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My L reg Audi 80, 2.6 V6 SE Avant (estate). Was one of my favourite cars I have owned and I have owned so many you wouldn't believe...so just take my word for it. It carried all my work gear ( speakers/amps/lights etc etc) and got it there and quickstyle. One of the most stylish and sporty estates ever made it was excellently put together, extremely comfortable and totally reliable. Ride, handling and performance were excellent. Drove like a sports job and great fun too but practical as a van only much better looking.
Mechanically bullet proof the 2.6 V6 engine had oodles of clout but could still behave itself around town. The Audi 80 is cheap and easy to maintain with readily available parts, spares and accessories. I like my cars original as possible and the standard multi-spoke alloys were just the ticket and suited as good if not better than after market jobs.
Sometimes this model is slated for being heavy on fuel but I found it pretty reasonable when driven sensibly and certainly not as bad as some other cars I've owned before or since. Sure we are talking about a 17 year old car here but dont let that put you off. There are still some excellent original and restored examples available and you could certainly do a lot worse than one of these babies.
After owning six cars in the previous five years, the last being a nearly-new Honda Civic, friends and relatives thought I was off my nut to buy such an old car. So what did I get for my £300. Registered in 1984 on a B-plate (but built in 1983), one elderly owner from new, a year's MOT and a full Audi service history for it's 51,000 miles. It came to me via an internet auction, and I was lucky - the seller put it on without a reserve, but I was the only bidder. He worked for the dealership where it had always been serviced and had bought it from the old chap when it had failed it's MOT due to lack of use. Although he was taking a loss on the sale, he considered the auction legally binding. Good man. After a Japanese car with beautifully light controls, it was a bit of a shock to be introduced to German starkness and efficiency. This car was from back in the dark days of the 80's when the prestige German manufacturers would even charge you extra for a radio. Mine had never had one fitted (I soon fixed that). The car had had no options fitted, so was original down to the steel wheels with plastic trims. Most of these cars came optioned up with alloys and a steel sunroof, so it seemed a bit odd at first. The five-cylinder engine (which Audi have now departed from) made a wonderful offbeat throb at idle which would transform to the most glorious wail between 3000-4500rpm. Above that it would get a bit thrashy, to be honest. Producing 136bhp, it always seemed a bit down on that, but I suspect that the heavy weight of the quattro four-wheel drive transmission blunted the performance a bit. I haven't managed to drive a Coupe or 100 with the same engine but front-wheel drive to compare. It would run on unleaded, which was a nice bonus, and did 25mpg in average use, low 30s on a motorway run. It always seemed really well-planted on the road - despite the breezeblock styling (before the aerodynamic 100, remember) it did
n't get blown around in crosswinds. There was plenty of room for four (five at a push) but the interior showed that VW/Audi have come a long way in this field in the last 20 years - hard brown plastic abounded. Now, the handling - in the dry it was very predictable but didn't feel much better than the Civic or other modern cars (probably down to the quite narrow tyres) but in the wet it was awesome. I never really got near its limits - if it understeered you just fed in more power and it would pull the car round. Fantastic. These are really rare cars - the only 80 to be fitted with the 2.1 litre engine, only 10,000 were made of which 1,000 came to the UK. I saw only one other in the six months I had it, and that was at a Club Audi meeting! In terms of running costs, I always tend to "over-service" my cars and so servicing and consumables cost a total of £800. There was quite a lot of work done for this, though - a new cambelt, exhaust centre pipe, exhaust manifold gaskets, brake pads and discs, brake fluid, anti-freeze, oil and filters, differential and gear oil. As to be expected for a car with such low mileage, the condition was excellent. There was a docket in the service invoices that showed it had been resprayed in 1994. However, it needed a few things here and there that I viewed as a sort of "rolling restoration" - a new front spoiler (the old one had been cracked in a parking scrape), a new rear spoiler (the paint had started to come off), a new interior (the only option as the driver's seat was worn and I couldn't source replacement material), a new central locking pump, and a spell at the bodyshop to sort out some rust in the wheelarch and a shallow dent in the back door. I used Audi breakers whereever possible so the total cost of all this was about £200. I used Audi dealerships just twice, to buy a touch-up paint stick, and a new rear light lens. Here's a tip to solve a common f
ault (water in the boot) - it will be leaking rear light seals, so use mastic. After six months I had got the car looking and driving perfectly, so I sold it to an enthusiast from the Audi Owners Club for £800. In that time I'd added 10,000 miles to the clock, and it had let me down just once, when the ignition switch failed (I could start the car by running a wire from the starter motor to the +ve battery terminal). The only time I've made money on a car!
It is now 1 year since I was given my first free car, a C reg Audi 80 1.6 petrol. (see below) and here are my findings. Nothing has gone wrong or left me stranded in a major way. I did run out of petrol a couple of weeks ago, but that was my own fault, I just ignored the fuel gauge! Doh! It does leak a bit in heavy rain, I think the door seals are leaking. I can live with that. It has just passed it's MOT with a clean bill of health. The only parts I have replaced are: Engine oil (3 times), spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, gearbox oil, HT leads, distributor cap and rotor arm, and 4 new tyres. It has always started first time, and can crusie in comfort at 80-90mph. It is a bit noisy because it only has 4 gears, but I just turn the music up louder! My mates think it is cool, and enjoy cruising down to the pub in it. I have done long journeys in it (200 miles) and it is comfortable at motorway speeds for hours on end. The only thing I don't like is the fuel consumption (partly because I use it for short journeys) the m.p.g. is about 25-32. Not good. Still, for a car that has only cost me about £200 in parts in a year is fantastic. If you are looking for a car, which is about £300 ish, I would recommend an Audi 80. The parts are cheap as long as you use "German, Swedish and French". Cruise on for ever........... -------------------- I've just been given my first car for free, a 1986 Audi 80 CL, 1.6 petrol. I had to pay £110 to get it through the MoT, which isn't too bad for saying it had been sitting on someone's drive way for 14 months. It also started 1st time! Even though it is 15 years old, it still has a nice drive, pretty nippy and is simple to service. I am also helping the environment by not sending it to the scrapyard. It has now done 103000 miles, but always starts 1st time, there is hardly any rust on it, just a couple of patches
on the wings but that's all. If you would like a solid reliable 2nd (or 3rd, 4th or 5th) hand car, I recommend an Audi 80, they are still capable (can cruise at illegal speeds on the motorway quite comfortably - allegedly!) and I feel a lot safer in my car than I would in a Daewoo Matix or Fiat Seicento. And, my car has the bonus of not being able to depreciate - being free, it can only gain value! It shouldn't cost me much to run it for a year, and I will have had cheap transport for a year (my girlfriend says she wouldn't be seen dead with me in a Mondeo, but is happy to "cruise" in my Audi). Spare parts are cheap too, an air filter is £2.50, and a cam belt £3.50, if you go to specialist who only deal with Audi/VW.
I had been looking to get a new car for a little while now, problem being that after a Alfa Romeo I wasn't prepared to get anything that wasn't as fast, smooth, and comfortable as what I was now used to. Then I saw the Audi 80. The car itself looks strong, with a wide and yet still aerodynamic body, a sturdy look that makes you feel that it is a safe a solid car to drive. However the outside does look a lot better than the interior, the dash is a bit plain, and the car is a little cramped for the driver, as when in your seat you can not use the side door compartments without first dislocating your wrist. The true pleasure in this car is the drive itself. I have a 2.0E with power steering and ABS, and when you are out and about in it the car sticks to the road and is very responsive. With 119bhp it is not quite as nippy as the Alfa 164 with its thunderous 142bhp, but it still shifts on the motorway. The only downside is that it hasn't got electric windows, so I have to start working those forearm muscles again. All together the car was a bargain and as most of the spares that are not essential are relatively cheap the car is affordable and does not guzzle petrol if driven sensibly. I can honestly say that the Audi 80 is a car to be admired!
Design, design, design. My L Reg Audi 80 Avant has 120,000 miles on the clock. I am no mechanic, but every time I turn the key the diesel engine fires into action. Cold, wet, snow or sunshine it makes no difference. The interior is designed in a timeless manner, with solid buttons, well laid out eqpuipment with no unnecessary gimmicks. The car handles extremely well and will return 500 miles per tank. The upholstery is hard wearing, solid black with none of the recent vomit like patterns of some competitor models. I'm going for a ride now and will update later.