You mean, should I run TO it, because its an A4 !!
The only Audi issues that I know of, other than insanely expensive timing-belt changes in the V6 models, are occasional Tiptronic or DSG issues.
My current Audi is a 2.0t DSG 2006 Quattro Avant. My wife likes an A/T otherwise I'd have the 6-speed like you're getting. "Are Audi Engines reliable now?" They were always reliable. However, turbo-chargers are cooled by motor-oil. Turbo motors are very hard on oil. I bought the first TDI Beetle in Western Canada, and an '09 Jetta TDI/DSG Hi-Line wagon. And I've owned a highly modified '08 GTI with the 2.0T and 6-speed. You MUST spend the $$$ for the proper oil for these cars. Its about $15/litre. Put in the correct oil, and your car will go forever.
Audi's are NOT reliable when you chince out, get a $39 oil-change with the cheapest oil money can buy, that oil goes through your turbo-charger, turns to GOO when it gets cooked, and then plugs up the filter screens in the engine (the 2.0t has over 30 little screens sprinkled about through the block). When the screen on the main oil pickup in the pan gets blocked off with goo, then the engine is starved of lubrication and seizes.
That's not a way to save money!
This is the infamous "sludge" problem with the 1.8t in the 96+ A4, 98+ Passat, TT, etc.
As typical of German engineering, the cars will go 500,000 miles with routine maintenance IF you follow the instructions and use the correct oil.
I bought the 2006 when it was knocking like a diesel with a "low oil pressure" warning on the dash.
I paid asking price with taxes IN, plus a new timing kit (With water-pump) because it had 117,000 kms on it and was due for the big, major $$$ service. I'm sure that's why the original owner traded it in.
Anyway, to get an idea of service costs, the timing belt was changed at a VW dealer at a cost of $1500 (all CAD prices) with taxes. I then took the car to my German mechanic (Werner's Auto Klinik in Delta BC) and had them pull the pan, pull the oil pickup, clean everything out, re-install, add a factory high-volume oil-filter (The optional one) and the correct oil. And they did all that, and fixed a few small items, for just over $600 including shop supplies and taxes. CAR RUNS LIKE NEW! Just to be sure we drove it from Vancouver to southern California for a test. The only problem was hydro-planing in heavy rain, and that was solved with new Cooper tires when we got back. (I put on taller than stock tires ... they raise the car 1/4" because they're 1/2" taller, but it looks lower because they fill the fenders ... less fender to tire gap. Handling is the same. Mileage slightly better. 225/50/17 (a stock BMW size) instead of 235/45/17)
SERVICE COSTS COMPARED TO YOUR BUDDY's CIVIC or TOYOTA MATRIX
At 120,000 kms, an Audi is due for replacement brake pads.
(I went 193,000 kms on the factory brakes in the '98 Beetle TDI).
A Civic will typically be starting into the 3rd set (second replacements)
A Toyota Matrix will be wearing out the 4th set of brakes, because there are no brakes too cheap or too small for Toyota!
(Toyota fans don't like to talk about stuff like that. They prefer the myth of low operating costs)
Your Civic driving friends hitting 120,000 kms are probably buying tires AGAIN,because of that rear-alignment design problem that Honda fans don't like to talk about that causes Honda's to eat rear tires in 40 - 60,000 kms when rotating regularly.
If your A4 costs more than $500 in maintenance costs, then you're doing something wrong!
But its a heavy car, so depending on your roads, you might be replacing suspension bits up front by 200,000 kms.
The 10-piece Meile kit (8 control arms with new bushings and ball-joints, plus 2 tie-rods with new ends) is under US$500 online, mail-order.
Then 4 hours or so to completely replace your front suspension. While its apart, have them install the Koni Sport shocks (I did that with my twin-turbo, 6-speed A6 that I bought with 180,000 miles on it, and drove for 5 years with just a fuel-pump replacement and O2 sensors for repairs).
But that's another 80,000 kms down the road. 2 or 3 years from now.
I had a Volvo V70 wagon with the 2.5 Turbo, AWD and sport suspension with 17" wheels. Fantastic car, the most comfortable seats on the planet, and crazy cornering capabilities (with Michelin Pilot Sport tires) but at 150,000 kms the front suspension was worn already, it needed a timing belt, and had leaking cam seals and shit that was going to cost thousands. I traded it for a Focus Wagon, which we had when I nabbed the A4.
LONG TERM you'll spend a bit more on maintenance than your buddies in their tin-can Japanese cars (pray they never get in an accident) but at 300,000 kms you'll have replaced the front suspension, shocks all around, and maybe the clutch. It will be like a new car. Their cars will be in the scrap-yard, OR they'll be spending $1,000 a month to keep them on the road, like my in-laws "bought new and babied" Camry that fell apart after 220,000 kms ... radio quit (its Japanese? Huh?) exhaust manifold (who builds a cast-iron exhaust manifold so thin that it wears out? WTF?) fuel system, cooling system ... it was a west-coast Camry and it was junk by 240,000 kms. I've seen guys driving Audis with > 700,000 kms with no major repairs. Just routine maintenance, tires, brakes, and eventually suspension.
Cost per mile, there is no cheaper car from Japan, except maybe the Toyota Land Cruiser diesel, which has a Hino truck engine in it.
But the bodies rust out on those. (not the same grade steel as a VW/Audi product)
Nuff said. Get the A4.