1992 Audi 80 E 2.3 5 cylinder
Classy bit of German engineering.
Fuel pump and filter replaced.
Strut bushes and nuts replaced.
Wishbone bushes and ball joint replaced.
Seized front disc pulled off.
Brake hose replaced.
Control arm bushes replaced.
Heater spigot broke, heater by-passed.
Front discs worn beyond limits.
Leaky valve guide seal.
Feels quite different to the earlier 90, even though the engine is the same. Bigger, heavier, better insulated, more refined, better riding, much more practical with the folding rear seats, but not as much fun.
Once the front end was sorted, it steers and handles really well. The steering is nicely weighted, geared, doesn't load up, good feel, useful lock. Pity the wheel doesn't adjust for height (blame the Procon Ten?).
Seats are perfect, the car is unbelievably quiet when cruising, feels solid and safe. Interior is gloomy, but beautifully made and finished.
I thought the 4 speed auto would be a big improvement, but while it is more relaxed at speed, the box itself is not as good, even the selector doesn't have the same precise feel. Upchanges under power are slurred, which is worrying for the future.
Trans aside, nothing else you could get for the money can match the build quality, ageless style, refinement, and spec of the Audi. Nothing fancy, but has rear discs, 15 inch alloys, excellent air con, ABS (works!), and key-off window operation.
Parts prices, from specialists Qualitat in Auckland, NZ, are very reasonable. Even new wishbones are just over $100 each, which, given the difficulty of replacing the bushes, would be a better option.
Easy car for DIY, but really annoyed that Haynes never updated the manual for the facelifted cars. The entire rear end is completely different, and, from 1993 on, so are the engines. Not good enough.
Overall, if it was a 5 speed manual, I'd have nothing to moan about.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th December, 2012