Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

When I first came across this listing I thought I had found an E55 AMG Estate at an incredible bargain, but after reading through the details (and a heads up from out trusty editor in chief) I found that this car is in fact an E500 wearing big brother’s name tag. I’ve seen E500 AMG Sports before but not ones doing a full on E55 impression. At first I was annoyed and was going to skip writing it up but then after thinking about the rarity of the Dark Green over Tan color way, the great sound of the AMG exhaust hooked up to any V8 and the low mileage, I decided this car deserves a helping hand in its search for a new home. The seller notes that it had  “very interesting prior ownership” and while that may sound ominous to some, I’m actually quite curious to know what it means. Maybe this was a Mercedes Benz exec’s weekend warrior, maybe the previous owner was a celebrity or maybe the car belonged to Guy Fieri. Hard telling not knowing I suppose, though I highly doubt it was the last option, I don’t think Dark Green is his color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

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Wagon Week: Forbidden Fruit – C6 and C7 Audi S6 Avants

For a few short years, Audi indulged us. In 1995 only, we received the first S6 Avant on U.S. shores; though the C4 Avant would soldier on until 1998, the 220-odd horsepower turbocharged 5 cylinder hooked to a manual transmission would be gone for a few generations and not seen again in the large wagon. Though the next generation C5 platform would grow in size, Audi would answer with a new S6 Avant for these shores. Now with a seemingly impressive 340 horsepower in an all-aluminum V8, it unfortunately only came to the U.S. in automatic form. It was still a very fast car, but one that catered to a slightly different crowd than the original. It was also, for all intents and purposes, a bit of a sales flop; enthusiasts I think correctly found it difficult to pay the premium when you could get the spiritual successor to the “Ur-S6” in the 6-speed manual, twin turbocharged Allroad 2.7T. As a result, when the new C6 platform launched, although there were new forms of the S6 Avant available, they stopped coming here. Indeed, as soon as we hit 2010, Audi stopped bringing the large Avant all together; you can thank the popularity of the Q7 for that. So today we’ll look at two of the forbidden fruit; the last two generations of S6 Avant that didn’t come to the U.S.:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Audi S6 Avant on eBay

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate

Coming from a family with a history of Mercedes-Benz ownership spanning decades, it pains me to admit that few vehicles in the 2015 lineup impress me. Apart from the Geländewagen and AMG GT, the one car which stands out in the lineup is the car we see here: the E63 AMG S-Model Estate. Mercedes is on its third generation of bonkers AMG-tuned wagons, with this latest all-wheel drive beast cranking out 577 horsepower from the twin-turbo V8. That makes this five-door good for a sprint to 60 mph in under four seconds. A bit ridiculous for a family hauler, no? However, if you’re in a real hurry for that quart of milk…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model 4Matic Estate on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant

When Audi launched the A4 Avant with the B5 series, it was a bit of a trump card for the small wagon enthusiast. True, the Volkswagen Passat had been available in 5-door form for a few generations, and it VR6 form it was quite entertaining. However, quality of the pre-B5 chassis Passats wasn’t the best, and all-wheel drive had only been available with the Quantum for a few short years in the late 1980s. Audi had offered its unique large Avant platform in both 5000/200 and S6 form, but they were pretty expensive relative to the small cars the company offered. The A4 Avant continued on for through the B7 chassis we saw yesterday; a serious improvement in looks over the rather plain looking B6. When the B8 launched, initially I thought “There goes Audi again, following the formula of making everything bigger”. The B8 was a LOT bigger than the original A4 had been; in fact, park one next to an original A6, and the B8 A4 is dimensionally it was only slightly smaller. There was one key difference, though. Sure, the A4 had been stretched in every direction – but most importantly, you’d find that the wheel base was now the best part of a foot longer than the early Audi platforms. Visually that shortened the notoriously long overhangs of the Audis and offered more legroom to the occupants. Anyone who has ever been in the back of a B5 A4 would certainly appreciate that. Amazingly, too, the new A4 was lighter, and thanks to revised suspension geometry, new and more advanced computers and a torque-laden 2.0 turbo motor, it felt and drove considerably better than any of the previous generations had, too. It even looked really good in my mind. It was an instant success as previous generations had been, making one wonder even more why it went away:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Avant on eBay

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Wagon Week Preview: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant

Having just sold my 2006 S4 Avant, I thought kicking off wagon week with this 2005.5 long roof S4 would be appropriate, While this example is very similar to the one I had there are some key differences that lead me to believe the seller’s asking price is completely reasonable, despite what the timing chain alarmists will say. This is a two owner car with  under 80k on the clock and the all important 3rd pedal option. My car was a TipTronic model (please, put down your pitchforks) and ultimately that was the reason I didn’t hang onto it longer. I loved the way the car drove, especially with the H&R Sport/Koni Yellow set up I had on it but at the end of the day I just couldn’t live with the automatic. Most S4 Avant owners know this and for that reason you’ll see stick shift examples often priced way higher than what one would consider reasonable. This is not one of those examples, not even close. I got just a few grand less for my automatic with 112k on the clock and a few things that needed attention. Whether that means I got more than I should have or this car is priced very competitively is ultimately up to you to decide but I think it’s the latter.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005.5 Audi S4 Avant on eBay

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Wagon Week: 1980 Volkswagen Passat L Variant

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As we round off another Wagon Week here at GCFSB, we’ll take a look at something a little bit different. The original Volkswagen Passat, otherwise known as the Dasher in the US market, would replace the Type 3 in the lineup, ushering in a new era of larger, front-engined, water-cooled vehicles. Successive generations of the Passat would see the car grow further in size, with four-wheel drive as an option on some models. The fifth generation would go on to be quite a success and help drive Volkswagen’s comeback in the US. This early Passat L Variant for sale in Hamburg, Germany isn’t fast, luxurious or flashy, but in Manila Green, is rather eye catching. Rarely do you see them this nicely preserved.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Passat L Variant on Mobile.de

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Wagon Week: 1990 BMW 325ix Touring

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E30 Tourings are coming across with greater regularity, and we’ve been documenting the increase in immigration. No longer are they subject to endless hoops and finagling involving Canada, a European relative, and several thousand dollars. No, the glory days of the E30 wagon are nigh, and today we have an exciting rarity. The 325ix sedan is a cool car in its own right, but an E30 wagon with all-wheel drive and the flared arches is ice cold. I’ve seen good examples of these in Germany, but this one has made the transatlantic voyage and is in my hometown of Seattle, WA, making it that much more tempting. With few listed issues and low miles, this is a very hot wagon.

Click for details: 1989 BMW 325ix Touring on Craigslist Seattle

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1989 BMW 324TD Touring – REVISIT

As we start to finish up Wagon Week, let’s take a look at a car that’s been arriving on these shores at a solid clip now that many of them have reached 25 years old: the E30 Touring. But this Touring is a bit unique in that it is powered by the 2.4 liter turbo diesel engine. We featured this particular car earlier in the year and now it is back on offer, a perfect curiosity for oil burner BMW fan.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 324td Touring on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site March 9, 2014:

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2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate

Scanning our Facebook page the other day, I came across a rather amusing comment in response to our LS1 powered M coupe: “haul a** much?” Well, that would certainly apply to this five-door specimen, the E63 AMG Estate. What seems an improbable creation to be sold in the US market has now been with us through a few generations, proving this cult car does have some staying power amongst the enthusiasts. And when a company like Cadillac all of a sudden decided to drop a V8 bomb in their CTS wagon, well, you know you are on to something. For sale at a Porsche dealer outside of Washington DC, this one is doing its best to blend in with a shade of burgundy.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on eBay

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Wagon Week: 2003 BMW 325xi Touring

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My neighbors’ clean and utilitarian 325i wagon was recently demolished by a texter in a Prius barely 50 feet from our shared garage. Now they’re on the search for another German wagon, so what a great time for Wagon Week! Theirs was a rear-drive automatic, but today’s takes it to another level with the ability to row your own gears with all-wheel drive traction. It’s not that fancy, but that’s what I like about these E46 wagons as they get a little older. They’re clean and can be had without an overload of technology while still providing a luxury sport experience. With a rare combo and low miles, this is a very enticing wagon.

Click for details: 2003 BMW 325xi Touring on eBay

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