Tempting and Terrible: This 2003 Audi Allroad with a manual transmission

A wagon with a manual gearbox is an automotive unicorn, at least here in the States. We’ve had some offered for sale through the years though and here’s your chance to pick one up for cheap. This is a 2003 Audi Allroad. It has a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged engine that makes nearly 250 horsepower. This one also happens to have a six-speed manual transmission. And it also has an asking price of just $3,200. Why so cheap? Well, it’s showing just shy of 200,000 miles on the odometer…

Here’s the text from the ad:

2003 C5 Audi allroad quattro. Twin-turbo, all-wheel drive, 6-speed manual transmission wagon.

• Front air bags/springs, Timing Belt, tensioners, rollers, Water pump, valve cover gaskets replaced @ 158k
• Spark plugs, coil packs replaced @ 165k
• BORG Warner k03 turbos, radiator, all 3 engine mounts replaced @ 178k
• Rear Driveshaft center support replaced @ 184k
• Rear Brake rotors and pads replaced @ 190k

Installs Included:
• AWE Tuning DTS Bar
• Hotchkis Sport front and rear sway bars
• 034 Motorsport Polyurethane street density transmission mounts
• New OE engine mounts with 034 Motorsport polyurethane snub mount
• New Meyle HD tie rods(inner and outer) both sides
• 20 mm spacers on all 4 wheels
• Sparco shift knob
• Weathertech Window Rain Deflectors
• Alpine UTE-52 Bluetooth/USB Head Unit

Now, a handful of things have been replaced. There are also a few fun upgrades as well. But are you willing to gamble a few thousand bucks for longroof entertainment? This is a rare machine and the asking price is certainly attractive. But any mechanical work won’t be cheap. It’s definitely tempting… but it might also be terrible.

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13 responses to “Tempting and Terrible: This 2003 Audi Allroad with a manual transmission”

  1. danleym Avatar

    I looked pretty hard at getting one of these a few years back. Probably for the better, but I couldnt talk my wife into it. We ended up with a Crosstrek, which is probably a much better family hauler, but it doesn’t haul anywhere near as much ass as one of these.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Did you consider an Outback? That would have to be the closest to an Allroad.

      I checked and the Allroad for the first 4 years had a manual trans available here in Australia, however I doubt they sold many. Found an auto for sale for $1800 with ‘only’ one leaking head gasket…

      1. Smaglik Avatar

        They sold the outback with a manual in the states up until a couple years ago…

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          Oops I’ve updated the second paragraph because that was in reference to the Allroad.

          Looks like the Outback lost the manual here at the same time (2018); I have noticed sometimes they stay on in the US longer, eg the current generation Crosstrek (called XV here) was no longer offered with a manual here but had it there. I don’t believe it is a certification cost thing either but more likely streamlining costs.

      2. danleym Avatar

        Not really. The size wasn’t a concern, and we both preferred the Crosstrek to the Outback.

        1. outback_ute Avatar

          Understood. The Crosstrek is just a little smaller than I’d prefer; an Outback-ed version of the Grovel, sorry Levorg would be better. Also the turbo engine!

  2. roguetoaster Avatar

    I swear I saw two posts within the last month on different car forums where people asked about buying an Allroad of that vintage. In every case it was a resounding no, mostly thanks to the high labor hours involved in now necessary maintenance.

    1. Smaglik Avatar

      For $3200, if you have that much to burn, it could be fun to buy for an in town car and take action on the mileage and number of months until it no longer moves…

      1. danleym Avatar

        Some day, maybe when one of my cars dies, I’m going to have a $5000 rotating car budget. So buy a car for under $5k. Drive it for a few months, then get rid of it and get something different, still under $5k. Short ownership time minimizes value loss and chance of expensive repair, so outside of the initial $5k outlay the only real cost should be tax and tag.

        This is a perfect car for that plan. Drive it for a few months, then ditch it before it explodes. The downside is the chance it may explode in those few months…

  3. neight428 Avatar

    If you have a lift in your garage that is otherwise full of specialty tools and oodles of free time, it looks like an awesome option.

    1. outback_ute Avatar

      Yes the worst ‘cost’ is not getting places on time, perhaps add really good Uber coverage to the criteria.

  4. crank_case Avatar

    I wouldn’t touch that with yours.

  5. offwatch Avatar

    Not sure it’s a ’03. Engine size (2.7 v 3.0L) wheels, and tail lights seems wrong.

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