Both will be perfectly good for general use, neither suffer from problems in excess from model to model.
I will give you an unbiased opinion, and I will just put it in bullet points so its easier than me rambling on.
1: Petrol will be smooth on idle and feel more refined, but lack a little on the motorway due to the lack of torque 1: Diesel will be rattly on idle (it is a 3 pot oil burner) and feel agricultural but develop good torque for duel carriageway and motorway driving.
2: Petrol will do 50 mpg and a bit more but on average (including city driving) thats about the best 2: Diesel will do up to 60 mpg and on average 50 plus
Apart from that i wouldn't say there is a lot in it. The diesel is always more desirable (and cost more to buy) as all VAG group diesels are compared to the petrol equivalent, but i wouldn't let that put you off a petrol for your partner.
Stay away from the Sport unless you want to trade comfort for sports handling Stay away from the Opensky roof system unless you really want it, as its just another thing to go wrong All interiors are approx the same apart from the sport which has a 3 spoke steering wheel and sport seats. Later ones had a few very minor improvements nothing that makes the early ones significantly troublesome but like always the newer you can afford the better
For a nice second car the 1.4 petrol SE or 1.4 SE Diesel would be fine.
One last thing, the 1.4 diesel comes in 75 and 90 hp versions the only difference is BHP and torque the interior is the same and mechanically its almost the same apart from the VNT turbo and clutch etc.
You can also buy the 1.6 FSI version it's pretty much the same as the 1.4 petrol for economy but with a bit more torque when rev'd, it can get through coil packs but ask a Renault driver about coil packs and its an all too familiar experience, not a huge problem, although i never new what the problem was with a single coil, leads and spark plugs in the traditional fashion, sorry rambling...
For me? I bought ours in 2004 and have the 1.4 Sport diesel custom remapped to produce more power, and if i had to buy another it would be the same.
However for someone that isn't fussed about the Sport, or torque or the 17" wheels and sports suspension i would buy which ever came along and with the best history, condition and low mileage, and not worry about the fuel type. A nice one lady owner with 45,000 miles and about 4 main dealer stamps would be nice:icon_thumright:
A2 petrols are virtually impossible to sell unless priced well under the TDI : if you can find a good TDI snap it up as it is a totally different car to drive and own and possibly re sell later . The petrol is whiny short geared an the fuel dissapears at a huge rate unless you are on a long run but then its hopeless at long runs so you wont take it ! Biggest problem is finding a TDi that has not been abused .
Just a quick edit the SE has flat seats with the sport having comfy seats with shaping at the sides !
diesels have bomb proof values', expect to pay 5k+ for a low miler and 2-3k for a high miler and under 2k for a mega miler, but if serviced well they can do 350k, know a polish chap who's clocked 300k in his 2001 model
We had a 1.4 petrol on a 2003, and it had a fault from purchase where it would stall randomly and sometimes when travelling at speed. VAG com threw many spurious fault codes, but the truth was the problem was mechanical. On the 1.4's the valve seats crack and you lose compression - this causes periodic stalls. The same problem occurs on Polos also with the 1.4 petrol engine. Be really wary of a 1.4 that has a slightly rough idle. VW Audi do not recognise this problem.
Also be wary of the front anti-roll bar - the originals used plastic guides which snap off and cause the ARB to freely move to the left or right. Although the replacement part is only £100 it is a ***** to replace requiring the sub frame to be dropped and part of the steering column to be unbolted to get it in. Check the car has had this modification done. Again Audi do not recognise this as a manufacturing fault.
50 mpg in a petrol A2?! Highly unlikely in the real world... if you are only driving a very few thousand miles a year the argument for diesel is difficult albeit they are great to drive and hold their values very well. However the torque of a diesel is great fun and a low mileage well specced A2 is a prized posession.
Agree 100%: we're back with a 54-plate Tdi Sport (having owned a 1.6TFSi Sport a few years back) to accompany our TT 2.0TFSi DSG and RS3; a 3-Audi car family once again... A fabulous machine is the Audi A2; well done Audi - even though you did loose £4k on each and every one (a little less than you do on a Veyron, mind...) and such a useable car.
This ones on 16inch x 7J Audi TT rims with 205/60 tyres (Vredesteins for cold/winter use and Michelin Pilot Sports 3 for warm/summer use) and the ride is amazingly good.