Initially I was reluctant to write an article about the Audi A4 B5, but this rolling monument of reliability still has a strong community that keeps this relic of the past still on the streets. So here it is, ladies, gentlement and everything in between: Audi A4 B5.
Audi A4 B5 – Da Bush Babees of the car world
Here’s how it goes: the Audi A4 B5 managed to gather a small community around it. A community made of 2 totally different worlds.
- The first world is the world of people who do not have or do not want to spend too much money on a car so they turn to the Audi A4 B5. The kind of man who buys his Ford Mondeo II to carry vegetables and pork on the country’s rural roads. He has a sleeveless wool vest, is red in the face all the time and respectfully takes off his hat when he enters the church. He still owns a touch-button phone and keeps calendars pinned to the wall.
- The second category of people who still hold this relic alive on the streets of the country are car enthusiasts. Audi A4 B5 is one of the most popular project cars in just about every country. Like 2Pac, the Audi A4 B5 has a community of people who have either refused to move on to something new, or have remained fans of bygone days. People passionate about adrenaline and the underground community. And the A4 B5 proved to be a perfect car for such a thing, coming with a low purchase price and the possibility of tuning (or ricing, depending on everyone’s tastes). And today the A4 B5 is bought again by enthusiasts who miss the good times. The possibilities are great, because only in my city I saw everything, from an Audi A4 B5 prepped for off-road to an lowered Audi A4 B5 with 310 horsepower. If you are passionate about tuning, an Audi A4 B5 is a fantastic starting point.
Audi A4 B5 Engines
- 1.6 MPI of 102 horsepower – An engine more to the liking of those in the first category, the kind of man who buys the cheapest car that has the valid documents and that moves on its own wheels. I have nothing ill to speak of this engine because it is very reliable, but for an extra 500 euros you can get something much more adequate.
- 1.8 MPI of 125 horsepower – A 1.6 MPI who learned a little more in school, who tried a little more at work. It’s still not worth the effort. Stronger than 1.6 MPI but weaker than 1.8T. Cheaper than 1.8T but more thirstier than 1.6 MPI. If schizophrenia had cylinders, it would be VW’s 1.8 MPI engine. As a bonus for schizophrenia, you also get problems with the water pump.
- 1.8 Turbo of 150 horsepower – Finally we get to the decent engines. An engine that is still being built today, the original 1.8T is a muncher of ignition coils, oil and turbos, but at least it offers strong sensations. And not the kind of “major sensation at 30 per hour”, but actual sensations.
- 2.4 V6 of 150 and 165 horsepower – A reliable and thirsty antiquity. Take note that it is a V6 and so the timing and general maintenance will cost you significantly more. Also, the 150 horsepower version has 12v, whereas the 165-horsepower version has 30v. Forget about the minuscule 15 horses, go for the 150 horsepower version with 12 valves and fewer moving parts. If it’s connected to an LPG, this engine can be really decent.
- 2.6 V6 of 150 horsepower – Not sure why would you get this, when the 2.4 V6 exists. But it’s nice to know that it exists.
- 2.7 V6 Bi-Turbo of 265 or 361 bhp – Do you remember that I was talking about an Audi A4 B5 from my village which has 310 horsepower? The recipe is simple: Take a 2.7 V6 biturbo from an Audi S4 and transplant it to another car. Make a few modification here and there and you’re good for 300+ horses. An engine for track enthusiasts, which demands appropiate costs.
- 2.8 V6 of 174 and 193 horsepower – You would think that a Audi A4 B5 2.8 V6 with 200 horsepower from the factory would be a good idea. And you’d be wrong. Imagine that pre-surgery Oprah would sit on the hood and you would try to turn with all the extra weight. You guessed it, you won’t turn, you’ll keep going forward.
- 1.9 DI of 75 bhp – This is basically the 1.9 TDI but without the turbo. Much like the perfect man, it doesn’t drink, it doesn’t cause trouble, it doesn’t exist.
- 1.9 TDI of 90, 110 and 115 horsepower – The legendary 1.9 TDI that became more famous among turks than bluetooth headsets began its illustrious career on the Audi A4 B5. The 90 horsepower version is NOT the famous ALH, but has the code name AHU. Equally reliable and economical, but the parts are different and rarer. The 110 horsepower has slight turbo problems and the 115 horsepower unit is the most popular and balanced for the Audi A4 B5. An engine often used in off-road projects due to the decent torque of 285 Nm which was very close to the torque developed by the 2.5 engine. A 2.0 TDI on today’s 150-horsepower A4 B9 develops 320 Nm, to put the ATJ’s comical torque into perspective.
- 2.5 V6 TDI of 150 horsepower – I do not recommend this 2.5 TDI because it has serious problems with the camshaft and its cams. Very expensive to maintain, not very reliable and totally unsuitable for urban driving. Do yourself a favor, get an 1.9 TDI. The 2.5 V6 will become quite good, but not now.
Audi A4 B5 General Issues
I could just copy paste from VW Passat B5.5 article, given that they are built on the same platform and having more or less the same problems.
- As with the Passat B5.5 or A6 C5, the complex multi-link front suspension is built to provide comfort on the highway. If you life in Germoney, you will have to change the complex suspension more often than you want. If you live in the Balkans where the roads are butter smooth, then this does not concern you.
- Catalytic converter is another common issue for Audi A4 B5. That’s if you care about it. Regardless of whether you bought it to carry potatoes on the farm or want to rip tires on the circuit, the catalyst probably doesn’t interest you too much. You will probably see it fall off, you will say “Oh no, the catalyst!” and you would go on.
- The rear discs rust and need to be changed every 20,000 km. They mainly rust because if you’re the sort of man who left home with half a pig and two barrels of wine, you won’t be going hard enough in order to brake too often or too aggressively or to put the brakes to any sort of work whatsoever.
Audi A4 B5 Verdict
Much like Primator 24 Double, Audi A4 B5 has all the answers to all your questions. In fact, after writing this I think I will go buy an Audi A4 B5 1.9 TDI 115 horsepower Quattro and I make it off-road worthy.
Which engines do I recommend? You don’t care about the car and you want something cheap to haul your crusty ass through the mud, rocks, forests, rivers and occasional asphalt of your homeland? An uncomplicated 1.6 MPI is exactly what you need. Do you want to break the asphalt and punish the tires? 1.8T if you have money and 2.7 V6 Biturbo if you have a lot of money. Do you want to go off-road? 1.9 TDI 115 horsepower Quatrro. Want an Audi A4 but don’t quite the have money for an Audi A4? 1.9 TDI 90 horsepower AHU.