Could have been a better experience.....
Added: 15th of November 2013
Bought from new with options of driver's information pack and sports seats. From new the "ride" in the car was inferior to another identical model bought just a few months earlier. The car functioned normally in terms of reliability, performance and economy but the radio and the overall ride had problems. What's good: Good performance. Quite good fuel economy (44mpg) Good finish inside (which has lasted). Reliable so far (in terms of no breakdowns). What has been bad: 1. The rear hatch has deceptive limitations, restricting what can be placed in the load area. For example the hatch opening is too small to allow plastic garden chairs to be loaded. 2. My radio can only be relied on for Radio 2. Stations like Classic FM are only usable in high signal areas, whereas the identical example car has far superior radio reception (identical model of radio) in a wide range of signal areas. The fault was pointed out to the Audi main agent "yes, the radios do vary sir" was the response. In the end, gave up. 3. The tyre noise varies significantly between the two A4 examples, and despite trying different makes of tyre, one of the cars (yes it's mine) has persisted with higher road noise throughout its whole life. 4. At high speeds a my car also suffered some vibration, which persisted after wheel rebalancing, renewal of tyres and replacement of one alloy wheel. No constructive feedback from the Audi main agent, but after 5 years the problem was mostly sorted by an independent tyre specialist who said the rear tracking was badly out of alignment (note the car was supplied in this state by Audi). The realignment sorted the vibration (and an accompanying body creak), although some rumbling (as if one of the tyres has a "bump" on it) remains. 5. The gearbox control unit failed at 90,000 miles - a common problem I've learnt. Audi will only replace, but I've subsequently learnt that repairs are possible. One plus here - as the car had been serviced throughout at an Audi agent, Audi provided the part free, leaving only the labour to be paid (£300 instead of £1500). 6. Headlights seem much worse than other cars I drive (e.g. Honda, Peugeot) In summary, these cars are better than many, but the quality of build (in 2004) was variable and the service from (at least one) Audi main agent is more focussed on "ticking boxes in a service schedule" rather than doing what is needed to the car. Would I buy another? Quite possibly, but would probably go for used and give it a thorough road test, remembering that "sales" are only interested in selling a car, rather than ensuring the car being sold is problem free.