Audi A4
(2008 - 2016)

  • Vast range of trim specification options.
  • Large discounts when compared to new thanks to euro car depreciation.
  • Even when used, the A4 still provides that classy and sophisticated Euro appeal.
  • After many years, still provides a refined driving experience.
  • A higher than average potential for mechanical and electrical issues.
  • Parts and labour can be expensive.
  • A long list of common faults and problems.
  • Depreciation can hit hard.
Overview

The ‘B8’ generation of Audi’s A4 was the point where the mid-sized sedan and Avant wagon range grew up. It debuted in 2007 and hit local markets in April 2008, eventually bowing in 2016 to make way for today’s related B9.

Its new Volkswagen Group MLB platform, shared with the likes of Q5 SUV and Porsche’s Macan, transformed the A4 technically and tangibly, moving the engine behind the front axle line, relocating the front differential ahead of the clutch and repositioning the steering hardware, creating an inherently finer handling base.

With its new underpinnings, the Ingolstadt concern finally had a staple core model with a foundation to take on BMW’s 3 Series as a driver’s machine and Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class as a luxury benchmark on genuine merit. In theory, at least…

The fundamental evolution, doing away with forebears’ nose-heavy compromises, extend to related coupe, Sportback and convertible versions, all of which was now branded under a new A5 nomenclature in B8 guise.

This fourth-generation A4 (and A5) benefitted from a more mature ‘family’ look and demonstrated Audi really hitting its stride with interior design and execution, helping mint a reputation its German rivals were forced to respond to. By 2007, Audi was also pitching itself as the forefront of flashy tech, be it headlight technology or infotainment.

Still, showroom metal was, particularly in the Noughties, a bit patchy.

The range entered north of $50k, netting you a 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre turbo four shared with circa $30k Skoda and ‘Euro taxi’ spec manual wheels on 16-inch. Rep-mobile autos, at around $55k, were CVTs. Fine for German premium badge cache, but much in the way of actual premium equipment and appointments sailing outlay upwards quickly.

You could opt into a 2.0-litre turbo petrol four good for 132kW/320Nm – the Golf engine – for around $60k as a CVT bum-dragger, but the search for a proper powertrain – 195kW/330Nm 3.2L V6, a six-speed conventional ‘Tiptronic’ automatic and Audi’s famed quattro all-paw drive – commanded over $90k. Add adaptive suspension and S line accouterment and you’re into six figures.

Audi’s diesel push, notably marketed via Le Mans sportscar racing, meant a couple of options in A4 guise: a frugal 105kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four and a 140kW 2.7L six with a lusty 400Nm, both as CVT front drivers.

The real wolf in sheep-like clothing, though, is the 3.0TDI offering 176kW and 500Nm and quattro drive, returning a peachy pair of stats in 6.2sec acceleration with 6.8L/100km combined consumption. Arriving in 2008 at around $86k for the sedan, it was quite the sleeper…

Critically, the A4 was still consider an also-ran to 3 Series for core sportiness and not quite as plush and comfy as the C-Class baseline, though this era saw the mid-sized Benz in a gradual decline from its place as the luxury king. The B8 was renowned for its firm ride sans (generally optional) adaptive dampers and its really the feature-rich, later-gen examples that tend to dynamically shine.

Proper performance would arrive, in 2009, in the form of S4, bringing 245kW/440Nm of supercharged 3.0L V6 power – replacing its forebear’s much loved 4.0L V8 – for its near $120k ask. But the real halo machine was the RS4 Avant, its high-revving 331kW/430Nm 4.2L V8 and heroic DNA a fitting cult car continuation in the eyes of petrolheads, wanting for around $150k when it finally appeared in late 2012, around the time if B8’s mid-life facelift.

The June 2012 facelift, called MY13, brought sharper styling, revised engine and powertrain options and a bit of standard equipment realignment to keep up with the times. The humble entry 1.8L four-cylinder now outputted 125kW/320Nm and the 2.0L turbo petrol was boosted to 155kW/350Nm, now available with a seven-speed dual-clutch and quattro drive to help tap its drivers’ machine mojo.

Come MY13, there were also two 3.0L diesels in either front- (150kW/400Nm) or all-paw (180kW/500Nm) guise to above the 2.0 oiler.

Joining the A4 fray at this point was the Allroad, a single-spec Euro-flavoured $70k soft-roader wagon featuring flared guards, a 37mm ride height lift and motivation courtesy of a 130kW/380Nm 2.0-litre diesel four backed by a seven-speed dual-clutch and quattro drive. It was boosted to 140kW/400Nm in MY15 form.

A general tip is to check the fine print for expensive fitted options – S Line sport packs with Audi Exclusive goodies asked up to $13k, Technik bundles could added over five grand – that can dramatically affect how nice, techy and upmarket a given A4 variant can feel.

Ads goes here
What goes wrong
  • A4s fitted with a sunroof can suffer from major flooding issues. The problem occurs with the drainage system. After a few years, the drainage components can become clogged if the vehicle has not cleaned correctly and can eventually overflow.
  • Also the plastic grommets on the ends of the drainage pipes can degrade, again leading to water ingress.
  • This can ruin the headlining, destroy the motor and electronics for the sunroof and drench the entire interior with water, or fill up the foot wells with water, eventually creating multiple electronic and ECU issues. Repairing these issues can quickly delve into the many thousands of dollars.
  • There are numerous reports that the door locks are starting to fail, either locking owners out or just not locking at all.
  • On Avant or Allroad models, the rear window washer motor can fail, which leads to it leaking, again, destroying the electronics.
  • We’re starting to see reports that the windscreen washer reservoir is cracking now that the car is getting older. Water will leak from the washer fluid reservoir which results in an inability to wash your windscreen with the windscreen wipers.
  • There are a few reports of the electric parking brake and air conditioning having faults however these are not what we’d describe as common faults.
  • Depending on trim spec and equipment fitted, the infotainment systems can become faulty and unresponsive. This is generally fixed with a software update or a full reset. It needs to be noted, the B8 generation of A4 has literally dozens of different engine and transmission combinations and unfortunately, they all have their fair share of problems.
  • For a general idea of their reliability, it needs to be taken into account that statistically, in terms of dependability, Audi rank in the bottom half of all automotive manufactures.
  • Engine wise, the diesels suffer from the same problems as just about all modern common rail diesels, turbo complications, EGR & DPF problems, injector seal failures & coolant & oil leaks. Petrol versions are generally a smarter choice as if (or when) something goes wrong it should be marginally more affordable to repair.
  • Commonly, these engines have high oil consumption issues, requiring a top of oil every few thousand kilometres.
  • Feeble engine bay plastics are becoming a major issue as these cars age.
  • Water pumps commonly fail and it should be noted that some non-genuine replacement pumps can be more affordable and more importantly, can actually outlast the factory genuine parts.
  • Many of these engines are prone to timing chain problems, engine oil leaks, PCV complications, ignition coil failures & engine bay wiring problems
  • Also various HVAC dramas like blower motors, fan speed resistors, and blend door actuators can fail.
  • Wheel speed sensors are becoming a fairly common problem, as are power window & door lock actuators.
Model range, pricing & features

1.8 TFSI & 2.0 TDI

  • Price when new: $50,600 - $60,900
  • Price used: $7,000 - $26,500

The entry level model in the range, the 1.8 TFSI is fitted with a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine available either in a 6-speed manual or mutitronic (CVT) transmission driven through the front wheels.

The 2.0 TDI model offers the same standard features, with the key difference being the turbocharged 2.0 litre 4-cylinder diesel engine.

Both 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI models were available in sedan or wagon (Avant) variants.

These models were phased out in June 2014 (MY15 update) with the Ambition and S-line models taking over the lineup offering.

Features:

16-inch alloy wheels
Front and rear fog lights
Aluminium exterior trim
Aluminium roof rails (Avant only)
ANCAP 5-star safety rating (tested 2008)
8 airbags: drive and front passenger, front and rear side and full-length curtain airbags
Front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters
Head restraints for all 5-seats
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Brake assist
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Electronic differential lock (EDL)
Electronic stability program (ESP)
Traction control
Electro-mechanical parking brake
Central locking
Automatic boot/tailgate open
Side indicator integrated into side mirrors
Cruise control
Automatic headlights
Rain sensing wipers
Intermittent wipers – variable
Air conditioning
Electric mirrors
Electric windows, front and rear with auto up/down for all windows
Power steering
Adjustable steering wheel – tilt and reach
Multi-functional leather steering wheel
Driver’s multi-function display
Manually adjustable front seats (6 way: longitudinally, height and backrest)
Leather upholstery
180 watt 10-speaker sound system including subwoofer (becomes 8-speaker sound system with B8.II update)
6.5 inch infotainment system
AM/FM radio
Single disc CD player
MP3 compatibility
12V power socket
Cup holders – first row
Split fold rear seats
Luggage area cover and partition net (Avant)
Front and rear floor mats

December 2011 updates:
Rear parking sensors
Audi connect in-car telematics system

B8.II (MY12) updates:
Start-stop system
17-inch alloy wheels
Rear parking sensors
Sports multi-functional steering wheel
8-speaker sound system
SDHC memory card reader
Audi music interface (AUX to 3.5mm)
Bluetooth connectivity

MY14 updates:
Three-zone automatic climate control

2.0 TDI e

  • Price when new: $51,100 - $53,000
  • Price used: $9,000 - $16,500

Released in March 2010, the 2.0 TDI e was released featuring a start/stop system and a brake energy regeneration system.

Additionally, the 2.0 litre TDI engine also had a higher final drive ratio and a revised engine management system to facilitate better fuel economy, which was rated at 4.8L/100km.

Adds:

Start-stop system
Brake energy regeneration system

Sport Edition

  • Price when new: $59,990 - $62,390
  • Price used: $19,000 - $27,000

Limited to 250 units, the A4 Sport edition was available with either the 1.8 TFSI or 2.0 TDI engine and added larger alloy wheels, sports pack and suspension system as well as comfort features such as electric driver’s seat and a 7-inch infotainment system with Audi’s MMI navigation plus system.

Adds:

19-inch alloy wheels
Sports suspension
Sports steering wheel
Front sport seats
Electric driver’s seat with lumbar support
7-inch infotainment system with MMI navigation plus
CD/DVD player
20GB music storage
2 SDHC card readers
Satellite navigation
Voice command

2.7 TDI

  • Price when new: $65,800 - $71,000
  • Price used: $11,000 - $22,000

The 2.7 TDI was the next model up in the B8.I series, and featured larger alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and additional comfort features such as three-zone climate control, electric driver’s seat, lumbar support for the front seats, CD stacker and bluetooth connectivity.

The B8.II series saw this engine and model designation being phased out.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Rear parking sensors
Three-zone automatic climate control
Electric driver’s seat
Lumbar support for front seats
6-disc CD stacker
Bluetooth connectivity

3.0 TDI & 2.0 TFSI quattro

  • Price when new: $61,700 - $90,100
  • Price used: $16,500 - $26,000

With the introduction of the B8.II series, introduced in July 2012 (MY13), the A4 had a revised model lineup, with the mid-range models becoming the 2.0 TFSI quattro and 3.0 TDI.

Both models offered the same standard features and options, with the only difference being the engine and drivetrain. The 3.0 V6 turbo diesel engine was coupled with front wheel drive and a multironic transmission (CVT), while the 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine offered Audi’s quattro four wheel drive system and a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or S tronic; therefore from a packaging point of view, the 2.0 litre TFSI quattro engine was considered superior.

These models were phased out in favour of the Ambition and S line model designations that were introduced in June 2014 (MY15). The 3.0 litre engine was phased out completely from June 2014.

Adds:

18-inch alloy wheels
Front and rear parking sensors
Keyless entry
Push button start
Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Automatic dimming rear interior mirror
Paddle shifters
Electronic seats for driver and front passenger including lumbar support
180 watt 10-speaker sound system including subwoofer
7-inch infotainment system with MMI navigation plus
CD/DVD player
20GB music storage
2 SDHC card readers
Satellite navigation
Voice command

MY14 updates:
Reversing camera

Ambition

  • Price when new: $57,100 - $62,100
  • Price used: $19,000 - $33,000

As part of the June 2014 update, engine sizes were dropped as model designated in favour of Ambition and S line model designations.

The Ambition was introduced as the new base to mid tier model and carried over features from the 1.8 TFSI and 2.0 TDI models, along with some features from the 3.0 TDI and 2.0 TFSI quattro models.

The Ambition model was available either with a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine with front wheel drive or available with a 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel or petrol engine with quattro (four wheel drive).

Adds:

18-inch alloy wheels
Blind spot assist
Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Paddle shifters
7-inch infotainment system with MMI navigation plus
CD/DVD player
20GB music storage
2 SDHC card readers
Satellite navigation
Voice command

Note: 10-speaker sound system becomes an option on the Ambition model.

S line

  • Price when new: $55,500 - $70,800
  • Price used: $17,000 - $45,000

Introduced as part of the June 2014 update, the S line was available either with a 1.8 litre 4-cylinder engine with front wheel drive or available with a 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel or petrol engine with quattro (four wheel drive).

The S line offered standard features in-line with the outgoing 3.0 TDI quattro and 3.0 TFSI quattro models, with the exception of not having Milano leather upholstery as standard (it was available as an option).

Adds:

S-line exterior package
Front and rear parking sensors
Reversing camera
Keyless entry
Push button start
180 watt 10-speaker sound system including subwoofer

Allroad

  • Price when new: $69,900 - $72,000
  • Price used: $19,000 - $37,000

The A4 Allroad is a sub-model of the A4 range and was introduced in 2012, alongisde the B8.II updates.

The Allroad is essentially a raised version of the A4 wagon (Avant), and features additional off road protective features like side wheel mouldings and underbody protection, in addition to comfort features like electric front seats and a 10-speaker audio system with subwoofer.

The Allroad used the same 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine (CGLC) fitted with a dual-clutch transmission and quattro (all-wheel drive). In June 2014, the Allroad received a power upgrade courtesy of a different 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine (CNHA).

Adds:

Plastic side moudlings on front bumper, rear bumper and wheel arches
Underbody protection
Tyre pressure monitor
Front and rear parking sensors
Reversing camera
Keyless entry
Push button start
180 watt 10-speaker sound system including subwoofer
7-inch infotainment system with MMI navigation plus
CD/DVD player
20GB music storage
2 SDHC card readers
Satellite navigation
Voice command
Bluetooth connectivity
Electronic seats for driver and front passenger including lumbar support
Audi cooling bag with carrying strap and 12v connection
Audi sports bag

3.2 FSI quattro

  • Price when new: $88,500 - $95,300
  • Price used: $11,500 - $21,500

The top of the range model for the B8.I series was the 3.2 FSI quattro, featuring a naturally aspirated 3.2 litre V6 petrol engine mated to 6 speed automatic and quattro (all-wheel drive).

Furthermore, the model featured larger alloy wheels (18-inches), front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push button start, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, electrochromatic rear view mirror, sports steering wheel, paddle shifters and electric seats for driver and front passenger with lumbar adjustment.

In 2012, with the introduction of the B8.II series, the 3.2 FSI quattro model was discontinued and replaced with the 3.0 TDI quattro and 3.0 TFSI quattro models.

Adds:

18-inch alloy wheels
Front and rear parking sensors
Keyless entry
Push button start
Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights
Automatic dimming rear interior mirror
Sports multi-functional steering wheel
Paddle shifters
Electronic seats for driver and front passenger including lumbar support

3.0 TDI quattro & 3.0 TFSI quattro

  • Price when new: $83,890 - $90,100
  • Price used: $17,000 - $27,500

The 3.0 TDI quattro and 3.0 TFSI quattro models were introduced as part of the July 2012 (MY13 update), and replaced the 3.2 FSI quattro specification.

Adds:

Milano leather upholstery

MY14 updates:
Reversing camera

Should you buy it?

The issue is that the wrong A4, we are referring to any A4 with a patchy or missing service history, any question marks hovering over it in terms of mechanical issues or potential accident issues or an A4 that has clearly been used and abused, we can almost guarantee, will be far more of a headache than you’re anticipating and could potentially cost you thousands of dollars just to keep it on the road.

Yes the A4 can be a good car, but the negatives surrounding questionable examples far outweigh any positives.

We cannot emphasise this enough, do not buy a questionable Audi A4. If you have even the slightest concern about its condition or history, do not buy that car.

However, if you find a single or second owner A4 that is in pristine condition, it has a full and thorough service history, it’s a higher spec model and it’s loaded with optional extras, plus it’s a great price, then should you buy one?

Again, probably not.

There are other cars out there that offer an equivalent driving experience, the same levels of refinement and sophistication and they come with a far more robust reputation for reliability. Yes they start with L and ends with exus, but we understand why you’d love an Audi A4.

We’ll compromise with our final verdict, if you can find a unicorn examples that tick all of the boxes, sure buy one but please know that the potential costs in maintaining a used Audi A4 can be exorbitant to say the least.

This generation of Audi A4 can be a great car, when they work faultlessly but, you’ve been warned.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/unlimited kilometres

Servicing:

12 months/15,000kms

Tech specs

Body Style:

4-door sedan
5-door wagon (estate/Avant) (1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TDI, 3.0 TDI, 2.0 TFSI quattro, Ambition, S line Allroad)

Engines:

B8.I Series (2008-12):
1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (1.8 TFSI)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (2.0 TDI, 2.0 TDI e)
2.7 litre V6 turbo diesel (2.7 TDI) – discontinued in 2012
3.2 litre V6 petrol (3.2 FSI quattro) – discontinued in 2012

B8.II Series (2012-15):
1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (1.8 TFSI, Sport Edition)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (2.0 TDI, Sport Edition, Ambition, S Line, Allroad)
3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel (3.0 TDI) – discontinued in June 2014
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (2.0 TFSI quattro, Ambition, S line) – upgraded power from June 2014
3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel (3.0 TDI quattro) – discontinued in June 2014
3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol (3.0 TFSI quattro) – discontinued in June 2014

Power:

B8.I Series (2008-12):
118kW – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
105kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
140kW – 2.7 litre V6 turbo diesel
195kW – 3.2 litre V6 petrol

B8.II Series (2012-15):
125kW – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
130KW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
140KW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (Allroad only)
150kW – 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel
155kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
165kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (June 2014 update – Ambition, S line)
180kW – 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel
200kW – 3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol

Torque:

B8.I Series (2008-12):
118kW – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
105kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
140kW – 2.7 litre V6 turbo diesel
195kW – 3.2 litre V6 petrol

B8.II Series (2012-15):
320Nm – 1.8 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
380Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
400Nm – 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel
350Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol
500Nm – 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel
400Nm – 3.0 litre V6 supercharged petrol

Transmission & drivetrains:

B8.I Series (2008-12):
6-speed manual, front-wheel drive (1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TDI e)
6-speed tiptronic, all-wheel drive (3.2 FSI quattro)
8-speed CVT, front wheel drive (1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TDI, 2.7 TDI)

B8.II Series (2012-15):
6-speed manual, front-wheel drive (1.8 TFSI)
6-speed manual, all-wheel drive (2.0 TFSI quattro, Ambition, S Line)
7-speed S tronic/dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive (2.0 TFSI quattro, 3.0 TDI quattro, 3.0 TFSI quattro, Ambition, S Line, Allroad)
8-speed CVT, front wheel drive (1.8 TFSI, 2.0 TDI, 3.0 TDI)

Fuel Consumption:

4.9 – 9.3L/100km (depending on variant and engine)

Length:

4699 – 4721mm

Width:

1826 – 1841mm

Height:

1427mm (sedan)
1436mm (wagon/Avant)
1495mm (Allroad)

Kerb Weight:

1495 – 1550kg (sedan)
1510 – 1685kg (wagon/Avant)
1705kg (Allroad)

Towing (unbraked/braked):
750kg/1,900kg (Allroad only)

Disclaimer

Information correct as of January 28, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.