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2006 Audi A4 / S4 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Audi A4 2.0T Quattro by phillipbwalk

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Reviewed: 2005.5 Audi A4

4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4 6-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2005.5 Audi A4?

Audio & nav systems

The Bose sound system was the only reason I bought this car.

Fuel economy

Overall good fuel economy and quite good range. However, I must add that the fuel pump in the left porition of the fuel tank stopped working on my car, effectively giving me a limited range w/out notice. This caused my car to stall out on three seperate occasions when it ran out of fuel in the right portion of the tank. The fuel tank in this car wraps over the top of the rear diff. The vehicle fuel guage would still read approx. 1/4 tank, yet stall from fuel starvation as the left portion of the tank was not sucking fuel from it; causing a vapor lock. Secondly; fueling this car was time consuming as it had to be filled very slowly, or the pump would shut off. This was shared problem with the evap./emissions system. Lastly, A continual problem with the vehicle's evaporative emissions control system lingers from the manufactorer, and includes known faulty parts. The check pump for the system and its components commonly fail in less than 10k miles.

Handling

There are better alternatives. The ride is a bit firm and the steering tends to wander and "hunt" when at speed (follows road grooves). Understeer becomes readily apparent in the lower limits only when the road is dry. The car has tendency to oversteer aggresively on wet surfaces in sharp turns.

Off-road capability

Well equipped for handling snow and soccer fields. The quattro AWD system saved my bumm in the Atlanta Snow-pocalypse of 2013. While the rest were sliding, crashing, and in ditches; the A4 Quattro pulled along with ease. Braking/stopping was to be as expected on snow/ice.

Reliability & durability

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.

Why Not the 2005.5 Audi A4?

Reliability & durability

Expensive to maintain, constant repairs. 2500$ service bill (excluding oil changes) avg. per year to keep road-worthy.

Powertrain performance

Auto Transmission has no clue what the engine is doing, or maybe even that it's a transmission. When it has showed for work, it constantly shuffles around through it's 6 gears at any speed below 45mph. Above 45MPH you will always find it in 6th gear, always. It annoyingly favors unlocking the torque converter vs. downshifting when additional power is needed for hills, acceleration, etc. This causes a surge of power, rarely necesarry, which causes you back off the throttle, where it then upshifts back to sixth and slows. A repitious and annoying cycle to stay at 45-55mph when climbing hills. When it does decide to drop out of 6th gear, it then immediatly locks the torque converter back to the engine. The constant lock and unclocking torque converter and and gear hunting under 45 mph is annoying. The manual control feature is a nice addition but the entire gear chift is cheaply made and clearly taken from a Passat. Power is good and acceleration brisk from the 2.0 when the turbo is spooled & warm. Many times, power is not uniform and unpredictible. The engine is very noisy, and sounds like a very old sewing machine at idle. The torque band is solid and the car pulls well.

Ride smoothness

The ride is rough and choppy. The car follows the grooves in the road, all the time. My Porsche 944S rides more smoothly than this car.

Past personal experience

Most of these will break, so be prepared. My trunk would decide when and if it would latch, same with the fuel door and door locks and alarm. The vehicle was broken into while the alarm was set yet it never sounded the horns, lamps, etc as I was nearby.

Conclusion

There are better alternatives. If you must buy an Audi, get one equipped with a V6 or V8.

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