Pros: Pretty, great interior, great in the snow, good handling.
Cons: Hesitant transmission, engine noise sounds cheap, auto is not as fun as the manual.
I had a 2003 A4 Avant 3.0 quattro, loved it. It had sex appeal, drove great and felt like a great car. It was a bit sluggish at high altitudes and gas mileage was lower than what I wanted. I traded that for a 2006 A4 2.0T quattro sedan with auto transmission. The engine has good acceleration, especially at altitude. The engine sound is not as exotic and throaty as my old 2003 3.0. The handling is very good and stable. It has been a champ in the ice and snow this winter even though we never got around to putting on snow tires.
The interior is great. The overall design is clean with comfortable front seats. We went for the wood trim which can be hard to find without expensive options like navigation. Seating in the front is roomy although in then back our adult friends seem a bit squeezed when we go out to dinner. Long trips would not work. The controls are intuitive. Everything is exactly the same as the 2003-2005 model as far as I can tell.
My main concern is that the automatic transmission makes the car a pain to drive, especially in the city. Unless the car is in "S" mode, the transmission shifts to third gear by the time it gets to 12 mph. Rarely do the RPM get up to the level where the turbo will kick in. I believe that this is just the way that the transmission is set up. It makes for calm fuel efficient driving. All the same, it makes the car feel anemic.
Worst of all, there is a hesitation (not related to the turbo) that makes the car wait one or two seconds when starting. This is especially problematic when crossing a busy intersection from a stop sign. The car has been serviced a number of times by our local Audi dealer. Each time I raise the issue and each time they say the can find nothing wrong and that "they all drive like that." I have to believe that the problem relates to the pairing of the auto transmission with the turbo.
Because of the transmission, there is not the ease of use that makes the car a natural extension of oneself. My 2003 with its manual 6 speed was a trusty tool which was instinctive to drive. This one does not work as a seamless extension of my will. I am looking for a replacement so that I can recapture some fun.