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Published on July 3rd, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Audi A4 used buy from the mid 1990’s

This A4 is the car on which Audi started its much needed presence in Malaysia. Launched in 1995 by Auto Dunia which was part of the Tan Chong auto group and the previous brand owner. It combined sharp modern styling, competitive pricing and good standard equipment. For many buyers, these traits gave the A4 greater appeal than its BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C Class. The A4 that was sold in Malaysia had a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine and turbo variant arrived in Auto Dunia showrooms 4 years later. Priced at launch to compete with the BMW E36 320i, the Audi front wheel drive A4 was superior to its rivals in value-for-money terms and was of a more modern design.
The model to buy is the 1.8 Turbo sedan. Low-pressure turbocharging delivers generous torque in the normal rpm range to enhance everyday driving. Standard equipment on the 1.8 includes dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, automatic climate control air-conditioning, central locking and six-speaker sound system. The Turbo adds larger alloy wheels and this also gives the car a truly better stance on the tarmac. The cabin has a very stylish dash and gauges, comfortable seats and attractive trim. The boot is generous and for a car in this size segment the A4 stands head to head with the competition. A typical Audi touch, the power steering is beautifully weighted and there is almost no torque steer (tugging of the wheel under acceleration). Responsive handling and strong braking contribute to the A4’s driver appeal.

What to look for in a used unit? Start with the earlier model Audi A4, the 1996 or 97models. Prices start from as low as RM14,000 for an early model where the previous owners would have sorted all the painfully iritating problems, leaving you with a fine running automobile. The early Turbos with a mild exterior facelift will sell from RM28,000. Audi build quality is excellent and few signs of deterioration appear in even the oldest A4s. Panel gaps are tight so uneven gaps means an accident damaged car. Paintwork is deep and lustrous if original. Audi’s do not rust therefore bodywork should be straight and clean. Being made from aluminium also means that accident damage can be cleverly covered up with new panels as aluminium cannot be knocked back into shape and masking them under paint will always show badly. The engine and transmission (check gearbox for leaks and jerks under acceleration which is expensive to repair) should be fine as these cars are well engineered unless abused and this will show in your inspection. Full service history must be requested to show proper maintenance or else get an expert. Parts and service pricing is lower than the BMW 3-Series and offers a better lasting drive. 

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