling over?
  • drc4drc4 Posts: 56
    I've always had power leather seats in my previous cars and although I was skeptical about leatherette in the 1.8Ts, I went ahead and leased a 2000 1.8T. I thought I'd hate the manual adjustable seats, and though they have their drawbacks, it hasn't been too big a deal. Once I get the driver seat positioning set, it stays that way. When I take the car in for its scheduled maintenance I always request the seat position not be changed, and so far my request has been honored. The height adjustment is pretty easy, although to raise the seat while you're driving, you have to exert a downward force with your legs & feet while lifting up your rear end, which isn't the safest thing to do while driving. On long trips when I want to change the seating position a bit, I'd definitely prefer auto seats!! I also don't like the inconvenient round knob that adjusts the seat back angle. My Mom's Camry has the same thing and it's a pain to use....especially while you're sitting in the seat. It's nearly impossible to operate safely while driving. I don't know if they've changed this on 01 or 02 models or not.

    The leatherette is comfortable, but if you get the ecru color and wear jeans a lot (especially new ones that haven't been washed much) or a new shirt that hasn't been washed enough, etc, they're hard to keep clean. I wear old jeans most of the time and my driver seat is now permanently marred with darker areas that can't be cleaned, especially on the lower outer seat lip from my left leg as I exit the car. I've tried every cleaner in the world with no success. My dealer said it's a common "normal wear and tear" thing. Mine's a 2000 A4 with only 15K mi on it, and the driver seat is starting to look used. My last vehicle had light colored custom leather seats and I never had that problem. They were a breeze to keep clean. I'm in the process right now of trying to get Audi to replace my driver seat.

    If you get leatherette, go with either black or gray. I actually prefer the 1.8T over the 3.0, and it's a shame Audi doesn't offer leather in them. Pretty ridiculous in such an upscale nameplate. Hey Audi....hold the wood and chrome window trim on the 1.8Ts, but give us a leather option!!!!

    As for AWD, remember Audi's quattro has been a proven, reliable system that's been around for many years. They've perfected it. AWD on production vehicles is new to BMW and the sales people can say what they want, but I'd stick with a proven system. I've owned BMWs and they have enough mechanical issues without adding AWD to the mix. My 1.8T is quattro and trust me, you'll make it through the winter very safely, reliably, and have a great driving experience in the process.

  • Audi's quattro is widely regarded as the best. Mercedes (4matic) and BMW have come up with something different. MBZ use a complicated system now which I don't really understand. I don't know what BMW uses (cheapo viscous coupling?), but it's different from quattro.

    quattro IV uses the Torsen differential to distribute torque between front and rear. Normally at 50/50, the T-diff automagically reacts to torque loss *before* wheel-spin occurs, and adjusts torque to the wheels with traction.

    The fact that both Audi's and BMW's systems distribute the drive load in the first place makes them both very useful in slippery conditions. But Audi's 50/50 +Torsen is a superior system because of the way it adapts before wheelspin occurs.

    The Jaguar X-type, MBZ SUV, and transverse VW/Audi's (e.g. the TT) use viscous-coupling, a cheaper system which waits for a small amount of wheel slippage before adjusting the torque. There are sometimes issues with how these systems interact with the ABS system, so in some systems there's an extra clutch to disengage AWD when the brake pedal is pressed.
  • To all those who told me to try out the 2002 1.8T before buying the 99 2.8 ....i have one thing to say to you...LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ME!
    I just put a deposit down for a 02 1.8T...and i haven't even driven it yet! hahaha
    the deposit is refundable...pending how i like the car when it actually gets to the dealer...
    but i'm 98% sure i'm sold on it. Just gotta negotiate a good price for it. But dang
    the car looks absolutely SWEEEET!
    the sports package 17" wheels....OMG!
    OMG! ....did you hear me?!?! OMG!
    okay...ahh...even if i don't think the 1.8T is enough power...i'll MAKE myself believe it has enough power!'s for my wife, so i'll doubt i'll have much chance to drive it...but ahhhhhhhh...
    what have a I done?!?!?!
    what have a I done?!?!?

  • James-- You should be 99.99% sure that you're sold on it! I bet you'll like that engine as much as most of us who have it once you get used to it's reliable, gets great gas mileage and is easily "tunable." You don't want your wife street racing anyway, do you?? :P


    I just e-mailed you.

  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    Saw the new A4 at an auto show Friday.Although the back seat is appreciably bigger,it still is far less roomy than a Passat.I don't think I could get past that.And I do like the V'Dub's exterior better.
    Audis are getting known for the beauty of their interiors,though,and the A4 is no exception.It really is beautiful.And I was very much amazed at the quality of the vinyl seats.By far the best,BWM and Merc included,I've evey seen.As vinyl wears MUCH better than leather,I wouldn't hesitate a second to get them.
  • I've been so busy, it's been tough to keep up with these postings, but I did want to respond to some earlier postings where people asked availability of 2001s. The dealer that I bought my 2001 from, Blue Grass Motorsport in Louisville, Ky., has five 2001s left. You can check out the inventory at
    BTW, if you end up buying a car from them and wouldn't mind posting your e-mail address here, I'd like to send you my name so you can tell them I referred you, if you wouldn't mind. And no, I'm not getting kickbacks. :) Let us know the details about the car you buy....
  • I just noticed my e-mail server is down so I don't know if you received my message or not so I'll post it here:


    *lol* ...I just read your post on Edmunds! You're not too excited, are you?? But congratulations! Don't worry, you're making the right decision. The new A4 is definitely a beautiful car. I wish more and more that I had one. And it'll have plenty of power ...the only difference you'll actually feel is that you'll have to keep the revs up to utilize its power and to get into the turbo as opposed to the 3.0 where you'd feel the low end torque right off the line. Even if you're disappointed in the power (which I don't think you will be) you can always chip it later for less than $700 to get the hp above 200.

    You have to remember that I bought mine back in March so it's the "old" 1.8T model *looks dejected* I don't think you can use my deal as a reference as much as you could Kelly's ...and even then, traditionally, the 1.8T is more difficult to get a big discount because of its popularity over the 6-cylinder model. The 2002 model is so much in demand right now that I doubt that they'll budge too much in price as if you waited until the initial uniqueness wears off a bit. Although $2,000-2,200 over invoice was the standard starting point even on the old model back in March, I was only able to get it for $1,400 over by pitting one dealer against the other ...I don't think you could do that now because like the guy at UVA told me, if I wasn't willing to pay that price then someone else will. That would seem to apply even more right now on the new model because the demand is so great. Even though people in some parts of the country are reporting getting the 1.8T for $800 over invoice, I seriously doubt that you'd be able to get it in the Seattle area for that price. I believe (in my humble opinion only) that you'll be doing very well if you could get a deal similar to Kelly's at somewhere around xxxx over.

    And don't let them bamboozle you into thinking that by taking the Costco program discount that it is the best they can do! I went through that routine when I was negotiating to buy a Jetta. If you agree to take the Costco discount then they act like no further negotiation is necessary ...that because you're getting it on the "Costco pricing plan" that you're getting some kind of a super deal. All the Costco program does is require the dealer to sell the car at a certain agreed upon amount off MSRP (or amount-over-invoice) which is almost always --no, delete the "almost" and make that ALWAYS less than what you can negotiate yourself. In-other-words, they'll make it look like they are giving you an additional $500 discount but you can negotiate substantially more than that amount on your own. So really it is irrelevant ...I disregarded it altogether. That goes for any similar programs: AAA, CarPoint, certain credit union programs, etc.

    The thing that bothered me about Barrier is their requirement of the 10% cash deposit. Most other dealers require only $500-1,000. I was able to put the $500 "deposit" (or earnest money to show good faith) on a credit card at both UVA and Roger Jobs. Putting it on a credit card is recommended by and others but Barrier would accept only cash and the huge 10% figure. It was a little disconcerting to me at the time that Barrier required this but I did it (of course I did it, they wouldn't talk to me further until I did *lol*) because I figured they were such an up-scale prestigious dealership ...and they also required me to request in writing to get it back when my deal fell through there.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for the both you and Kelly on that sales tax exemption period passing. That'll be such a great feeling to save the sales tax on such a big ticket item as a car.

    Btw, you'll love the Xenon lights; I didn't like them at first but now I don't know if could buy another car without them!

    Again, congratulations and good luck, James! ...keep us posted!


    ...I x'd out the figure in the second paragraph just in case Kelly doesn't want that revealed.

    Karen-- Hi! *waves* ya been??

  • Sorry if I'm breaching protocol by posting this in the Sedan forum (new to this board and to Edmunds), but this area looks to be much more highly trafficked than the Wagon board. I have a Mercedes ML320 coming off lease in a few months, and I am considering a wagon to replace it. I realize that the A4 wagon has been redesigned somewhat, but I'm hoping a current Avant owner can help me out.

    Specifically, I am a little concerned about overall room and cargo carrying. Most of my driving is solo, but I do need to transport my wife and two small kids often, occasionally I would like 2 adults in back. The ML is a roomy beast.

    I will also be looking at the Passat wagon, the BMW 325 wagon, Toyota Highlander, and Lexus RX300 (I've fallen for 4 wheel drive and don't care to live without it again). Does anyone have any head-to-head experience between any of the models and the A4 Avant?

    Thanks in advance!
  • Hey, Rocco! *waves back* -- I've been up to my ears in work; haven't had much time lately to enjoy the A4. :( Every time I see a Forester on the road I wonder if you're liking yours any better. We're fast approaching the season when you should be able to put it and the A4 to the test. You'll have to give us a full comparison report!
  • Unless most of you guys who are complaining about the A4's lack of space plan on letting someone else drive while you are in the back seat I don't see what the issue is. Everyone is saying that this car is so much smaller than the Passat inside. My wife drives a new 2001.5 Passat and I can say that you guys are splitting hairs when it comes to the differences in "usable" interior space between the A4 and the Passat. Especially for the driver. I'm 6'2" and the Passat's front seat definitely does not provide ample leg room. I sat in an A4 this weekend and there was room left to spare for me to get in to a "TRULY" comfortable driving position. If you guys are looking for huge back seats to haul passengers or anything else you may be looking at the wrong vehicle.
  • Here in Cincinnati, the VW and Audi dealers have a "relationship" with a conversion company. The conversion from either cloth to leather or leatherette to leather is possible for about $1,000. You have to go to a special company that understands the in-seat airbag technology, and to my knowlege there is only one in Cincinnat that can pull off the transformation from leatherette to leather (and you can have the head rests or the top of the front seat backs embossed with the four rings -- the one I saw was a medium gray leather and it looked "factory original." Yet, I would rather have the power seat, personally -- the leatherette in the 2001's is (Opal Grey) is very nice and is "almost" leather in the way it behaves.

    I agree with the postings that lobby Audi for more options on the 1.8T -- in Europe the nav system is avail on the 1.8T as is leather and other options that we can't get here on the 1.8.

    Perhaps, though, there would be fewer 3.0's sold as anyone who has ever driven a (manual transmission) 1.8T with sport and Bose and Xenons etc back to back with the 2.8 (now perhaps the 3.0) will fancy the 1.8 as a major major bargain and in some respects, the 1.8 feels quicker.

    Anyway -- until the new S4 comes out, I would want AoA to bring a 1.8T with ALL options available to our shores. The 1.8T, generally speaking, would be my choice -- for the money.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    As a consumer, you are right to demand all 3.0 options on the 1.8T. As a manufacturer, Audi AG may not be willing to do it because the U.S. market is too small for them (only 21-22K A4's sold a year nationwide). Standardizing options improves their bottom line. I seriously doubt that a lot of the consumers opting for the 1.8T would pay for the leather if it were an option. That, coupled with the fact that the 1.8T would be cannibalizing more 3.0 sales where the profit margin is likely higher, would make it very unlikely that you'll see all the options across the whole A4 product line in the U.S.
  • If roominess is a factor, don't overlook the Allroad!
  • If the 1.8T had leather as an "option" -- wouldn't those that are willing to have the aftermarket conversion done, generally speaking, spend their money with Audi instead? -- and as I watched the A4's go down the assembly line in Ingolstadt, it sure looked like they could mount any seat they wanted into any of the frames creeping down the line -- picking up a black leather, power sport seat instead of a black leatherette vinyl sport seat with out power doesn't look like labor costs would be a factor. And, anyway, they are already doing this in Europe -- it is possible to order a 1.8T with EVERYTHING or a more spartan 3.0. The choices are greater, that is all.

    Yet, I do agree Christo, AoA will probably NOT allow all options to be made available on the 1.8T -- but, IMO, they could increase their revenue and profit on this car by making all options available for US customers.
  • In My Opinion

    or IMHO
    In My Honest Opinion
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    hmm... IMHO has always meant "in my humble opinion" to me. :-)
  • I take it then "OEM" stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Maybe that is the abreviation that caused my of those "senior moments."
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    Sorry, couldn't resist. :-)
  • BTW: the H stands for Humble IMO. And BTW is by the way.


  • You may want to bookmark

    By the way, I picked up my new A4 1.8t Quatro with sunroof and Bose today. Yayyy!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    What's H2G and BB?

    In Europe where the A4 volume is much higher, you can buy the A4 in a few more engine configurations as well (you could last year at least). I also suspect that the profit margins on options are significantly higher but every option offered carries a fixed cost (even if it's only administering the program) and you need volume to make up for that. This is one of the reasons M-B does not offer manuals for most of its models in the U.S. If only 5-10% of the buyers get those, they would not be making a lot of money on those configurations.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    have to go? bye bye?


    (just my guess)

  • what was I thinking?

    KENINPLACITAS - what did you get? color? equip?
    so...i'm shopping for an '02 A4 1.8T quattro. I'm trying to figure out what's a good price.
    Would you say $1500 off MSRP? $1000 off MSRP?
    What kinda deal did you get?
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