By on December 28, 2015

2003 Audi RS6

Cue the “CEL” jokes.

The collective “wisdom” of scores of forums have decreed that Volkswagen and Audi products are invariably cursed by permanently lit Check Engine Lights. Some have joked that the CEL is by far, the most reliable component on any VAG vehicle, and that Meatloaf was 20 years early with his “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”

So, with some hesitation considering the comments on the last Audi to grace this column, I press forward in pursuit of the four rings and eight pistons.

Today, I’m looking at a 2003 Audi RS6. It seems to be the cheapest of the C5-chassis cars out there at just under $12,000, so I’d be prepared for the worst. However, the seller mentions a good bit of recent maintenance, so if records are included this could be a relative bargain. Importantly, the timing belt was completed 19,000 miles ago, so it could be another year or two before it’s due again.

That’s another thing. Taking this or any older German car to the dealer is a bad idea. Even an independent shop can be financially crippling. I have to believe that the only way to own one of these on a reasonably budget is with the ability to do most of any needed work at home. Google “Audi C5 Service Position.” The work looks difficult, but with the proper service manuals, any required work looks straightforward and within reach of a decent home mechanic.

Or I could just be trying to justify a crazy-expensive performance sedan to myself. The styling of most modern Audis is alluring, both inside and out. The S and RS models take it a step above with not-too-subtle fender flares and big wheels and tires.

Though, from what I’ve read, those tires might last 20,000 miles if you are lucky and gentle.

So, continue calling me an idiot for even considering an out-of-warranty Audi. The soft glow of electric CEL gleaming in the instrument panel will keep me warm.check-engine-thumb

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80 Comments on “Digestible Collectible: 2003 Audi RS6...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Nobody will suggest these aren’t CELlectable.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m a little more optimistic on this one than I was on that yellow one because the interior looks so clean, and as you can see in the photos he has two other Audis, so he probably did his research before buying this one. The Audi 40V 4.2 is an absolute peach of an engine.

    However:
    -Lack of enough pics – why, when you’re selling an enthusiast vehicle?
    -Pic quality rather low, again I ask myself why in 2015.
    -The RS6, while rare, has not aged particularly well as it came around toward the end of that style’s life (which was too long anyway). It looks thoroughly 90’s.
    -Pics don’t do anything to convince me the paint quality is any good.
    -Isn’t it funny how his service history listed shows it needs major work every 5-7k miles?

    Overall, CP. Price too high, miles too high. Not a good car to own for anyone with a sense of reality. A T-belt and water pump change at an independent runs about 1500-1800, by the way.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Corey, what is this thing? A Passat with a little extra braunschweiger?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Nope, different platform! The Passat rides on a platform with the A4 – the only other things related to this are the regular A6, S6, and the Allroad.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Thanks, I’m totally Sgt. Schultz about Germerman cars.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Sure looks like my ’00 Passat which was the B5 platform in VeeDub speak. I’ll just go ahead and assume the window regulators break every 3 months on this platform as well.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Surprising some aftermarket parts supplier hasn’t designed regulators that are superior to the OEM ones, and will actually NOT BREAK for the life of the car!

        • 0 avatar
          never_follow

          The B and C5 platforms did actually share a bunch as far as drivetrains and suspensions (particularly non-quattro versions). I was surprised myself, but some suspension bits (like the later aluminum uprights/caliper carriers) can go onto anything from the Passat to A8.

          This monster lives in it’s own world though. The S8 also has different uprights due to the massive Brembos. Aluminum, uses steel bolts for the caliper. Guess what happens in the rust belt when calipers are removed…

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I have much want for this, but I know it may be the worst idea of all the Digestible Collectible cars. The price seems in the right area. There aren’t to many of these. The only other examples I can find are $18K, minimum. At close to $10K, I’m fine. Once you get to $20K for a C5 RS6, you are getting close to S8 V10 territory. If I’m going to have an Audi grenade on me, it might as well be this:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audi-S8-Base-Sedan-4-Door-/131677202635?forcerrptr=true&hash=item1ea892a8cb:g:JIAAAOSwo3pWcJJ0&item=131677202635

      or this:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audi-S8-2007-S8-5-2-V10-IMMACULATE-/331741143286?forcerrptr=true&hash=item4d3d5020f6:g:gKIAAOSwUdlWfye9&item=331741143286

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I see no problem with large Audi sedan containing Lambo V10!

        I suppose where rarity is concerned the price isn’t bad for this RS6. I just -know- it’s a bad car, and that ruins it in my mind. It doesn’t have the looks to make it worth it to me to maintain and throw money at.

        That honor goes to larger S8 like your links, or like 05-10 XJ Super V8/etc.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Edited:

        At least they still offer a TTV8 in the 4.0 for the A8!

      • 0 avatar
        wristtwist

        I love the look of those except for the gear selector. I hate the way they look, i hate how cheap they are, i hate how parts-bin from VAG it is. Seriously, it’s like a giant hairy mole on the face of a model. ick.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          The fit and finish is terrible. My Tiptronic mode quit doing anything around 120k miles (You move it over there, and it acts like it’s still on the left side), and the plastic/rubber “gate” material fell apart. I had to pull that out, because it was interfering with my ability to enter park.

          This is GM level stuff here!

          • 0 avatar
            never_follow

            The A6 I picked up a month ago was the same. The gate has a long, thin magnet in it that tells the TCU it’s in Tip mode. They like to fall out.

            If you grab a gate at the junkyard with an intact magnet, it’ll work again without skipping a beat. A bit of a crappy design, but it IS really easy to replace.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Why “RS6” when it has a V-8. Everybody knows cylinder count = penis size so why understate it?

    RS6 sounds like an old weenie Rambler or something.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    OK…just…no. No, no, no. I *just* sold my 2004 A6 wagon, granted it’s not the big swinging dongle the RS6 is, but it was one headache after another. It never broke down, never left me stranded, but it leaked every fluid known to mankind. At one point, I thought I’d find lobster bisque on my garage floor. At various times, it leaked engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, washer fluid, differential fluid, and water (passenger footwell). I’d stick one finger in the dike, and another leak would pop up.

    Yes, I did some of the work myself, and I had an excellent, honest and relatively cheap indy guy nearby, but it was a constant string of issues. Never had a CEL though.

    Just…don’t.

  • avatar

    I’d feel more comfortable with an E-class (2009-) / S-class (2007-) because at least I know the parts will be easier to get.

    Unfortunately, I can’t use cars that old for my Uber.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    This is a terrible idea for most people, worse than the E55 even.

    Having said that, with the right mindset and a more reliable car in the stable, and a full equipped workshop and a comprehensive VAG-COM scanner, as well as time, ability, inclination, and a healthy dose of cash for parts, any highly depreciated European luxury car can indeed be a fun and rewarding experience. Maybe when I’m older with grown children with paid for college tuition I can dip my feet into out of warranty European car ownership, but until that day I’ll play it safe. And some distinctions should be made among these cheap thrills Euro cars. Saabs seem to be perhaps the most manageable (9-5s, the last of the hatchback 9-3s), I’ve mentioned earlier how not-so-scary W210 Mercedes are. But this RS6 is most definitely on the upper end of the scary scale, up there with E60 5 series and E70 X5s with the twin turbo N54 motor.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I would loooove to have a W140 some time, are those awful with everything? I want to believe they existed before the components became biodegradable.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        The W140 is definitely as high as it gets on the scary scale. The amount of over-thought little nifty features that car is crammed full of amounts to an ungodly amount of things to break and control modules to fail. remember, the S-class has always been Merc’s major technical tour-de force showcase, and the people who buy this as a 15-20 year old car pay for it, big time. Now, if you’re willing to live with a ton of inoperational accessories and a christmas tree of warning lights, there’s nothing truly catastrophically wrong with the engine or transmission, but with that much weight and power, the transmission is something to check thoroughly when shopping around. Likewise, an abused engine that needs any sort of internal work is a death sentence for most enthusiast owners scooping these up for cheap.

        No, I’d say a W210 is the safest way to dip ones’ toes into Merc ownership. W124 is another option with some more old school Benz “flavor,” but the powertrains have more issues (headgaskets, timing chains, transmissions) in addition to the usual old-ass car issues.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Hah, so most basic model S320 is the way to go for one of those. Nifty-fancy lite, but I’m sure still a PITA. I just love the way they look.

          I don’t LIKE the W210!

          I do like the W124, as they read refinement and old money very well (sort of). I bet with their age though, probably not that great in the drive and ride quality department. The 190E is just a design classic.

          Also greatly fancy the W126.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            S320 used the same I6 as the W124, the one with head gasket and timing chain issues. No I’d say if you’re going to suffer the vagaries of W140 ownership, get the 5.0L V8. You’d get a proper “S500” badge, and you could drive around imagining you were a “bolshoy chelovek” (“big person”) in some dilapidated Moscow suburb in the late 90s-early 00s.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            S500 it is then.

            Did you have to get the S600 to get the rear pop up things on the trunk to guide your reversing of giant land barge?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Pretty sure 500s had that as an option, along with that little pop-out chrome handle on the trunk to keep your hands clean.

            On every Russian S500 “Chimodan” (“suitcase”) owner’s playlist:

            linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cujsFDlekKg

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It is very scary and I still want it.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The N54 was indeed a crapshoot. Its most common application was actually the E90, in 335i guise. The E70 X5 never had the N54 motor. It debuted with the naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter I6 (as the 3.0si and later the xDrive30i), which was the N52 motor. It was upgraded to the single-turbo, twin-scroll N55 3.0-liter I6 for its refresh in 2011 (as the xDrive35i).

      My X5 had the N55 engine. That didn’t give me any trouble. Unfortunately, everything electronic *did* give me issues, so I sold it earlier this month. That thing was cursed beyond what you’d expect of that particular model.

      The N54 was, however, used for earlier xDrive35i versions of the E71 X6.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Thanks for the correction, I had assumed all of BMW’s 3.0L I6 motors were twin turbocharged, learn something new every day. Between the electrical faults and the fast wearing suspension bushings, most BMWs aren’t on my radar, although I can’t deny the curb appeal of a clean E38 740i with the sport package M-parallel wheels. I think of the big 3 german brands (BMW, Audi, Mercedes) the Benzos have the most appeal to me, as I place more emphasis on comfort and durability ahead of a ‘connected’ driving experience. W212 E350s are coming down in price now and I love the way they look. I wish they carried over the old faithful 5G-Tronic automatic into that new bodystyle rather than jumping into the deep end with the new 7-speed auto.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I like the W212, too…and it’s quite a bit more reliable than either the 5-Series or the A6. I also like the coupe and cabriolet E-Class, even though those are actually on the C-Class platform.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Also, in regards to the service position, it’s not as scary as it looks. According to my mechanic brother that has a couple of B5 generation A4s as consistent clients, once you’ve done it a few times it’s really not a big deal or very time consuming, and once completed gives you fantastic access to the front of the engine (for t-belt jobs, etc). So it depends on how you look at it: either German engineers suck for not designing the car to be serviced without taking the whole front end off, or kudos to the engineers for making the front end easy to take off and giving excellent access for repairs/maintenance rather than dealing with snaking hands and tools into tight spaces.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      My problem with the service position is the required disassemble. You can’t just pop something off and put the new part on – you must remove the front of the car. It’s a big mental turn-off for most people. Yes it’s easier once you get it off, but something which could have taken 45 minutes if the engine bay were accessible is now 2 hours.

      Makes a big difference in shop bills too. Same with all the skid-plateyness they put on the bottom.

      You CAN do the t-belt service without removing the front. Watched my dad do it on my 90S and A8.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Exactly, the “mental turnoff” factor is key, and it depends on ones’ mindset. I’m so used to working on Japanese stuff that even doing some pretty basic work on my fiance’s old 2004 S60 had me shaking my head, but if I had owned nothing but Euro stuff leading up to that I’m sure I would have thought nothing of it.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Funny, I had a similar experience couple years ago. The rear brake bulb burnt out on my GS. Having owned Audis, I thought “Well, better make sure I have an hour free before I bother with this.” so I waited a couple days until a weekend, after I got the bulb. I thought surely it would have an assembly requiring a plate cover, screws, plastic tabs, and an odd tool for popping loose the inevitably brittle socket from the housing!

          Nope. Unscrew two hand turn things for the plastic cover, undo bulb, put in new bulb. 5 minutes. Thanks, Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Newer Audis have easy access too. Actually, they have full LEDs now (almost all models) so no need to change bulbs. And in the case of failure, changing out the rear lights is easy as can be.

      • 0 avatar
        ExPatBrit

        You don’t have to completely remove the front end, you can remove two of the long vertical front bumper bolts and re-insert the bolts horizontally .

        Then you can slide the front lock carrier forward about 8 inches without disconnecting a lot of stuff.

        I think some folks call it inspection position . Comes in handy for simple stuff.

  • avatar
    ciscokidinsf

    This is more crapwagon territory than ‘Digestible Collectible’ The only guy I know has an RS6 runs his own specialized German car shop. I trust them for the simple fact the RS6 runs great. Same engine as my Phaeton with no turbos. But even amateur home mechanics need to be aware this engine requires to either be dropped or be 60% dissasembled for maintenance. Plus is the start of the ‘special tools’ at VAG for repair. Car runs scary awesome and yes, eats tires and brakes as you can imagine.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    They’re very quick (especially off the line) and still look good to me, but the DRC suspension was such a piece of sh*t that Audi was still compensating even owners who had given up and replaced it completely with aftermarket components 10 years later.

    That, and replacing the turbos requires REMOVING THE ENGINE. (not that the turbos are particularly troublesome – they’re not, unless the car is tuned, which virtually ALL of them are by this point).

  • avatar
    qfrog

    The C5 was one of the most costly Audi products to maintain. The RS6 took that game and went in for extra innings of pounding your wallet like a trained professional on a closed porn set.

    Seriously this is a car for somebody with money to dump like waste into a superfund site, can’t hurt things any worse because it is already a total loss. The RS6 timing belt interval is 35k if memory serves correctly. I believe cleaning out the intercoolers and radiator are part of that too. Good luck finding a car that has had the intercoolers ever cleaned.

    The oil filter access is horrible. You have to drop the front sway bar if memory serves. Yes but wait there is more! The splined carriage bolts used to keep the sway bar in place are not available as separate items so if you accidentally cause one to spin in the cast aluminum engine support bracket, you’re buying a new bracket and that is a fun task to replace. Peel that onion, go on…. get in there.

    Then the oil cooling. Goody. The oil cooler lines generally fuse to the cooler and by cooler I mean front mounted heat exchanger.

    The front brakes are very similar to the Gallardo’s from what I have read and priced accordingly. The two piece SHW rotors were fairly uncommon in 2003.

    The KYB (Kayaba) made DRC suspension is ghastly expensive to service and repair, requiring some unusual special tools forced on dealerships by Audi. It was such good suspension that there was a campaign to replace most or all of the shocks and diagonal fluid transfer valves.

    Yes the car is quick in a straight line and yes it is also fast at the end of that straight line but you are buying a car that costs a fortune to maintain with a ZF 5HP24 transmission that isn’t going to set the world on fire for shift times or driver involvement. Yes these cars can be converted to manual using an 01E and yes they can be tuned but it seems that often after a conversion the car changes hands quickly.

    The turbochargers are also not cheap to replace as with many tasks on the RS6 they are an engine/gearbox out affair so obviously you’ll be taking that opportunity to replace a bunch of other suddenly accessible parts that had their failure scheduled for sometime in the future.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    As this is neither a Camry nor an Accord it is obviously stupid to buy it. Audi was stupid to build it and every owner to touch it was clearly an idiot.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Excellent, Grasshopper. It is Time For You To Go!

      I’m reading a bio about William T. Sherman; his written views are fascinating. He could bang out a glaring though obfuscated truth with compactness and economy of phrase just like you.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      This again? This is an epically unreliable car that requires expensive maintenance every 5000-7000 miles. I love me an RS6, but it makes last week’s E55 seem like a Corolla in terms of reliability. I love Audis. if I’m going to feel pain from a performance Audi, it’ll be an Lambo powered one.

      THIS IS PAIN AND SADNESS: http://i.imgur.com/zXUSALK.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        Imgur? What are we now- Reddit?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Does it matter where the photo is from? I can’t access a lot of photos from automotive forums because they are from photobucket and other photo sharing sites that my work laptop doesn’t like.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            Sheesh- lighten up!

            I’ve seen Audi service-ready photos like that on Reddit a few dozen times, though!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I actually think it’s from reddit. I did a Google search and it was the best photo that was not blocked by my work laptop.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            Who doesn’t love content filters? All that they ever do is block the useful stuff, and leave pretty much every harmful, vulgar, or randomly useless link available.

            On one of the subreddits that I’m subscribed to, everyone has a field day on Audis!

            That’s called the “Ready position”. Ironically, it doesn’t take that long to do. It gives wide open access to everything. It’s better than what they made later.

            *Looking at you, 3.2 timing chain!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I got good at taking the front clip off of my Audi 5000. It was pretty easy after you did it a few times.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Who doesn’t love content filters?”

            My work-promoted and HR supported supplemental death bennies homepage is blocked by my unalterable workplace browser settings.

            But there are no filters for YouTube o_O

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ha, I can’t look at a page regarding cancer treatment because that’s “Alcohol and Tobacco Usage.” Or perhaps an article on mammograms because that’s “Sexual Content.”

            But I can look at YouTube all day long. Or browse Craigslist.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            Sounds about right!

            I worked for a little while at a place that did everything with computers and electronics (They were an ISP that offered a lot of other things). I repaired computers in one of their offices.

            When I started, their content filter blocked me out of the page of their billing software and their parts inventory page. That made my job very difficult- and resulted in me calling everything in.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Oh, yeah. I’m more than familiar with that sight. That’s what we in the VAG community call “service position”…and it’s the direct result of Audi’s tendency to have the engine slung out past the front axle. But it’s not that difficult to pull the front fascia and impact bar off of the car, believe it or not.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    255/35R19 is a common size. I don’t know about the specific tires on that particular vehicle, but there are many reasonably-priced tire options available in that size that will give you 60k miles or more under normal driving conditions.

  • avatar
    matador

    Ah, older Audis. For once, I can speak on experience.

    I own a 2001 A6 wagon with 175k miles on it. I bought it at 100k miles, just in time for the timing belt service!

    First, timing belts: Budget for it every 100k miles. Our independent shop charges about $1500 to do it (Assuming you bring your own parts in- the stuff he orders costs more, but is the same stuff).

    Second, parts: Order them yourself. Dealer markup is absolutely terrible.

    Third, servicing: If you can’t fix a car (At least the basic stuff), DO NOT BUY AN AUDI. I repeat, DO NOT BUY AN AUDI IF YOU CAN’T FIX CARS!

    Fourth: When working on an Audi, you need to know this song to heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKTNWI0eYJ4

    You will end up making things. My lower drivers door trim is held on with a bolt I drilled a hole for, I used part of a Dell PC case to make a bracket, and I made a plywood floormat when my foot went through the carpeting by the pedals.

    Fifth: Check engine lights. You’ll have one. If you don’t, your bulb is burned out. I’ve had one for the last 60k miles.

    Sixth: The coolant overflow tank will break. The windshield washer fluid tank will break. Your automatic leveling headlamps will not level.

    Seventh: Buy stock in the Firestone corporation. You’ll go through tires quickly. That is, assuming you bought a quattro.

    Eigth: If you don’t buy a quattro, you just likely overpaid for a Volkswagen.

    Ninth: You will need front suspension work. That’s $1000 if you order your own parts.

    Tenth: You can work on these cars! When I did the front brakes on mine, it was the easiest brake job I’ve done. At least for the 2.8, oil changes are a cinch. The coolant overflow tank is an easy replacement (Though an absolutely stupid design to start with).

    All in all, an older A6 is the nicest $4000 you can buy. I bought one, because I was in a job where I needed to impress people. I now am self-employed in E-Commerce.

    So, would I buy another Audi? Nope. Do it once to have the experience, and then go buy something less maintenance-intensive.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’d have trouble accepting that sort of tire wear as inevitable. Do they really show even wear across the tread when you leave the tires in the same position long enough to see a noticeable difference in tread depth between the axles?

      Regardless, the latest Torsen-based Quattros seem to be fine. My buddy got only 25k miles out of the stock summer Dunlops on his B8 S4, but most of that wear came at the track. His winters have the same mileage and look almost like new aside from some unnecessary center wear due to overinflation while using Audi’s recommended pressures. All tires are different though. He should have been paying more attention and noticed it earlier. Still, at the rate they’re wearing I’d expect them to be suitable for another 25k of winter miles and then another 25k of summer use.

      The owner of that B8 S4 wasn’t one for fixing his own vehicles when he bought it, but he’s been learning on his RX-8 and R50 Pathfinder and should be plenty competent by the time the S4 starts needing serious work! He’s only needed to do fluids and a clutch slave cylinder on the S4, aside from quite a few minor electrical accessory warranty issues. Powertrain has been good so far at 60k miles. Beautiful car. The B5 and B7s we drove couldn’t hold a candle to it.

      I’ve never even been inside an A6 of any sort.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    No, no, no, no, no. If you’ve gotta have a fast C5 A6 for some reason, buy yourself an ’04 2.7T S-line. It doesn’t have the flared arches or silver side mirrors, but that’s it. Same wheels, same trunk spoiler, same-ish front end. You can easily fake the mirror caps, and if you want, make the front end look identical to an RS with some RS look replacements (maybe do it when the front end has to be off anyway for service).

    Instead of dealing with the RS suspension nightmare, upgrade the standard 2.7T suspension with new sways and dampers. The C5 doesn’t like to go around corners anyway, so what difference does it make?

    Finally, an APR tune can easily get you RS level power from the 2.7T. Stock turbos will do at least a good 400hp, and RS4 turbos will do a lot more, but then you’ll need to upgrade a few other engine components, and that 5-speed autobox can only take so much anyway.

    This was also the last A6 to have just a standard hole in the dash for the radio, which can be pulled and easily replaced with a more modern unit from the previous A3 hatch, so you don’t have to get a super cheesy aftermarket radio if you want things like Bluetooth phone support.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    For those interested, Robert Farago reviewed this car when it was new:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2002/10/audi-rs-6/

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Considered buying one off lease around 2006. Glad I didn’t; my A6 2.7T is enough of a headache. If I wanted discrete old German performance, I’d go back another decade and look for the Porsche/Mercedes 500E/E500 of 92-94 vintage. Seems the nicer ones listed go for mid 20’s like a nicer RS6. Hell, who am I kidding? Not gonna happen either way.

  • avatar
    EAF

    How about a nice, same era, Cadillac CTS-V instead?

  • avatar
    EAF

    Whoops! I have been day dreaming on TTAC, I miss the Dieselgate stories.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I wouldn’t mind these older Audis and certain older Bimmers if they had the styling to make them worth preserving. But they don’t. This looks hopelessly dated and, yes, too much like a Volkswagen.

    The other day, my friend and I seriously considered a 2005 645i cabriolet that we found on a buy-here-pay-here lot online with 212,000 miles. I figured it could be cheap fun. It was listed at $8,900. The first thing we did was ask them what their cash price was, and they responded with $5,900. And that was good. So I took it for a test-drive. The top was reluctant to go down, the key fob was missing (not that big of a deal, but still…) and when the car started, the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and twelve or thirteen warnings came up on the iDrive screen…Airbag failure, pretensioner failure, brake sensor warning, steering-angle-sensor warning, transmission warning. So many errors came up that I was not able to bypass the warning screen and get into iDrive’s main UI.

    I offered then $2,900, which of course they declined. It’s sad to think that some poor soul is actually going to wind up trying to finance that car…

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I’m seriously considering a BMW 6 series coupe as my next car. I just think they are such beautiful cars, even though I know they are far from economical.

      But clearly you need to start with one that doesn’t have a Christmas tree dash and overload of warnings.

      In my more sensible moments I tell myself to stick to a CLK550. It’s an awesome engine and the rest of the car is pretty much C-class level maintenance.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I’ve always loved the 6-Series.

        I’ll probably just get one of the newer ones (coupe or cabriolet), once the prices creep down to the high $30K / low $40K range.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      A 2005 645 with 212,000 miles is “cheap fun”?

      A B-2 bomber could probably be operated for less.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    A 12 year old 450 HP twin turbo V8 AWD Audi with air suspension and an auto transmission. What could possibly go wrong?!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    So, pretty much as reliable as a late 90s Volvo?

  • avatar
    64andahalf

    I bought one new and continue to love her. Only problems were a factory recall on the diagonal suspension thing and windshield wipers blades that apparently only come from Audi and cost like $30 each

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