I love my a4. I bought it used over a year ago, and haven't had too spend TOO much money fixing it up. Of course, some things have gone wrong, but thanks to a large internet owner's community, you can easily fix many problems yourself if you are willing to learn some DIY. I have never once regretted buying it.
I have read reviews about expenses. One person spent 3,000 on brakes, tires and rear wheel bearings, try finding a honest local repair shop. Max on that bill should be 750. Tires and brakes are consumables. I had two upper control arms put in at a total cost of 140, big whup! I have read reviews on Hondas and Toyotas and people complain about them. Make sure you know a local repair shop that works on these and the bills will only be slightly higher than the bland accord Camry domestic cars. This is a car that you smile in as you drive. If you are looking for a grocery car then buy something else b/c this is meant for a driving enthusiast not Gramma. Drink holders stink, who cares ur driving not eating.
I bought this car 2 years ago with 195000 miles on it for $2500... now I got it as a winter beater and its sole purpose was for me to have some fun in the snow. Jump 24 months later and it's almost like I have a 3rd child, I absolutely love this car! Okay so let me start off by saying that the car was not perfect when I got it. Be weary of coil packs and suspension components on this car. I knew what I was getting into, because I've owned german cars before and follow car tuning forums. So if you're looking to buy this car, please get it with a carfax and buy from a responsible person. The previous owner of my car had it for 12 years and kept it completely stock! Since I've had it, I've upgraded to coilovers and had a performance chipped installed as well as a new diverter valve. I did all the preventative maintenance for the car the very first month I got it. Regardless of what the previous owner told me.. I redid the oil change, I rotated the tires and realigned the car. I also had the car checked out by an independent Audi Specialists who personally gave me the thumbs up. Without going into detail, I spend an additional 3k on top of the 2.5K on the car just to make sure it was in top shape. Some of you may think I'm crazy.. but here's the deal, at the end of the day I got a 200hp turbo, all wheel drive, stick shift, german car for $5500 with no check engine lights, no oil leaks, no ABS issues, no airbag lights... no regrets! The car is an absolute blast to drive, what's so great about it, is that you won't catch any attention and you won't have a car that looks like everyone has one. In my opinion the car looks beautiful and is so very simple. BTW I've driven this car on Angeles Crest on many occasions and not once has it ever over heated or gave me trouble. Excellent car for tuners and a great car for someone who just wants to have a fun driving experience with the added safety of the quattro system. Before I conclude this brief review, I must let everyone know that this car will treat you right BUT you must treat it right, meaning you must keep it fed with premium gas as well as use only synthenic oil and OEM fluids. Please please please don't cheap out on these things. My Audi as 210000 miles and is still on the original stock turbo.
I have two of these cars - a 98 Turbo FWD and a 99 Turbo Quattro. Most of the people on this site who have rated these cars are idiots - comparing apples to oranges. Yes, if you have Quattro it is goin to be sluggish in first and second. AWD robs power, you fools. Don't compare it to a FWD Japanese car. Yes, your car is going to need new tires and timing belt at 60,000 miles. Stuff wears out, suck it up. No, it is not more expensive to fix than a Japanese car - I have found it to be cheaper.
I bought my A4 2.8Q brand new. Over 13 years later I couldn't be much happier. It drives like new with over 120k miles on it. It is great fun to drive and I love carving through the mountain snow here in Utah with only all-season tires. I had some front suspension issues until my local mechanic solved what my dealer could not. I have had my brakes done once with that same mechanic for about $600 for all four. I have replaced all four lower door trim pieces and both heated side view mirrors but no sensor or engine issues. It runs smooth and hard and I love it! My kids don't like the back seat but that is what the Odyssey is for. I wish I could afford a new one. An all around great car!