This Audi Wagon Is the Most Versatile Used Car You’ll Find Under $15,000
In the never-ending search for automotive versatility, hot hatches and SUVs get all the love. But in between, the humble wagon is largely ignored by American buyers. Perhaps that’s why the most versatile used car under $15,000 is a luxurious, turbocharged, all-wheel drive Audi wagon. Because if you lifted this thing three inches, the Audi A4 Avant would be everywhere you look.
What the Audi A4 Avant wagon gets right
It’s hard to find much fault with the 2009-2012 generation Audi A4 Avant. Known as the B8, this is the final generation of Audi A4 wagon available in the U.S. market, and that alone is a big mistake. The A4 Avant gets so many things right, that it’s difficult to discern why so few buyers got on board. But one thing is for sure – the unpopularity of wagons means great things for the used car market.
As the most versatile used car under $15,000, the B8 A4 Avant offers something for everyone. It features Quattro all-wheel drive for those of you in snowy climates. And for you hoons out there, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is the same EA888 that powers the GTI and Golf R. That means plenty of power, right out of the box. Even better, it has near-infinite aftermarket modification support to take it from the base 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to well over 400 ponies if you’re so inclined.
And for anyone seeking a family hauler, the five-door long-roof A4 comes with over 34 inches of rear legroom and 28 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold those rear seats down, and cargo area balloons to over 50 cubes. In short, it’s hard to find anyone who couldn’t appreciate what the A4 Avant has to offer. And unless you need three rows or you want a strictly two-seat sports car, this luxurious Audi wagon is hard to argue with.
Premium luxury in a used car under $15,000
Versatility is one thing, but daily drivability is another. Fortunately, the Audi A4 Avant wagon hits this mark as well. Its luxurious cabin is from one of the best modern Audi eras. Quality materials and premium leather adorn the dash, doors, and seats. And with dual-zone automatic climate control and heated seats as standard, comfort isn’t in question.
The six-speed dual-clutch transmission provides snappy shifts in sport mode, but smooth operation in its normal setting. And with added touches like Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, and built-in navigation, it’s got the tech to keep up with much more modern machinery.
The Audi A4 Avant is a reliable and versatile used car under $15,000
Despite its German roots, and thus, reputation, the A4 Avant is easy to keep on the road. Regular oil changes and on-time transmission fluid service are all this car needs to keep running like a top. If you live in a hot climate, upgrading the intercooler is likely a worthwhile upgrade, as the EA888 has trouble with heat soak. And with direct injection, carbon buildup on the valves can occur every 100,000 miles or so.
Other common problems reported to RepairPal include leaking valve cover gaskets and spark plug failures. Neither of which are pricey to handle, and in the case of the spark plugs, should be on the routine maintenance schedule every 100,000 miles regardless. For the most part, routine maintenance is all the A4 needs to power your year-round adventures.
Enjoy luxury for less than $15,000 in this used luxury car
In all, a used Audi A4 Avant wagon is spacious, comfortable, and fun to drive. That makes it an incredibly versatile used car, and average pricing well below $15,000 makes it a bargain. In short, if you need a one-car solution, this might be the best way to avoid breaking your budget.