1997 Audi A4 SE Avant 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland
Excellent cheap family car with a few gremlins to watch out for
When we got the car, the radiator cooling pipe split. This was taken to an Audi specialist (cheaper than dealer) and cost £120 to be fixed.
The car has an anti-stall feature. You can tell if yours does by putting the car into 1st and lift the clutch slowly. When it gets to the biting point, you'll notice the revs climb to 1400 rpm to correct the stalling. The negative side to this is it's linked to accelerator, and your car can be prone to flooding, especially on 1st starts. Don't put the accelerator down whilst starting the car.
Brakes/tyes/exhaust bills are generally higher. Disks and pads cost in the region £340 from a specialist. Tyres cost a minimum of £90 per unit depending on brand.
Trim peaces can be expensive. I replaced one piece, and it cost me £52 + VAT for a little plastic guard.
The 1.8 20valve produces about 125 bhp on a fully serviced engine. This is a sluggish car. If you can find a 1.8T, buy that engine. You have to really rev the engine to get any performance. Keep it above 3000 rpm and it's nippy, but not quick. Top speed is a quite remarkable 128mph.
The fuel consumption isn't going to get any headlines. I for the life of me couldn't get above 33mpg. If I got a heavy foot for the day, it'd be 30 mpg. If I drove it like my mother, 33mpg. If I had the estate filled with wood and other man stuff, the car would achieve 25mpg.
The great thing about this car is it's an Audi. Every electric component has worked without fault.
Climate control. Works without fault.
CD player/multi-changer. Works without fault
Electric windows/mirrors. Work without fault
Trip computer. Works without fault.
I'm sure you get the picture.
The seats are a little hard in my SE model, and the ride can be wallowy without being soft and comfortable. It's not as composed and hard as a 3 series estate. Yet no where near as comfortable as a C class/Jag... any Jag..
The trip computer is quite annoying. It warns you about everything. Window washer fluid low... it lights up.. so you turn it off. Only for it to light up like you've won the bingo or something again.. and again.. and again.. argh.. stay off warning light!!!
The load space in the car is just about right. Not Volvo 940'esk, but enough space. Kids.. No problem, you can get 3 in the back and one rolling around in the boot. Or 2 medium dogs...
The front is a pleasant place to be. Excluding the cup holders. Some German brain child put them between the gear lever and the handbrake. If you have a coffee/coke/beer in them and go to change gear... well you guess what happens... they're an after thought..
This is an uber reliable car. They make excellent work horses. There quite reasonably cheap as well. A fully serviced mid to late 90's example will set you back about £1000. Go for one like mine with as many extras as you can get. They'll all work... Great value for money!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th March, 2010