Are Audi A4s Reliable?

Audi A4 Reliability

Common Audi A4 Issues

Audi A4: The Pros

Audi A4: The Cons

Bottom Line

The Audi A4 is an overall reliable vehicle, especially in terms of providing an amazing driving experience. Product review institutions like Consumer Reports even consider the Audi A4 to be among their top luxury compact sports sedans.

Despite the glowing praises, the model does carry with it several issues that make many question the Audi A4’s reliability. In this article, we’ll talk about how reliable the Audi A4 is, what its pros and cons are, and what are the issues that usually plague this car.

Audi A4 Reliability

Audi on a field

The Audi A4 is an exceptional vehicle expertly designed and built by an equally exceptional car manufacturer. It’s a safe, efficient, comfortable, and reliable vehicle. The recent models—2021 and 2022—are regarded as the flashiest luxury sedan available due to their well-rounded nature.

The A4’s acceleration is swift and the driving experience is smooth, regardless of the road surface. It never fails to feel sprightly and agile when navigating turns. The A4 also comes with a wide variety of active safety features, excellent fuel economy, and an amazing all-wheel-drive Audi calls Quattro.

In terms of looks, the A4 remains a beautiful machine with a sleek interior, comfortable front seats, and adult-friendly rear seats. The latest iteration of the A4 also has an intuitive touchscreen infotainment system.

In terms of overall reliability compared to its contemporaries, most experts agree that the Audi A4 is a few steps ahead of its BMW and Mercedes peers. However, it still struggles behind industry leaders like Porsche and Lexus.

Overall, the Audi A4 is a practical, refined, and competent luxury sedan. It’s also known to be an affordable option in its category with its 2022 model starting at $39,000.

Common Audi A4 Issues

parked car

While the Audi A4 is an extremely competent vehicle to own, it does have its fair share of issues and annoyances. According to the online car complaint resource site Car Complaints, the A4’s two primary issues are excessive oil usage and engine failure.

Engine-Related Issues

Audi A4s are fitted with gas-powered engines that are known to be very susceptible to these kinds of problems:

  • Timing Chain Issues: For the 2011 to 2013 models of the A4, one of the most common issues is the premature wearing of their timing chains. This includes faulty chain tensioners and worn camshaft bridges. These parts enable all the major components of the engine to work in precisely timed sequences. Most timing chains are expected to last past 73,000 miles. Audi A4s were known to barely reach 10,000 miles without needing a timing chain replacement.
  • Excessive Oil Usage: This is the primary issue that has plagued most models of the A4. On certain models, consumers found themselves adding a quart of oil to their engine almost every month. This is a highly unusual practice since most modern cars are capable of running past 10,000 miles before adding or replacing oil.
  • Start-Stop Issue: Start-Stop technology enables you to shut off your engine and transmission if they are not currently in use. This offers several major benefits like improved fuel efficiency and reduced emission output. For some models of the A4, there were flaws in the Start-Stop design that produces delays in acceleration response and even shuts off the breaks.

Other Common Issues

Apart from the better known engine-related issues, the Audi A4 also suffer from a myriad of other common issues that may require a visit to the car service center:

  • Gearbox Issue: The Audi A4’s automatic gearbox may sometimes end up feeling clunky, stiff, and difficult. This specific issue has been linked to a software problem that needs to be reprogrammed by Audi. Reprogramming the software should be free if the car is still under warranty.
  • Glovebox Problems: This issue with the A4’s glovebox typically comes in two types: the mechanism feels too loose or too stiff to move the flap down. Fortunately, this can be sorted out by applying some lubricant.
  • Brake Light: One common electrical issue of early models of the A4 is connected with the brake switch. The brake switch tends to malfunction and leave the dashboard brake lights on permanently.
  • Water Leaks: Drainage issues is also a common issue. You may end up noticing a pool of water inside the cabin that seemingly came from nowhere. This is usually caused by a blocked outflow pipe found underneath the battery. When leaves or debris block the outflow pipes, it causes water to spill into other areas of the vehicle.
  • Window Regulator: Engaging the windows up or down on an A4 may cause strange and violent noises. This is an issue traced to the window regulator. You may need to have your entire window stripped so the regulator can be replaced.

While the Audi A4 is far from a perfect vehicle, it certainly has a lot of positive things to offer.

Audi A4: The Pros

black car

While the Audi A4 is far from a perfect vehicle, it certainly has a lot of positive things to offer. Here are some of the pros of owning an Audi A4, especially the newer models:

1. Affordable Luxury

Despite being in the automobile luxury market, the A4 isn’t that expensive compared to its peers. The starting versions of the A4 are just under $40,000 with the next trim only costing a little more than that.

Its pricing places the Audi A4 in that desired spot of being a luxury vehicle but still affordable enough for people to consider investing in without feeling like they are spending too much.

2. Acceleration

One exciting thing about the A4 is its ability to quickly accelerate. The A4 is known in the industry as a vehicle that easily and quickly picks up speed. This makes driving on quiet country roads and merging onto the highway an incredible thrill ride.

The Audi A4 has two specific versions known to be masters of acceleration. The 40 TFSI models can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour in just six seconds. The 45 TFSI models are capable of beating that record by more than a second.

3. Comes with Great Technology

The Audi A4 comes packaged with amazing technology designed for both function and entertainment. The newest model has a virtual cockpit that contains a highly advanced digital instrumentation panel placed behind the wheel. Through this panel, the driver can check the gauge readings, read car information, and access maps.

The vehicle also has a 10.1-inch center screen along with an infotainment system. With the A4, drivers are capable of using physical buttons, touchscreen, and voice commands. Drivers can even access some of the car’s information through their smartphones.

4. Standard All-Wheel Drive

The standard all-wheel drive is probably the Audi A4’s most defining feature. This car’s overall performance and handling can be attributed to its all-wheel drive. While some people think all-wheel drives are a gimmick outside of winter conditions, they couldn’t be any farther from the truth.

All-wheel drives are capable of redirecting power to the front or back wheels at a moment’s notice. This allows the driver to safely drive around tight curves, over rough patches, and during quick accelerations.

5. Audi Pre Sense

Another amazing technology included in the A4 is the Audi Pre Sense. This driver-assist mechanism calculates and predicts any potential issue that can happen on the road.

For example, drivers will be warned when they’re driving towards a pedestrian or another vehicle too quickly. If the driver doesn’t heed the warning for whatever reason, the breaks can kick in automatically.

Audi Pre Sense also has advanced parking assistance that enables the system to steer itself into the spot. It can also let the driver know about cars crossing behind them or helping them stay centered in their respective lane.

The Audi A4 is an all-around amazing machine that’s certainly worth the investment.

Audi A4: The Cons

The Audi A4 is an all-around amazing machine that’s certainly worth the investment. However, it has a couple of disadvantages that might turn away some drivers.

1. Upgrades Are Expensive

The Audi A4 remains an affordable luxury sports sedan, but the same cannot be said of most of its higher versions. Upgrading from the base version to the advanced ones can be pretty expensive. For example, an upgrade to the 40 TFSI or 45 TFSI can cost at least $50,000.

The Audi A4 also has options to purchase packages that help improve the driving experience. Some packages include advanced navigation, interior sound systems, ventilated seats, and more. These are amazing but ultimately expensive options with even the most basic packages starting around $1,500.

2. Lack of Manual Transmission

Despite being touted as a sports sedan, the A4 and most of its other models have no manual transmission. Older models manufactured before 2019 may have manual transmission options, but finding them can be difficult, even around the Audi community. If you’re looking for a sports sedan that still has a manual transmission, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Bottom Line

Audi dashboard

When it comes to answering the question of whether or not the Audi A4 is reliable, the answer is quite simple: it is. Despite its laundry list of issues, the A4 still has a lot to offer. It’s a well-rounded vehicle capable of providing both luxury and performance.

Auto Works of Brandon specializes in the maintenance and repair of European and imported vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi. If you are experiencing issues with your Audi, contact us today and set up an appointment. Our team will be happy to bring performance back into your car.


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