2002 Audi A4 FSI 2.0L petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Low key, classy car
So far nothing has gone wrong.
I have owned 11 BMWs to date, and decided to downgrade to an older Audi to try to see what all the fuss is about. Most reviews talk about how poor this car is on reliability, but I had to try it.
I decided to buy one when I had a full time company car, and I've been using this as a weekend car. It has been no different from BMWs I have owned.
The general trick with any euro car, is they like to be taken good care of. And you need to feed it good stuff.
Saying that, after I bought it I did the following:
Water pump and cam belt change (I would do these every 90k).
Full service (good to do it every 10k).
Transmission flush (needed every 80k).
All up they cost me 1250 NZD, and till now I have had no issues.
These cars are designed for open road driving. I get about 900ks out of a 60L tank, but I don't run it down to empty of course.
Do make sure you take unleaded fuel. In NZ standard it's 95 or higher. It doesn't like 91 very much.
The best part is the Multitronic transmission. It's like a cone design where you don't feel changes as it gradually goes up. Very impressive.
Read lots of reviews of them going wrong, but these days it's not as expensive to fix the older Audis, as most of them are well known by mechanics.
The previous owner said he had issues with the reverse gear selector, which was an electronic error, but it was fixed for 200 bucks.
So don't go to an Audi dealer if you fear cost. Lots of indie mechanics these days do a similar or better job for a lot less, and offer great service.
All the electronics work like new, although it's now 11 years old. The engine seems to be very smooth. Love the interior much more than the BMW 3 Series. I am comparing it with an E90 even, although I should compare it with an E46.
My personal experience has been great, but here are a few tips before you buy:
- Make sure it's not off a boy racer who trashed the car.
- Try to avoid Singapore imports, as they tend to have lots of electrical problems.
- Service history is an added bonus.
- Get it checked by professional like AA/VTNZ if you can.
Once you buy - you always must carry out a full service, check cam belt/timing belt and water pump when due, and flush the gearbox if due every 80-100k.
These are not cars where you can be thrashing it, but if you take good care, they can be as reliable as any other trusted Japanese car.
Service is not as expensive, if you know the right mechanic.
Value for money - I am very pleased, and I would surely consider buying more in future when I sell this.
Try one yourself, but don't buy if you're not prepared to spend more after purchase
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th July, 2013
1st Dec 2013, 21:46
Clocked about 10 more K's on it. Nothing gone wrong and still drives like day 1. Still getting over 900ks to a 55 litre tank.
Recently upgraded to 17" A6 factory Audi wheels.
Aircon was regassed.
No issues so far yet. A few times it was not used for over a month and started in one go. Very, very happy.
2nd Dec 2013, 12:41
Hi, thanks for the update. I owned several used Audis, from a 1981 Coupe to my last, a 1993 A4. I love the look of the 2001-up Audi A4's, but the potential issues with the Multitronic CVT gearbox and how much it cost to fix, was just too much of a risk I thought, so I bought a BMW. Had it been easier to get a manual gearbox Audi, I'd still buy one. I wish you well, and hope that the gearbox serves you well. The problem with many cars these days is that maintenance doesn't prevent problems caused by design faults.
18th Dec 2013, 20:06
I totally agree with you. Mine had some transmission issue prior to my buy, but it was an electronic fault, hence was cheap to fix. Audi dealerships can be very expensive, but some euro specialists can solve them for a very decent price. I do acknowledge that the transmissions are very sensitive, but if driven with care - it's a nice car to drive and has a very good power ratio.
I am now planning to move to an E90 BMW 320i.
19th Dec 2013, 13:20
Funny you should mention that - I was just looking at Japanese import E90 320i's - they've dropped in price a lot, and manuals are more easily available. I prefer manuals; but if automatic, the 323i models are around and I think they use the tried and tested 2.5i engine. The 2-litre 4-cyl engines are a tad noisy, almost like a diesel engine, but from what I've heard they're pretty frugal for what they are. They do have runflat tyres, which are dearer to replace. I'd ponder using regular tyres, but would need to think of putting in a spare tyre of sorts.