Audi A4 Avant 2.0 FSI | Shed of the Week

Remember when the Audi A4 was naturally aspirated? Shed does…

By Tony Middlehurst / Friday, November 6, 2020

As you may know, Shed runs a tiny used car business of his own out of a converted cow barn. Of late he's really noticed a jacking-up of the prices that he's having to pay to keep his stock fresh, as people gravitate away from PCP rental deals and into cars that they actually own for the equivalent of three monthly payments.

Shed is keeping his own selling prices down. Partly because he's a good old boy but mainly because most of his customers are locals who not only know where he lives but who also tend to be farmers with a keen sense of value and ham hocks for hands. Unfortunately, Shed's altruistic pricing policy is having no effect on the wider used market, where cars that used to be £695 are now suddenly £1,695.

Still, amid all the increasingly overpriced dross there is the occasional decent offering, and today that takes the form of this bright looking Audi A4 Avant. One of the last B6 models, it's a 2.0 FSI SE with a reasonable 136,000 miles on the clock.

The SE bit is good, the 2.0 FSI bit not so good. Most would urge you to get the 1.9 turbo diesel in one of these, but where the non-turbo 2.0 FSI beats it is in the noise department. In fact it will be entirely noise-free if the coil packs have failed, as they were wont to do. These items are conveniently marked out in red when you open the bonnet, almost as if Audi knew you or your mechanic would appreciate an instant visual connection for ease of maintenance.

On the positive side these B6s still look good, especially in a good colour like this one, and they are comfy and solid to drive, if not at all rapid. On the negative side, apart from the coils, Audis of this era can suiffer from leaky valve covers, worn cam followers, mass air filter malfunctions, busted central locking, Norman Collier style radio reception, corroding alloys, noisy suspension, sludged oil pickups, annoyingly non-functioning heaters, and annoyingly functioning EPC warning lights for the Electronic Power Control which basically cut the power if an engine management problem was detected.

Other than all that, taking into account the specific points of wear on this car – steering wheel, light knob and regularly touch-parked rear bumper – plus the fact that the A4 Avant isn't going to be as roomy inside as you might hope and expect, it looks like a nice enough thing. The MOT is long with no major cause for concern advisory-wise, It's only done 10,000 miles in the last five years, and it's not that Covidy on the price either at £1,180.

Ever mindful of the prevailing economic winds, and not at all concerned with other peoples' welfare, Mrs Shed has told her husband to buy it and change the first '1' on the price to a '2' for a quick profit. Shed is weighing up the potential physical damage that might come his way if he agrees to this and sells it to the wrong farmer, or if he doesn't and Mrs Shed picks up her stage 3 ebony rolling pin. What do you think he should do? Comment below.

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