Mid Week Match-Up: EuroTrash For Dan

This week’s Mid-Week Match-Up is for friend of DT Dan E who tell us that he will be in Europe on an extended vacation/sabbatical for 9 weeks with his small family (wife + kid). In his words: plan is to buy a sweet ride to explore in.  I have a friend we are staying with in Switzerland who will buy the car before we arrive and sell it after we leave.  Great opportunity to drive something fun I can’t or wouldn’t get over here.  I’ve always wanted a high HP manual wagon and the 450hp Audi RS4 Avant is at the top of the list.  But, I’ve been scouring the internet and there are some potential concerns with the Audi 4.2L V8.  Apparently, the timing chain guides and tensioners can wear out above 75k miles and they are cleverly located on the back of the engine so it has to come out for the $$$ repair.  There are also lots of references to need for costly regular cleaning out of carbon deposits in the intake system. Seems like a potentially risky option for reliability and resale value.  Anyone know anything about these engines?  Another option I’m considering is a BMW 335i or 545i wagon.  Lots less HP but could still be fun.  I haven’t had time to research these yet.  What else should we be considering?   At our price (<$20k), cars would likely have about 100k miles on them.    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

One option is this Opel Insignia Sports Tourer 2.8 Turbo OPC…which around here is called a Buick Regal…but over on that side of the pond is much more manual and wagony. 

What do you guys suggest for the family guy who wants something for a European experience?