1999 Audi A4 2.8 from North America


Don't buy it


Um, everything!

I took the car to a reliable (friend of the family) auto mechanic who said the car was in great shape and was a bargain at 7000 dollars. Everything was good for about 2 months, then the trouble started.

The control arms and wheel bearings start to go one by one, and at five hundred dollars apiece it added up quickly.

Next the climate control system started malfunctioning, sometimes blowing hot air during the summer.

Then stereo stopped working.

Then the back right window starting moving on its own and had to be disabled.

Then out of the blue (I suppose this sounds strange) my rear bumper fell off while driving on the high way. Cost me 1000 dollars with paint match.

Then the ABS sensor went, didn't repair, the Audi dealer wanted to replace the car's CPU! They want something like 4000 dollars to replace it simply because they couldn't figure out what the check engine light was about.

Then my steering knuckle went, which was really scary. Another several hundred dollars down the drain.

All in all, it was fun, but I spent like 7000 dollars on maintenance the first year, and sold it.

General Comments:

It was comfy and fun, cold weather package was a must.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2010

1999 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 turbo from North America


A fun, annoying, money pit, that is a blast to drive


After owning the car for 3 weeks (a total of 1.5 weeks of driving it, had to wait for title), flex pipe broke = $200.

2 days later, get car back; driving around that car to check things, tension arm breaks, all 20 valves bent, head was bad, plus new timing belt = $2000.

The fiasco of getting the car back took 3 months (long story, but not about the car).

As soon as I got the car back I changed the oil.

~800 miles get put on the car to break in the belts and such, 2 month period, no problems.

End of month 3, "service inspec" flashes, error code 209 (?), Catalytic converter not performing to peak. (estimated $800, work not performed yet)

My headlights were a joke, my high beams were lower than most peoples low beams. This was due to the angle at which they were pointed. I was told that the left one was broken, and the right one could not be adjusted (adjusters were broken). I then replaced them, I used after market parts. = $300 after some modifications.

I take the car to the shop, they check the car out, find it needs tie-rods, a new oil screen and water pump and oil pump. As well a coolant hose or filter = $1500.

When they did the work, they broke my ABS sensors (not the cars fault). Car smelt like it was running rich on the drive back to the shop. The "Check Engine" light then proceeded came on, Cylinders 1, 2, 3, and 4 all have a "bad burn" or "miss-fire" or something to that extent. They will check the O2 sensor, the same sensor could also explain the Cat Converter code.

General Comments:

I, personally, am not in love with the exterior styling of the car. It looks nice, but not great. However with All-Wheel Drive, few other cars in the AWD (and my price) class looked as nice.

As many others have stated, the car has poor low end pick up until you reach 2.5k RPM (when the turbo kicks in). However once that kicks in, it just keeps asking for more and provokes you on.

It handles really well for its weight, and the steering is rather precise, however the wheel does have a little more play than I would like. The suspension is a little more stiff than I expected. I enjoy a very stiff suspension though.

The heated seats and climate control are nice and work great (for now). The front leg room is rather poor, rear leg room is even worse. The seats themselves have very nice leather and the leather seemed to hold up well (95k miles with no tears). Although they are a little uncomfortable on longer trips.

The arm rest and its "floating" design is not my favorite idea at all. It is a neat idea, but in action it works worse than it looks, and the arm rest is rather uncomfortable as well.

Aside from a comfort stance the interior is absolutely beautiful! I like the red glow of everything at night, and the over-sized tachometer and speedometer. Everything is easy to read and just as easy to get to, perhaps with the exception of the ash tray. If the car is in park, that may be a little hard to access, the spring in mine is broke so it has to be pushed and pulled in and out, but no biggie there.

There is rather skimpy storage up front with two mesh pockets behind the seats, small door pockets, an average glove box, and a small arm rest storage. The boot is not much better. I took a snow boarding trip with the car and fitting the board (a 168, so roughly 5 feet 6 inches) was a task in itself. I ended up folding down the 40% side seat. I suppose I could fit a set of clubs or three in the trunk... but that may involve some Tetris skills.

I have to mention the AWD system. If you want an AWD car, invest in a Subaru. The Audi AWD system has really not impressed me. Snow driving has little change. No AWD system can really replace smart driving. That being said, I will say that it does give you a little more confidence cornering in the rain, as well start ups in snow and cinders. Don't let the AWD tag steer you away from winter/snow tires by any means.

All in all, the car is not exactly what it is priced and marketed as. It really is not a "Luxury Sports Sedan" in my opinion. They seemed to go too much for sport in this particular model. To me Luxury is more toned, soft, pleasant, peaceful, and easy. The Audi A4 is rather rough, untamed at times, hard, a tad noisy, but not too bad. It is a nice fun car, but at the Luxury premium. I would compare this car with things like the Subaru, or a higher end Toyota Camry and a Mazda 6. The others are almost as nice, but I don't know if buying new, I could pay twice as much for the few benefits you do get (reliability not being one of them).

Depending on what you are looking for in a car, you could probably compromise away from the A4. Although if you do get you, you won't be disappointed at first.

But once the bills start coming in, you may then think twice about that other car... until you drive it again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2010