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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • Technically, TorSen IS better for the reasons I so painstakingly ;) detailed.

    The violent agreement is "how much difference, practically speaking, will it make?"

    Some folks here (me included) will split hairs and then split atoms over .1 second or .25 inches of legroom or .2 cubic feet of. . . or 2 foot pounds of torque on Tuesdays in months beginning with the letter "R" -- so you would think the "technical" advantage offered by quattro would amount to MORE than a hill of beans.

    Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit) I can tell you 'til I am blue in the face that the TorSen system should merit your consideration.

    I might as well try to hold my breath until the first Robin Redbreast of Spring comes bob bob bobbin' along.

    But, it's fun trying. . . .

    "Quattro Rules" -- yep, what a great slogan, probably sell a lot more cars now, don't you think? Not hardly.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Well, Mark,

    "Quattro Rules" does sound a lot better than, "ATTESA Dominates", or "SH-AWD Kicks A**"

  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit) I can tell you 'til I am blue in the face that the TorSen system should merit your consideration.

    You may make decisions based on merit, but I think most people make decisions based on what they tell themselves is merit. But most people don't know that, do they? ;-)

    interesting analysis of the Audi and BMW, but what of the other systems? (Volvo?)

    and just how "useful" is that Quattro system if the car is in the shop ten days/year?

  • I never said I made my decisions based on merit, I said we (and I include myself) make decisions based on what we tell ourselves has merit. Quoting your quote of my post:

    "Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit). . . ."

    Rather than write a REALLY long post -- as if -- my analysis was not of Audi and BMW at the exclusion of other systems.

    The analysis or explanation if you will (and even if you won't) was ONLY of the quattro system. I did in fact mention the Volvo system (but I don't think I used any names OTHER than TorSen.) Sure I used the brand name, quattro, X-drive an SH-AWD, I alluded to Infiniti's and made mention of Volvo's which is, as I recall, a system called "Haldex."

    As I have come to understand, in my own muddling way, TorSen systems react prior to wheel slippage while the other systems, generally, react after slippage occurs.

    The real world value proposition remains subjective or at least it is open to an individual's determination of how much "performance or safety and value" the TorSen system imparts.

    I attempted to analyze the TorSen's salient technical attribute -- not its only attribute; and, although I think it is clear I think its difference is both real and could be significant, I also recognize the very real possibility that the differences may be insufficient motivation for LPS AWD purchasers.

    It is true, that out of 28 Audis, ONE, was in the shop for 11 days right after I got it -- that car was my 2003 allroad. The car remained in the shop AT MY REQUEST. There was an issue with On*star. No other mechanical or electrical problem required the car to be there.

    Just to cover myself, virtually no Audi I have had has required more than 3 visits annually to the dealer, inclusive of normal maint and or repair work.

    Since 1995, almost all work done on my Audis has been service interval work.

    Audis have been very reliable from my perspective.

    If your personal experience over many many many Audis belies mine, well that is too bad. And, assuming you too have had at least two dozen Audis, our combined 48 Audis are probably not all that revealing considering that Audi must sell at least 20,000 cars per year (even in the US -- and yes, I know it was 83,000 in 2005, I am trying to make a point about the statistics that we represent -- we two multiple multiple owners of Audis.)

    If calidave has only owned 4 or 5 Audis personally instead of my "presumed" dozens and has ONLY what he reads here to go by, for instance, well I would at least like to represent an owner of Audi products since early 1977 and "testify" that they have been very reliable.

    Of course, most of you long time posters will also recognize that I am NOT able to comment as to the durability of Audis since I cannot recall EVER having kept one past 50,000 miles.

    But, my experiences in the first 50,000 miles have been so overwhelmingly positive that I just can't wait to get my next, newer and better version. If I thought they were troublesome or had issues of any kind in this regard, I certainly would not keep repeating the acquisition of these fine cars.

    I may be crazy, but I am not stupid -- OK, maybe a little bit.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Have you ever driven on roads where there is a solid sheet of glare ice? I have, more times than I care to remember. The traffic moves at 5mph or less. One cannot accelerate without spinning out the tires - regardless of the drivetrain one the car. The only real remedy, and they are illegal in most states, is studs. That helps somewhat. Of course one could put on chains.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Good point. Pure ice is hopeless. I guess it's the tweener situations where the differences start coming into play. Down with the Zamboni comparo. Hmm, do Zambonis slip and slide? IIRC they slip a little when braking. Haven't been to a hockey game in a while.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    About 6 months ago, I brought up the apparent frequency of problems owners were seemingly having with the new M and Infiniti's inability or unwillingness to deal with them as a topic of discussion on the M thread only to be shot down by several posters.

    Since that time I have neither read nor posted there again.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Hpowders: Recheck the M boards. Almost all of the problems reported concern the moonroof (rattles--where there is at lease one TSB) or noise level. A few people have some type of problem with a heat-exchanger or something making a racket as the car is cooling (after parking). Many of the posts on the M problems board are asking for assistance with bluetooth (rather than a problem). Frankly, for a "new" car, I find there to be a rather remarkable LACK of issues. I have had two minor annoyances(one was the moonroof thing) that were promptply fixed. They did not change the way the car drove (which is fantastic, BTW).

    I don't recall anyone complaining about how the car drives except for a few people who state some issues which sound like alignment/tire-inflation problems and some slippage on icy roads.

    There are two or three who seem to have had more issues. One of these has cut-and-pasted the same post on multiple boards (praising the car, d***ing the company--making my first impression one of a competitor's shill). That particular problem seems to be more individual dealer-related.

    If you check the M problems board, you will find most love the car and have one or two minor issues.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    yikes!!! 28! How OLD are you? :-) Seriously, that is a lot of cars.

    I have never personally owned an Audi. My sister had one in the 70s. It was cute, sporty, but a complete dog from a reliability standpoint. Without question the worst auto-buying my family made. I have three friends who owned Audis in the last three years. All three loved their Audis, and all three sold them within two years of purchase because they were getting eaten alive by reliability issues. One of my colleagues has an Audi, and loves it, and has had no troubles with it. And he would definitely dump it if it even hiccupped. (sic)

    I realize this data is certainly not sufficient for decison-making. I have not been confronted with this decision for years, however, as my last two car purchases have been of vehicles in segments that Audi did not play in.

    I wasn't criticizing your non-mention of Volvo/Haldex. Was just wondering what your take on it was.
  • Although I'll grant if we want to blog we must be willing take some critical replies, I did not take your remark as a criticism. I just wanted to make certain you (and anyone who felt likewise) understood my long (ya think?) post was more about (an analysis perhaps?) Torque Sensing (brand name quattro) rather than a one to one comparison between Audi's system vs BMW's. I was attempting to keep the NON TorSen comments general while explaining that most of the systems employed in these LPS cars are meant to do similar things.

    They are meant to direct power from front to rear and rear to front (and in the case of SH AWD a bit from left rear side to right rear side and so forth.)

    TorSen, not exactly quattro (even though since every quattro BUT the TT is TorSen, the TT is Haldex) is "different" in that it is the system these LPS guys could use that can actually said to be effectively "pro-active" rather than "reactive."

    BMW with its longitudinal engine COULD be TorSen if the engineers and managers and accountants wanted to adopt it.

    And, etc etc etc the other guys.

    TorSen is some evidence that "doing it for a long time" may have value to the consumer. Or plainly put, experience counts (at least a little bit.)

    I do not understand the statement that some folks had some reliability problems with their Audis and were being eaten alive. Audis have come with maintenance and warranty since 1988 -- at one time they had a three year test drive program 100% of everything except gas, plates and insurance for 3 years. Today Audis are covered by a 4 year 50K program called the Audi advantage.

    If they had had an Audi for 2 years, recently, the only way they would have NOT been held harmless from issues is if they exceeded 50K miles OR did not CPO the car.

    Further, why would someone dump an Audi if it hiccuped? Or would this person dump ANY LPS brand if it burped?
  • aflcaflc Posts: 8
    "Each automakers individual choice of tire could have a HUGE effect on its performance on ice, that would have nothing to do with the AWD system."
    "... I totally agree with your assertion that dissimilar tires neuter the comparo"

    I agree, leveling the playing field by putting on identical tires would make the test more objective, but I don't know if that would account for a nearly 40% difference in time.

    And, I hope you are not saying that BMW and Lexus are putting significantly lower quality tires on their cars compared to Audi. If that were the case, I guess there should be a HUGE performance disadvantage in everyday driving as well (a 40% disadvantage?). Maybe BMW and Lexus owners should go out and replace their tires for the "superior" Continentals the Audis come with.

    I understand that every test drive or comparo has it's flaws, they are never performed scientifically. But, one can at least get a general idea of a cars performance and come away with a bit more information.

    At least one thing can be said, AWD vs. Rear (or Front) Wheel Drive makes a significant difference [in identical cars (and I am assuming identical tires)]:

    "On the ice, the rear-drive GS was practically uncontrollable, and took 15 seconds to travel 60 feet. The all-wheel-drive GS covered the distance in about half the time..."(actually in about 8.6 seconds)

    I agree that Audi squandered it's advantage it had for so many years with it's AWD. AWD seems to have caught on and may be a real selling point in the years to come.

    " "When you're spending $50,000 or more, all-wheel drive is such a small percentage of the total...It seems silly not to get it."
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    one of my colleagues bought his Audi from his boss after it had been her company car for two years - once it was out of warranty, he hated the cost of ownership

    the guy who would sell if it hiccuped would sell ANYthing if it burped - so I am guessing that his Audi has not burped (though it is that odd purple/grey shade)
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    One reason not to get it in a 530 would be that the sport package with AWD becomes a lot more cosmetic than functional. Meaning, the sport package in a 530i is truly sport tuned suspension whereas the sport package in the 530xi is simply lager tires (I believe) and slightly different sheet metal to improve aerodynamics. The suspension itself is not modified in the 530xi. So I guess it depends on your reasons for buying the car when it comes to AWD being worth it.
  • . . .hmmm, let's see, we live in upper and upper middle class urbania or sububurbia; we have decent incomes and we drive cars that cost from $45 to $65 thousand dollars.

    I'll bet we have serious life insurance policies, even if our houses are paid for. I'll be we have serious "home owner" insurance policies with multi-million dollar liability (umbrella) riders.

    I'll bet we bundle our car and homeowner's insurance together maybe we even do this with our car, house and life policies to squeeze out that little extra % discount.

    Speaking as an insignificant statistic: We made one claim against our auto insurance in the past few years (10?) and that was for a two by four that fell off of a truck and hit my wife's new BMW front bumper (plastic) and it had to be replaced (we have $250 deductible.) We have earthquake insurance (in SW Ohio, who would've thought?) In 1990 just after we moved into our then brand new custom built (by us) house, it was struck by lightening (twice) which fried every electronic doo dad we own, including the toaster. We made a claim on that.

    We keep paying for all this insurance. My guess is we're way way way upside down on the auto insurance equation having paid much more in in premiums than we have made claims. Now at year 16, I would guess we're pretty far upside down on the homeowner's policy including the new home theater, PC's and modem and toasters lost in 1990.

    We keep paying for all this insurance.

    I'd wager, to repeat, we would not even consider NOT continuing our car and house insurance.

    Yet, we buy $50,000 cars with the expecation (apparently) that they should "be used and used and used" without ever breaking (or hardly ever.) We "expect" a warranty, heck some of us even expect free maintenance, free loaner cars, free coffee and donuts, free car washes and a box of cookies annually from the dealer thanking us for buying a car in 2003 (or whenever.)

    I have been in the "argument" before -- probably even here on edmunds -- but, IMHO we should not expect to keep these cars without sufficient financial resources or "extended" programs, for these vehicles even more than most are "breathtakingly expensive" to service, maintain and repair.

    If I decide to keep my 7 month old 2005 A6 to 49,998 miles, I cannot dream of NOT paying the dealer the "quoted" cost of $1,195 (my cost, so he says) to get the car "certified" to 6 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) by the time 49,999.9 miles rolls around on the odometer.

    I would no sooner drive on the public highways without collision, liability, medical and comprehensive insurance than I would keep one without a service and warranty insurance policy. I would not own my house (even after my last mortgage payment) without insurance (all kinds: fire, theft, so-called act of god, liability and earthquake) even though I know I have had virtually no use for such insurance in my 54 years on planet earth.

    Just a thought.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Huh? :confuse:
  • In response to those who are greatly concerned with the reliability or lack thereof of some (many?) of the LPS brands, I am often amazed at how "running naked" (without the blanket of insurance against major repairs and perhaps even maintenance) seems to be an option for so many folks who have possibly never had a claim against their homeowners or auto insurance policies but would never in a million years go without said insurance.

    I am not trying to excuse the European (or American) LPS cars nor suggest somehow that Japanese cars aren't as reliable and durable as so many appear to be convinced.

    Simply I am pointing out my own inability to see THAT much difference between the insurance policies we buy for houses and life and health and even auto accident coverage and "insuring" against catastrophic repair bills that are becoming more and more commonplace due to the complexity of an LPS car.

    Yet, even the folks who live in extremely safe geographies, I would imagine, continue to buy other kinds of insurance despite the apparent lack of "need" for such.

    Automobiles hit potholes have often violent presses of their pedals and turns of their wheels, etc -- and this kind of wear and tear is expected to be taken almost indefinitely without financial consequences.

    We would not go without insurance on anything valuable or expensive, is my point. And the secondary point is to consider extended warranties on $50K cars to not be an unreasonable or perhaps even unexpected expense beyond the first 4 years or 50,000 miles.

    We insure our LPS "lives" why not our LPS cars with respect to wear and tear?

    I am, apparently, making less sense than usual. Sorry. :surprise:
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I respectfully disagree, Mark.

    One of the fundamental axioms of property & casualty insurance is that one should not pay a 3rd party to assume a risk that one can afford to assume on one's own.

    In other words, self-insure whenever possible. Buy insurance only to protect yourself from truly crippling losses.

    A few years ago, an electrical fire caused $150K worth of damage to our next-door neighbor's house in only 15 minutes. The house was uninhabitable for more than 6 months afterwards. (What was particularly unsettling about this was that none of the damage was visible from the street.)

    That, my friend, is a genuinely catastrophic loss - one that would bankrupt most of us in the absence of insurance - & that's why I carry the best available homeowner's coverage from the financially strongest carrier doing business in my area.

    By the same token, I don't consider even a $5K+ transmission job, which should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, to be remotely comparable. Mind you, if this were to happen to me, I'd be cranky as hell that week. But I wouldn't have to postpone retirement or even skip a vacation. I'd moan & groan, grumble & complain but I'd pay it. It wouldn't change my life & it shouldn't change yours.

    To my way of thinking, anyone who owns or is close to owning a car in the $40K+ bracket should have a suitably strong balance sheet. That means little or no non-mortgage debt & plenty of liquidity. A solid balance sheet beats the stuffing out of & eliminates the need for any extended warranty / service contract.

    I must admit that I was immunized against these things at an early age. When I bought my 1st new car - a '74 Honda Civic hatchback - my father insisted that I buy a service contract. He was co-signing the loan, so I reluctantly did as he asked. A couple of years later, on a whim, I pulled the fancy warranty certificate out of the shoebox on my closet shelf & called the phone number for claims, only to get an out-of-service recording. It turned out that the service contract issuer went belly up not long after I bought the contract. For some reason, I wasn't surprised.

    I never again purchased a service contract & have never regretted it. (For the record, the most expensive single repair bill I've ever had to pay was > $1.4K, & that was on an 11-yr-old car.)
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    you are lecturing us about financial issues and you put $1400 into an 11-year old car?


    I do agree with the rest of your post. Just yankin your chain re the repair on the junker.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    A running 11-year-old Honda is worth more than $1400 (even in 1985), while one that doesn't run isn't worth a nickel.
  • What would have been the extra cost per month to lease the A6 4.2 model and were you tempted to do it?
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