Product Type: Audi cars
Newest Review: ... with in the rain, snow, or other less than ideal driving conditions. .:Upkeep:. Here's where we have a serious knock against Audi in g... more
Audi- Performance, Luxury, and Class
Audi A4 1.8
Member Name: Lions
Audi A4 1.8
Advantages: Smooth, Classy, Comfortable, Beautiful Interior, Acceleration, AC, Handling, Steering
Disadvantages: Maintenance and upkeep costs way expensive, awkward floor mats, unreliable key fob
I've had my Audi A4 1.8T Quattro for a few months now, and it really is time for a proper review, especially considering the amount of enjoyment and love I have for it. Now the thing about reviewing a car is there is so much you can talk about, and you really could go on forever, so I'm just going to hit off the points that I feel are important for ANYONE that is purchasing (or rather, considering purchasing) a vehicle like this, as well as things that are notably good about my Audi A4, and things are notably poor about it. Should be fun, let's begin...
.:Handling & Steering Responsiveness:.
The steering in the Audi A4 is very responsive when compared to other cars of its size and class. If you've ever driven a Mazda, like a 3 or a 6, you'll probably recognize them as the king of steering responsiveness, at least until you get into your more expensive BMWs. Not really sure where this comparison is going except to conclude with, the steering is very responsive but not quite as responsive as Mazda, but that's still saying quite a bit. You can really feel the road through the A4, the grip of the tires, your turns, it's all responsive and stimulated.
If you take a look at the A4's owner's manual, you will read that it is made for cornering and great for braking whilst cornering. This is nothing short of the truth, in a 100% good way. Audi is known for putting their engines rather far front, but as they usually do, they make it work. The handling of the A4 is fantastic. I haven't done anything really stupid with it, but I've taken some very quick turns, and it's performed at least, if not better, then I expected it to.
.:Acceleration & Turbocharged Engine:.
Obviously we're talking about a 4 cylinder, 1.8 liter engine here, albeit it is turbo-charged, but regardless you won't have a great amount of power under the engine. However, the acceleration is still quite satisfying, and you definitely notice it when you put your foot down, and when you rev it the red line when shifting (assuming you have a manual transmission of course.) As for the turbo lag, it's hardly noticeable at all, when you put that foot down it's pretty much an instant gratification of speed. As for the turbo itself, it seems pretty trustworthy... at least within the standards of turbocharged engines. It does seem to make a noise of the turbo dying down after you turn the car off, but it doesn't appear to be anything harmful. Furthermore, basic turbo care should be taken, such as letting your car idle for approximately 30 seconds or so after you get wherever it is that you're going, simply as a precaution and some basic care.
.:Quattro (All Wheel Drive) and Gas Mileage:.
First of all, I'm going to be blunt- the gas mileage is not as good as I would like it to be. Now part of that is going to be because of the turbocharged engine, but the fact of the matter is it's still a small 1.8, and it's more due to the all wheel drive. Personally, I've found that, whilst driving conservatively, I can get around 22 MPG (mind you that isn't highway driving.) However, if I want to really enjoy the car, it'll take me down to about 19 MPG. It's a little disappointing, but it's the cost of having an all wheel drive car, and perhaps if you were doing a lot of conservative highway driving, you could get some more decent mileage. Heck, I'm perfectly willing to admit I am not the best at driving conservatively, so maybe it's just me.
Now as for the usefulness of the all-wheel drive, then it's a bit of a disappointment. Really all I can say about it is this- it's nice, but not as nice as all weather tires would be. My A4 came with grand touring tires, and they're nice and all, but even with the all-wheel drive, I have managed to spin out once in some heavy rain once. Luckily I was fine, and I haven't had a problem since, now that I'm more familiar with how to control the car's grip and avoiding the action of hydroplaning. As for the snow, I have yet to drive it in it, so I really am not in a position to say, but I'd imagine it's the same. It's not a hate on the all-wheel drive, I'm sure it's quite competent, but it's just that you would probably be better off in a rear wheel drive car with all weather tires then an all wheel drive car with grand touring tires. Maybe it's just my preference, but personally I think the whole idea of all wheel drive is overrated, and is used more as a selling point to make people buy cars that they will be more comfortable with in the rain, snow, or other less than ideal driving conditions.
Here's where we have a serious knock against Audi in general. Audi is stereotyped as having expensive upkeep, and that is nothing less than the truth. It's recommended that you find a place that's capable of performing basic functions on your Audi, or learn to do them yourself, because having a dealership or anything directly associated with the company itself is going to cost you... big time. But also, in a way, it's really nothing that you wouldn't expect coming into purchasing an Audi.
Another note, many Audi's, my A4 included, take premium petrol. Gas prices are expensive as heck now, so make sure you're ready to take on this extra cost and burden, or at the very least look into what kind of fuel the A4 you are looking at takes. They don't all take premium, but many do.
Now that I have gone over all of the basic car "stuff" I'm going to mention some little details about my A4 that either really please me or really bug me.
Air-Conditioning: The AC is nothing short of excellent. You can set it to a temperature, select Auto, and then whenever you start your car it'll hit that temperature within seconds throughout your vehicle. It's fantastic for hot and humid summer days, within a minute your car will be the exact temperature you desire.
Leather Interior: Honestly the interior in its entirety is a thing of beauty. I've always preferred Audi interiors to BMW interiors (putting speed and other performance aside.) There are tons of creature comforts... and man that leather really is comfortable. What's more, the leather seems to be of good quality, I have no rips yet despite all of the use.
Floor Mats: I don't know what they've done, but the floor mats are some of the worst I've ever run into. They have these little white screw things that you turn into the floor itself. Great idea right? Wrong. The little screw things are only in the back of your floor mat, not the front. This means when I shift and quick bring the clutch out and the gas down, the mat scrunches up at your feet. Not only is it unsafe, it's downright frustrating. At one point it got so bad I just ripped the whole mat out so as not to have it distract me in a situation. You really need to have them ironed or something so that they're flat because man they have quite the tendency to scrunch up.
Key Fob: They wear out easily, and they're expensive to replace. Not a big deal, I can live with turning my key to unlock the car rather than pressing a button, but it's just a minor annoyance. Plus I could see how this could be a bigger deal for some people, if it's night time and your not in an area you feel comfortable with, it's much faster to hit the button and hop in your car.
Audio Systems: Mine has the BOSE stereo system, I'm not sure but I THINK that pretty much all the A4s come with it. It's nice, the sound is crisp and clear. Quick note- my 6 CD changer is in the trunk of the car, which is apparently pretty common. It's nice in that you have more space on the dash, but I could see how this could annoy some people, especially if you're the type that changes CDs often, as you have to walk all the way around to the back of your car. Of course, you can have 6 CDs in at once obviously, so I'd imagine that it makes more sense with the trunk design.
So would I recommend the Audi A4? If you can afford it, you sure bet I would! It's a lot of fine to drive, it's classy, it performs, it's really the complete package for almost anyone. However, do make sure you can afford to own one. Notice that I didn't say buy. Many people can buy an Audi, few can afford to own one, that means keep up with everything that needs to be kept up with. I've left out reliability until this point because there really isn't a lot I can speak of for across the board. Unlike many cars, the Audi A4 seems to truly be you get what you put into it. If it's treated properly, you'll get a reliable car. If you don't, you'll get what's probably an overpriced bill. If you're prepared to handle that, then the car will handle you and treat you kindly for one of the smoothest, yet most exciting rides in your driving experience.
Summary: You bring your money and your body. The Audi A4 will smooth out the rest in a comfortable ride.