I bought my baby (silver A4 quattro) 4 years ago with 70k mi on her. Put 40k on her in those 4 years and have one thing to say: she was the best car in the world, but she was extremely unreliable and expensive to maintain. Tie rods, control arms, electrical modules, wheel bearings, engine seals, ABS module, air bag sensor. You name it, it broke, all of them broke, and she was in the shop for weeks at a time. It cost a fortune to get her out of the shop every time. I babied this car and got nothing in return. Sure, she handled on rails and had a great performance V6, but there is no way I'd ever consider giving Audi another shot. Too expensive and unreliable.
Handling in gravel, rain, snow, whatever. Backroad driving was never so much fun. A4 quattro with stick shift and the spirited V6 was a blast... when everything worked. It's hard going to fwd or rwd again, but quattro just isn't worth the repair bills. Maybe subaru, 4matic, or xdrive can deliver.
Gas mileage. 17-23 average for a sub-compact car and premium fuel? All-wheel drive or not, that's ridiculous. Reliability. Something broke every 5k at least. Expensive at the shop. I will never spend another dollar on Audi regardless whether I hear 100 success stories from best friends or not.
I bought mine used three years ago. I have had many cars but this one was great, terrific pick up, quattro snow traction, excellent ride over all surfaces. I say "was" because it was destroyed in rear-end accident last week. This is not a car you want brought to the dealer w/no warranty! Ever. You must plan on repairing items yourself or finding a local guy. If you can do that, the car is affordable, if not, don't buy it or buy a newer one. Mine has been somewhat reliable, but the engine is particularly trouble prone. I have personally done the following: replaced all camshaft seals (tricky), timing belt, front main seals, wheel bearings, oil pan.
Fun to drive, excellent smooth torquey engine. Nice manual transmission, Lovely ride. Quality of interior, seat comfort. Lots of room in the trunk and I love the fold down seats.
Remote only works within 5 feet. Until I fixed them, engine oil leaks. Absurd useless cupholders. Digital climate controls works very well but some wierdness. Engine needs better gasketing.
I bought this A4 new in '98 and the weak points I've found are wheel bearings and the lower door trim moldings. The engine is as sweet as the day I bought it! Driving with Q is the only way I'll drive from now on, it never fails me. I treat my cars well and find they in turn treat me well. I have replaced two wheel bearings in the 165,000 miles I've driven, did them myself. One wheel has been replaced but that was my fault and I just replaced my 3rd door trim molding, seems Audi got cheap making these. All in all I'd give this car a solid "9". It drives in ANY weather and has better traction no matter what the conditions. I'm just about to order a 2007 A4 if that tells you anything.
Perfect balance between comfort and sport. Whether you are just running errands or just out for a relaxing enthusiastic drive, it's a pleasure to drive. Everything is right where you want it in the interior. Great sounding stereo and Quattro handles awesome on wet/snowy roads. Plus, when you get into your 1998 Audi next to someone getting into a 2001 Honda(and you paid less than them), you can't but think "sucker"
Quattro, Bose radio, leather seats, climate control, and the sound of the 30v V6.
Cupholders are useless. rear ashtray cover (breaks off anytime anyone sits in the rear seat).
Great car! I don't know why every one says it is not reliable, mine has 137k and runs like brand new! Of course it will have some minor things to fix since it is almost 10 years old but this happens to every car you buy. For the low price you can get one these days, nothing is better! The handling is exceptional (could be improved with larger sway bars), the engine is very good but needs a little more power easily achieved by replacing the ecu (up to 200hp) and a better cat and intake system. The bose stereo is better than the mark levinson on my friend's lexus. The car is soo much fun to drive it will always put a smile on your face especially on a curvy road. BUY ONE!!
Handling, steering feel, engine response, interior quality and function, stereo, comfort, large trunk, fuel economy.
A little more power and stiffer suspension, NEEDS BETTER CUPHOLDERS!