Arguably the perfect car: '04 S4 Avant

2004 Audi S4 Avant
So far, we’ve kept it low-end when it comes to recommending vehicles. While the $1500 928 might make a great commuter car for you, it’s important you put the rest of the family in something practical and safe. We’re big believers in active safety: giving a skilled driver the necessary tools to stay in control of the car and avoid the accident in the first place. To that end, today’s find gives us three very important safety tools: all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual and a 340hp 4.2L V8. Say it with us: “Really, honey, it’s all about safety“…

4.2l of precision
Gorgeous engine, this one

With room for two adults, 3 munchkins and Buddy the Dog, the S4 Avant (Ingolstadt-speak for wagon) offers 80% of the room of a midsize SUV and 180% of the performance: 0-60 in the low 5s range ain’t too shabby for a vehicle that’ll allow you to blow through those pesky CalTrans chain checkpoints with the windows up.

Like we said, the $23.9k asking price isn’t paper-route money, and we’ll readily admit this uberwagen’s next 55k miles will bring several times the maintenance costs the previous 55k did. On the other hand, that’s still not a crazy amount of money for a crazy amount of fun. For the price of a bottom-end Camcord or Fusibu, you could be rocking heated seats, xenon lights and a moonroof on your way to go shopping for repo-ed cabins in the mountains. After all, the wise man always buys used.
In case you didn't believe us
In case you didn't believe us

2004 Audi S4 Avant on Autotrader


  1. This specific AT.c ad haunts my dreams…
    I want to fly to VT, buy this car, and spend a glorious 3 days getting back to CA… in reality it would take two weeks because something weird would break on the way back that requires the tech to consult Hans the tech in Germany and have a part sent from the motherland…

    1. Luckily, there’s no twin turbos to worry about.
      From what I’ve heard/read the 4.2L is a very well-sorted engine.

  2. I prefer the 2.7s so you can chip the hell out of it. These engines require serious coin to make any significant gain. That said, i’ve thrashed my friend’s V8 S4 sedan and loved it.

    1. I heard a friend mention it’s next to impossible to get the 2.7T to pass CA smog, at least in the B5 S4. Personally, I’d try to find one of the handful of 5-speed V8 Quattros that made it over here.

  3. I just sent the link to my wife. I’m wearing her down slowly. Someday the Mustang will be gone, but the fun won’t stop!

  4. If you wanted a serious car, you could theoretically add on a turbo, BBS wheels and some Eibach springs.

  5. Funny, this is the exact car (only not in Deutsch-douche silver) I’ve been musing about as a replacement for my Saab 9000 Aero. The 4.2 has a really nice voice just a little snarly.

  6. I’ve got a friend who is obsessed with the Audi S4 and RS4s. Personally, I think they were good, but I would rather have something from Bavaria. However, when you add a little extra sompin-sompin behind the C-Pillar, everything changes.

  7. Mr Mad_Science, nice try. Your attempt to sell me on a car by posting it here and commenting on how Mr Buddy the dog and the 3 kiddos fit so comfortably, while playing on my desire to have heated seats is sweet. But no, no this is not the right family car. Though the all wheel drive, heated seats and moon roof are enticing, it fails to meet either of my higher priority requirements; the ability to tow or a diesel engine. I stand by my claim that the perfect mom-mobile is a Jeep Wagoner, preferably pre-smog so you can swap in a diesel for me. (If you really want the heated seats and moon roof, I will let you add them to the WRX wagon…)

    1. Mr Mad_Science, she wants a Wagoneer. And you’ve not obliged her this?! Stop wasting time and get one!
      p.s. she’s a keeper. A Wagoneer?! Awesome.

    2. You know, I think the best part of this blog is gonna be seeing the give & take between Mr. _Science and the_missus.
      Looking forward to it! 🙂

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