Audi quattro 20V (1989 – 1991) Review

Audi quattro 20V (1989 – 1991) At A Glance


+Like a quattro, but faster and more responsive

-You'll pay for the privilege

The quattro was scheduled to go out of production in 1988, but thanks to a concerted campaign from fans and owners – especially from the UK – Audi turned back on its decision to kill the quattro and granted it a stay of execution. It was an interesting development, and one that resulted in the finest quattro of them all being introduced the following year.

Audi installed the 20-valve five cylinder engine, which had been developed for the range-topping 200, and with it came a boost in power to 220bhp. Buyers lovem them, and quattro GMBH in Germany had no problem selling a car that was supposedly in its twilight years. Of all the quattros, these last of line 20Vs are by far the best to drive, and by some margin are the quickest of all. Interestingly, they're also worth the most - unusual as in classic terms, it's usually oldest=most desirable.

Ask Honest John

Which hatchback should I buy?

"I have a fair budget for a used car, preferably a petrol hot hatch with reasonable MPG consumption and also suitable for everyday car use. I am thinking of something up to a 2.0-litre engine. I am looking currently at the SEAT Ibiza III FR, SEAT Leon Cupra, SEAT Ibiza VI FR, SEAT Leon, Audi S3, Audi A3, Audi quattro, Volkswagen Golf V GTI, and Volkswagen Polo V. Can you please advice me what is the best choice and also what are the most common issues with the above cars."
The current Ibiza Cupra 1.8 TSI or Polo GTI 1.8 TSI are good, but a Ford Fiesta ST goes and handles better. Avoid Audi A1, Ibiza and Polo with the 1.4 Twincharger engine and DSG transmission. Current A3 with EA888 engine okay; previous one had trouble with timing chain, piston rings and coking up of inlet valves. The current SEAT Leon FR 1.8 TSI with independent rear suspension is okay. I'd avoid the previous generation of hot Leon because they are ugly. Avoid Golf V and VI because they are the most troublesome cars recorded. Polo and Ibiza 1.2 with timing chains can have timing chain trouble. Check them all out at
Answered by Honest John
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