Audi A4 (2000-2005)The Audi A4 is a mid-sized four-door saloon and estate that rivals the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Ford Mondeo.

The version launched in 2000 was the second generation of the A4 which refined the original formula of a well-built, attractive saloon, but added more interior space and was more comfortable and fun to drive.

The Audi A4 is available as an estate – the A4 Avant – and a convertible, which was known as the A4 Cabriolet. Additionally two performance models were available, the Audi S4 and the Audi RS4 Avant which offered the practicality of an estate car, with the performance of a sports car.

Price range: £3,000 – £9,000

Pros
Cons
Who’s it good for?
Model highlights
Engine overview
Standard features
Buyers’ checks
Recalls
Safety
Running costs
Rivals

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• A wide range of petrol and diesel engines available
• Economical 1.9-litre TDI diesel engines
• Four-wheel drive grip offered with Quattro models
• Elegant, understated styling
• Desirable Audi badge means cars keep their value

Pros:


• Excellent build quality, particularly in the cabin
• Smooth, quiet and fun to drive
• Audi badge brings huge kudos
• Estate version – called Avant – is spacious and stylish
• Still looks modern, despite its age

Cons:


• Rear legroom is cramped compared to more spacious rivals
• Not as fun to drive as the BMW 3 Series
• Ride can be firm and not as comfortable as the best-in-class
• 1.9-litre TDI diesels are noisy by modern standards
• Poorly equipped from new
• Fuel economy suffers in four-wheel drive Quattro models

Who’s it good for?


• Families
• Couples

Full gallery: Audi A4 (2000-2005)

Audi A4 (2000-2005)

Model highlights


• Best for fuel costs – Three 1.9 litre TDi diesel engines are available 100bhp version can cover an average of 51miles per gallon
• Best value – 2-litre petrol engines are often overlooked in favour of the more economical diesels, so represent good value for money
• Most reliable – 2-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesels are robust and reasonably simple engines to fix
• Fastest – The 4.2-litre S4 offers blistering performance and the 3-litre A4 isn’t far behind
• Best for families – Stylish Avant estate models appeal to families
• Best for short distances – The 100bhp 1.9-litre TDI diesel engine is very frugal
• Best for long distances – The 130bhp 1.9-litre TDI diesel offers good fuel economy and plenty of power

Engine overview:


Petrol engines:
• 1.6 (102bhp/36.2mpg/187g/km) – Perfectly acceptable engine for round-town drivers
• 1.8T (150bhp/34mpg/197g/km) – Turbo gives this car a useful power boost
• 1.8T (163bhp/34mpg/199g/km – Better performance with no fuel consumption penalty
• 1.8T (190bhp/32.8mpg/209g/km) – Great performance, but extra emissions bumps the car up a road tax band
• 2.0 (130bhp/34.4mpg/197g/km) – Beats 1.8 for fuel economy, but not performance
• 2.4 (170bhp/28.5mpg/233g/km) – Bigger engine means greater fuel consumption than the more powerful 190bhp 1.8T
• 3.0 (220bhp/26.7mpg/254g/km) – This great performance engine comes with expensive running costs

Diesel engines:
• 1.9 (100bhp/51.4mpg/149g/km) – Ultra frugal, but can feel underpowered at speed
• 1.9 (115bhp/49.6mpg/154g/km) – An excellent compromise between the three 1.9s
• 1.9 (130bhp/50.4mpg/151g/km) – The pick of the bunch thanks to low running costs and excellent performance
• 2.5 (155bhp/40.3mpg/184g/km) – Powerful engine matches the 130bhp 1.9-litre engine but is more refined
• 2.5 (163bhp/39.8mpg/192g/km) – As above, but with improved performance and reduced economy
• 2.5 (180bhp/35.8mpg/213g/km) – The performance diesel engine of the range

Bhp – brake horsepower. The measure of an engine’s performance. Generally the bigger the number, the better the performance, but economy can suffer

MPG – Miles per gallon. The number of miles the car maker claims it will cover per gallon of fuel used. Quoted figures are an average of stop-start urban traffic, and faster, free-flowing driving

G/km – Grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide. The measure of carbon dioxide (abbreviated to CO2) emissions for road tax purposes. The more CO2 is emitted, the more road tax costs.

Standard features


The models in the range, and the key standard equipment they feature:

Standard – Electric heated mirrors, electric front windows, ABS, traction control, alarm/immobiliser
SE – As Standard, plus alloy wheels, trip computer
Sport – Uprated suspension, sports front seats, electric rear windows
Quattro – As Standard, plus four-wheel drive
Quattro SE– As SE, plus four-wheel drive
Quattro Sport– As Sport, plus four-wheel drive
S4 – Sports suspension, ESP, Recaro sports seats, xenon headlights, headlight washers

Special editions:

Limited Edition – 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, 10-speaker stereo, bespoke bodystyling

Buyers’ checks


These Audis may have upmarket images, but they’re not fault free, and can punch big holes in your budget if problems crop up:

• Watch for general electrical niggles such as flickering dash lights and dud rear windscreen wipers – they can be tricky to diagnose
• Pre-2002 1.8-litre turbocharged engines prone to ignition coil problems – faults will cause the engine to run roughly
• Check that engine cam belts and pulleys have been changed on schedule – changing them on the 2.5-litre diesel is especially complicated and expensive
• Watch for clonky seven-speed Multitronic automatic gearboxes. Transmission oil must be changed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations as they can be £2,000 to fix
• A stiff brake pedal could mean a failed brake servo (which provides power assistance for stopping), caused, bizarrely, by blocked rain channels. Its a reasonably straightforward fix for a mechanic

For more general information, visit Inspecting a Used Car

Recalls


Occasionally car makers may recall certain models if manufacturing faults or defects could give rise to a serious problem.

01/03/2005    Bolts of the tandem fuel pump cover may break

Owners will be contacted to have the work completed free-of-charge, but used car buyers should always check the work has been carried out by contacting the local main dealer.

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Safety


The 2000-2005 Audi A4 scored very highly in the EuroNCAP crash tests.
• Adult occupant protection: 4/5
• Child occupant protection: N/A
• Pedestrian protection 1/4

Safety equipment highlights:

• Driver and passenger airbag
• Side and curtain airbags
• Traction control
• Electronic stability control

Running costs


Model: Audi A4 2.0 Sport
• Fuel economy: 34.4mpg
• CO2 emissions: 197g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 25E

Model: Audi A4 1.9 TDI SE (115bhp)
• Fuel economy: 49.6mpg
• CO2 emissions: 154g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 25E

Rivals


BMW 3 Series
Ford Mondeo
Mercedes C Class
Lexus IS
Volkswagen Passat