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Best & Worst Years of Audi A4 – Graphs & Owner Surveys

The best years of the Audi A4 are 2010, 2013-2015, 2017-2018, and 2020. You should avoid 2003-2005, 2006-2008, 2009, and 2011-2012. Most issues are located in the engine, and a common problem is the ignition coils or spark plugs.  

Car Audi A4 B9 wrapped in matte vinyl is standing on the parking lot

The Audi A4 is a compact luxury car that appeals to drivers seeking a comfortable ride and terrific driving experience. It is an entry-level luxury vehicle available in North America since 1996. Audi, a German subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, builds the A4. It offers similar levels of luxury and performance as the BMW 3-series for a lower price.

To determine the best and worst Audi A4, we compiled and analyzed data from thousands of FIXD sensors installed in A4 vehicles. We also sourced information such as the market value from KBB.com, gas mileage from fueleconomy.gov, and safety ratings from NHTSA.gov

The following is a synopsis of our results, followed by a detailed report of each year of the Audi A4. 

Best Years Why? Worst Years Why?

No recalls in 2018, low ownership costs, low number of CELs

>> See 2017-2018 Audi A4s for sale


Low FIXD Reliability score, a large number of DTCs, expensive yearly maintenance

>> See 2009 Audi A4s for sale


High Owner Reliability Score, good safety scores, impressive fuel economy

>> See 2015-2016 Audi A4s for sale


Low reliability, a large number of DTCs, good chance of catalytic converter replacement

>> See 2003-2005 Audi A4s for sale 


Great safety score, no recalls, low cost of ownership

>> See 2010 Audi A4s for sale


Low safety score, extremely high maintenance costs, a large number of recalls

>> See 2006-2008 Audi A4s for sale


Mid-generation facelift, good safety scores

>> See 2013-2014 Audi A4s for sale


High amount of DTCs, engine problems, low safety score

>> See 2011-2012 Audi A4s for sale

Audi A4 MPG, Engine Reliability Score, & Safety Ratings Year by Year

To clarify how we determined which years of the Audi A4 were better than others, let’s look at the data and ratings we used. First, we utilized FIXD scanners installed in Audi A4s and owner surveys to create two reliability scores: FIXD Reliability Score and Owner Reliability Score. 

Next, we compared all years of the A4 and their performance in safety ratings from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Then we looked at fueleconomy.gov to compare the gas mileage across models. Finally, we compared the current market value acquired from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and the yearly upkeep and repair costs. 

While it’s true that the first year of a model generation will generally have a slew of new problems that come with the latest updates and revisions. As an Audi A4 owner or potential buyer, it is crucial to be aware of specific trends and issues throughout the years of the model you are looking into. Often it’s more than just the first year you should avoid and late in the generation updates can cause problems at the end of a generation too. We break all the changes and updates down for you.

If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USAs’ most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.

Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years

AUDI A4 Reliability Score

The two sources used to create the engine reliability graph are FIXD scanners installed in Audi A4s and owner surveys submitted by FIXD users. These helped us make the FIXD Reliability Score and Owner Reliability Score. 

The FIXD Reliability Score was determined by recording the amount of check engine lights (CELs) thrown by each year of the A4. It is adjusted for each vehicle based on the number of miles and it’s represented by the green line on the graph. 

New models typically score higher than old ones, but noticeable fluctuations exist. Years of the A4 with high scores have fewer CELs. 

Ten is the highest score. One is the lowest score, and five is considered average.

We will cover some of the most common CELs in each year of the A4 below, but for the top five, you can refer to our article about the Audi A4 check engine light

We created the Owner Reliability Score, represented by the gray line, with owner survey data. Owners of Audi A4s answered a multiple choice question about how reliable their car is and their responses were scored on a scale of 1-10.

The FIXD and Owner Reliability Scores follow the same overall trend, with new models scoring higher than old models. However, there is a big difference in the early years, such as 2003-2009, where the FIXD score never rises past 1 while the Owner scores are above 5. This difference could be caused by owners believing their A4 is more reliable than it is in comparison to newer vehicles.

We also don’t have enough data for 2001, 2002, and 2019- 2021 to rank them as the best or worst Audi A4 fairly. 

NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years

Audi A4 Safety Score

The Audi A4 safety rating is shown by the green line on the graph above. The average safety rating of all vehicles we have NHTSA data for is in gray. 

The Audi A4 is generally a safe compact luxury car, with all of the last 20 years scoring above 4 out of 5 stars.

The safety of the Audi A4 started rocky, scoring an average of 4.2 from 2002-2008. It then improved significantly, scoring 5/5 stars in 2009 and 2010. The safety scores dropped in 2011 from 5 stars to 4.2. The A4 then regained some of that score by 2013, reaching 4.8/5. The last seven years have fluctuated between a safety score of 4.6 (2017-18, 2021-22) and a perfect 5 (2019-2020, 2023).

Good safety scores are essential to getting low insurance premiums. We have put together a guide on how to get cheap insurance on a used car in any state if you’d like more info on how to save money on your car insurance.

If you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours.

What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:
North Carolina
New York

MPG – Over The Years

Audi A4 Average MPG

As a luxury vehicle, fuel economy has never been the top priority for the Audi A4. However, it stays consistent and has increased steadily over the last twenty years. 

We graphed the MPG data acquired from fueleconomy.gov. You can see that the Audi A4 has stayed above 20 miles per gallon since 2001. The first few years of the 4th generation (2009-2011) saw a steady increase in fuel economy until it plateaued from 2012 to 2015.

In 2016, there was another slight increase from the previous year before it reached its highest 28 mpg in 2017 as the first year of the 5th generation. This fuel economy is comparable to the BMW 3-series (28 mpg) of the same year. 

Current Market Value of All Audi A4 Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each

Audi A4 Current Market Value

The final factor in our list of best and worst years of Audi A4 is the annual maintenance and repair costs, along with the current market value. The market value was taken from KBB.com and is portrayed by the green line. The gray line indicates annual ownership costs and is created through answers to ownership surveys we have received from FIXD app users. 

You’ll notice a couple of years of the Audi A4 worth more than the newer model. The 2018 A4, for example, is worth a surprising $23,695, while 2019 is worth less at $21,314. The higher value is due to it having lower reported mileage in our data. For example, the 2018 A4 has an average of 58,333 miles while the newer 2019 has an average of 75,000. 

This phenomenon also occurred in 2009 and 2007. The newer 2008 model has over 50,000 more miles reported on average than the 2007 (162,500 and 117,857). The 2010 model has an average of 225,000 miles and the 2009 has 100,000. That is an astonishing 125,000 more miles in the 2010 than were reported in the older 2009. High mileage decreases the value of the car substantially. 

Repair costs are relatively consistent across all years of the Audi A4. The overall average is $855. However, 2007-2009 had a big rise and were above $1,000 before dropping down in 2010. The only other year with repair costs above $1,000 is 2013. 

When shopping for a used Audi A4, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!

Important Features Timeline

Audi a4 Timeline of Important Features

1996: Introduction of the Audi A4 in North America

1997: Cloth upholstery in all models, three new exterior colors

1998: Debut of the Avant, an Audi A4 station wagon

1999: 1.8T engine with a five-speed manual transmission, producing 150 horsepower

2000: Minor interior and exterior updates, rear seats and chassis remade for comfort 

2001: Head protection airbags in all A4s

2002: First year of 2nd generation, all-new body style

2003: Introduction of the Audi A4 Cabriolet convertible body style

2004: Tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) standard 

2005: New satellite navigation and radio system, the introduction of bi-xenon headlights

2006: New 3rd generation, optional 6-speed manual available

2007: Updated audio system

2008: Revised exterior, sport package features become standard

2009: Beginning of 4th generation, complete redesign 

2010: Convertible and V6 options no longer available

2011: Titanium Sport package introduced with black trim

2012: Relatively unchanged from the previous year

2013: Mid-generation facelift, electric-assist power steering

2014: Horsepower increased from 211 to 220

2015: Headlight washer system and 3-zone climate control now standard in all A4s

2016: No significant changes, the base Premium trim now comes standard with a three-spoke steering wheel and heated mirrors

2017: Introduction of 5th generation, a complete redesign, a major increase in power and fuel economy

2018: Introduction of the Black Optic Plus package

2019: Updated front and rear fascias

2020: LED headlamps and 10.1-inch touchscreen entertainment center

2021: Standard all-wheel drive

The Best Years of the Audi A4

Audi Logo on the front bumper grill.

The Audi A4 is a very popular luxury car that stacks up with BMW and Mercedes models. We determined the car’s best years by comparing their FIXD Reliability Score and Owner Reliability Score. After reviewing the reliability scores, we considered safety ratings, fuel economy, market value, and repair costs. We also include recalls issued by the United States Department of Transportation. 

2017-2018 Audi A4

 Silver 2018 Audi A4  is parked  on the street on a warm  day against the backdrop of a park

FIXD Reliability Score: 6-9/10

Owner Reliability Score: 6-10/10

KBB Value: $19,302-$23,695

Fuel Economy: 28 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $417-$750

Safety Rating: 4.6 / 5

The 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 are the best A4s on our list for several reasons. 2017 marked the beginning of the 5th generation Audi A4. The sophomore year of the 5th generation, 2018, fixed many issues and is one of the most popular compact luxury sedans on the market. 

The 2017-2018 have FIXD Reliability Scores of 6 and 9, respectively. These scores show that these model years have fewer DTCs than older versions of the same car and are among the highest scores for all Audi A4s. Owners agree with these reliability scores, giving 2017 the same score of 6/10 and 2018 a perfect 10/10. 

The safety score of the 2017 and 2018 Audi A4 is one of the best scores amongst luxury vehicles at 4.6/5 stars. They scored a perfect 5/5 in their rollover and side crash tests but 4/5 in their frontal crash tests. 

Repair and maintenance costs every year are extremely manageable for this A4. They range from $417-$750 and stay below the average across all Audi A4s ($855). The bad news is that 100% of surveyed owners reported a repair bill over $500. 

The majority of the $500+ repairs reported are in the brakes. Brake repairs in 5 and 6-year-old cars are not uncommon, and it should be noted that the parts for a German manufacturer are more expensive than many others. 

The check engine lights thrown for 2017 and 2018 are relatively low, and one of the reasons these years are a part of the best of the Audi A4. The 5 most common codes across all Audi A4s have low severity. One of the most common codes for 2017 and 2018 is P2237, which could be a faulty oxygen sensor. Another code seen in 2018 is P0456, an evaporative emission control system leak. DTC P0456 resulted in a lead detection pump repair, costing between $200 and $560. 

The 2017 Audi A4 reportedly has 6 recalls but has no investigations and only 71 complaints. Most of those recalls are airbag related. With it being the first year of the 5th generation, some mistakes are expected. These recalls are repaired at no cost to the vehicle owner. 2018 Audi A4 has an impressive 0 recalls, 0 investigations, and 0 complaints. 

2015-2016 Audi A4

Audi A4 2016 brown metallic color

FIXD Reliability Score: 4-8/10

Owner Reliability Score: 8/10

KBB Value: $12,782-$16,152

Fuel Economy: 25-26 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$500

Safety Rating: 4.8 / 5

The 2015-2016 Audi A4 are the final years of a 4th generation that had a rough first half (except 2010). Overall they have great reliability scores, low maintenance costs, and an excellent safety rating. 

The FIXD Reliability Score of the 2015 A4 is 8/10, which gives it the second-best FIXD score overall. 2016 drops to 4/10, which could be attributed to a smaller sample size. Excellent safety ratings and low maintenance costs keep it on this side of the list. 

Safety ratings for 2015 and 2016 are recorded at 4.8 out of 5, which is an excellent score for any car, not just luxury sedans. Remember that a higher safety rating generally means lower insurance premiums. Coupled with the reasonable market value, the 2015-2016 Audi A4 is a great used car to shop for. Just make sure and do your research before purchasing a used car

The 2015 and 2016 A4 have relatively low maintenance and repair costs ($500 and $250), making them cheap cars to own. On the downside, owners reported a 100% chance of a $500 repair or more, and 2015 spent an average of 2.8 days in the shop. 

Common DTCs for the 2015 Audi A4 include P0299, which could be turbo-related, P2293, and P12A4. The 2016 A4 recorded P2188 and P2178, which can both be attributed to a system running too lean. 2016 also recorded P0172, Bank 1 has too much fuel or not enough air. 

Recalls for the 2015 and 2016 Audi A4 are also low, with 2015 having only four recalls (and 38 complaints). The 2016 Audi A4 has 3 recalls. All recalls can be repaired for free by appointment with an Audi dealer.  

2010 Audi A4

FIXD Reliability Score: 6/10

Owner Reliability Score: N/A

KBB Value: $4,494

Fuel Economy: 24 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250

Safety Rating: 5 / 5

The 2010 Audi A4 made the list of best Audi A4s by having low maintenance cost and high safety scores. It is the second year of the 4th generation, and Audi seamlessly fixed any first year of the generation mistakes with this one. 

The FIXD Reliability Score registered at 6 out of 10, meaning it has an above-average rating and lower-than-average CELs in the sample mileage. We didn’t have enough owner surveys to give the 2010 A4 an accurate Owner Reliability Score. 

2010 is one of only two years that scored a perfect 5/5 stars on its safety rating. Its comfort and luxury make it one of the best rides you can buy as a used car. 

This year only has $250 worth of annual repair and maintenance, and only 75% of owners claimed they had a repair over $500 (average is 79%). One thing to note is that the 2010 model year reported 225,000 miles, the highest in our data for the A4. The high reported mileage of 2010 may also contribute to its Kelley Blue Book value of less than $5,000. 

While it is a great car, the 2010 Audi A4 has some concerning DTCs. The most common code is P0299, which is related to the turbo or supercharger. The next most common is a dreaded catalytic converter, P0420, which can be a repair costing $1,538-$2,041. The third most common code for 2010 is P0302, a cylinder 2 misfire detected. This code often resulted in replacing ignition coils ($51-$173) but could require a spark plug replacement

The 2010 Audi A4 has no recalls and only 62 complaints. However, over half of those complaints are related to the engine. 

2013-2014 Audi A4

FIXD Reliability Score: 3-4/10

Owner Reliability Score: 9/10

KBB Value: $8,813-$11,460

Fuel Economy: 25 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $750-$1,125

Safety Rating: 4.8/5

The Audi A4 received a mid-generation facelift, improving the style and comfort of the already popular luxury vehicle. It also gave it electric-assist power steering in 2013 and increased horsepower in 2014.  

FIXD Reliability Scores aren’t extremely impressive, at 3 and 4 out of 10. The Owner Reliability Score scores 9/10, making 2013-2014 the second highest, only behind the best Audi A4, 2018. Owners of 2013-14 A4s love the comfortable seats and easy-to-use entertainment center. 

Safety scores are an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars. However, according to the NHTSA, they didn’t receive a perfect 5/5 due to the side barrier front seat and driver collision ratings. 

Yearly maintenance costs are high for the 2013 A4, at $1,125, but below average ($855) for 2014, $750. There is an 80% chance and 100% chance of a $500+ repair bill for 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

A catalytic converter, P0420, usually causes the number one diagnostic trouble code for the 2013 Audi A4. A catalytic converter replacement may cost anywhere from $1,538 to $2,041. The next most common is P0300, followed by P0301, both caused by misfires. These together mean you need new ignition coils ($51-$173), spark plugs ($66-$250), or a crankcase pressure regulating valve ($54-$170). 

The 2014 A4 has a common P0299 code related to a turbo issue. It also has the P0420, catalytic converter, and P0172. DTC P0172 means bank 1 has too much fuel or not enough air and could be caused by a dirty mass air flow sensor

The 2013 and 2014 A4s have the same four recalls. If the recalls haven’t been repaired, you may want to carry a fire extinguisher, as 3 out of the 4 increase the chance of a fire. The fire hazard is caused either by an overheating coolant pump or a melted auxiliary heat electrical connector. 

The Worst Years of the Audi A4

Silver Audi A4 car moving on the street

We listed the worst years of the Audi A4 based on the same criteria as the best ones. We again looked at the FIXD Reliability Score, with all on this list scoring only 1/10. We also looked at Owner Reliability Score, NHTSA safety ratings, KBB Value, and annual repair costs. The last things we cover are the common diagnostic trouble codes in these models and the recalls issued by the Department of Transportation. 

2009 Audi A4

FIXD Reliability Score: 1/10

Owner Reliability Score: 7/10 

KBB Value: $6,219

Fuel Economy: 23 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $1,406

Safety Rating: 5/5

The 2009 Audi A4 is the first year of the 4th generation and has the issues to prove it. Along with extremely high repair costs, many DTCs, and recalls landed this year on our worst list. 

The FIXD Reliability Score is the lowest possible at 1/10. However, owners gave this car a respectable 7/10, meaning they will look past some issues. 

When it comes to safety, the 2009 is one of only two Audi A4s to score a perfect 5/5. 

The annual maintenance and repair costs of the 2009 A4 are a staggering $1,406. This large amount of money is almost double the average between 2001-2021 and is a major reason it ended up as an A4 we don’t recommend. 78% of 2009 owners disliked that it is expensive to repair. 

Many CELs determine the low FIXD Reliability Score, and 2009’s most common is DTC P0299. The DTC P0303, cylinder 3 misfire detected, is the second most common CEL thrown. The usual fix for P0303 is replacing ignition coils. The third most common engine light is caused by P0016 and was fixed by replacing the Variable Camshaft Timing (VCT) Solenoid. The VCT Solenoid repair could cost between $1,016 and $1,531.

The final reason the 2009 Audi A4 is a car to avoid is the high number of recalls. It has six recalls and 140 complaints. Forty-four complaints are about the engine, while 50 are about airbags. All six recalls are airbag related. 

2003-2005 Audi A4

 Grey saloon car Audi A4 in the town street.

FIXD Reliability Score: 1/10

Owner Reliability Score: 5-8/10

KBB Value: $3,031-$3,167

Fuel Economy: 21 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $583-$875

Safety Rating: 4.2/5 

The 2003-2005 Audi A4 is the second through the fourth years of the 2nd generation. They have high Owner Reliability Scores but low fuel economy and safety ratings. 

The FIXD Reliability Score is 1/10, while the Owner Reliability Score starts at 5 and increases to 8 out of 10. This could be because people think their A4 is more reliable than it is or that the high number of check engine lights never leads to a serious repair. 

Safety ratings are lower than in later years of the A4 but stay consistent at 4.2 stars out of 5. They only received 5/5 on the driver-side crash test. While we recommend a new version, these scores are not terrible for a 20-year-old luxury vehicle. 

Ownership costs range from $583 for the 2004 model and up to $875 for 2005. These are around average repair costs, but the 2003 and 2005 models stayed in the shop 1-2 days more than the average of 1.5 days. 

2003-05 Audi A4 all have a common P0300 engine code, which typically leads to ignition coils being replaced. Replacing ignition coils isn’t expensive, at $51-$173. However, other common codes in these years are P0301, P0302, and P0171. These DTCs typically led to replacing the crankcase pressure regulating valve, costing $54-$170. Last but not least, the 2005 Audi A4 often recorded P0420, which sometimes requires the dreaded catalytic converter repair ($1,538-$2,041). 

Regarding recalls, 2003 and 2005 Audi A4s have issued four and have over 200 complaints. Three out of four are regarding the airbags, but the last is related to a water pump failure. The 2004 A4 also includes the water pump failure in its three recalls, an airbag issue, and problems with the xenon headlights. 

2006-2008 Audi A4

FIXD Reliability Score: 1/10

Owner Reliability Score: 5-8/10

KBB Value: $3,368-$4,275

Fuel Economy: 21-22 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $875-$1,750

Safety Rating: 4.2 / 5

We recommend avoiding the entire 3rd generation of the Audi A4, years 2006-2008. This generation has high repair costs, low safety scores, and numerous recalls. 

The FIXD Reliability Score is again the lowest possible score of 1/10 for 2006-2008. The Owner Reliability Score started at 5/10 in 2006 and increased to 7/10 in 2007 and 8/10 in 2008. 

Safety scores are respectable at 4.2 out of 5 stars, but there are still years of this car with fewer issues and better safety ratings. Lower safety scores will also increase your premiums on a car that already hits your bank hard with high maintenance and repair costs.

All three of the 2006-2008 Audi A4s have above average maintenance and repair costs from $875 to a concerning $1,750. Considering the Kelley Blue Book market value is less than $5,000, we suggest avoiding buying one of these used. 

A few DTC red flags were recorded by FIXD sensors installed in the 2006-2008 Audi A4s. The first ones are P0301, P0302, and P0305, all misfires in their particular cylinders. These usually led to replacing ignition coils, which cost anywhere from $51 to $173. Another common DTC, P0171, required replacing the crankcase pressure regulating valve ($54-$170). 

The 2006-2008 Audi A4 has numerous recalls related to airbag problems. 2006 and 2008 have six recalls, while the 2007 A4 has five recalls and 228 complaints. Getting these recall repairs is vital to the car’s safety. 

2011-2012 Audi A4

FIXD Reliability Score: 1/10

Owner Reliability Score: N/A

KBB Value: $7,290-$7,843

Fuel Economy: 25 MPG

Annual Maintenance/Repair: $500-$750

Safety Rating: 4.2 / 5

The 2011 and 2012 Audi A4 should be entirely avoided when you are used car shopping. They have multiple issues: low FIXD Reliability and safety scores. 

While we did not receive enough owner surveys to give the 2011-12 a fair Owner Reliability Score, the FIXD Reliability Score is 1/10 in both years. 

2011 and 2012 scored 4.2 stars out of 5 for their crash tests, which aligns with the average across all makes models. 

The 2011 A4 has lower repair and maintenance costs at $500 a year, and owners reported a 100% chance of a repair costing $500 or more. The 2021 annual ownership costs $750, with a 70% chance of a $500+ fix. Of that 70%, 30% reported the costly mechanical work was in the engine. 

Diagnostic trouble codes plague these models of the A4. The large amount and severity of the DTCs are the leading reason why 2011-2012 ended up as the worst Audi A4s. The most common DTC is a turbo or supercharger issue, DTC P0299. A concerning code for 2012 is the catalytic converter ($1,538-$2,041), P0420. Another huge code problem for 2012 is P0288. This DTC generally led to replacing the high-pressure fuel pump, costing $909-$1,351. 

The second most common DTC for 2011 (after P0299) is P0302, which has usually led to replacing ignition coils. Pair that with the next most common, P0300, and you might have to replace the crankcase pressure regulating valve, costing between $54 and $170. 

One positive point about the 2011 and 2012 Audi A4 is that they have no recalls as of May 2023. While all recalls are repaired without costing the owner a dime, not having to worry about one at all is always nice. 


What years of the Audi A4 have engine and/or transmission problems?

While the Audi A4 has a solid reputation for reliability, a few years have had some engine complaints. According to NHTSA, there are reports of some engines using oil in the years 2006-2013 and requiring adding oil between oil changes. In particular, 2009 has 44 engine complaints, while over 50% of the 62 complaints in 2010 are engine related. Also, amongst FIXD app users, most $500+ repairs reported in this year range were engine related. 

Most transmissions have had positive feedback throughout the lifespan of the Audi A4. However, as with all components in older vehicles, there is always a chance for maintenance or repair after extended use. 

What is considered high mileage for an Audi A4? 

High mileage in a luxury vehicle is lower than most daily drivers or cars intended for extended driving. The average reported mileage for A4 owners using the FIXD app is 111,685, while the highest is 225,000. However, most A4s using FIXD have miles below 130,000; anything above could be considered high mileage. 

People maintain and care for their cars in different ways. If you are considering purchasing an Audi A4, We recommend an individual inspection to determine if the car’s mileage will affect its lifespan. A good start is using the FIXD sensor to learn the car’s history and the severity of any check engine lights. 

What other vehicles should I consider?

The Audi A4 is generally a solid choice for a used car if you’re looking for comfort and luxury. However, some alternatives match up in style and performance. If you want to stay with Audi, the A5 offers many of the same features: less space and a sportier look. 

Another car to consider is the BMW 3-series. It is known for its powerful engines and athletic handling and has a great interior. Some drivers prefer it for its sportier driving dynamics over Audi’s comfort-oriented approach. 

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is another compact luxury sedan with a reputation for quality. It has multiple engine options and is another car focused on the comfort and efficiency of features over sport driving. It is a refined vehicle with a traditional look and is one of the most mentioned cars in lyrics of the hip-hop genre. 

Another major competitor of the Audi A4, the Lexus IS, is a compact luxury sedan with a spacious interior and strong reliability. The IS is a smooth and comfortable ride whose luxurious driving experience makes up for its overall performance. 

What owners of the Audi A4 like to use their car for:

The Audi A4 is touted as a compact luxury sedan, and 24% of FIXD app users reported enjoying the comfort and luxurious driving. However, this isn’t the only thing owners are using it for. 26% of owners use the A4 as a family vehicle, and 25% use it for traveling or commuting. There are also 18% reportedly using it for sport and fast driving. Only 6% say they used their A4 as an office on wheels. One percent say they’ve used it as an outdoor, off-road vehicle (which we assume means they took a wrong turn), and 0% use it for hauling/towing. 

Frequent Use Categories: How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)
Family Vehicle ***
Lots of Driving (travel/long commute) ***
Hauling/Towing *
Office on Wheels *
Sport/Fast Driving **
Luxurious Driving ***
Outdoor/Off-Road *

A Note About Data and Information Sources

This article has many details about Audi A4 reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.

  • FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App

The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing. 

This is an objective score.

  • Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Audi A4 owners who use FIXD. 

The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Audi A4.  

This is a subjective score.

To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:

How reliable would you say your Audi A4 is?

a. Just point A to point B driving

b. A Daily Commuter

c. Good for a 100 mile road trip

d. Good for a 500 mile road trip

e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem

From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:

a. = 2

b. = 4

c. = 6

d. = 8

e. = 10

Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is. 

One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.

Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.

Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others. 

It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars. 

Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data. 

We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.

  • KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Chevrolet Equinox with typical mileage for that respective model year.
  • Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on Fueleconomy.gov
  • Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Chevrolet Equinox owners
  • Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.


  1. Audi A4 model-specific information, edmunds.com (various dates). Retrieved May 1st, 2023, from https://www.edmunds.com/
  2. Model-specific recall information as per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Retrieved May 1st, 2023, from https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
  3. Audi A4 model-specific information, autoblog.com (various dates). Retrieved May 1st, 2023 from https://www.autoblog.com/
Keith Rollins Headshot

Keith Rollins is a copywriter and author that has been involved in the automotive industry for over 12 years. He has written for hotcars.com and is featured on Copywriting.org. When he’s not writing he’s spending time with his three kids, hiking, working on cars, or running. You can see his work at keithrrollins.com.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

Keith Rollins

Keith Rollins

Keith Rollins is a copywriter and author that has been involved in the automotive industry for over 12 years. He has written for hotcars.com and is featured on Copywriting.org. When he’s not writing he’s spending time with his three kids, hiking, working on cars, or running. You can see his work at keithrrollins.com.

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