Normal wear and tear: tires, brakes, hoses.
Normal maintenance: religious about this.
Electronics on the dash failing.
Erratic availability of windows.
Rear cover won't retract.
Temp gauge is erratic.
The A6 Avant has been a steady car and a pleasant drive. Gas mileage at 80k is 23 highway, 18-20 city.
The car has not been costly to maintain -- probably $10,000 over ten years (first three were under warranty), but when you get a bill for $1500, it still hurts, and maintenance is not cheap.
There are two types of German luxury car owners. One group buys and maintains for the long haul, and enjoys a relatively low TCO -- especially considering the quality of the ride.
Another group sells their vehicles every few years, because they prefer a new car, even if it costs them more than maintaining the old one. Some, but not all of these owners see no reason to invest in high quality maintenance.
There is nothing wrong with consuming your auto quickly -- it is after all a machine, not a spouse. But don't blame the car for your decision to neglect it or to upgrade because you want to.
An earlier post gets this quite tangled. In considering whether to maintain an Audi vs buy a new car, the writer asserts that it is irrational to spend more maintaining a car than the car itself is worth. This is not always true: it may make perfect economic sense to spend $5,000 fixing up a car with a resale value of $3,000 if the total cost and risk of operating the car justifies it. With German cars, it often does.
Any owner of anything should care about total ownership costs and the risk of unexpected breakdowns or expenses. Add depreciation, maintenance, financing, fuel, and insurance.
Financing and depreciation costs are naturally higher on a new car just as maintenance and fuel costs are higher on an old one. Some owners prefer the certainty of higher payments for a car covered by a warranty, even though their TCO is much, much higher. Others simply prefer shiny cars. Nothing wrong with either one -- but this is a feature of the owner, not the car.
Some old cars carry a lot of breakdown risk -- but many old German cars do not. It is easy to feel like you are pouring good money after bad in keeping an old car fixed up, but do the math, because maintaining an Audi to 200,000 miles or more can make excellent economic sense. This is especially true if the car has been well maintained early in life, and is less likely to suffer catastrophic failure.