Photos and text by Steve Sherwood
Many people have contemplated the purchase or lease of an Audi A4...others have not made up their minds about if the A4 can hack it. These individuals read the J.D. Power and Associates studies, the automobile magazines, Consumer Reports, just to try to get a bearing on how the A4 will handle the rigors of daily life. Well, this article will attempt, and hopefully succeed, in quenching the need for information of the reliability of the US version of the Audi A4.
Chris Boynton purchased his Europa Blue 1996 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro 5-speed three weeks after the initial introduction of the A4 in mid-September 1995. Since then Chris has been definitely enjoying his car, to the tune of over 100,000 miles. He is in sales and tends to travel all over California on business trips. Chris also made a nice long trek from the SF Bay Area up to Vancouver British Columbia, and frequently travels to Seattle WA to visit relatives. In addition, Chris also spends a number of weekends a year up in the Lake Tahoe region enjoying alpine skiing. In fact, Chris has actually made over 20 trips to the Lake Tahoe area. To quote Chris "For my use (business/pleasure)...I don't think there's a better all-season car!"
Outside the warranty, the only thing Chris has got repaired on his 96 A4, besides the normal items covered while under the 3yr/50,000 warranty, were tires. Chris has tried just about every 225/50/16-size tire made. If you need any advise on tires, ask Chris. Under warranty, the only things that were replaced were the drivers side seat frame, the clutch master cylinder, the cruise control switch, and the Delta Radio. The car is currently running real well, with no major or minor issues. Chris is very pleased with the car and its reliability.
This A4 was not Chris' first Audi purchase. When Chris got his A4, he sold his beloved 1985 Audi 4000 Quattro to his nephew with over 330,000 miles on that car. Chris definitely likes to hold on to his cars. That 4000Q now has over 360,000 miles and is still running strong up and down the California coast. This 4000Q was actually purchased using the European Buying program that Audi was offering back in the mid 1980s. Chris traveled to Germany to pick it up...and then it was shipped back to the states.
What does the future hold for Chris and his family? Well, now that a new baby is on the way that new A6 2.7 Bi-turbo has popped up on his radar screen. Chris has decided to sell his A4 to his sister (still in the family) and will be moving up to the A6 2.7T, but still staying in the Audi family. With any luck, Chris should be taking delivery of that shiny new A6 sometime in the fall or early winter.
So if you're in the SF Bay Area, and you see a nice Jaspis Green A6 2.7T tooling down the highway, it most likely will be our friend Chris, especially if the driver has a big grin plastered on his face.
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