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.

General Comments:

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!!!

Great car!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2010

1997 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 turbo from North America




Major downfall of this car is the front suspension.. which includes the tie rods, control arms ball joints etc. They tend to go bad constantly.. you're better off replacing every piece at the same time.

General Comments:

Good handling car.. especially in the snow... very comfortable.. heated seats, climate control, nice Bose stereo system.. Has more options than most 2009 Japanese counterparts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2009

1997 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 turbo from North America


Over engineered piece of junk


When I got this car I knew that the previous owner had replaced a few parts that went bad.

Old owner issues:

1. Replaced turbo 2 times due to heat issues. The final fix involved heat shielding to keep as much heat away from the air intake and turbo itself.

2. Front right suspension had to be replaced at 60k miles as well as the back right one.

My issues:

1. Oil cooler developed a hole, which was found when the oil was changed and a large pool of brown milkshake color oil/water appeared on the ground. $800.

2. Head gasket went about 4 months after. Another flush of the coolant/oil system. $2400.

2. Bad thermostat 2 months later. $200.

3. Another bad thermostat; this time it had pieces all over. 3 months later. $500.

4. Ignition coils, 4 months later. $300.

5. Front left bushings no longer self lubricate. If you have a grease gun you can fix it till you get the cash to fix everything. Which involves replacing the whole arm section. $800 or $5 for stop gap fix 6 months later.

6. Defective brakes from the Audi dealer. Initial cost $500, total after repair $1000 3 months later.

7. Cooling system is messed up again. $500 circuit that controls the shifting is broken, $600 2 months later.

8. Electrical system is a joke. Sometimes your car alarm will go off for no reason or your windows will open. Sun roof does that a lot. About every other day this happens. Got the alarm to stop, but you need to know electrical systems and most people don't.

I swear there is more, but I'm forgetting them. But this is most of the BIG stuff.

General Comments:

When I first got this car, I had at the time a 1984 Thunderbird with about 198k miles on it. Only issue it had at the time was a oil leak. Only reason I even bought the Audi was my mother has an S4, and from driving it I liked the feel. Though it has a lot of other issues I now know.

As for the Audi, or what I call the piece of crap, here are a few small gripes I have with it that you can live with.

1. Since its the turbo charged 1.8 you have to learn when to time your start. Doesn't have the go which I was used to. Though at about 30 it's quick and gets to speed pretty fast.

2. Small period. I'm not that tall, only 6'2", but if you're any taller I wouldn't get this car; you will have a heck of a time getting in and out. It's a four seater, but if you have friends like me that are my height or taller, the back seat is only going to fit one.

Only other gripe is more of a common sense issue for a car sold in US/Canada. I wish they would label some of the parts also in English.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th August, 2009