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Is there anyplace (on the web?) where the number of FWD vs Quattro Audis sold in the US can be found? I've been to Audi dealers in Dallas and there were NO FWD cars other than a TT and the previous model A3 on the lot -- AWD appears NOT to be a regional issue. The highest performance Porsches and Lambos (and even some other Italian exotics) are AWD are they not?
I know that I am an Audi-biased and even German car-biased person, but I would really like to know if there are any significant number (%) of FWD Audis of any configuration sold in the US -- something (maybe emotion) tells me the number of FWD A4s, 6s. 8s, etc sold are in the single digits (%). I think it would be difficult for Audi to have achieved -- after decades and the unintended acceleration setback -- Premium status if the cars were in any significant volume FWD. This FWD issue is a problem for Acura.
In the "old days" you needed to at least have ONE V8 in your lineup to be considered Premium; these days volumetric efficiency seems to have become an acceptable alternative to displacement, but there are Premium class identifiers that Acura seemed, for a time, to embrace and recently they seem to eschew.
They may very well be reliable and durable, but they need to be more difficult to be distinguished from their more humble Honda roots. Audis, for years, were often said to be "higher cost Vw's" -- an A4 (called an Audi 4000 on this side of the Atlantic) was somewhat of a hard sell compared to a Passat (called a Quantum) when the Quantum had an Audi 5 cylinder while the Audi had to settle for a four-cylinder. Only when Audi decided to de-VW its cars did it begin to get the respect and pricing power to be in the premium class.
Acura has (until today, hopefully) had way too much Honda in their cars -- placing them at the same place Audi was about 20 years ago.
It's time for Acura to get serious, eschewing FWD in the TLX would be a good start-- Acura needs to piss or get off the pot, in crude terms, to be blunt.
Of course, well, you know . . . . but never uncertain.
Drive It Like You Live.
It is regional, for sure. A local Tampa dealer once told me a few years ago that they sold mostly FWD cars, by units anyway. Considering most high end models are AWD standard, dollar figure may be different. I think even in Florida AWD is creeping up, but probably much slower than in other parts of the country.
2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.
Just looked at local dealer inventory. It is a sample of one, one point of time. The A4 on the lot are 2:1 for AWD, so it seems its market share had already crept up.
Audi thinks Americans are dumb enough to get a FWD A3 with the mediocre 1.8T rather than the very good 2.0T Quattro A3.
Not only is the 1.8T down on HP and torque, but it also guzzles more fossil fuel than the 2.0T. And that is DESPITE the weight and efficiency disadvantage of the bigger engine and Quattro vs. FWD. The 1.8 FWD needs to be retired.
where are you getting this on the 1.8? It isn't the old 1.8T motor, it is the new one that is in the Jetta and Passat now. Which is rated quite a bit higher than the 2.0T in the same model. a little less power true, but not much slower and does run on RUG.
2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)
Mark....The FWD A4s and A6s are price leaders. And, as has been mentioned, it's also a regional thing, too. In the sunny states, it's a rarity of find 4WD/AWD anything. Fact is, any Quattro A4/6 has it's beginnings as a FWD platform, just like SH AWD Acuras have their beginnings on FWD platforms.
I did rent a Jetta earlier this year. There are similarities to Audi...certain switches, handles, styling (especially the center stack and dash), etc. However, this is true for many brands. I don't see GM making different window switches for Cadillac when they can use the ones from Buick, just as one example.
Is a Honda a "humble" basis for an Acura? I dunno....depends on how you look at it. An Accord is certainly a very good starting point for an Acura.
I'm excited about the upcoming TLX. As I normally do, if in a couple of years, I decide to make a trade, the TLX will be tops on my list.
That's based on my experiences with both the S4 and the TL SH AWD. Does that make the S4 a bad car? No, not by a long stretch. It didn't work out all that well for me, and that may mean I have my own biases. But, that shouldn't and hasn't dissuaded you.
We'll wait and see what is unveiled today. I've seen the prototype pics. Acura is pretty good at sticking to pre-release versions of their production models. I like what I've seen. Then again, I liked the previous design, too.
5-sec 0-60, SH AWD, torque vectoring rear, 9 speed trans, Honda reliability, coming in at roughly $10K less than either a 335i or S4 equipped like for like, there's lots to love there.
Do the Manufacturers read our rants and raves?
I shared the story of the S4 that couldn't (or wouldn't) be made right with my lawyer wife. The first thing she said was "doesn't someone from Audi read the comments on Edmunds and Audiworld?" She elaborated that it appears that it would be less expensive to have simply replaced the un-fixable S4 rather than have the story be posted in no small amount of detail on the web.
My own questions have to do somewhat with the dealer -- who was paid at the time of sale and is paid for warranty work. You'd think the dealer, who apparently is not losing any money on this customer would be interested in going the distance to get the customer's issue resolved. If the dealer was bleeding dollar bills, I could almost understand their reluctance to throw more money (mostly represented, I would assume, by time) at the problem.
Audi (and others) must have interns that read our posts, maybe even computer programs that comb the Internet looking for keywords (the Audi spiders?) and bringing stories to the attention of said interns. Unless they don't have such interns or programs, it would seem valuable -- in marketing terms alone -- to have addressed the ailing S4's issues rather than seeing them escalate to the point that the customer gives up in frustration.
I mean it was not like there were "attacks" or rants (without substantiation) posted; no name calling, etc. So for the wholesale cost of a new car the customer good-will would have, I can imagine, offset the ill-will and frustration laid out here for all to see.
The question stands -- do the manufacturers have folks who monitor what we write about their products and when there seems to be a less than positive issue, intervene?
On the subject of separation (by Audi from VW or by Infiniti from Nissan, for instance), it does indeed appear that when the Premium car maximizes its separation from the more humble "parent" they both win. Porsche, still in not very old memory, was building a number of cars that shared way too many VW components -- and those cars were damn near crucified by the motor reviewing press (and customers). Porsche virtually stopped this practice and the market responded positively.
These days there are still parts sharing (between and among car company's cousins), but when the Audi division began to separate itself further and further from VW, Audi's market and machines improved significantly. On the other side of this, Infiniti's G is born with RWD, I know of no Nissan analog, ditto the M -- but the JX was brought to market so quickly Infiniti had to base it on a Nissan product (FWD no less), and despite the JX's success (or lack of), it is probably not one of Infiniti's shining moments in marketing or manufactuing.
BMW has no sub-BMW division or parent which can be said to be a strength, but also may put BMW in a precarious position in the future as we see the global consolidation of car companies gather momentum.
Once there were 88, soon there may only be one-quarter that number [sic].
Mark....you're preaching to the converted. It confounds me to no end the lengths some car manufacturers will go to keep from finding their products at fault. The recent GM ignition switch debacle is just the latest. IF you have a problem, fix it. If you can't fix it, replace it. If neither of those work...."here you go Mr/Ms customer....here's a check. We're sorry for the inconvenience. We hope to see you again under better circumstances".
I think in my case, it was the Regional Rep who really was the "putz". While I had electronic gremlins that could have been alleviated with new "parts" (ones which they made a point of telling me were uber expensive), the really bothersome issue was the Quattro binding. I drove with them. They experienced the issue....admitted as much. Something electro-mechanical was amiss. After all the potential "cheap" fixes were exhausted, they turned to the mantra "just bring it back when it totally leaves you stranded somewhere".
2nd problem was how they drug their feet in making a decision on how to proceed. Yes, I had their loaner cars. But, I wanted MY CAR. Then, the Regional Manager tried to do a dance around the issue, denying any problems whatsoever (regardless of the obvious, clearly demonstrable issues).
As the old adage goes..."you only get one chance to make a good first impression". Audi kind of blew that with me.
The two companies that I've had the utmost positive customer service with has been Acura and BMW. Probably more of a reflection of the individual dealerships than anything else. But, both have gone out of their way to make sure I was happy with my ownership experiences.
After years of not being loyal to any one manufacturer, it's becoming more of a priority for me to deal with the car companies that gives me the best customer service. Of course, to get me in the door to begin with, I have to like their products.
Again, no condemnation of your love of Audis. Your experiences have just been different than mine.
Do the Manufacturers read our rants and raves?
Do the Manufacturers read our rants and raves?
The short answer is no. The long answer is no. They don't care. As long as the sales are going up, they think everything is better than ever.
I've seen many posts from GM customer service on brand specific Edmunds forums and I think also on the midsize cars forum. So, at least one manufacturer does read the forums. So the simple answer is yes some do. I'm sure some do but don't go as far as actually post. Now, why does GM do it and overtly at that? I don't know. One would like to think that they are trying to improve and/or fix product. But it may just be to cut potential lawsuits off at the pass. Obviously, it hasn't worked perfectly......much like their vehicles.
dino....you are so right. I can't remember how many times I'd call the dealer to ask the status of my repairs. After several days....the answers would be something along the lines of...."we haven't received instructions on how to fix your Audi", or...."we're waiting for parts. Might take another week". Or, "we haven't been given the 'go-ahead' to fix your car". How is this possible? The car was a year into the alleged "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. What's to authorize? You fix it.
One of the reasons I won't buy a Cadillac was the way they treated my late Mother. This was several years ago, but my Mother had bought an STS brand new. Granted, her only driving was to the hair dresser, the grocery store, the pharmacy, church on Sunday....LITERALLY A CAR DRIVEN BY A LITTLE OLD LADY.
It may sit for a day or two, but it was driven at least 3-4 times/week. It kept draining the battery. Cadillac dealer kept replacing the battery. A week or two after the new one was installed, it would go dead.
GM started doing the "hokey-pokey" with my Mother...blaming her for not driving it enough. So, she and I swapped cars. I drove her Caddy every day. Same thing happened when I drove it.
After having it towed yet again to the 3rd Caddy dealer to see if they could fix it, they authorized a new battery as the "fix". I asked the service manager if it didn't make more sense to do a diagnostics on the electrical system to see WHY the battery was being drained. He said all GM would reimburse them for was a battery replacement.
GM ended up eating that car after there was such a huge surge in the electrical system that the rear window defroster actually "blew out" the rear window after the surge.
When the buy back was authorized, I took the Caddy to the selling dealer as GM instructed. Dropping off the keys to the GM of the dealership, he said he wished he had never sold the car to my Mother.
Know what? So am I. That attitude has kept me away from the brand ever since.
For the record, it [the Audi S4 issue] was NOT my Audi. As I have stated to distraction, between my personal cars, company paid-for cars and my wife's cars, we've had, er, 31 Audis in our garage since late 1977. They have not all been perfect. Yet, there has never been a problem that Audi has NOT stepped up and fixed (and only one time did an Audi factory rep take a look at one of my cars, and his response was to authorize all new rotors for my braking vibration issues.)
I am NOT suggesting that I know some inside information -- but how do we know the mfgrs aren't paying attention to these posts (and posts made elsewhere)?
I would think the almost 100% vertical "rise in importance" of social media would virtually dictate that the mfgrs monitor the WWW for blogs, rants, raves, posts, tweets and so on.
It just doesn't seem likely we are just chatting with each other and that what we say is not even some small part of the mix of "market research" and data points that so many companies covet and spend governmental sums to acquire.
We, all of us collectively (via "the vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society", C. Wright Mills), can [potentially] "move markets" -- especially and unfortunately somewhat easily in the negative, more so than the positive.
Imagine if "we all" wrote nothing but "hater" tales about the "DeSoto" -- you know, pick one car or car company (we could all pile on GM in light of its recent bad publicity, for example) -- that could be dozens (or perhaps thousands) of taste makers in a short time telling the world that "this [DeSoto] product" sucks, under-performs, costs too much, drinks gas or costs a young fortune to maintain and spends more time in the dealer's garage than the owner's, for instance.
I would think once what we wrote was posted here and subsequently quoted or re-posted on Facebook or any social media outlet of note, the crud would hit the fan. It seems "obvious" (to me) that the mfgrs must be observing what is being said and weighing the requirements to react and/or respond.
I'm probably giving them too much credit -- maybe.
Dropping off the keys to the GM of the dealership, he said he wished he had never sold the car to my Mother.
Dropping off the keys to the GM of the dealership, he said he wished he had never sold the car to my Mother.
How wonderful would the world be if not those pesky customers. As we all know GM's customer duty is to buy, shut up and put up. You and your Mother. Who do you think you are? You have the nerve, mister - actually read terms of your contract and demand work when it's due... If we all did that, GM would be bankrupt... Wait the minute... They actually are, gee I wonder why
@markcincinnati "Do the Manufacturers read our rants and raves?" By the recent action on edmunds- not many people read any of these posts.
I think manufactures are paying closer attention to consumer reports-
@markcincinnati - "but the JX was brought to market so quickly Infiniti had to base it on a Nissan product (FWD no less), and despite the JX's success (or lack of), it is probably not one of Infiniti's shining moments in marketing or manufactuing"
While I agree with you the fwd thing wasn't a great move, it's still an SUV that seats 7 people- who's buying this mini van SUV for sport- and sales numbers while not killing it vs say a highlander or even the mdx its infinitis second best seller for 2013 behind the g. Let's not equate this model to VW rebranding a Chrystler minivan.
Back to ELLPS ... I've got a question.
It's been assumed that, from the start of this thread, that ELLPS refers to models such as the 3-series, C-class, A4, etc.
Now that there is a 2-series (OK, this is a coupe only at the moment, but I figure the 2-series "gran coupe" is just around the corner), the CLA-class and the new A3, what do we call them? Are they the new ELLPS, and the old (larger) ones now need a new name?
2013 Hyundai Elantra GT / 2010 Mazda CX-7 GT / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4
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Good question @michael@edmunds. I would say its always been up to the moderator- acura has had 2 cars here from the beginning and my argument was/is the tsx really Ellps? Obv the word sedan needs to be addressed but I think you need a pricing band- say 30-40k starter (obv that is a huge range but it's something) - and it has to be somewhat sporty - we can all agree the Lexus ES and other fwd rebaged cars should not.
I think both can coexist, as long as the bigger models don't go too far upscale. So A3/A4, TSX/TL, are both close enough. Not sure there are really any others?
A3, CLA, 2-Series and who knows what else will come forth?
This forum, nominally, is the Entry-Level LPS forum. There is, of course, also an LPS forum. These names were fine when there was no CLA, A3, and etc. Now, we have more "creep" by several mfgs -- the new Mercedes C class is a big move up in its "Premium-ness", and even though the A4 (Audi's B class) was born in 2008, it too has upped its luxury content, and one can imagine that the upcoming calendar year 2015 A4 will take a page out of the A3's book and be pushed further upscale.
The new TLX (just coming to market) is, from the pictures at least, a big step up, and the same is the case (mostly) for the other ELLPS cars.
I never understood what justified the Acura TSX's inclusion as an ELLPS but I accepted it as a moderator's choice that just stuck.
A discussion forum here has a pretty wide latitude for discourse when there are multiple ostensibly competing cars to be commented on -- and that is fine with me. I do think, however, that the forums that include multiple cars should include cars that are typically cross shopped.
Example: I might have test driven a Ford Taurus SHO when I was looking to replace my TL SH-AWD; but this event was most likely an anomaly. The Taurus SHO is not an ELLPS by any definition I can think of, nor is it, despite its girth, a candidate for the LPS forum.
Therefore, at this point, the A3 and CLA and whatever else comes out BELOW the current A4, 3 Series, TLX, S60, IS, Q50 and so on should merit their own forum.
The other day, I was at my Audi dealer, looking at a heavily optioned A3 Premium+ (there is one step up from that , it is called Prestige, and one might argue the upcoming S3 might up the ante even furhter). The thing was somewhat MORE expensive than a stripped A4 Premium (quattro) model.
For the time being, perhaps, folks may cross shop the NEW A3 with the OLD A4 -- the replacement A4 however will, presumably, dissipate the overlap, if not always in price, certainly in its ability to be perceived as distinctly "more premium" than even the top o' the heap A3.
In any case, unless we want these forums to devolve into "anything goes", my vote is to put this new crop of sub-ELLPS cars into their own forum, perhaps something like Premium Sporty Compacts, PSC for short, or Sporty Premium Compacts, SPC, pick something, anything, just not ELLPS unless we make a new class in between ELLPS and LPS.
"Move along . . . these aren't the droids we're looking for."
The new TLX: Definitely on my short list.
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