I have a 2007 Audi A4 wagon that’s nearing the end of its lease. As I figure out what car to get next, I’ve been thinking about the problems with this car. Maybe I’m more critical about it since it’s the most expensive car I’ve had, but I think that’s OK. If I’m paying more, I should get more. I’m not sure that I did, and I definitely won’t be spending this much on my next car. Based on this experience, I’m just not sure that there’s a big enough benefit.

Many of the faults of this Audi A4 (it’s a 2007, by the way) stem from the on-board computer system, the RNS-E. This is what you get if you opt for the navigation (about $2000). But it takes on tasks like the radio, and the Bluetooth phone, and it doesn’t absorb these functions well at all.

OK – here’s the list:

  1. Turbo Lag – Wow. Is that really the way this is supposed to be? I don’t need zero-to-60 in under 7 seconds. What I need is zero-to-10. Sometime. Today. I’ve become gutless about pulling out into traffic.
  2. Lack of Driver Memory – Basic memory including seat position and mirror position is all I’m asking for. Most cars with power seats have this. How can this $40,000 car not have this? Ah, but it does have memory in one regard: the heat and AC system. That’s right. When my wife puts her key in, it remembers what temperature she likes. Very useful. Also, my valets can have their own temperature setting. Great. What brilliant mind came up with this?
  3. The Bluetooth Noises, take 1 – Each time I get in the car, when I’m listening to the radio (no choice on that – see below) the sound gets interrupted about five seconds later with a “brring” noise to tell me that my phone has been connected to the car via Bluetooth. Every time. No way to turn this off. Typically, I’m listening to a news story, and I miss something. No way to rewind, of course. And some mind at Audi decided that the icon on the screen showing that the phone is connected isn’t good enough. You also need an audible, non-cancelable alert. Thanks for that.
  4. The Bluetooth Noises, take 2 – Each time I place a call, I get a very, very loud buzz for a few seconds. This happens with three different phones my family uses with this car (all iPhones, to be sure, but I doubt that’s it). It’s so irritating. I grit my teeth each time this happens.
  5. Radio Presets – Presets are there to save time, right? To make changing stations more convenient, right? So I thought. In this car, each time I start the car again, I have to switch to the FM/AM mode on the computer, and then hit memory, and then go back to wherever I was, just to get the preset buttons to work the presets. Turn off the car, and I start from scratch. Otherwise, the preset buttons go through each station on the dial. Yeah, now that’s useful.
  6. Navigation Default – Has anyone ever, ever seen a navigation system in a car that doesn’t default to a ‘map’ view? Well, I’ve got one for ya! This RNS-E defaults to a screen where you can enter an address or do a search or whatever. Changing to the map is another click away. No way to change this default. Is Audi ahead of the curve on this one, and every other car navigation manufacturer on the planet will soon default to a text view? I think not.
  7. MP3 CDs – This car has a six disc changer in the glove compartment. But, for some reason, this will only play CDs in the old audio format. Not MP3s. But you can play an MP3 CD in the navigation system. To do that, you just have to take out the navigation DVD. So then you don’t have navigation. Something’s wrong here if the technology is actually in the car, but not used in both places. Also, the SD slots can play MP3s off SD cards. Don’t even get me started on how complex that is, but suffice it to say it defaults to a track in a subdirectory, until you press the “return” button to move up a directory. It’s always just one click away, with this thing. But why?
  8. The Cup Holder Under the Armrest – I know, it’s a relatively small car. But I think this could have been designed better, somehow. The shifter could be further forward, or the cup holder could be beside it. I’m pretty sure there’s a better answer out there, beyond having to ditch the armrest to put a second cup of coffee in there.
  9. Premium Gas – Given the performance of this car, it should be fine with regular gas. But it gets even worse without the expensive stuff.
  10. Brake Noise – Of course, the dealer blames this on not being able to use asbestos. And they tell me that my brakes are fine and that I just need to jam them hard every now and then to loosen the particles that make the squeak. Again, on a $40,000 car? They need to figure this one out.

When I’m in a better mood about this thing, maybe I’ll write up the top ten things like I like about it. There are certainly some plusses. But, years later, I still have buyer’s remorse. For $10K less, I’ll probably end up with a Passat.

10 Responses to “Top 10 Things I Hate About My Audi A4 Avant”

  1. 1Aarin on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:57 am:

    i just bought an 09 a4 on sunday. I already hate it, and I can’t stop obsessing about it. You put it perfectly. 0-10 should take 2 seconds. AND, the iphone connection is in the GLOVE COMPARTMENT, so you can’t use the i- phone gps while you’re listening to your itunes.

    I’m infuriated at Audi for their bad choices, but I’m even more frustrated at myself for not forseeing these issues. Wish I could turn the clock back to Sunday and NOT buy this car. 🙁

  2. 2Terry on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:28 am:

    I just got a 2010 premium quattro I dont care about performance so turbo lag doesnt bother me……The god damn car doesnt come witht the trip computer for miles per gallon……Only Premium plus and Prestige WTF…..That should be a standard in any car.

  3. 3kim on Mar 20, 2010 at 11:34 am:

    Not that it excuses audi, but I read somewhere teh buzzing will stop if you switch off wifi on the iphone.

  4. 4Stephen M (Ethesis) on Nov 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm:

    Hmm, I have an Audi A4, but mine is a 2008. I don’t have any turbo lag as long as I put premium fuel in it.

    The CD player handles mp3s as well as old fashioned CDs. Glad I skipped the GPS/Video display.

    However, I, like you, would like to turn off the “here is the blue tooth connection” blip and interruption.

  5. 5Rayman on Dec 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm:

    Well, you guys have been “lucky” and have not been hit with expensive mechanical problems, all design faults, that Audi usually blames on the owner. Let me see, timing belt problems, oil sludge issues, instrument cluster issues, performance gremlins, glove box that breaks and is a $1,000 repair, water pumps and alternators that fail way before normal time, etc. etc. Audi sells cars based on its “engineering excellence.” What a load of bull! When problems arise and they get sued since they do not address issues, then they settle under extremely favorable conditions for them. For those reading this that are thinking about owning an Audi, BEWARE. Even under guaratee you WILL spend/waste time going to the dealership (stealership is a more lickely name) more often that you wish. They overcharge for parts and for labor while putting VW parts in your AUDI and charging you AUDI costs. Audi sucks big time. DO NOT BUY AUDI.

  6. 6raj on Dec 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm:

    It doesn’t matter how slick they look, or how luxurious they feel, don’t ever buy AUDI, unless you have tons of cash to repair. It’s one of the worst vehicles that’s made in Germany. Don’t get fooled by it’s TV commercials and comparison sheet with BMW and Mercedes. AUDI is piece of crap. Their customer service is department is another nightmare. Those buggers won’t stand by their products.
    The vehicles start breaking down left and right way before it even expires it’s factory warranty. If you really have to buy a nice looking luxury car- I suggest you to buy BMW, Infiniti, or Acura.

    AUDI is a big time fraud. I bought a 2007 A4 in 200. It started giving me headache right after 3 months. Sometimes the recall of some part that I was never told before. Once, it almost flipped over on the highway, due to the skidding. Later on I found out that the factory knew about this problem but didn’t recall for this. They wanted their customers to face this issue and then bring it back to the dealer. How weird is that? What if I had lost my life, or I had hit someone?

    Major known problem are listed below:
    Turbo engine valve repair (within 4 years): $3000
    Bearing hop or hup (not sure about the spelling) – $1000
    Brakes and Rotars – over $1000
    Storage compartment (very finicky) – $350
    Sliding roof access button – $500
    Other electronics problem – $2000
    Regular Maintenance (every 6 months) – $600

    The list goes on and on. They will swear on their mother’s grave (if that bitch is even dead), that the new generation of AUDI is much more rugged and everlasting, but no no no. Don’t be fooled by those good looking sales chicks and some mafia looking sales guys.

    I normally don’t do rants and stuff, but enough is enough. It’s high time, I warn people about AUDI.
    I am doing everyone a favor by warning before they make a mistake. The choice is yours.

  7. 7admin on Dec 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm:

    raj,

    Thanks for the long and detailed post.

    I’ve got to say, while I doubt I’ll buy another Audi (but you never know) I did find that it had the fewest problems of any car I’ve owned, save for the VW that I got to replace it.

  8. 8Audi have lost the plot on Jan 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm:

    I have a 2007 A4 Avant (2.0Tdi 170PS). It’s my third Audi diesel (so I was a big fan) but I detest this car.

    I’ve owned it for three months and have had no end of problems with the Diesel Particulate Filter. I eventually got the dealer to replace it (would have cost £1300) and it’s still a dog to drive. It over revs between gear changes and barely manages 40mpg over long journeys (my previous 130PS diesel managed almost 55mpg under identical conditions).

    It’s sluggish, gutless, completely uninvolving to drive, imprecise steering, the Nav is awful (and sounds awful playing any and all music), the radio reception is POOR and I hate every aspect of it with a burning passion.

    Oh and why don’t the poxy doors unlock when I press the button? Sure the driver’s door does but I want “all” the doors open I have to press it again. I guess I should count myself lucky that I don’t have to turn the key twice in the ignition to use all 4 cyclinders (although that might explain why it’s such a dog to drive)

    Audi servicing in the UK don’t know or care why it’s so bad to drive and so uneconomical and so once I’m rid of this damn piece of cr@p I will NEVER, EVER buy another Audi again. I think I’ll try a quality car manufacturer like BMW.

    Having said that – does anyone want to buy this car? It’s in a lovely blue colour with a black grill…

  9. 9GDubbs on Jan 24, 2012 at 9:35 am:

    Audi is a beautiful machine. Ours is an old 2000 A6, with 145k miles. Bought it used, for only 5800 at 111k miles. We were desperate and needed a car.

    Audi is that hot girl in your high school with a lovely shape…and NO BRAINS.

    Here are my ten reasons why I will NEVER buy an audi.

    10. The “stealership” sodomizes you ALL the time. Audi dealers in NJ suck a fat one. Most of them dont even drive Audi’s themselves.

    9. What kind of car in the 21st century does not have an AUX in plug for Chrissakes?

    8. No Seat memory.

    7. Oil leak problem. Smelly cabin when a/c is on, smells like burnt oil.

    6. Audi Mechanics. Bunch of crooks! If you bring them the parts, they get pissed off. If you quote them labor rates, they get pissed off. Most of them feel entitled to your income as if it is Your fault they fail at life. I hate grease monkeys.

    5. Water Coolant Pipe. A simple $400 fix at an honest mechanic since the part can be found used on Ebay or German parts sites, however, an Audi Mechanic will charge you about 1k to fix and then try and change your seals/gaskets, although you might have JUST changed them.

    4. ENVY! Although our car is old, the body is modern and sleek. So far, we have had the car keyed, almost ruined by a mechanic and we constantly get stared at. Its a 2000 for crying out loud, God Forbid we had one of those newer 2005+ models.

    3. Cheaply made/Unreliable Parts. Garbage parts, especially the CV Boot kits.

    2. No kind of customer service at any of their official car dealerships.

    1. Premium Gas prices.

    The blue book is enough on this german tank of sh*t that we will probably trade it in for a 2009 Nissan.

    As much as I love our Audi, its unreasonable to keep such an old and sh*tty car from a company that could care less about its customers.

    They are now extensively penetrating the American market. I give it 5 years before the USA Audi consumers wake up to the nonsense, crappy mechanics, poor interior design, expensive and cheaply made parts, lack of customer service etc.

    GOOD RIDDANCE!

  10. 10WVDriver on Jul 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm:

    I bought a new 2010 A4 and it has burned oil since i bought it. The service folks kept telling me it was within “normal” limits, then they said Audi was coming out with a manufacturer’s “patch.” They did the “patch” and it sill burned oil. Now they are supposed to take the engine out and replace the pistons. UGH!!! I have never spent so much on a car and this makes me sick. What I will say is that even though it is now beyond warranty, Audi is paying for the piston change (and I didn’t even have to ask). I think maybe the dealership’s service manager went to bat for me to get them to cover it. So I appreciate my dealership (or corporate Audi if that’s who decided to cover it). But in the end, as soon as the piston job is done, I’m going to get rid of this car. i think I’m going to buy a Subaru Legacy. I want an AWD, sedan, with a pretty good/decent/fast engine. And then I want to keep the car for like 10 years (I owned a Nissan Sentra for 11 years and a Honda CRV for 12 years, and both were GREAT little cars). This expensive Audi has sort of been a joke.

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