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Tag: AWD

2004 Volkswagen R32

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Despite recently hearing blog owner Dan’s personal hell with a MkIV 20th Anniversary GTI, I can’t shake my love for the first-generation R32. Hot hatches are experiencing an incredible resurgence including some noteworthy American offerings, but we’re obviously partial to Teutonic wee beasties here. The R32 still has one of the best exhaust growls out there, and combines a 6-speed with Haldex 4Motion AWD to make an all-season weapon.

They look great in any of the four colors they came in, but this red example is exceptionally clean after 90k miles and a respray of the front bumper and hood to undo the common rock chips. It’s had two owners who each drove it for 45k miles before passing it on. I remember being excited when these got down around $20k; now that good examples are under $15k, I’m even more tempted.

Click for details: 2004 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

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2009 BMW 328i X-Drive Touring M-Sport 6-Speed

If you asked a random person on the street which was more rare, an E91 wagon with a manual transmission or an Audi R8, I guarantee you that the majority of folks would say the R8. They would of course be wrong because an average of 1,500 wagons came to the U.S. annually with a estimated maximum of 5% being manuals. That lumps this example in with rare gated manuals like Ferrari F430s or Aston Martins. Of course most people look at this car and just see another AWD wagon suited for life in a mountain town. In my opinion, that is a big part of the appeal and though it’s not nearly as powerful as an Audi S4, I think these M-Sport package cars are equally as special. I have yet to get a chance to drive on with a manual but I know how well they handle and as someone who owned a B7 S4 Avant, I have to say the BMW was more enjoyable for spirited driving. Sure, you don’t get the V8 wail like you do with the S4 or an AMG wagon but the venerable 3.0L I-6 can sing a pleasing song with the right upgrades, particularly an M-Sport exhaust and headers.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2009 BMW 328i X-Drive Touring on Craigslist

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2012 Audi TT RS

 

If this was my car and I was the kind of person who went in for vanity plates I’d get COPMGNT because that’s what it is. A regular Audi TT isn’t exactly a head turner and the TT S doesn’t demand attention either. Both are fine looking cars but not nearly as fine as the fully hotted up RS version. Yes, I know the differences are subtle but the wider body, 19″ wheels, mesh grille and killer rear valance give the TT body the aggressive look I think it always should have had. Like many of the reviews say, the TT RS is more R8 than TT and I often debate which I’d rather have. I always end up landing on the R8 because gated manual. 

Speaking on manuals, the TT RS we got here in America only came with 3 pedals. Think about that for a second, a modern sports car in America with no automatic option only 3 years ago. If they were smart enough to do it then, why oh why can’t they be smart enough to offer an S3 with a stick now? Sorry to get off topic, sore subject as I’d go in for an S3 with a stick in a heartbeat, but I digress. Audi got a lot of things right with the TT RS, excellent 6spd manual, howling 2.5L inline-5 pushing out 360hp and 343 lb-ft in a 3,312 package. The car was quick, balanced and apparently had minimal understeer for an Audi. I would absolutely love to drive one of these but as they’re actually rather rare, the likelihood of that happening in the near future is slim to none. If you happen to own one of these cars and live in the greater Los Angeles area, please, let me drive your car?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Audi TT RS on eBAY

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Wagon Week: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive

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I’m not a huge fan of buying new cars – my brain just doesn’t see the logic in accepting instant depreciation as the price for being the very first person to own a car. I clearly lean towards well-used classics anyway, but at the very least a certified pre-owned car seems like the way to go if you want something modern. I have to make an exception here because somewhere along the line of bloating and modernization, BMW decided to make a car that seemed as likely as an albino unicorn not long ago – a turbodiesel, all-wheel drive, M-packaged station wagon. I’m getting used to the newer BMW styling and almost liking it, especially here on a white longroof spiffed up with black M accents and two-tone 20-spoke wheels reminiscent of the E39 M5’s all-time-great rims. Too bad that it doesn’t have a manual, but these 8-speed autos are supposed to be excellent. Overall, it’s pretty epic as far as new cars go, but then again so is its price.

Click for details: 2015 BMW 328d xDrive on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring

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While we certainly all love the idea of the pavement-stomping, Bahn-burner muscle wagons, sometimes that just isn’t practical. Yes, I dream of RS6 Avants, smile at the many E63 Wagons in my area and fanboyishly took tons of iPhone pictures when I saw an M5 Touring (with foreign plates), but those crazy longroofs are as expensive and rare as they are awesome. For the family-man enthusiast, a spruced-up standard model can be a more achievable dream. Today’s E91 fits that bill perfectly, accentuating the sharp, long lines of this generation of 3-series wagons with an M3 front bumper and very low coilovers. The OEM+ look is continued with 19″ Style 95 wheels off a 7-series, while the car also comes with blacked-out 5-series rims as well as the originals. The clean look is continued inside with a gorgeous brown leather interior. It may not be the craziest performer, but it’s a beautiful and useful wagon that will make trips to school, the grocery store, and sports practices a little more special.

Click for details: 2008 BMW 328xi Touring on eBay

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