The Audi A4 remained highly competitive. In fact, this A4 was nearly everything a compact sports sedan should be. It has a solid, high-quality feel and the interior is exquisite. Agile handling makes it fun to drive and the ride, though quite firm, is supple and controlled. The cabin is quiet unless you ask the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to work hard.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2002. FCW and AEB standard from 2017.
Road Test

The Audi A4 remained highly competitive. In fact, this A4 was nearly everything a compact sports sedan should be. It has a solid, high-quality feel and the interior is exquisite. Agile handling makes it fun to drive and the ride, though quite firm, is supple and controlled. The cabin is quiet unless you ask the turbocharged four-cylinder engine to work hard. Otherwise, it sounds civilized and the seamless eight-speed automatic transmission is terrific. Fuel economy is a very respectable 25 mpg overall, which is made more impressive, given its popular Quattro all-wheel-drive. For a punchy higher performance A4, you'd have to opt for the supercharged V6 S4.

If you want more cargo space, the Allroad is essentially a wagon version.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (211 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 supercharged (333 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Audi A4 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"repeated oil leaks, Audi rebuilt engine at their expense"

Anonymous, WA (2012 Audi A4 S4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car was leaking/burning a LOT of oil so they did the ring/piston job on the engine to resolve the issue"

Laura R., NY (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Using too much oil. After many complaints Audi replaced the engine rings. Problem solved"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Car was using more oil than expected; Oil consumption test revealed an issue; Rings/Pistons replaced under pre-certified warranty."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Seal broke and dealer replaced engine under warranty"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Head gasket

"The car went from consuming no oil between service appointments (10,000 to 15,000 miles) to consuming one quart per 900-1300 miles. Per Audi this is normal. The cost to replace the failing gasket rings at the dealership is $7500, unless Audi states they must do the repair in which case it is $3000. My mechanic said the work could be done for about $3500, but does not recommend it, that adding oil at short intervals will be less expensive."

Susan D., NJ (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"The Turbo failed at 85000 (=/-). To repair this, was 3500. I think also, as a result, the valve gasket started a small leak of oil, which dripped onto and caused to fail the water pump. That, together with a major tuneup, was 4500."

David K., CA (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Seems it likes to go through coil packs, plus an apparent bad head design requires an "engine vac". Disassemble intake and clean built up gunk. Bad engine sensors, etc. And it starts getting expensive! And most all work done at Audi dealer."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Turbo was causing an Check Engine LIGHT on Continously. TURBO was Failing and a $3,500 replacement was necessaey"

Anonymous, (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"Loss of power/rough running due to carbon buildup on the intake ports. Required the removal of the intake manifold and manual cleaning of the intake ports. This solved the problem. The issue did not become apparent until the vehicle had over 100000 km. The symptoms had been an overall loss in power during acceleration, and engine codes indicating cylinder misfires. It seems this is a byproduct of direct injection in these engines."

Anonymous, BC (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel leaks

"I started smelling gas in the car, usually after it had been driven and shut down for a short time, and in the garage where I park it. But never could see fuel anywhere, and no puddle on the floor. Finally when I was doing some other work on the engine, I noticed fuel seeping from where the control solenoid attaches to the HP fuel pump on the engine. The problem was very strange - the moment the car was shut down there was no leakage. But after the car had been sitting about 10 minutes it would start leaking, and continue for 10-15 minutes, then stop again. Problem fixed by replacing HP fuel pump."

Anonymous, (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Oil leaks

"The oil gets used up very quickly; must continually monitor it"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Audi A4 3.2 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Excessive oil used"

Kevin H., OH (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Consumming 1 Qt of oil every 3000Miles"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Engine developed a major oil leak. Fluids were trapped in the undercarriage hood so didn't show up underneath the car. The hood was soaked with several pounds of fluid and the engine seals needed replacement."

Anonymous, CT (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Audi needs to have a quart of oil added about every 6000 to 7000 miles of driving. Dealer acknowledges that Audis burn oil over lifetime. I carry a quart of oil in the trunk to service it when the waning light comes on"

Anonymous, OH (2012 Audi A4 S4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"weatherstripping on drivers door fell out. Replaced by dealer at no cost"

Ron T., NL (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The chrome trim has become discolored. Even though the car is still under warranty the dealer says it's my problem! Apply vinegar to the area was their recommendation"

Timothy H., MA (2012 Audi A4 S4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Paint on all four fenders peeling fenders rusting"

Azim J., AB (2012 Audi A4 2.0T)

"Clear Coat film on hood cracked and partially came off leaving a very sticky adhesive residue which was very difficult to remove"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The body trim is fading and looking weathered"

Timothy H., MA (2012 Audi A4 S4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"rear wheel alignment was off which caused uneven tire wear and high road noise level. New tires and 4 wheel alignment solved road noise problem."

Anonymous, IA (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Power steering leaks

"Power steering fluid leaked slowly and needed occasional top-ups. A gasket needed replacement."

Anonymous, CT (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tie rods

"All 4 Needed replacement !!"

Anonymous, (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Tire wear is uneven

"caused by rear wheel alignment problem which resulted in road noise"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

"Audi dealer recommended that struts on three wheels be replaced. $6600 repair bill."

Anonymous, NV (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Relatively normal wear"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Normal routine brake wear

"The brake pads, etc. had worn down after 40,000 miles of driving and needed to be replaced. It was routine brake service."

Anonymous, NY (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Dealer changed brakes and we are very satisfied."

Billy C., (2012 Audi A4 3.0-L V6 supercharged)

"New brake pads fixed the problem"

Anonymous, (2012 Audi A4 Unsure 3.0-L V6 supercharged)
Squeaking

"Constant squeaking during normal braking when ambient temps are below 40 degrees F"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The backup camera stops working intermittently. It's to intermittent to easily troubleshoot."

Anonymous, CO (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Display screen failed. Dealer replaced at no cost due to low mileage"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"As this is a MMI system, the bluetooth, gps, etc are all combined. The system tends to loose pairing, contacts, bluetooth connection, and Audi says to fix requires a new MMI unit at over $1800.00, installed."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel controls

"Unable to remove key fob from ignition when parking car or turn off the car without many attempts. replaced at no cost by dealer"

Ron T., NL (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Rear fog light bulb burned out. Design of car prevents owner from changing bulb, requires replacement by dealer. Owner's manual does not tell how to replace the bulb; says to take it to the dealer for replacement"

Anonymous, OK (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Gauges

"The electronic systems, such as the parking break and system gauges (oil level, tire pressure, light function, etc.) quit operating making it impossible to start or move the car."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wiper motor or washer

"Washer motor had to be replaced twice. Its seems to be good now"

Billy C., (2012 Audi A4 3.0-L V6 supercharged)

"Dash display reported "wipers defective", code scan indicated problem with wiper motor controller (which is part of motor), replaced motor, problem not fixed. Body control module, wiper motor (controller), and light/rain sensor on windshield are networked together and the problem appears to be related to wiring to windshield but haven't tracked it down 100%. Problem is very intermittent but when it happens, wipers stop working completely (and suddenly)."

Anonymous, (2012 Audi A4 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"system is slow to respond navigation not reliable"

Anonymous, PA (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The MMI is the worst feature of the car. The car will say the door is ajar, when the lights are left on, it will not scroll the radio stations properly. Poor metadata. Lousy interface. Absolutely hate the MMI. I have spent 4 days at the dealership wi"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Front right suspension is noisy"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"front end mount"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

"Pump was discovered to be leaking by technician during routine 45000 mile service."

John M., OK (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check Engine light came on due to failed sensor. Problem fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Clutch replaced at 36k miles. :-("

Randy L., WA (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 3.0-L V6 supercharged)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

"Indicator need coolant. Added coolant indicator came on after three weeks. Added coolant. No further indication of needed coolant has been over a month"

Bill R., CA (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Spark plugs or wires failure

"Oil was leaking into the spark plugs."

Susan D., NJ (2012 Audi A4 2.0T 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Change Vehicle