Looking for advice

I had my 2000 A4 1.8T 5 speed towed away yesterday. It was rear ended and declared a loss.
The 2000 was bought new and it was an excellent car for the last six
years. I want to replace it with another Audi, but would rather that someone else suffer the initial depreciation this time, so I am looking for one that is used.
I have some thoughts about the replacement, but am interested in hearing other comments from like minded folks. FYI - I live in the San Francisco Bay area:
1. I'll probably end up with something between 2002 to 2004 depending on price and what I find. Are there any significant differences between the years worth noting? For instance: I have not had any front suspension issues whatsoever with my 2000, but know that the upper and lower A arms were problematic for certain year cars. Was this fixed?
2. Overall, I was very happy with the 1.8T. It performed nicely but I was always concerned about the ruggedness of the turbo. I used Mobil 1 and kept an eye open for stories of others that had issues. It seemed that the turbo was pretty robust. I am concerned that with a used car, the initial owner may not have been as particular about oil and oil changes. Perhaps for a lower mileage car (say, less than 40K miles), this may not be an issue. If I end up with a car pushing 80 or 90K, maybe it is. Has anyone had issues with turbo reliability? The alternative is to buy a V6, which is normally aspirated.
3. How do the V6 engines hold up in terms of reliability? For instance: are they also interference engines with a timing belt that requires regular replacement? The 1.8T gets very good gas mileage (mid to high 20s with mixed driving...close to 30MPG on the highway). How so the V6?
4. I have also heard that Audi drivers tend to be hard on clutches. I can understand why with the 1.8T: the torque curve and gearing make for a car that is difficult to drive soothly from a stop without more clutch slipping than I have experienced in other cars. I know my way around clutches; my 1990 Miata has 180K and the original clutch. The options here are take my chances with a clutch on a replacement 1.8T or try and find a manual V6 (did they actually make the V6 with a manual transmission?). Or I can opt for the automatic on either....which I am not too keen on doing.
I appreciate anyone who cares to respond to this. Thanks in advance.
Ken
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KWS wrote:

Hi Ken, I bought my TT used with 57K on it. I never buy new cars anymore. Like you I would rather use the money I save on something else. Buying used does have it's risks though. In my case, I bought the car 7 months ago, I saved over 17K but have had to rebuild the top end because the timing belt tensioner broke. The after market insurance I bought does not pay for NON LUBRICATED parts!! Therefor they paid for nothing. BUT, thats OK, I love the car....2 months later I had to replace the clutch, and you guest it!!! I ate the total cost. Again, I love the car!!! Next week it is going in for syncros, the prior owner obviously beat the tranny up pretty bad. The morale to this story is, be prepared to pay, pay, pay!!! But if you are lucky you will find a car that you really like and have a lot better luck that I did. I still saved a lot and still love the car. As a side note, I am not sure if I will EVER buy another policy for a car. It just does not seem to pay for itself. Good luck and YES!! I would recommend a TT!!!! It is an awesome ride!!
Robert (Buttugly)
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buttugly wrote:

Think he's looking for an A4.
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You may want to consdier an Audi Certified Vehicle. I bought mine as an "off-lease" vehicle. Mileage was low and a few items were repaired/replaced under their certified warranty - noisy water pump; control arms; instrument cluster.
Fuelwise I get approx 25 mpg (11l / 100km) city and 29/30 mpg (9.5 l /100 km) highway. This is with a 2.8 V6; engine is solid; no oil leaks and lots of torque.
The V6 is an interference engine but as with all Audis, changing of the timing belt at the required interval is mandatory.
Cheers,
    Owen
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Thanks to those who responded. The search goes on.
Ken
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