Thursday, March 27, 2014

10k: Family Turismo: 2002 Audi S6 Avant

Two of the biggest complaints about yesterday's Mazda5 is that it is slow and offers limited behind-the-seat storage in the hatch area.  If you are a mom on the go with 4 kids, chances are one of them will be in a stroller, another playing lacrosse and the rest building giant dioramas.  The gym locker sized space behind the rear seat in the Mazda5 just isn't going to cut not pick up a real wagon with some serious storage room?  But, it won't seat six!  Just wait and see.  Find this 2002 Audi S6 Avant offered for $8900 near Dallas, TX via autotrader.  Tip from Matt J.

The C5 generation Audi S6 was only available in Avant trim for two years (2002-2003) in North America.  It looks so much like a B6 S4 Avant that it would be easy to confuse the two, but the only time the S6 was available in wagon spec (other than the 1995 UrS6) was for those two years...and only as a wagon.

The C5 generation S6 shares a chassis with the A6, RS6 and All-Road, but the S6 used Audi's 4.2 liter V8 good for 340 horsepower and 310 ft-lbs of torque which was also available in the A6 sedan making 300 horsepower.  For a bump of $9k on the $50 MSRP you could go from an A6 4.2 sedan to a S6 Avant with 40 more ponies and stiffer/lower suspension.  Twelve years and 150k miles later and the 4000 lb S6 has depreciated 50-large...yikes!

Behind the 3rd row is plenty of room for football equipment, equestrian supplies, beach toys, gold retrievers, jogging strollers, briefcases full of money (in case you don't have kids)-- in stark contrast to the narrow confines of the Mazda5's rear.  But, no room for my six kids and two adults?  Drum roll please...

Introducing the Multimac, a 4-kid car seat system that sits on top of your 3 rear seats and lets you have as many kids as you want.  No more excuses from the wife about the car being full -- go forth and procreate; prices start at £1499.00 GBP.

 See a better way to haul a family around in style?


  1. While the A6 and Allroad could be had with 5 and 6 speed manual transmissions, the "performance" S6 and RS6 models were only available with the problematic 5 speed Tiptronic, which ruined whatever potential these cars had. It is terrible when it works and shockingly expensive when it breaks, which is often. Fortunately it's not too much of a reach to swap in a 6 speed manual. The process is lengthy but everything is bolt-in and doable by an amateur mechanic with decent experience. You can even get the ECU reprogrammed to stop trying to communicate with a transmission that isn't there any more.

  2. That Multimac looks fantastic. There's a picture on their site of 3 car seats in a Fiat 500. Most car seats are 18-19" wide, multiplied by 3, it is wider than the rear seat of anything less than full size car. This ginormous A6 would be a maybe. There are only one or two companies that sell car seats that are about 17" wide to make it possible to get 3 car seats in the back of a normal size car. The average number of kids is 2.3 which means the average car cannot handle the average family.

    1500# is a bit heavy though, and I don't see that it's approved in the US although it looks quite sturdy. The 3 special narrow seats are only 500# Oh well. One day I hope to see cars designed for kids. It seems more kids ride in the back seats of cars than adults, and it is high time auto makers acknowledged that on more than a cursory level.

    1. Geraldine,
      I concur that the Multimac looks fantastic in everything but price (yikes - I paid less than that for my last daily driver). Diono/Sunshine kids is the only thin car seat I've found and you need 2 of them to go with one regular (or rear facing) seat to fit 3 kids in the back of any modern medium sized sedan. From an automotive industry insider perspective I can tell you the only reason minivans don't come with factory installed car seat (as options - think of how much safer a car seat would be if it was designed by Toyota to fit in their car with positive fitting latches- plus they could charge a bundle and make $$$!) is...liability. Today if a kid gets injured/killed in a crash due to a loose/poor fitting car seat the seat OEM and car OEM can both point the finger at parent/other party. If Toyota makes a car seat to fit in their minivan, the first time a kid dies (and it will happen...there are just too many variables in a car accident) some jury will award some $$billions for the plaintiff and suddenly the $500/vehicle profit that Toyota made in the first place gets wiped out...then class action from the rest of the people. Just too much risk to create a safe OE car...isn't that ironic. My $0.02.

      EIC Vince

    2. One of the major reasons we bought our Volvo XC90 (8 yrs ago) was to take advantage of the three individual seat tracks for the middle row of seats. It also has a built-in booster in that row's middle seat. When our daughter was in a forward facing car seat, we could reach back and grab the seat adjuster and pull her all the way forward (almost into the front seat). It made feeding her or attending to her on long drives 10x easier. That built-in booster has also makes it possible for us to give rides to other (smaller) kids who are still required to ride on a booster, without their parents having to go hunt down their booster from their car that is parked 1/4 mile away. All that praise, yet it can only handle two car seats and a totally squashed kid in the middle booster.


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