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Turbo charged vs Super charged

gvbgvb Member Posts: 45
edited December 2015 in Audi
Which engine type is considered more reliable and/or cheaper to maintain? Turbo charged four cylinder Audi A4 or a super charged six cylinder S4?


  • zandorzandor Member Posts: 67
    I wouldn't worry about the engine type between those two. The S4 will cost more to maintain and likely break more as well. The engine isn't the part of the car to worry about. The engine in the S4 isn't a special high performance engine. It's the same motor they use in the A6 3.0T. The S4 has plenty of other expensive go-fast bits so even if the V6 is more reliable the S4 will still cost more in purchase price, fuel, repairs, and maintenance than an A4 with the 2.0T unless you get a bad A4 (built on a Friday afternoon or something). Get the A4 if you're just looking for nice. The S4 doesn't offer all of the luxury goodies you can get on an A4 and the A4 will cost less. Personally I'd prefer the S4. It's more fun.
  • gvbgvb Member Posts: 45
    Thanks for your response Zandor. I agree the S4 is more fun to drive than the A4. Just trying to identify what is most susceptible to breaking on the S4. I'd opt for the 6 speed manual for sure. So, I'm wondering if not having the fancy auto transmission helps reduce repair cost/maintenance? Maybe the optional sport differential too.

    Any experience or knowledge about the reliability of these two options would be appreciated.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited December 2015
    Early on, when turbos first started to be introduced into regular production cars, they had durability issues but nowadays a turbo should last the life of the car; and even if a turbo should develop issues, they aren't all that expensive to rebuild and install.

    A supercharger (I have a supercharged car), while in many ways a "cleaner" installation (doesn't have all that piping and tubing), is generally a more expensive and complex device, and especially as an aftermarket installation. Also a supercharger should last the life of the car, also some require maintenance periodically.

    I think most turbo or SC problems occur on aftermarket installs. Too much boost, too weak an engine, inadequate (or no) intercooling, etc.
  • gvbgvb Member Posts: 45
    Appreciate the good advice! With regard to the other option of a sports differential or not, I'll assume the upgraded sport version tends to break more? Also, safe to assume a manual transmission is much more reliable than an automatic, depending how hard you are on the MT.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited December 2015
    It's pretty hard to destroy a manual transmission but not so with a clutch...a new clutch on a quattro could be fairly expensive. I think the choice of either transmission isn't predicated upon reliability per se but rather how you plan to use the car and where.

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