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Acura RL vs. Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability

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Results are for year ending December 31, 2015. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2015 Audi A4 / S4 23
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  32 A4 / S4s, 8.0 months of data per A4 / S4, average 7600 miles

 

2014 Audi A4 / S4 19
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  61 A4 / S4s, 9.4 months of data per A4 / S4, average 14800 miles

 

2013 Audi A4 / S4 32
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  112 A4 / S4s, 9.7 months of data per A4 / S4, average 28400 miles

Refreshed for this model year.

 

2012 Audi A4 33
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  37 A4s, 9.9 months of data per A4, average 43500 miles
2012 Audi S4 41
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  56 S4s, 9.5 months of data per S4, average 38700 miles

 

2011 Audi A4 35
40% 40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  44 A4s, 9.3 months of data per A4, average 57200 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.
2011 Audi S4 46
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  46 S4s, 9.7 months of data per S4, average 52500 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.

 

2010 Audi S4 57
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  64 S4s, 8.9 months of data per S4, average 56400 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.
2010 Audi A4 58
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 A4s, 9.2 months of data per A4, average 64500 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.

 

2009 Audi A4 3.2 50
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  34 A4 3.2s, 9.1 months of data per A4 3.2, average 66400 miles

First model year of the B8 A4. Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.
2009 Audi A4 2.0T 78
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  35 A4 2.0Ts, 8.8 months of data per A4 2.0T, average 70100 miles

First model year of the B8 A4. Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated piston rings.

 

2008 Audi A4 74
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  43 A4s, 9.4 months of data per A4, average 82600 miles
2008 Audi S4 / RS4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  12 S4 / RS4s, 7.8 months of data per S4 / RS4, average 69800 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2007 Audi S4 / RS4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 S4 / RS4s, 9.9 months of data per S4 / RS4, average 69600 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2007 Audi A4 84
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  40 A4s, 9.7 months of data per A4, average 90100 miles

 

2006 Audi S4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 S4s, 11.0 months of data per S4, average 93500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2006 Audi A4 81
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  67 A4s, 9.0 months of data per A4, average 109100 miles

Includes 2005.5. First model year of the B7 A4.

 

2005 Acura RL   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  10 RLs, 7.1 months of data per RL, average 108700 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2005 Audi A4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  16 A4s, 9.8 months of data per A4, average 114700 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2005 Audi S4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 S4s, 7.8 months of data per S4, average 85800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2004 Audi S4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 S4s, 10.2 months of data per S4, average 84100 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2004 Audi A4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  22 A4s, 10.3 months of data per A4, average 127800 miles

* Small sample, members only.

 

2003 Audi A4 101
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 A4s, 8.7 months of data per A4, average 142400 miles

 

2002 Audi A4 102
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  30 A4s, 9.4 months of data per A4, average 153700 miles

First model year of the B6 A4, very high repair frequency. S4 still B5.

 

2001 Audi A4 / S4   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 A4 / S4s, 7.4 months of data per A4 / S4, average 121500 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

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Acura RL vs. Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Acura RL or Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Acura RL and the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Acura RL and Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Acura RL and the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Acura RL and the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 have been recently.

What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Acura RL

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Acura RL

Acura RL Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2005 4dr Sedan 300-horsepower 3.5L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
High quality Honda/Acura engineering and workmanship
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.5L V6
4-speed automatic FWD
It never breaks. This is my 5th Acura and none of them have had any problems.
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.5L V6
4-speed automatic FWD
I would put it up against any other make of car. Everyone I have owned I have put 30k plus miles on them and a few had over 150k miles when I sold them. Never had any breakdowns.
2002 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.5L V6
4-speed automatic FWD
everything
Acura RL Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.5L V6
4-speed automatic FWD
I wonder if the car contained a time bomb that went off when the warranty expired. HVAC and audio systems required expensive repairs. Poor durability for a 4-year old car with only 27,500-miles. Acura customer service denied assistance.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4

Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2013 4dr Sedan turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
8-speed shiftable CVT FWD
This Car is like a bad Girlfriend, Very Exciting, take her places, give her status, give her lots of money, Lots. And give her love, lots of Love ... and she just won't love you back. Two complete engine failures due to rings. And this car was maintained meticulously with 5w-30w Synthetic Oil . Complete engine Replacement at 89,000 miles due to piston ring failure in Cyl. #4. $9,000 Complete engine Replacement AGAIN at 116,000 due to Piston Ring Failure in Cyl. #2. This is a 2013 car. 3 years old. 2.0 Turbo Engine A new Audi crate engine is about $7,200 just for the engine. Then of course there is dealer labor and add ons. Just now quoted at $3,700 labor. You do the math. Here is the double cool part. A factory engine in a factory car has a 50,000 mile warranty. A factory engine installed by the Audi technician at an Audi Dealership, 12,000 mile warranty. If I was racing this car on the track I could accept those kinds of engine failure numbers. But I'm an "old guy" just doing average city and freeway driving. It appears I am not alone, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9815860/German-cars-lose-out-in-reliability-survey.html Warranty Direct underwriters did the engine failure rate survey by Brand
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2010 4dr Wagon turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
65,000 miles and not a single problem other than routine oil changes and tires. My BMW 335i is always in the shop and is a maintenance nightmare.
2006 4dr Sedan 255-horsepower 3.1L V6
6-speed manual AWD
So far, perfect
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Like that I can drive an Audi for 6+ years/100k+ miles and still feel safe.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Dont walk; Run from any 4 cylinder Audi. There are many better alternatives. The engine block is solid; Everything attached to it is waiting to fail, usually with collateral damage. 5,000 USD has been spent over years 2013-2015 for service with a Audi/VW ASE INDI shop charging conservativly (due to the frequency I was forced to visit). Many interior trim pieces, while soft to the touch, are begining to seperate and fail. Sunroof rattles all the time. Power seats worked in some directions. Handy under storage seat bins were a nice addition. Timing belt service requies removal on the entire front clip, headlamps, crash bar, radiator, etc. The 2.0 also employs a timing chain on the rear of the engine driven by the exhaust camshaft (itself driven by the timing belt), which drives the intake camshaft and houses a variable valve timing unit. The chain and tensioner assy. are prone to failure after 110k and should be replaced along with the high pressure pump's cam follower. This 15-20$ follower is the achilees tendon of the entire cam-tower & pistons, I've seen the black protective coating worn away within 5k miles on my car. After the black surface coating is worn away, the cam lob begins shave the metal surface of the cam follower, dropping the metal shards into the oil flow. Fuel also mixes with the oil commonly at this pump due to seal failure inside the pump housing. Oil change intervals should not exceed 5k miles for this engine. Evap emissions system is effectively useless as the manufactorer has shipped/contiues to ship known sub-par components (leak-check pump & assy.), which causes intermittent MIL warnings and continued, pending OBD codes.Eventually, after 10-15k miles the vacuum's check control pump fails completely and requires replacement or a constant check engine lamp and lowered MPG's/hp. The faulty system will not pass an emissions inspection until replaced with a new, less broken unit from the dealer.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual AWD
This car is bullet-proof. End of story. The B7 A4 is the evolution of B6/B7 platform and most of the kinks are ironed out in the final years. No worries here.
2005 2dr Convertible 220-horsepower 3.0L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
so far so good, but I have only had the car less than a month, too soon to tell
2002 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed manual AWD
120k miles + and counting, no major issues
Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2013 4dr Sedan turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
8-speed shiftable CVT FWD
This Car is like a bad Girlfriend, Very Exciting, take her places, give her status, give her lots of money,Lots. And give herlove, lots of Love ... and she just won't love you back. Two complete engine failures due to rings. And this car was maintained meticulously with 5w-30w Synthetic Oil. Complete engine Replacement at 89,000 miles due to piston ring failure in Cyl. #4. $9,000 Complete engine Replacement AGAIN at 116,000 due to Piston Ring Failure in Cyl. #2. This is a 2013 car. 3 years old. 2.0 Turbo Engine A new Audi crate engine is about $7,200 just for the engine. Then of course there is dealer labor and add ons. Just now quoted at $3,700 for labor. You do the math. If I was racing this car on the track I could accept those kinds of engine failure numbers. But I'm an "old guy" just doing average city and freeway driving. It appears, I'm not alone http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9815860/German-cars-lose-out-in-reliability-survey.html Warranty Direct underwriters did the survey of engine failure by brand.
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2012 4dr Sedan supercharged 333hp 3.0L V6
7-speed automated manual AWD
Thermostat failed at 36,000 miles. Appears to be a common issue based on what I've read.
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Very expensive to fix and not with the same history of reliability as Benz.
2007 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
My second A4 is better than the last, but I am glad I leased instead of buying. Reliability is just not world class.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Not reliable, lots of dealer visits,
2006 4dr Sedan 340-horsepower 4.2L V8
6-speed manual AWD
Do not buy one of these used unless the timing chain pre-tensioners have been replaced. There are a lot of complaints of these breaking at 100,000 miles. Mine went at 99,100 miles and the dealer quoted me $10,000 to fix. I had to sell this car at a loss. What a waste!
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Expensive to maintain, constant repairs. 2500$ service bill (excluding oil changes) avg. per year to keep road-worthy.
2005 4dr Sedan 340-horsepower 4.2L V8
6-speed manual AWD
The two cars I looked at were low mileage 2005s, CPO, and both had full service history, of which there was a lot. Both cars noted cooling issues and problems with the steering system repaired under warranty. Also numerous electrical problems.
2005 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
In the shop 10 times during last seven months. Towed 4 times because not drivable
2004 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Reputation for mechanical problems and expensive repairs