Update: about 4,000 miles after purchase. I have taken a couple more road trips, and I have now tried the Quattro out in the snow/sleet/ice storm Atlanta has recently experienced.
After digging the car out from under a half-inch-thick ice "shell" covering three inches of powder, I took the car out with the roads still covered with inch-thick ice in most places. This thing is AMAZING! I was practically blasting down the road, and the stability control light only flashed when I decided to have a little fun >-).
I was the only person in my office who was able to make it to work on a couple of days, and a friend who has an Acura TL (which I was considering when I purchased this car), was STUCK in his own parking spot at home!
The one issue I have had thus far was when the plastic bits on the dipstick crumbled, but that was replaced under warranty. Part would've been $19 if not for the warranty.
Update: 67,000 miles.
Still loving this car very much, I look forward to driving it every day! I have had no problems, and I am currently averaging 29 MPG. The timing belt will be due for replacement at 75k, and I am planning on getting the transmission serviced when the price of the fluid comes down some. It is currently $78/liter as opposed to the going rate of $20-$30/liter for most other cars. My mechanic and I believe this is because most people fall for the line that these gearboxes are not serviceable, but they certainly are, and they should be flushed and replenished every 70k or so.
So far nothing has disappointed me with this car, and I plan on keeping it for a very long time. I forgot just how refined it is until I rode in other cars belonging to friends/family, which made my car feel like a limo.
Update: 77,600 miles: Just had the timing belt replaced and it was about $990 at my private mechanic's garage. This did include the timing belt (Continental brand), water pump (GRAF brand), timing belt tensioner and rollers, front and rear crankshaft seals, accessory belt (also Continental brand), and coolant flush (OEM VW/Audi coolant). The front fascia has to come off of the car when this job is done, and it takes a competent garage at least half a day. The dealer price for this job, not including a new water pump, was $1,400, so I saved over $400 and got the "Rolls-Royce" timing belt job.
The car is still like new and I enjoy driving it everywhere. Everything still looks, feels, sounds, and operates like new. This car turns heads too; everyone comments on how great it looks. I installed brake dust shields a while back, which eliminates the need to wash it every single week! The adaptive xenon headlamps are a real spoiler. Every time I drive anything else, I find myself grumbling about how dim the lights are and how they don't swivel with the steering like mine do!
Thanks for all your updates. Right now I'm looking at a 2008 A4 with a manual transmission with 55K on it. Am debating whether it is a good bet to buy a manual Audi with that many miles on it. Your updates help give some confidence it might not be a bad way to go.
I've had a 2008 A4 B8 Quattro in manual from new, covered some 80,000kms since then, both city and freeway driving, and have been very happy with my purchase.
My only word of warning, they do tend to use oil, which I check via the dash screen; it's a trait of the engine. Again, no real problem, but you just need to be aware, and check it.. I usually add 1.5 liters every 2000kms... The car drives and handles very nicely, and apart from scheduled servicing, nothing has gone wrong.
Having always driven BMW's (E46 330i) in the past, I really like the A4 style and driving dynamics compared to the newer BMW's...
Update: 84,000 miles.
I just had the transmission/final drive and differential serviced at my friend's import garage (also my new employer!). We used the pricey ZF Lifeguard 8 fluid in the transmission (what the car came with), and Liqui Moly full synthetic 75W gear oil in the differential. The transmission fluid was still relatively clean when drained, with no signs of metal or abnormal wear, and the differential fluid was still crystal clear. But, as my expert technician said, THAT is the time to replace fluids, before they become black and ruined. We also used an OEM Audi transmission filter and pan gasket.
I got all of this for way less than the retail price, but it was still about $360, so not for the faint of heart, but then again almost every car we see in the shop nowadays (the imports AND domestics) has some sort of costly, specialized fluid.
I continue to keep the oil topped-off, and it only uses up one quart every 5,000 miles, so nothing like the complaints I've seen with other owners on the Internet. It is imperative to use full synthetic 5W-40 oil in these engines. I am using Liqui Moly 5W-40 synthetic, as I consider it to be the finest oil available, but any reputable brand with these specifications is fine.
As for everything else, all is well. I just took the car on a 1,200-mile trip to Miami and back, and it averaged 34 MPG. The car still looks new and turns heads, all of the rubber bits underneath are holding up well, and all of the features work flawlessly. Tires and brakes are wearing pretty well; 35,000 miles since the brake pads were changed and they still have good life left, original discs are in good shape, and the Hankook tires are just now becoming marginal, but they are only rated for 40,000 miles anyway. I have some new Yokohama tires on my wish list, and they are rated for over 70,000 miles.
If anything, I would say the manual is an even better bet. You will have to replace the clutch, but it's not the end of the world to do this. Just be aware of the timing belt service every 80k miles, and there is only ONE way to do it: properly. By properly, I mean the timing belt, tensioner, rollers, water pump, and seals ALL need to be replaced, and that will run you around $900-$1,000.
The manual transmission will not require the expensive servicing that my Tiptronic does, so that's a plus, and you get to have complete control over what gear the car is in, so better for an enthusiast for sure. Biggest thing to watch on these is keeping the oil checked, but I have no complaints with my car!
Great to hear positives about the car. I plan on getting a black one with 14,000 kilometers, one owner, manual. It looks like the "baby transporter" with the big wheels.
I own a 1986 VW Golf GTI with 260,034 kilometers and a 1997 VW Polo with 132,910 kilometers, and both still run well and turn heads :D
Keep up the good work with the Audi A4, and you are doing the right thing by having a mechanic. The dealer(s) are unreliable and not always honest.