I've owned the car since new with 220K miles. It has never been to the dealer or private mechanic except for the initial free maint and the few minor recalls.
However, that is not to say it has not had its share of anomalies.
Three timing belts, 3 water pumps, 3 batteries, One fuel pump, too many coil packs to count, one temp sensor, two valve cover gaskets and one thermostat.
All this may sound horrible and it probably would be if I had no mechanical aptitude or desire to do my own repairs.
The car is actually easy to work on.
Very modular in the way things come apart.
Information is readily available on the Net.
I've kept this car because the 1.8T engine block is bullet proof.
Update (4/22/16): I still own this car and it now has over 250K miles and still runs strong. The original turbo hasn't had any problems and the engine still has good compression on all 4 cylinders. Synthetic oil is a must for this engine. The clutch was recently replaced and that was a major project. Another fuel pump failed leaving me stranded at the office, again. It seems the "Check Engine" light is always about to illuminate as various high mileage sensors fail. New upgraded brake rotors on all four corners has improved braking. There are a lot of great resources on the web dedicated to these cars and I have been able to find detailed instructions for all issues I've experienced. Overall I'm pleased with this car as it is a well balanced performance sedan. However, if you are not mechanically inclined and don't enjoy the challenge of researching a given problem, order parts and installing the parts, then you're left with paying some mechanic big bucks to keep it road worthy.
Update 10/22/16: My A4 now has more than 260k miles on the odo. Original engine and turbo still going strong. Getting close to needing its 4th timing belt service. The latest issues I'm dealing with: New radiator. FM reception is bad due to the small antenna amp near the back window. It's a common problem. Roof liner in the back is getting loose and sagging. Three window regulators have been replaced. The driver seat backing keeps popping out and falling off. Typical stuff for an old car. However, coworkers that ride with me can't believe how well it runs and looks. I often want to have a new car but can't justify it given the fact that this car just keeps going. One just has to stay on top of all the annoying little things that need attention.
Much like the other reviews, this car was fabulous from an interior fit and finish perspective, but something was always breaking and it was always costly; I had wiper linkage seize up which was over $300, H.I.D light (dipped headlight) which was $300, and many more. It seemed like everything that had an issue it was $300 or more. There were also odd electrical gremlins with the radio and sunroof (sunroof was blamed on a potentiometer, and the radio was blamed on lithium grease in the door connectors). I got great gas mileage on this car but overall it's a great car if you can afford the pricey repairs. - 1.8t six speed automatic, fwd model
I have owned this car for 8 years and 100k miles. I bought it from the first owner with 85,000 miles. It now has 185,000. In the eight years I have owned it, I have religiously changed the oil every 5k miles with Mobil 1 0w40 and Mahle oil filter. I have done all the work on this car myself (timing belt 2X... thank you Blauparts, all control arms, shocks, brakes and various sensors). Now that the car is getting older, there have been more aging items to replace (vacuum hoses, fuel pump, more sensors... this car has a ton). If you are not interested in maintaining the car, don't get it; it will be a major headache. If you can maintain the car, it will be one of the best cars you have every owned. Amazingly stable and confident driving in all road conditions. Comfortable and well laid out interior. I particularly love that it was one of the last generations before they started stocking them full of touch screen garbage and displays that distract. Also, one of the last generations to have the sport suspension and six speed manual with the 6 cylinder and "luxury" interior. If and when I decided to replace this car I don't know what I'll get because Audi doesn't make many cars this driver focused anymore... sad...
02 audi a4 1.8t quattro manual speed. I owned it for a very long time and now has 233765 miles on it with still original head gasket, starter, turbo, alternator. No engine leaks and performs fantastic. No issue on shifting or anything else. Just a regular maintenance. AMS oil every 4000 miles, and 93 octane and it goes. I love it. Always Audi owner.
Great car, super fun to drive. Plenty of torque at normal rpm range and lots of grip around the corners! Front seats are plush and comfy although rear seating is tight. Car is equipped with power everything; mirrors, sunfoof, windows, seats, etc... This car's grip, power, and planted feel blew my mind when I first test drove it. Before i had a 2001 passat 2.8, and this thing just runs circles around that. Great car that i would recommend.