I bought this car new in 2001 - has the sport package, put in chip, it drives fantastic when it is not being towed to the mechanic. I have 4"thick file of repairs and tire changes. It chews up tires every 20k miles regardless of brand and consistent tire rotation. At 90k miles the engine blew. Fortunately Audi replaced it after I provided documentation of oil changes every 5k miles. I have replaced wheel bearings, tie rods, timing belt, hoses, sensors, the turbo at 160k, battery, alternator etc. If it wasn't paid for and if I did not love to drive it so much it would be gone. I cant find another car with the same combo of performance, mileage, utility,AWD, and class.
A wagon that has satified my desire for a sports car. With the sports suspension it handles our curvy/hilly country roads with a remarkably flat road hugging ride. Yet it is still a practicle car, 4 people ride comfortably (a fifty not so comfortable). Has flexible cargo capacity.
Read the reliability reports. Everything in there and more has gone wrong with my Audi. The sludge problems w/ the 1.8T, in my opinion, are the engineering equivalent of a surgeon leaving a scalpel inside you.
First few years car ran smoothly and was a lot of fun to drive except rear wheel bearings needed to be replaced twice by dealership - luckily still under warranty. Rims allowed snow/slush to build up which made car shake when driven in winter. When 2-3 years old, rattling sound was heard. Brought car in several times and was not given diagnosis. After 75,000 miles (no longer under warranty), dealership was magically able to diagnose the problem: needs a new cam adjuster (dealership claims no prior awareness of problem) Car has 100,000 miles and has had all four wheel bearings (and ball joint) replaced again by local mechanic. It is no better than tupperware - disposable after 3-year-use!
Bought the car new off the showroom floor at end of '01 model year. Overall, the car handles beautifully (steering is drum tight!) and the cabin is well laid out and extremely comfortable for the driver and front passenger - which is particularly nice on long trips. Back seat is cramped, but wagon has been very useful. But beware... stuff will go wrong with this car. Every other month something else is going - and many items went just days beyond expiration of the warranty coverage! Major oil leak @ 52k. Another leak @ 65k. Seat frames. Steering rack. Front tie rods. Bose speaker. Headlamp washer. You get the idea. Great driving experience, but be ready to pay and pay and pay!