Junkyard Find: 2002 Audi A4 1.8T Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2002 audi a4 1 8t wagon
Here in Denver 15 or so years ago, the Subaru Legacy Outback wagon was king among car shoppers looking for a vehicle suited for their dog-owning, ski-slope-visiting, REI-shopping lifestyles (that is, most of the population). But what about those who wanted an all-wheel-drive wagon that was a bit less… stolid?While you could get the Outback with a manual transmission or a six-cylinder engine (sorry, one or the other) back then, only the most rabid Subaru fanatics would describe the driving experience of the Outback as fun. That’s where the second-generation Audi A4 wagon came in, and they sold very well here. Here’s one that looked to be in pretty good condition when it got rear-ended, spotted in a yard just south of town.
I see plenty of these cars in the local auto graveyards, but most of them have automatics and so I walk right by. This one has the proper five-speed manual.
I own a 2004 Outback with a five-speed, and the driving experience (not to mention the industrial-grade interior) is about as exciting as that of the Mitsubishi Fuso I once drove for a tropical-fish distributor. This car, with the 170-horsepower turbocharged 1.8 engine, had just five horses over the naturally-aspirated H4 Outback and weighed about the same, but the extra five or so grand on the price tag got you a less truck-ish experience and more high-zoot interior stuff.
The annual cost of ownership of a second-gen A4 increased by several thousand bucks each year after about age five, what with the devilishly complex electronics and leading-edge engineering, so you had to be deeply in love with your car to keep one running into its 16th year.
That’s why the damage from an obvious rear-ender is so depressing here. I blame the smartphone for this.
Some local Audi devotees will score some of the good mechanical and interior bits out of this car, and then it will return to the scrap ecosystem.
The wind howls… because it can’t keep up.
If you want to see every junkyard Audi I have documented prior to today’s Junkyard Find, go here.
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2 of 24 comments
  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jul 02, 2018

    Funny to see this vehicle in Denver jy,as my brother in Denver just bought an 02 ultrasport wagon MT(I think the Ultrasports got a 6mt, not sure) with just under 190k. He sold his daily driven Ur- S6 to someone who flew up from Dallas .He was too afraid of it getting hit with current traffic in metro and replacement body parts are scarce . At that level his vw/audi mechanic said it needed a clutch,diverter valve. His reasoning for the purchase was that it was more solidly built than available hot hatches , and more tossable than current A3, just not a lot of low end torque, even with reflash(previous owner had it done). Not bad for 3k purchase price. I think that these wagons long term may have some value to DTM guys, I always smile when I see e46 wagons,etc., and people keep them in pretty good shape as compared to e46 325 sedans.

  • Chris724 Chris724 on Jul 02, 2018

    I'm still driving my '02 A4. Same color as this one, but a sedan with an automatic. The A/C still works great!

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.