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Monday 11th December
Car Review

Audi RS6 (2002) review

£90,560 - £107,060
Published: 21 Aug 2019


What should I be paying?

Without stating the obvious, it’s important that a car like this has been looked after properly. That means a service every 12 months, with the cambelt changed every five years, or 40,000 miles. The water pump ought to be changed at the same time.

The gearbox needs its oil and filter changing every 40,000 miles, too. And given the work they’re tasked with, expect brake pads to last 10,000-15,000 miles on the front. There’s some considerable mass to slow down, after all. A set of discs and pads comes in at around £1,000.

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Audi’s ‘Dynamic Ride Control’ system is a mechanical take on adjustable dampers, used to counteract pitching and rolling during cornering. Great when it works, but the system can leak.

Opposite corners of the car (so front left and rear right, and vice versa) work off each other, so you need to replace both, though Sam Townsend of VAGTech says you should also update the other side of each axle. In short, one fails, you replace all four. Which is £2,000 before fitting, at a dealer with specialist equipment.

“I put Bilsteins on mine,” he says, citing them as an alternative, aftermarket fix. “You get better handling and it’s all adjustable, and you get a lifetime warranty.”

“Run it on Shell V-Power, fill it with Castrol Edge, only use genuine parts and make sure you let someone who knows what they are doing work on it,” says Sam. “They also eat tyres!”

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Sam says the tyres you fit really ought to be a premium brand, too. Cheaper alternatives can rub against the suspension.

Any other advice? “Make sure you live near a petrol station!” We can concur. Our few days in the RS6 saw the trip computer read 12mpg, and that included a few stints on the motorway. An 82-litre fuel tank makes it more manageable, but also ensures fills will not be cheap…

The cheapest C5 RS6s sit below £10,000, but will likely have north of 100,000 miles on them. No real issue if they’ve been looked after and appropriately serviced, of course; the build quality here is strong. Pay £11k upwards and you should get a car with a full history and sub-100,000 miles.

Just be aware that the VW Up price does not mean similar running costs. “Maintenance costs have been astronomical on mine, expect thousand-pound bills each year,” says Sam.

If you want an RS6 Plus, these start at around £15,000, with the best touching £20,000. As we went to press, there were a few C5 RS6s priced higher than this, but these really need to be fine examples, as £25,000 and up takes you into second-gen, V10-powered RS6 territory.

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