Is this C5 Audi S6 Avant worth taking the risk?

We’re obviously big fans of the Audi brand but we’re also not delusional. Older Audis are not necessarily known for their reliability. Currently, Audi is one of the more dependable premium brands on the market. But back in the early 2000’s, Audi wasn’t exactly the most reliable brand of car on the road. So the idea of owning a 2002 Audi S6 Avant is one that’s both exciting and terrifying. On one hand, such a car is brilliant to own and to drive, thanks to its power, performance and practicality. However, its uncertain reliability and high cost of maintenance and repair could be frightening. Which makes this specific Audi S6 Avant, that’s currently for sale, quite interesting.

At first glance, this Audi S6 Avant looks quite good. For being 16 years old, the body is seemingly in really good shape. There doesn’t seem to be any significant damage or issues with the body or paint. The inside also looks really good, with all of its black leather in good shape and no major signs of wear. Some of the buttons on the center stack have worn but that’s pretty common on all VW Group cars from that era. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a VW Group car from that time period for sale without showing wear on its buttons.

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However, upon only slightly closer inspection, one can see that this Audi S6 Avant might be a touch risky. That’s because it has 220,000 miles on it. That’s a lot for any car but a lot a lot on a car such as this. This specific car is also said to have had its transmission replaced by the shop that’s selling the car. So those are two pretty big red flags. When you consider that parts for this S6 Avant are not exactly cheap, it could cost a few thousand more dollars to repair over the next year or so. That’s not fun.

On the positive side, it’s a C5 Audi S6 Avant and it’s awesome. Under that hood lies a beating heart in the form of a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8. That free-breathing V8 makes 340 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent through a five-speed ZF-sourced automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive. It’s capable of 0-60 mph in 6.3 seconds which isn’t exactly fast by modern standards but quick enough to be fun and it makes a great noise.

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This specific Audi S6 Avant is currently for sale in the San Francisco Bay area for $6,900. That’s a bit too much for a car with that many miles and with a supposedly swapped transmission. However, if someone can negotiate on the price a bit, it could be a very interesting car to own. Just don’t buy it as your daily driver unless you have something else you can drive temporarily while the S6 is broken. So which one of you lunatics would buy this risky but awesome car?

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.