Modified or not, expect a long list of receipts and an empty wallet
- Both pre-cat oxygen sensors needed repairing when I purchased it.
- Water pump impeller had broken, causing a massive coolant leak.
- Valve gaskets leak oil very slightly, causing a burning oil smell.
- One of the rear deck Bose speakers had blown. Passenger side door panel tweeter blown as well.
- Coolant temperature sensor went bad.
- Front passenger CV axle (replaced both).
- Front driver's side tie rod (replaced both).
- Some squeaks were coming from the upper control arms, so I went and replaced all of the front control arms (upper and lower) while I was replacing the CVs and tie rods.
- Rear driver window regulator or motor went bad.
- Had the infamous P-0741 Torque Converter Clutch stuck off; I tried replacing the lifetime filter and fluid, and this did not help.
- Unsure if it was ultimately the converter clutch or something else, but the automatic/Tiptronic transmission ultimately began slipping 1-3rd gears so badly that the car became nearly un-driveable, so I traded it in.
Excellent car for tuning and modifying! There is a very strong enthusiast tuner community for this car; lots of options for how to upgrade and modify, and the costs for such an upgrade are getting more and more reasonable. For example, a Stage 3 Frankenturbos setup can yield 400+ AWHP for $4-7k, and allow 0-60 in less than 3 seconds. Or if you don't want anything that extreme, a $500 chip can get you to about 310 bhp and 370 lb ft of torque; no other car can give you that kind of increase in power for so little.
There are lots of costly maintenance jobs and repairs mandatory for this model. It is highly documented and well-known among the community that there are issues like control arms, which fail after 50k-100k miles, and it's not uncommon for an owner to change them 3 times within his/her ownership. The water pump is horrendous, as are the 30V valve leaks, so you can expect to be paying $1500 every 75k miles to get the timing belt/water pump/gaskets replaced. The transmission seems to be the really aggravating part -- Tiptronics suffer from a horrible torque converter that will hit you at one point or another, and the manuals have a 1-2 gear issue as well.
Everything aside, the performance is good. Torque delivery comes early, and if you floor it, you won't feel like you're going very fast because of the smoothness, but if you look at the speedo, you can tell you are. The car is very pudgy though, coming in at 3700lbs, and you can feel it at times.
I don't like the seats. I feel like for an S model, they ought to be sportier, and not designed for a 300lb man.
The interior is nice, and can look outright sexy with a Nogaro blue interior.
The exterior is very sleeper-esque, and drops subtle hints that the car is not a typical A4, which is nice, because you won't attract much attention.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st July, 2012