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2012 Audi A4 / S4 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: 2012 Audi S4 (not A4) - fun but far from perfect by bconrey

Brian

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Introduction

Really enjoyed the car while I owned it, logging 25k miles in about 18 months, but I won't buy another.

Reviewed: 2012 Audi A4

4dr Sedan supercharged 333hp 3.0L V6 7-speed automated manual AWD

Why the 2012 Audi A4?

Front seat support & comfort

Without question, the most comfortable car for long road trips that I've ever owned. Our family of four took a road trip of ~2000 miles, longest single-day drive was 11 hours, and never felt any fatigue or discomfort from the seating. Seats are firm and supportive but not harsh or uncomfortable.

Materials & workmanship

Fit is spectacular. No rattles or squeaks. No weird gaps; everything fits nice and snug. Finishes are also good but the dash styling and finish choices was average. Not bad, but nothing standout.

Powertrain performance

It does well but the raw power is somewhat muted by all the computers designed to give the car good driveability and manners. If you buy one, look for the sport diff (comes in the prestige package I believe) as it really improves the car's ability to corner.

Why Not the 2012 Audi A4?

Safety & braking

Goes through brake pads pretty quickly, and in the process, sheds a lot of brake dust onto the wheels.

Reliability & durability

Thermostat failed at 36,000 miles. Appears to be a common issue based on what I've read.

Depreciation

Depreciation is steep. Purchased this car as certified pre-owned when it was 18 months old for $14k less than original sticker price. Sold it 18 months later for almost $10k less, so a three-year-old car with 42k miles was worth barely more than half the original MSRP.

Driving position & visibility

Because the car is small, it encapsulates the driver and creates a lot of low visibility areas. Reverse camera and sensors help mitigate this.

Other Features of the 2012 Audi A4

Fuel economy

Combined MPG hovers below 20 if you like to squeeze the skinny pedal now and then. On long road trips MPG climbed as high as 26.

Audio & nav systems

Comprehensive, robust nav and audio head unit. MMI can be challenging to learn initially as there are many buttons and settings. Good sound for a stock head unit and stock speakers. The head unit is fully integrated and connected with many of the car's other systems - tire pressure, oil life, central locking, and climate control are all integrated. Replacing the head unit with aftermarket is probably impossible. Failure of the head unit may have impact on the availability/functionality of some of those integrated systems.

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Response from Hooter

2:59 am May 5, 2016

I was intending to buy an A3, 2007 with 160k on it

Good or bad idea. I only need it as a collection

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Response from Brian

10:04 am May 5, 2016

I'm the original reviewer, but I don't have an opinion on whether that A3 is a good or bad idea. It's a different platform than my S4 and a different generation. I'd use information you find here along with other Internet sources as data points for the overall decision. Good luck!

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