The Avant is a big, heavy estate car, but with V10 supercar performance
You could buy a saloon version but it was the estate that was by far the more popular, and hence the one youâ€™re likely find on the used market. This was the Avant, one of the schnell-est estates you can imagine. With a V10 engine and prices starting under Â£20,000, could this be the time to convince yourself that you need a practical estate car?
To help convince yourself of the sheer reasonableness of your plan, consider that it was only made for two years in this form, from 2008 to 2010 and it had a lot of practical kit on board, including of course four-wheel drive â€“ sensible if itâ€™s raining â€“ DRC suspension â€“ so you can have Comfort setting (although that was joined by Dynamic and Sport modes) â€“ and a vast amount of kit in the cabin including climate control, heated seats front and rear, a great Bose sound system and leather all round.
All that stuff is one reason why this car weighs over 2000kg, but thereâ€™s no real need to worry that this means the car is a bit slow. Thatâ€™s because on board is a 5.0-litre V10 that doesnâ€™t just suck in air when it feels like it, it gets shoved in via an intercooler and two turbochargers.
So thatâ€™s 572bhp and 479lb ft of torque to get through the six-speed Tiptronic auto transmission, down through the quattro four-wheel drive and through the 20in alloys.
Which means incredibly rapid and predictable performance and fuel consumption of around 17mpg. And road tax of Â£535. So, not quite so sensible then. But itâ€™s an Audi, itâ€™s well-made, right? There are a few things to watch out for.
Three main things. Thereâ€™s an oil pump seal that fails. It costs 50p for the seal. The bill will be around Â£2200 to get it fixed. If itâ€™s leaking youâ€™ll see oil on the engine undertray on the driverâ€™s side.
The second issue is that of the coolant pipes that run around the wheelarch and are obviously open to weather, road crud and worse. They rot and leak after time, and some garages â€“ but not all â€“ will tell you you have to have the engine out to fix them. Again, big bills unless itâ€™s done in situ, in which case itâ€™s a bill of about Â£500.
The third thing to watch is the dynamic ride control (DRC) since it uses linked hydraulic dampers and they can leak due to road dirt getting in. Audi recognised this as a problem and fitted rubber covers to protect them, so check them out carefully.
The bodywork is pretty solid so if youâ€™re seeing rust or corrosion suspect crash damage that hasnâ€™t been repaired very well. So, if that hasnâ€™t put you off, what sort of money would you need?
As mentioned, you can get one for under Â£20,000. In fact Â£17,500 up to Â£20k will bag you an early version, a 2008 model or maybe a 2009 with about 100k on the clocks.
For Â£20,000 to Â£25,000 youâ€™re looking at a spectrum of fairly tidy cars although if youâ€™re after a later 2009 car with decent mileage youâ€™ll be at the top end of that spectrum.
From Â£25,000 up to Â£30,000 you can afford a 2009 car with only about 50,000 miles on it, although that would also get you a low-mileage 2010 saloon.