1996 Audi A4 1.8E 1.8 16v from Australia and New Zealand


My fifth Audi, so far so good


Oil leaked from the oil filter/oil cooler base.

Centre muffler baffle is rattling, will need to be fixed.

Central locking plays up -- lets me lock and unlock with the keys outside, but from inside, sometimes will not central-lock with the driver's door plunger unless I slam the door then lock it immediately. I suspect a faulty switching unit combined with the door latch.

Front apron lip caught in a concrete wheel stop at a public parking lot when I backed up the car, unsnapped the bumper fascia at the sides.

General Comments:

Great looking car, especially in non-metallic red. Refreshing to have a modern car which is not silver metallic.

This is a used Japanese import Audi, hence the automatic. I'd have preferred a manual, but you can't have everything.

As with all my previous four second-hand Audis, solid and built like a tank.

Finally, they've fitted a telescoping steering column. I'm long-legged and with the previous cars, I needed to move the seat forward to comfortably reach the wheel, but have to bend my knees, not very comfortable in long drives.

4-speed automatic with DSP is weird - I still need to get it serviced, but the gearbox and I appear to be trying to outsmart each other. My older Audi 80 had a transmission that was less conspicuous with shifting. In saying that, a friend's A4 2.6 with a 5-speed automatic had excellent shifting, silky-smooth.

Economy is better than my previous car. I average about 9-9.5 km/L, but when I use the motorway a lot, it can reach 10 km/L, and on a long out of town drive, manages 12 km/L.

Automatic climate control works very well. I was suspicious of it at first, having been used to a manual temperature dial, but it's great -- I keep it at between 20 and 23 deg C.

Engine appears to warm slowly in the mornings. Perhaps the thermostat needs to be looked at. It does eventually reach 90 deg C as most Audis should, but on shorter trips, like 15 minutes to work, sometimes it would reach only 70 deg C.

Got the cambelt done after purchase -- it was on its last legs, and because it needed the updated belt design and tensioner plus roller, that was pretty costly. My other Audis only cost $42-54 for the belt; the kit for this one cost $540. Why don't they just design it to have timing chains like BMWs?

I'll see how it runs after the auto transmission service, but for now, if you must buy a second-hand A4 automatic, get the 2.6 V6 instead.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2004

1996 Audi A4 1.6 Base 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Classier alternative to a BMW


Usual wear & tear items eg.

Brake pads.


Thrust bearing is starting to become noisy.

General Comments:

Brilliant car, much better looking than a Golf or 3 series.

Previous owner fitted Quattro alloys which make it look even better.

Doesn't have much grunt, but adequate for a 1.6,and cruises happily at 100mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2004

21st May 2004, 23:09

Yes -- but notice that comments on European cars from North America are usually negative. North America always gets versions of cars which have the highest (and most complicated) engine and equipment levels as standard. Golfs and Jettas (aka Vento and Bora elsewhere) are made in Mexico and not Germany or South Africa, and may have components not fitted for other markets.

5th May 2006, 12:59

Yeah, that's great. You've shown your knowledge of cars by recommending Jaguar. There is no direct competition to A4 in the Jaguar stable. You should have recommended a Bentley.

I happen to live near a place where Audis and VWs are assembled and people here, including me, drive them a lot (believe it or not, but last year stats show that 24% people drive VW Golfs), so I happen to know a thing about them. Audis need only turrets to be proper tanks. BMWs are not bad either, but they are drug dealers' cars and they are RWD.

5th May 2006, 16:05

HMMMM, Jaguar would be interested to know that their X-Type does not exist nor does it compete directly with Audi.

Drug dealers don't have taste. That's why they drive SUVs, not BMWs.