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How to buy a serious Audi for under €12k - and the 4 models you should look at

Want those four rings on your grille? Here’s how to be smart about it.

THE AUDI BRAND has become one of the more desirable premium brands in recent years.

Known for its sharp design and interior quality, the brand’s more popular models have sold in significant numbers over the years leading to a good selection on the used market.

This week we take a look at buying a serious Audi for €12,000 or less.

1. Audi A8 (2003-2010)

Source: DoneDeal

The A8 is the largest Audi saloon there is, and these days the third-generation (D3) model can be picked up for a fraction of what it would have cost when new.

Despite measuring in at more than five metres in length, this A8 isn’t a heavy beast thanks to the Audi Spaceframe aluminium body, which weighs in at 1,780kg. Its elegant, slightly conservative design hasn’t dated over the years, and it remains a discreet looking car.

There are some petrol versions knocking around, but most are diesel. Models fitted with larger wheels do see ride quality suffer, so it depends if you prefer looks over comfort. Take time to go for a test drive and look out for any warning lights or sluggishness from the diesel engine.

2. Audi A6 (2004-2011)

Source: DoneDeal

If a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class doesn’t appeal, then the Audi A6 might. Prices for the third-gen C6 model are coming down right now as the more recent A6s decrease in value.

Voted World Car of the Year in 2005, comfort and refinement are the main features of this type of A6. This is especially true if you can find a model with the larger capacity engine, though most models sold in Ireland were the more economical 2.0-litre TDI.

The A6 was also available with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, which adds to the car’s stability and is a boon in the winter months when driving conditions can deteriorate. It’s not quite the driver’s car that its BMW equivalent is, but if you like comfort, the A6 could be for you.

3. Audi A3 (2008-2012)

Source: DoneDeal

Available in both three-door and more popular five-door versions (called Sportback), the A3 has mass appeal. There’s even a cabriolet version.

It’s true that it shares some of its underpinnings with the same era Volkswagen Golf, but the Audi feels noticeably more upmarket. The 1.6-litre diesel can make for some economical driving, though the larger 2.0-litre diesel is more suited to those doing longer distances more frequently. If looks matter more, then seek out the sportier S Line versions.

4. Audi Q7 (2006-2015)

Source: DoneDeal

If you consider what the first-generation Audi Q7 cost when new, versus what you can pick one up for these days, it can represent something of a bargain.

This large SUV still looks every bit as impressive on the road today as it did when it first came out. With seven-seat functionality, loads of storage space and a high-up driving position, the Q7 has many of the things that people want from a large SUV.

There is a good choice of these available on the used market so do look around, and if budget permits, try to steer towards to more recent models, which were sold up until 2015.

More: How to buy a savage SUV on a €12k budget – and 4 models to check out>

More: How to buy a car that will run for years – and 3 models to check out first>

About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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