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Used Audi A4 review: 2008-2012

The A4 is an attractive car with clean lines and pleasant proportions.
EXPERT RATING
8
High-riding wagons are the car of choice for a large number of motorists today.

NEW

High-riding wagons are the car of choice for a large number of motorists today. They come in a vast range of sizes, from small to massive, some built to tackle the toughest terrain on the planet, others masquerading as family transporters.

For those simply wanting family transport a regular wagon provides an option, one that doesn't come with the bulk of an SUV and is usually a better car to drive. Most carmakers offer a wagon in their range. It's usually a variant on their mid-sized model, like the Audi A4.

The A4 is an attractive car with clean lines and pleasant proportions, lacking the chunky box-like shape that sometimes give wagons an unattractive utilitarian look. It was based on the very competent A4 platform, most models were front-wheel drive, but there was also an all-wheel drive option, and there was a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

While the A4 sedan had a good-sized boot, the wagon offered more, particularly when the rear seats were folded, releasing a really useful space capable of swallowing a sizeable load and making it a more practical choice.

The cabin was a pleasant place to be, the fit and finish was of a high quality, the seats were comfortable and there was no shortage of room. Behind the prominent four-ringed badge was one of four optional petrol or diesel engines.

The petrol options were a 1.8-litre turbocharged four or a larger 2.0-litre variant, both of which offered an attractive combination of pep and economy.On the diesel side Audi offered a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection four and a 2.7-litre turbocharged V6.

The diesels were the economy leaders in the range, their combined consumption numbers falling on the low side of 7 L/100 km, their petrol-fuelled brethren on the upper side. Stir them along and the diesels not only delivered the sort of fuel economy most of us want, they could also move along at an impressive clip.

The transmissions were a CVT, a manual, and a dual-clutch DSG. Drive for most variants went through the front wheels, but there was also an all-wheel drive Quattro model offered.

NOW

Generally speaking Audis are solidly built and reliable, but that said, there are a couple of issues you need to be aware of when buying used.

The first relates to the dual-clutch DSG gearbox. Although most of the complaints we received about DSG gearboxes came from VW owners the same gearboxes were fitted to Audis. VW resisted suggestions that the DSG gearbox was troublesome for a long time, but pressure from owners eventually forced the company to voluntarily recall cars in 2013 to check them. At the same time Audi did the same, so if your chosen car has a DSG gearbox make sure it has been through the recall and checked as ok.

The second issue worth noting is oil consumption. Some VW engines, not all, use excessive amounts of oil, even from new. With that in mind it's worthwhile checking the engine oil every week. If your engine does use oil it's worth doing an oil consumption test and actually measuring how much it uses, and if it seems high take the results to an Audi dealer and have the engine checked.

Beyond that check for a service record to make sure your car has been maintained correctly as per Audi's recommendation. Reconsider your plan to purchase if you can't see a service record. Also check for crash damage and poor repairs.

SMITHY SAYS

Stylish, well-built, and practical family transporter that's a pleasure to drive.

Audi A4 Avant 2008-2012
Price new: $56,400 to $57,685
Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo, 118 kW/250 Nm; 2.0-litre, 4-cyl turbo, 155 kW/350 Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 105 kW/320 Nm; 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel, 140 kW/400 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed man, 8-speed CVT, DSG, FWD, AWD
Economy: 7.4 L/100 km (1.8T), 7.3 L/100 km (2.0T), 6.0 L/100 m (2.0 TD), 6.5 L/100 km (2.7 TD)
Body: 4-door wagon
Variants: 1.8 TFSi, 2.0 TFSi, 2.0 TFSi Quattro, 2.0 TDi, 2.7 TDi
Safety: 5-star ANCAP

COMING UP

Do you own a Hyundai Santa Fe? If so tell us what you think of it by sending your comments to Graham Smith at grah.smith@bigpond.com or Carsguide, PO Box 4245, Sydney, NSW, 2010.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2012 $9,400 $28,600
2011 $8,900 $27,280
2010 $9,000 $24,750
2009 $8,400 $24,860
2008 $5,600 $21,450

View all Audi A4 pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$10,990
Based on 39 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$8,990
Highest Price
$14,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.8T Cabriolet 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $9,700 – 14,630 2008 Audi A4 2008 1.8T Cabriolet Pricing and Specs
2.0 TFSI S-Line Cabriolet 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $9,400 – 14,190 2008 Audi A4 2008 2.0 TFSI S-Line Cabriolet Pricing and Specs
3.2 FSI Quattro S-Line 3.1L, PULP, CVT AUTO $15,200 – 21,450 2008 Audi A4 2008 3.2 FSI Quattro S-Line Pricing and Specs
1.8 Tfsi 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $7,700 – 11,880 2008 Audi A4 2008 1.8 Tfsi Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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