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2005 Audi A4 1.8T quattro Ultrasport

A couple of years ago I toyed with the idea of buying a B6 A4 for use as a daily driver. That’s pretty remarkable since I’m not a huge Audi fan (though I do love the D2 S8). I admire these cars for their restrained, modernist styling, which has stood the test of time pretty well. The problem was, I only wanted one particular trim level, the Ultrasport, and I couldn’t find one in my price range that I was happy with. The Ultrasport (“USP”) package was available as an $2,950 option on A4s produced between 2004 and 2005. It added Audi’s 1BE sport suspension, 18″ “Celebration” RS4-style rims and a bodykit that included revised front and rear lower valences, door blades aluminum trim, a special perforated leather steering wheel and a subtle decklid spoiler. The USP package made the plain A4 look a bit more like an S4, and for me that was the major attraction. But ultimately, I decided to go in a different direction. I bought my E34 BMW instead, and in nearly 30k miles of driving I have had nothing go wrong with it. I’m not sure I could say the same, had I bought the A4. Still, these cars continue to grab my attention. I think a well-chosen example could make a stylish commuter for those prepared to put up with the servicing costs associated with Audis of this era.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Audi A4 1.8T Ultrasport on LA Craigslist

Year: 2005
Model: A4 1.8T Quattro
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4 turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 116,200 mi
Price: $7,000

I’ve owned this car for a while. It has been a great commuter. But I’m set on getting into a newer car. That is the only reason I have to let this one go. It has great gas mileage and the 6-speed transmission is very rare on this.

Mileages is currently at 117,000 and will go up a little since it is my daily commuter. I am the second owner and yes it has a clean CARFAX. Ask me for a copy if you would like. This has been very well maintained and not abused. All OEM equipment except for the complete Bilstein strut kit replacement maintaining the OEM ultra-sport ride height (approx 10K on it). Also new clutch installed and it has approx 10K on it as well. I have all the service history from the previous owner (see picture of the stack of service history paperwork). Spare key, valet key and complete second set of floor-mats (carpet and all-weather).

This is a great car for the price I am asking and will not have any upcoming service nightmares to worry about. Asking for $7,000 or OBO. Let me know if you any more questions on it.

The USP package could be had on both 1.8T and 3.0 V6 cars, with a manual or automatic gearbox, and either in 2WD or AWD form. This particular example ticks all the right boxes for me: the 1.8T inline four is probably more reliable than the 3.0 V6, certainly better on gas, and is easily chipped for improved performance. The 6-speed gearbox is the more desirable of the two transmissions, and this car comes equipped with Quattro AWD (I’ve never seen the point of buying an Audi without AWD, since that’s the brand’s major selling point)(Editors note: Craig seems to have forgotten the two Coupe GTs the editor owns, even if he’s entitled to his opinion ;-)). I also like the color combination – Dolphin Gray over the only USP choice, black leather – which, while sombre, suits the lines and character of the car.

The photos aren’t great but what we can see suggests a clean car both inside and out with no glaring flaws or deficiencies. The seller reports that the car has received a new clutch and suspension refresh, and that there are no maintenance headaches lurking around the corner. He doesn’t say whether the timing belt and water pump have been replaced, an expensive maintenance job usually due around this mileage which requires removal of most of the front of the car.

Some may balk at the price, but in my experience $7k seems about right for a USP in good condition with this many miles. Regular A4s can be had for much less, but USPs command a strong premium given the relative rareness of the package and their desirability among Audi enthusiasts. A PPI is an absolute must, but provided it doesn’t throw up any nasty surprises, I think this is not a bad deal.

– Craig


  1. Jon A
    Jon A April 2, 2017

    I owned one of these and it was literally the worst car I’ve ever owned. Not only was it frought with electrical gremlins, it chewed oil like no other car I’ve owned. It was at the dealer half the time getting something fixed or adjusted.
    The car was brand new when I bought it and was sold within 18 months. To this day I’ll not consider another Audi again; well as long as it’s not a daily driver.
    I now have a 2011 Clubman S which I absolutely love.

  2. Craig
    Craig April 3, 2017

    Jon, thanks for the comment. You know, that’s what I always feared when I was looking at one of these. The example I nearly bought had 126k miles on it and, while the mechanic who did the PPI said it was in surprisingly good shape, thoughts about future maintenance to come kept me up at night.

    Also, lol at Carter’s editor’s note.

  3. Christian
    Christian April 3, 2017

    I wanted one of these so bad back in the day. The USP was the only way to order an A4 in the B6 generation, the rest didn’t quite cut it looks-wise. I did end up picking up a FWD manual 1.8t sport for my wife instead because she wouldn’t miss the quattro, and the dealer was too good to pass up. Fun car once we stage 2 chipped it! Car was reliable enough, fun, and lasted 5 years until she took it in the divorce, then I have no idea what happened to the car.

    And I did laugh out loud a little about the first comment where Jon complained about an Audi, and went with a Clubman.

  4. Christian
    Christian April 3, 2017

    @Cory: The Titanium package was a nice set of features, but I just can’t warm up to the B7. And is hard for me to say that given that I am a total Audi fanboy with 13 of them in my history. I just thought the front end looked completely unfinished/not right/unattractive. That is the only generation of B class Audi I couldn’t get excited about.

  5. Cory
    Cory April 3, 2017

    I can appreciate that, I can’t get on board with the B8’s.

    Cosmetics are the main difference between the two cars, so if the B7 is ugly to you then it’s hard to justify. I do love the B7 adaptive headlights and steering wheel audio controls though. And the 2.0t is a significant upgrade.

    I’ve had 5 generations of B cars, and the B7 is by far my favorite. I guess that’s what makes horse races.

  6. Carter
    Carter April 4, 2017

    The problem I have is that the 2.0Ts are now getting into serious fault territory. The other day I stopped by my mechanic’s for a oil change and checkup on the Passat – same motor as the ’05s here, for the most part, and outside of regular maintenance and the PCV/gasket repairs, no surprises. At the shop was a slew of 2.0Ts; a GTI had jumped timing and that apparently is now becoming an issue, and the B7 A4s are experiencing issues at the back of the motor with surging due to plastic gasket failure on a dynamic oil pressure switch. The 2.0Ts are more powerful and impressive in their power delivery, but the 1.8T might be a more reliable motor because it’s less complicated.

  7. Cory
    Cory April 4, 2017

    The B7 belt driven 2.0t’s are fine aren’t they? Titanium B7 ftw!

    It’s the B8 (and ‘08.5+ GTI) chain driven 2.0t’s that you have to watch out for. Remember when the 1.8t was first released and VAG specified dino oil and a 115k(?) timing belt interval. I do. And I keep it in mind when VAG tells me the timing chain is lifetime (like coolant and transmission fluid?!). But then again I have a B7 S4…hahahaha. Timing chain components are not lifetime (damn you RS4 and 3.2!).

    Change the tensioners/guides at the same interval as a belt, change the oil often with a high quality synthetic, and the chain 2.0t is pretty good. The cost of belt replacement is about the same as tensioner/guide replacement, so not much of a loss there. I haven’t heard of the oil pressure switch issue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s specific to the chain 2.0t. How hard is it to replace an oil switch anyway 😉

    What I can’t get around is the high oil consumption issue with the 09-11 2.0t’s. Just another reason not to buy a B8! Has a B8 ever been featured on GCFSB??

    You’ll have to add an intake valve cleaning to the timing service of the 2.0t, but that is a small price to pay for how much nicer the 2.0t is.

  8. Carter
    Carter April 4, 2017

    @Cory, the car in question was a 2007 B7 and the entire back of the motor was apart to repair a leaking seal that was allowing pressure to sneak by. The technical term for it escapes me right now and I can’t find an image of which part it was. But it was an expensive repair; parts alone were around $1,000.

    I do remember both the 1.8T’s timing belt fiasco (but that was 95?) and the early combination of dino oil and small filters that led to sludge problems. My own AWM had a turbo replacement at 40K due those problems.

    Re: B8? I’m not sure, maybe an Avant? I think I’ve written up S4s, too.

    But not many. I will say, they’re very nice to drive.

  9. Cory
    Cory April 8, 2017

    Well let’s hope the 2.0t problem you witnessed is limited in scope. Not that I care really, I’m never going to have a 2.0t;)

  10. Orson
    Orson April 17, 2017

    I owned an ultrasport avant (like this but wagon and silver), and it was a great ride. Very confidence inspiring no matter the weather, great on gas, and even surprising with a simple Neuspeed tune/K&N. The body kit turned heads without trying too hard, and they’re very practical.

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