More and more dealers have been popping up around here calling themselves wholesalers and what I think they mean by this is, they run lean operations so that their overhead is low and in fairness, most of them have good pricing.

I’ve had my eye on Audi A3 Sportback as the new family mobile for a while. It’s got a 2.0 turbo engine with a DSG, gets good reliability scores (without even adding the qualifier “for an Audi”) and quite frankly anything would be better than our 4000 lb CVT equipped monstrosity. The A3 is more or less a bigger MkV GTI.

So an A3 popped up at one of these self proclaimed wholesalers. It is an 08 with 111,000 miles and it’s had the timing belt and water pump service. Check. It’s got one fender bender in its past but there’s no signs and the dealer did point it out on the auto check. The asking price is actually in KBB range, which for where I live from a dealer, is under heard of.(Check.) I forgot to check the oil cap for suction(bad PCV) and oil level (symptoms of burn) but I’m more than willing to replace the PCV and do a valve cleaning and add a catch can. None of those are symptoms of looming death.

So the car is pretty good, as good as anything else in my price range. But the dealership, my god. The guy has a parakeet living in his office. He didn’t respond to an email or when I contacted him through his website. It’s got the chain linked fence nicely and tightly wrapped around a small over stuffed lot. When he hands you the keys, you are pretty sure he is having you pull the car out so that you do hit another car.

And so I’m conflicted. The price is right, everything works on the car, it looks pretty good but could use a buff, the service was kept up through 100,000 miles.

Advertisement

All I’ve got left is to get a pre-purchase inspection.

However, I have a fear of jumping into my first modern Euro car that is only furthered by the most stereotypical of used car dealerships. Not that my one experience going through a nicer dealership went all that well but that’s a story for another day.