Premium compact car; Built in Germany
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/front- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,600*


1992 Audi 80


1991 Audi 80


1990 Audi 80


1991 Audi 80 quattro


1992 Audi 80

Pros:
  • Antilock brakes
  • Handling/roadholding
  • 4WD traction (Quattro)
Cons:
  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room

Rather costly when new, these vestiges of the early ’90s aren’t so expensive today, now that they’re a decade or so old. If you can get past the tame performance, an 80-series is worth considering for low-budget family use, mainly based on its handling talents and German assembly quality.

Overview

Introduced for 1988, Audi’s “entry-level” sedan came with front-wheel drive or, as the 80 Quattro, with permanently engaged all-wheel drive. The Quattro system normally split engine torque 50/50 between the front and rear axles. When sensors detected wheel slippage, a torque-sensing center differential automatically sent as much as 78 percent of the power to the axle with the most traction. The front-drive 80 sedan used a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which produced 108 horsepower. A larger (2.3-liter) 5-cylinder engine went into the 80 Quattro, making 130 horsepower. Either way, a 5-speed manual transmission was standard; 3-speed automatic optional. Antilock brakes were optional, but a driver’s airbag was standard. New features this year included a standard stereo radio/cassette player with anti-theft circuit for the front-drive 80 sedan. A Sport Package was optional on the 80 Quattro, containing sport seats, a trim computer, and additional gauges.

Yearly Updates

1991 80
Audi’s entry-level front-drive sedan lost its 108-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, adopting instead the 130-horsepower 5-cylinder powerplant from the 80 Quattro and its more costly 90-series sibling. At the same time, a 4-speed automatic transmission replaced the prior 3-speed unit as an option. Fog lamps became standard, as did all-season tires (with high-performance rubber optional). The all-wheel-drive 80 Quattro gained antilock brakes, a sport suspension, and sport seats.
1992 80
Audi dropped its existing 90 series this year, but the “entry-level” 80 series carried on for one more season with only minor changes. Antilock brakes now were standard, and a power sunroof replaced the manually operated unit on the options list.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front- or 4-wheel drive

In 1990, the 80-series engine for front-drive models was a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, making 108 horsepower, coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox or 3-speed automatic transmission. Quattro editions used a 2.3-liter 5-cylinder, borrowed from the 90-series, rated at 130 horsepower. Starting in 1991, the 2.3-liter inline 5-cylinder engine went under every 80-series hood, driving either a 5 speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic unit. Sedans came with either front-wheel drive or permanent (Quattro) 4-wheel drive.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 108
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 121
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
22/30
23/27
dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/141
Engine HP 130
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 140
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
20/26
19/22
18/25

Road Test

Sluggish acceleration is a major drawback of Audi’s 80 series, even with the power increase for 1991-92. Considering the price of these sedans, performance simply isn’t up to par. There’s simply not enough low-end torque to deliver brisk takeoffs.

Antilock brakes, if so equipped, provide short, straight stops. These sedans can carry four passengers in reasonable comfort, but all their luggage might not fit into the car’s skimpy trunk.

Altogether, the 80 is a highly capable automobile that offers stable handling; satisfying cornering ability; a well-controlled ride; and strong, responsive brakes. Buyers of the 80 series when new also benefited from commendable assembly quality and paint finish.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1991 Audi 80 Series

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 42

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.2 176.3 66.7 54.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.2 15.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.8 37.2 42.2 32.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: The manufacturer had a service campaign to replace the gear oil in the automatic transmission,s final drive (differential) with synthetic oil. There should be a tag on the transmission dipstick if this was done. (1991)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Hard starting and rough running after cold soak in cool (45-65 degree) weather should be fixed by a replacement coolant flange that includes a temperature switch. (1990)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge stops working because of problems with the sending unit which may also stick or make clunking noises. (1990)
Fuel pump
Description: Loss of power and backfiring caused by a clogged screen (which was later eliminated) in the fuel distributor. (1990-92)
Mirrors
Description: The power mirror switch shorts out and should be replaced with a redesigned switch. (1990-91)
Rough idle
Description: The original O-rings on the fuel injectors will harden and leak causing idle problems. New seals are made of Viton rubber. (1991)
Tail/brake lights
Description: The brake lights quit working because of oxidized switch contacts; the interior lights stay on (or won’t come on) due to faulty door jamb switches; the truck light stays on (or won’t come on) due to a faulty switch. (1990-92)
Electrical problem
Description: The turn-signal self-canceling cam assembly fails, and redesigned parts are required to fix it. (1990-91)

Recall History

1990
Description: Steering lock bolts could break as driver applies excessive force to a locked steering wheel, in an attempt to disengage the steering lock; wheel would then remain locked.
1990-91
Description: Differential oil in transaxle is lost over time, due to evaporation; low oil levels cause premature bearing and gear wear, and eventual differential failure.
1990-92
Description: Some airbag sensors do not comply with durability standards over lifetime of vehicle; if sensor should malfunction, airbag can deploy inadvertently.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.