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.
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