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The Audi A4 debuted in 1995. It shared a platform with the Volkswagen Passat but boasted the trappings of a higher-end four-door sedan or station wagon. With decades of redesigns and upgrades, the A4 has become a popular option for used car buyers. In fact, Kelley Blue Book named it one of the 10 best used sedans under $30,000, and U.S. News ranks two A4 models among the top 10 used luxury small cars of 2022. 

So, which used Audi A4 model years are the best on a $30,000 budget? Here are five reliable used models to help narrow the field.

How reliable is a used Audi A4?

A red 2015 Audi A4 drives in the Northampton Meadows in Massachusetts on Jan. 16, 2015
2015 Audi A4 | Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The market abounds with used cars. However, before buying a pre-owned vehicle, you should weigh a few key factors. One is reliability, considering some models could have tens of thousands of miles on the odometer.

J.D. Power rates reliability and quality on a scale of zero to 100, based on reports from hundreds of thousands of verified car owners. Zero is the worst, and the best is 100. 

J.D. Power’s “Quality & Reliability” category “measures the level of defects, malfunctions, and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners.” It also “covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.”

In addition, the consumer site RepairPal scores vehicle reliability “based on the cost, frequency, and severity of actual repairs.” RepairPal gives the A4 an overall reliability score of 3.5/5, which is above average.

Here are five Audi A4 model years under $30,000 that rank best for reliability.

2015 Audi A4 reliability

The oldest of the models on this list is the 2015 Audi A4. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 211 hp. This compact luxury sedan was a finalist in U.S. News’ 2015 Best Upscale Small Car for Families and Best Upscale Small Car for the Money awards.

The 2015 model earned a “Great” score of 84/100 in quality reliability from J.D. Power. It also received a 4/5 from U.S. News. Additionally, RepairPal rates this model an above-average 3.5/5 in reliability. 

The 2015 Audi A4’s most common problem reported to RepairPal is carbon build-up in the FSI and TFSI Engines, specifically the intake Valves and runner flaps in the P0300 series.

U.S. News reports the average price paid for a 2015 A4 is $18,857 to $32,071, depending on the trim, options, mileage, and condition.

2018 Audi A4 reliability

Three model years later, Audi gave the A4 a bump in power from the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine to 252 hp. The transmission was new, too. Additionally, gone was the eight-speed automatic, and in its place came a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

With those key changes, the 2018 Audi A4 scores similarly to the 2015 model, with a “Great” 85/100 on J.D. Power’s scale. U.S. News, which also ranks this model year first out of 22 luxury small cars, gives the 2018 A4 a 3.5/5 reliability score. 

In addition, this model has no safety recalls, investigations, or complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The average price paid for a 2018 A4 is $27,584 to 43,045, U.S. News says.

2019 Audi A4 reliability


The Worst Audi A4 Model Year You Should Never Buy

One year later, the A4 kept many of the same parts and systems. It gets a 3.5/5 in reliability from U.S. News. And RepairPal has received no owner complaints regarding this model year.

Furthermore, the 2019 A4 has only one recall, regarding disabled passenger airbags. According to the NHTSA, “The cable connecting the seat heater to the Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS) may have a contact fault, causing the software to misdiagnose a malfunction and disable the passenger airbag.”
According to U.S. News, the average price paid for a used 2019 Audi A4 is $31,785 to 49,578.