The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice S4 says no test drives without cold hard cash or certified funds in hand. Let’s see if this Audi is priced to make it worth waving a wad to get behind the wheel.
Much like the Taurus before it, the Ford Explorer SUV took the country by storm only to see its initial success whittled away by competitors. The 1992 Ford Explorer we looked at last Friday was a handsome reminder of what made that original version such a hit. While parsimoniously equipped, it was clean and came with a five-speed stick, something unheard of in pretty much all competitively-sized SUVs today. That, however, couldn’t counter a $6,900 price tag which was way too much for the majority of you, as it was sent packing with a 69 percent No Dice loss.
Friday’s Ford may have been clean and unpretentious, but it wasn’t all that stimulating outside of its three-pedal layout and cocktail party conversation starter survivor status. On the other hand, today’s 2001 Audi S4 Avant should prove to be a lot of fun, and that history of fun shows in the substantial odometer reading and a few chips and dings scarring the bodywork.
The B5 S4 debuted in 1998, with U.S. sales commencing the following year. At the time, the twin-turbo V6-powered S4 was the quickest sedan in Audi’s stable.
This one’s an Avant and comes in Imola Yellow, named for the famous race track in Italy. Presently mounted to that is a set of alloys with summer tires. The ad says the car also comes with a quartet of Avus 17-inch wheels wrapped in studded winter meats.
The positives for this wagon is the paint holds a shine. It also carries its headlamp washer covers, which is laudable. I can’t tell you how many old Audis I see running around with those missing. I mean, it’s been like two or three!
On the downside, there are a number of chips and dips in the bodywork, as well as a sizable dent in the hatch which the seller says is the result of a parking lot hit and run. That’s all pretty much par for the course when you have a car of such age that has made its way to a 245,000-mile odometer reading. Yes, that’s a lot on the clock. To mitigate that somewhat, the seller claims the car has been well maintained over the course of its life and will offer maintenance records to substantiate that assertion.
The cabin appears equally serviceable and proves that if there’s one thing Audi knows how to do well, it’s interiors. The dash and center stack may lack the huge screens that are common today, but aside from that, it all comes across as both contemporary and classic. That’s no mean feat.
The center display in the instrument cluster shows the typical failure. That’ll cost a couple hundred bucks to have repaired, and usually means sending the cluster halfway across the country to get serviced, leaving the rest of the car out of service.
The driver’s seat also shows some wear from the miles of smiles the car obviously produced, but other than that the leather all looks good.
All those smiles come from the 2,671cc V6 and six-speed manual, which along with the Torsen center diff Quattro AWD, offers up a pretty potent drivetrain package. The 251 horsepower 30-valve six comes with a turbo for each bank along with a companion intercooler. No, these are not the simplest nor cheapest engines to work on—you pretty much have to remove the entire nose of the car just to replace the thermostat—but then anyone interested in buying this car should already know that.
According to the seller, this S4’s bi-turbo has received synthetic lube every 5K and saw its timing belt replaced at 226K. Other consumables, such as wheel bearings and brakes, are claimed to have been only replaced with Audi parts. Now it’s said to still “pull like crazy” and without any weird instrument readings or a CEL. It comes with a clean title and the seller’s claim that a home purchase is dictating the sale, not any sort of wish to be rid of the car.
Towards that end, the seller asks $13,500 for the S4 and we now all need to decide if that’s a fair price for a hot Audi of such age and mileage. What do you say? Should an interested party go $13,500 for this S4 Avant? Or, should either the price of the mileage be lower?
H/T to Yossarian-22 for the hookup!
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