What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?
Illustration for article titled Downsized the Tahoe

So now that the race car and trailer are gone, I didn’t need to be daily driving a Chevy Tahoe. Yes, it was nice on long trips up north with the dog and kids, but averaging 16mpg every day was getting old (even with today’s fuel prices).

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I had been thinking a wagon of the German variety would be a good replacement, briefly toying with the idea of an E39 540iT (wait, no... V8...also leaky and valve guide issues), an F30 328iX Touring (so fast), and another E46 Touring that I would stuff the M3 driveline that is sitting in my garage into (fun, but another project I don’t have time for and I would have to daily my M5 in the meantime).

While the F30 (or maybe an E91, but the front end on those doesn’t thrill me) BMW remained an option, I found the A4 Avant to be my main focus, but I was torn between an older one (late-B6 or early B7) and a newer one. “Really new” wasn’t an option, partially due to cost, but mostly because 2012 was the last year of the Avant in the US (2013-up all A4 wagons are Allroads).

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Every day for the last few weeks I’ve been scouring Craigslist to find one. Can’t be black or white, and must have a dark interior (tan does not hold up well to small children). That limited my options severely. This weekend I started checking with local Audi dealerships, but they all had the same story: rare cars that get snapped up as soon as they come in, but they’ll keep an eye our for me.

CarMax? Only one in SoCal and it had a tan interior. Oh wait, haven’t checked Autotrader.

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2012 A4 Avant S-line. Dark grey. Black interior. Miles were a bit high (90K), but the price was good (even with the miles). It was at a Ford dealer so I assumed they just want it off the lot and make a few bucks off it. Showed my wife the car last night and we headed over to the dealer to take a look.

Nice car. Very well maintained at the local Audi dealer. Relatively quick. Bigger boot than my wife’s E46 Touring. Good price (minus a bit more when I haggled and told them I just had the Tahoe detailed two hours ago). Done deal.

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Time to figure out how to get my phone connected...

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