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Here Are The Audi A4 Years To Avoid

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A4 at night

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Audi is a well-performing German-based luxury vehicle that sells well in the US, ranking 4th on the highest selling of the luxury brands, with nearly 250,000 vehicles sold annually in the country. Audi sold over 1.5 total vehicles globally in 2020, which is a decrease of 8.3% from the previous year.

But despite lower total sales, Audi increased its market share in the majority of key markets. Sales climbed by over 5 percent to a record in China, which was Audi’s most significant single-country market. While it sells well and is considered a prestigious brand, it still has occasional disappointments. Considering buying one? Here are the Audi A4 years to avoid.


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 Quick answer: 2008, 2009, 2011

While these model years are still fairly newer since the A4 was introduced, there’s a good chance if you’re in the market for a used vehicle, these will all have over 65k miles on them. When it comes to maintenance, this means you might not be able to tell whether it’s time for routine care or a significant overhaul. Fuel efficiency is a common complaint about the A4 once it gets above 70 thousand total miles, and drivers reported getting less than 300 miles per tank, which is a significant drop from the roughly 415 it should be getting.


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Complaints by year

  • 2021 - 0
  • 2020 - 0
  • 2019 - 0
  • 2018 - 0
  • 2017 - 12
  • 2016 - 2
  • 2015 - 1
  • 2014 - 6
  • 2013 - 11
  • 2012 - 9
  • 2011 - 23
  • 2010 - 18
  • 2009 - 35
  • 2008 - 20
  • 2007 - 12

Audi A4 model year to avoid - 2008


  • Oil issues
  • Airbags
  • Climate control

The Ad model year faced routine problems with the oil on a regular basis. This consisted of leaking oil, misrecognition of the total oil level between changes, and other things. After a few years, it was fairly common to see issues with the air conditioning. With the exception of mechanical difficulties every now and then, it runs well when maintained and is a fairly comfortable drive.


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Airbags: There were five different recalls for airbags on the 2008 model, ranging from over corrosion and failure, explosion on deployment, and delayed deployment on the driver’s side.

Audi A4 model year to avoid - 2009


  • Oil issues
  • Engine failure

Similar to the 2008 model year, it had its challenges, but overall is a decent used luxury vehicle. It had the same recalls as the prior year, and with similar mechanical issues, this is still one to avoid. With poor fuel economy and overconsumption, this model year is known to have more lingering repair costs that build up over time.


Airbags: The same five recalls for airbags on the 2008 model were present again on the 2009, ranging from over corrosion and failure, explosion on deployment, and delayed deployment on the driver’s side.


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Audi A4 model year to avoid - 2011

The worst model year for the Audi A4 was 2011. This model year of the Audi A4 experienced a variety of mechanical difficulties and failures, with the majority of them coming from the engine. The most prevalent complaint about the 2011 Audi A4 was that it was not at all fuel-efficient and routinely ate up gas. This may not be a life-threatening situation, but over time can be one of the more expensive.

Not only does this imply that the 2011 A4’s owner will have to refill their tank more frequently, but it also means that if the owner decides to remedy the problem permanently, it will cost more. With many owners choosing to replace the engine altogether, the average cost for this repair was well over $5,000. While the 2011 model year is often considered the worst overall model year, the 2009 model year beats it out for total complaints recorded.

Since 2009 had more overall complaints, one might think the average cost of repairs would be significantly higher. But that’s where the 2011 comes into play, with many owners deciding to replace the engine entirely and running up the repair cost.

In general, the Audi A4 model years between 2008 and 2011 routinely received several complaints, the majority of which were related to the vehicle’s oil consumption and poor engine performance. All of these issues with high oil usage occurred around the same mileage total mileage and were costly to repair. On average, these vehicles started seeing significant performance drops around just 60,000 miles, but the model years following this span were improved. 


Compared to the other two model years to avoid on this list, the 2011 didn’t face any major recalls consumers should be aware of. Its issues are more based on general wear and tear maintenance rather than significant safety issues.

Keep in mind that the Audi A4 has been on the market since 1996, and older versions are likely to require more repairs than those with newer engines. Even though the 2002 model was considered one of the greatest at the time, maintaining one today would be prohibitively expensive.

Customers are enthralled by the price and the amount of money they can save on a premium vehicle when they see a used Audi for sale. What they don’t consider straight away is how much money this car will cost them in the long run. Most Audis are built to operate smoothly for the first three years, but beyond that, they require a lot of maintenance.


The Audi A4 remains popular, especially as a pre-owned car for savvy shoppers looking to take advantage of depreciation. This raises the logical question, “What are the most reliable Audi 4 years?”

What are the good Audi A4 model years?

While the Audi A4 has its share of difficulties after a certain amount of time on the road, not all model years are equally bad. Like most other makes and models, A4 vehicles from 2013 and newer are generally considered to be more dependable than models from previous years, with owners reporting fewer problems. In the last five years, there have only been a handful of reported recalls which is likely due to a fairly low amount of miles and newer technology throughout the car.

Purchasing a second-hand Audi is, for the most part, a poor financial option. All of those trips to the mechanic may add up to a significant amount of money, especially when piled up over time. Each model is unique in its own way, and models from more recent years are a better choice when looking at used Audi A4 models.

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