1974 Audi 100 GL 1.9 gasoline


Beautiful, powerful, competent, noisy and thirsty, but simply adorable


The gasket which keeps the stick shift (not sure if that's the right word, simply the stick you change gears with) aligned got worn out. Shifting gears is now a bit trickier, but still works.

General Comments:


- Beautifully built, especially the front end of the car is simply gorgeous.

- Good engine power, easily keeps up with todays road speeds

- comfortable to ride

- pretty good heating controls (separate for passenger and driver seat).

- Very nice chrome details. (1974 was the last year for much of this)

- All electronics work perfectly and are easy to handle.

- Good quality feel on most components

- Very informative, honest and thorough instruction manual (deals with many things that would be considered secrets by todays standards)


- Bad fuel economy, at least 12 litres / 100 km.

- Very noisy above 100km/h. Under that no problem at all.

- Pretty soggy suspension, which of course adds to the comfort as long as you aren't taking hard turns

- A bit weird (charming) placing of some things, the battery under the back seat, the front brake discs right under the engine

- Personally I don't think the rear end of the car matches the front end, front looking very aggressive and sporty, rear end looking like, say, a very old mans car

- No decent place keep my coke.

Bottom line: I love this car for many reasons, mostly for it looks, engine and personality, and the relative wealth of features for a car this age.

I would have expected a lot more trouble, of course I have only driven 5000 km so far, but that is more than enough for a lot of problems to emerge. Maybe I'm just lucky, the car has been _very_ well kept by the old lady that was the (only) previous owner. Still it's 33 years old and works very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2007

3rd Jan 2008, 15:16

Excellent review. The word you are looking for is "shifter cuff".

The battery was placed under the seat to move some weight from the front of the car to the back. They knew it would be front heavy and under-steer.

The brakes mounted inside added a lot to the comfortable ride of the car. When the wheel hits a pot hole there is a lot less mass dropping down and popping up. Yet there is more inert mass keeping the car level.

Isn't that ingenious German engineering? Maybe they were just copying the Citroen 2CV.

1987 Audi 100 nothing 1.8E (K-jetronic, 66kW)


Lots of car for little money


Needed new front brake discs at 300000km.

Right rear wheel bearing needed adjustment at about 330000 km, after overheating due to forgotten handbrake.

Injection system was freshly rebuilt when I bought the car, after cable fire/short circuit near the cold start valve.

The front brake lines failed MOT in 2004 due to rust, was cheaply and easily replaced.

The right hand rear wheel brake cylinder seized in 2003, was replaced by cheap after-market part.

Heater fan seized in fall 2004, after coolant leak in heater core. Replaced by used part from the scrap yard (about 15 Euro) The core was replaced by new one, at 70 Euro, parts only. Replacement was tricky, but with a "Haynes Manual" nothing is impossible.

Engine oil light is flickering at hot idle, probably worn pump and bearings inside.

Compression has most likely gone down, and "blow-by" occurs into crankcase, diluting the oil with petrol.

Final drive gears make whining noise between 80 and 120 Kph.

Gearbox oil leaks around the driveshafts.

Front shocks and springs slowly worn out; replaced in June 2005.

Both outer tie rod ends replaced in June 2005.

Brake distribution valve rusted stuck, need replacement.

Engine rubber mounts failed during "inspired" driving session in 2003.

Fuel meter sticks at random positions, sometimes comes loose in bumps and works for a while.

Rear springs are weak and will soon need replacement.

Drivers seat height adjustment is unreliable and sometimes the seat falls back down.

Outer doorhandles are often broken, and it is getting hard to get hold of new ones. They freeze stuck in the winter, and snap if you try to force them.

Engine boiled once, due to failed thermo-contact in the bottom of the radiator (Which means the electric fan wouldn't start). Luckily the head gasket survived. Used contact bought at scrap yard.

The Valve tappets are noisy for a short while after a cold start, but that is almost a standard feature.

Timing belt replaced, for good measure, at 350000km.

Windshield washer pump died yesterday.

Driver's side heated seat does not work.

Exhaust pipe cracked just under the flange at the manifold. 3 times welded and cracked a few cm lower after about a year. It seems impossible to get hold of a new pipe from manifold to catalyzer; almost all 100's has the double pipe, but 1988A 1.8 has a single pipe that is apparently out of production.

Starter motor is sometimes misengaging with loud noises. Will need to be fixed.

General Comments:


This car is economical. It is the cheapest version that was available of the 100, that is, four cylinder 1.8 injection engine (carburettors were not available in -88 in Sweden due to new legislation about catalytic emission control). I has manual windows, a manual sunroof, manual mirrors, no power steering and no air condition. I guess you could call it a grown up VW Jetta :-)

It will do 90-130 Kph for hours on end using only about 7.5 liters of petrol per 100km, regardless of load. It takes about 9l/100km to and from work which is barely far enough to warm up the engine.

The engine is the same block that was used in Golf, Passat, Jetta, Audi 80 and others in the '80s, and it has a reputation for being very long-lasting. It doesn't use much oil for its age, I add a liter every 1500-2000 km, and change oil & filter every 20000km..or so.

Spare parts are available from cheap after-market sources, and also common in scrapyards, so repairs are cheap provided you can do the work yourself... which you can, in the simple versions of the Audi 100, as opposed to the luxury computerized, turboquattro monsters.


Comfort is good, but compared to newer cars, and to the more expensive models of the 100 at the tine, the 1.8 is noisy, needing higher RPM's to gain speed. The worn rear suspension makes it a bit bouncy over speed bumps (it bumps twice). Heating is excellent after the core replacement, minus 25 centigrade is no problem.

The car is roomy, and seats four full grown adults comfortably for hours and hours. five can travel reasonably well, provided atleast one is a little thinner than average and two are not heavyweights :-)

The boot is big, wide, long and deep, for a sedan, and is almost never a problem.


The steering improved a lot with new front shocks and tie-rod ends, of course, but it still is a very front-heavy car, with huge overhangs both front and rear. It is very steady in high speed, but rather unwilling to corner quickly. The steering is heavy and gives you strong arms and firm gripping hands, when parallel parking and such, but at speed you can drive with thumb-and-index finger grip and it doesn't wear you out.

The gearbox is nice, with short, reasonably precise shift movement.

The brakes are under-dimensioned for this heavy car, and are bigger on the five cylinder models. Three or four hard stops from 100kph in rapid succession will make them fade badly. For everyday driving they are adequate, but need a little harder pedal pressure than most other cars of the same age.


There is designed-in impact zones in the body of the car, but the cheap models don't have seat belt tensioners or airbags like the more luxury ones. This combined with the sort of weakish brakes makes no more than an average grade.


The car is reliable, in the sense that it has never once failed to bring me home, not even after boiling - I let it cool, and hardwired the fan to run all the time, for the trip home and then got a new thermo-contact. I did not hesitate to go to norway last winter, 1600 km one way, in snow and ice - I feel that is a good reliability testimony for a 17 year old car.


Great car for getting from A to B for very little money, and with very little effort. Not very fast, not very luxurious, but it gets you there - and back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2005

6th Dec 2006, 11:06

Hi, being part-owner of a 1987 Audi 100 1,8 (modest 90 hp DIN, carburettor, no injection, cars of that year were probably the last without catalyst-equipment) I agree with most of the things you've mentioned.

Not being a motor-buff and really uninterested in anything other than a cheap and roomy ride, me and my friends bought ourselves a 285 000 km run Audi in the summer of 2006. We payed SEK 5000, about € 540. We considered it a pretty good investment, more economical then renting a new car for a month or so.

Actually, we were surprised and overwhelmed. According to the drivers manual a Swedish-spec '87 with the 1,8 carburettor engine will only consume 6,2 litres/100 km. Note that these are factory-specs from 1987! Travelling somewhat faster than legally stated, at some 125-135 km/h, on Swedish highways for some 300 km, we found the consumption to stabilize at 6,4 litres/100 km.

My parents have owned an Audi A8 4,2 series I, and although almost any comparison among the two Audi's are futile, the old 1987 100 where actually more roomy in the back-seat than the upper-class limousine.

The almost 20 year old Audi was planned to be sold this autumn, but we've decided to keep it another summer. Why? It's cheap, reliable and roomy, as stated above. Before going into hibernation this winter we've only had to spend (except fuel-money); € 10 for a new (used) tyre, € 8 for some welding due to rust in a floor-pan - and all that being with driving some 4000 km this summer in the old Ingolstaedter.

Never wanting to own this kind of cheap car when me and my girlfriend starts a family, it is still a most sensational buy. Extremely uncomplicated, reliable and pretty comfortable.

/ FMG summer car 2006-2007

Audi 100 1,8


Manual steering

Manual windows

Manual sunroof

Manual rear-mirrors

Blue plush interior with four headrests

Central locking-system (it works!)

Original-mounted Clarion stereo (with original code-sheet and manual)