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Used Audi A4 review: 2005-2006

EXPERT RATING
7
You only have to look around you while parked in the daily traffic grind to know that Audi has made great strides in recent times; the multi-ringed badge of the German prestige brand is now a familiar sight on our roads. Where once Audis had a reputation for smoky engines and rusty bodywork they're now cars people

You only have to look around you while parked in the daily traffic grind to know that Audi has made great strides in recent times; the multi-ringed badge of the German prestige brand is now a familiar sight on our roads.

Where once Audis had a reputation for smoky engines and rusty bodywork they're now cars people aspire to have parked in their driveways. At the core of the range is the A4, the mid-sized sedan that's pitched up against prestige class heavyweights like BMW's 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

MODEL WATCH

The B7 range Audi released in 2005 was made up of 16 models, sedan and wagon body styles, and front-wheel and all-wheel drive.  It was slightly larger than the outgoing model it replaced; most notably it had more boot space.

The B7 also presented a fresh face to the world with a big new grille, more aggressive headlights, new two-piece taillights and twin exhausts.  There was little change to the cabin where a new multi-function steering wheel was one of the few highlights, but it was rated one of the better interiors anyway so there was little need to change it.

Four engines were initially offered in the B7 range. It began with the 2.0-litre four and climbed through a 1.8-litre turbo, a 2.0-litre direct injection turbo and topped out with a 3.2-litre V6.

The 2.0-litre base engine was carried over and was underwhelming at best. With 96 kW at 5700 revs and 195 Nm at 3300 revs it was a rather pedestrian drive.

The three other engines in the range were much more rewarding to drive. The was the 1.8-litre turbo pumped out 120 kW at 5700 revs and 225 Nm at 1950-4700 revs, the new 2.0-litre TFSi that delivered 147 kW at 5100 revs and 280 Nm at 1800-5000 revs, and the V6 that gave 188 kW at 6500 revs and 330 Nm at 3250 revs.

Of those the 2.0-litre TFSi turbocharged and direct injection engine was highly regarded as the pick of the bunch. It had a wide power band with plenty of lowdown punch that got it up and going with plenty of zip.

A few months after the initial launch Audi added a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine to the range and that had peaks of 103 kW and 320 Nm.  The transmission options were a five and six-speed manuals, and a continuously variable automatic (CVT) and a six-speed auto.

Most models drove through the front wheels only, but there was also the choice of Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system.  Underneath the suspension was upgraded and there was new speed-sensitive power steering.

Standard equipment even on the base model included climate-controlled air, cruise, multi-function steering wheel, CD sound, leather trim and alloy wheels.

IN THE SHOP

It was once thought that buying a used prestige car was a good way of enjoying the benefits of a quality car at an affordable price.  That might have been the case with the older models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz when they were very well engineered, solid and reliable, but it's not necessarily the case today.

Cars today are packed with so much technology that they can be very costly to own should something go wrong with them.  Buying a car like an A4 second hand can be an enjoyable experience, but they must be chosen well.

They must be well serviced by someone familiar with the brand and anyone contemplating buying one would be well advised to get to know a specialist mechanic who can service their cars at a reasonable price.  Watch for any vibration or shuddering from the CVT transmission that might indicate trouble coming.

IN A CRASH

With front, side and head airbags the A4 was well equipped in the event of a crash and there was every chance of avoiding a crunch with ABS antilock brakes, emergency brake assist, optimum brake force distribution and the latest generation at the time stability control.

UNDER THE PUMP

Not surprisingly the turbo diesel is the fuel miser in the B7 range, it gets on average 6.4 L/100 km. The next best is the 2.0-litre four, which gets 8.0 L/100 km, followed by the 1.8-litre turbo and the 2.0-  litre FSi that both get 8.4 L/100 km, and the finally there's the 3.2-  litre V6 that does 9.7 L/100 km.

OWNER SAYS

Mark Wheeler thought the 2006 Audi A4 1.8lt turbo multitronic CVT was perfectly suited to his needs, but says it has not lived up to his expectations. He says it is a lovely car to drive, but it's not a car for the long term and he reckons it's best to get out of it by 100,000 km to avoid high cost repairs and servicing. While his 1990 Mazda 626 has clocked up 500,000 km without a major issue, his A4 needed a $1600 auto transmission repair at 160,000 km.

LOOK FOR 

  • Bold look of big new grille
  • Elegant lines
  • Lively direct injection turbo engine
  • Choice of economical diesel
  • Euro appeal

THE BOTTOM LINE

Understated, but solidly built and packed with technology and a wide choice of models to suit all prestige needs. 70/100

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2006 $4,000 $17,820
2005 $3,700 $16,830

View all Audi A4 pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$8,500
Based on 18 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,800
Highest Price
$10,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Cabriolet 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $8,900 – 13,420 2005 Audi A4 2005 Cabriolet Pricing and Specs
1.8 Turbo Quattro 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $5,900 – 9,130 2005 Audi A4 2005 1.8 Turbo Quattro Pricing and Specs
1.8T 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $4,700 – 7,590 2005 Audi A4 2005 1.8T Pricing and Specs
1.8T Quattro 1.8L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $4,600 – 7,480 2005 Audi A4 2005 1.8T Quattro Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Lowest price, based on 12 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.