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I long for a 1997-2001 A4 2.8 Quattro sedan. Did some research and supposedly 97 was the best year (for years 96-2001 according to, reliability tab) for the A4. But I'm still not entirely convinced that 97 is the right year for me. Kind of want something a little more modern, something like 99 or 2000. I've read a lot about the transmission issues that plague these older A4's and I'm aware of the issues concerning the tire rod ends. However I think it all comes down to how the individual owner does or does not maintain their A4. With said I'm stuck between the 97 A4 and the 2000 A4. Can someone with factual information and A4 experience please give me some detailed insights into these A4 models. For one thing what is the difference between the 97 and the 2000? Which one performs better in all terrain (especially on snow and ice)? Which one generally has less frequent mechanical issues and is likely to live well into the 200k mark? Are there any differences at all excluding the year of production? I always thought that newer ment better and stronger.

My overall criteria for a desirable A4:
1.) 2.8 (a must)
2.) Quattro (a must)
3.) Under 200k (a must)
4.) Winter package (optional)
5.) Leather interior (optional)
6.) 3 spoke sporty steering wheel (optional)
7.) Full size V6 engine cover (optional)
8.) Fully operational condition (a must)
9.) Black or silver exterior (optional)

All opinions are welcome, so please tell me what you think.
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