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Audi A4 2005+

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Comments

  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 139
    Buy what grows in value, rent what shrinks in value -- advice that seems in spirit, at least, to be a foundation of all the folks I know, am partnered with or am related to who "have money."

    Whooaaaoo mark, I really enjoyed reading your post. I am a 34years young CFP in NJ, and all my life I owned my cars, the previous one (I still have it for nostalgic reasons) is a 1994 Toyota Celica with 145,258 miles that I bought brand new in 1994 for $18,500 financed for 5 years. I loved to hear from someone with many years of experience.

    When it was time to replace my Celica, I came to a cross road...I love to own things, I hate renting things (I do own a co-op which I rent and I own my house), thus the idea of leasing was really giving me nightmares sweaty palms, until my CPA sat me down. He dedicated almost an hour (and yes he did not even charge me!!) and explained to me why in my case and in most cases leasing is more beneficial (I would have to type a two page post if you want his explanations), long story short, I leased my A4 1.8 6M on January this year and I loved the fact that I only paid $1,350 out of pocket and $388 monthly pmt(interest rate=money factor was equivalent to only 1.5%!!). For my 1994 Celica I gave a $5K down payment and I paid $356 per month. And yes, I am one of those quantitative nuts (hey! I am a CFP after all) and I calculated that my payments would have been $860.08 if I would have financed the car over 39 months (my lease term); thus I made believe that I purchased the car (to satisfied my feeling of owning something) and I am investing $475 per month since January 1st this year in a mutual fund (a Blend Fund, 60 Stock/40Bond). So far counting today deposit, I have $1,974.45, that is a 3.92% rate of return in only 4 months!!. and my standard deviation (for those quantitative nuts again) is very low, which means that I am not taking too much risk on the money that I am putting aside on the fund. Oh, another side note, a "side effect" of my conversation with my CPA was that he told me "you will start to see that other newer cars will start to open your appetite to get a newer model on a more frequent basis"..........yesterday I went to the NYC auto show and I saw the 2006 BMW 330i....yes you guessed it.....in 2008 when my lease expires and if nothing else changes, that will be my next lease. I guess he was right (my CPA), your appetite will make you very hungry for newer cars :D

    R
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    I leased in CT on the first weekend that the B7 was available. I went for 3 years and 36k miles. residual was 58%. Money factor was equivalent to 3.25%, or .00135.
    The bet is that the money factor should come down, economic condiditons being no different, somewhat as the summer marketing season approaches and , in my opinion, the Passat becomes available.
    On the same weekend the money factor on an Allroad was .001 or 2.4% - different car, different product cycle, better rate.
    There are plenty of websites that allow you to run lease pro formas - start googling with "lease calculator".
    Good luck :)
  • joxer1joxer1 Posts: 27
    Well, apparently Audi Canada either doesn't want to lease any cars or there are a lot of suckers here. I didn't get all the hard numbers from my dealer but using one of these calculators with the numbers I did get turned into something like (for 39 months) - 51% residual, 5.5%, $715 before tax (590 USD), for a pretty loaded 2.0T. With numbers like those I just can't see leasing the car. FWIW, a BMW X3 3.0 would work out to $515 for a vehicle that costs the same or a bit more new ($424 US). That might not be so bad, except then you'd have to drive an X3.
  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    Gambit:

    I must say I know how you feel. Initially, I felt the same way, a bit concerned about the grill and the rear of the car. I thought the rear looked like a Catera, the fog lamps appeared lifted from Hyundai and the grill reminded me of the Concorde. I thought....hmmm....this is a clear product of the Global economy. Then...they introduced the "Coretta" formerly two cars, the Corolla merged with my beloved Jetta and I saw Global pandering all over the product.

    However, after time I changed my opinion about the A4. Last Sunday I visited the dealership and saw a number of them up close and personal and I have to say----sans license plate, that the grill looks great and the styling is much more aggressive. I came home and immediately started trying to figure out how I could trade in my 2002 which I am still paying on and get into a new car. This is a clear indication of lust or at the very least, conspicous consumption on my part because I am completely satisfied with my 1.8T Q regardless of the complaints about the engine being underpowered etc.

    Nevertheless, Audi should take my desire as a compliment because I was not for the changes (Mark saw the beauty in the car before most of us did but then Mark is Mark).

    Give the car another look, a first look if you have not seen one up close and are only relying on pictures, and you may change your mind. And that is the rest of the equation: we generally don't take change well but when you consider the evolution of this model of car the most amazing thing is that most of us appreciate each rendition of the A4. I still find myself smiling when I see the first A4s on the roadway as well as the 2005s. The car has stayed true to its styling concept and each of the cars are clearly related.

    I think the A4 design team did a great job. I rescind my prior criticism of the changes.

    I wish I could do the same for the Jetta; however, the "Coretta" has not grabbed me or mellowed me. I think it is a brutish Corolla and has lost its personality and distinctiveness in the process------but it may do very well in Japan.

    Cicero
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    I got the 17" wheels but not the sport suspension. I am not missing it. But if you want the ultimate and have the extra $250, go for it.
    The car is alread pretty low to the ground w/o it and corners very flat. I'm not messin with it.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    Yup, I'll admit that I haven't seen a new A4 in person yet, but I have seen quite a few A6s, and those didn't change my impression. As was stated before, the market will be the final judge, so we'll see.

    Completely agree about the Jetta. It's basically the most expensive Corolla you can buy but with a nicer interior and no Toyota reliability.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    If the issues at present have to do with either depreciation and/or money factor, the impact upon regular financing and an outright purchase are similar. Leasing only suggests -- if the money factor can be as low as possible -- that you are not kidding yourself into thinking there is even a hint of a possibility of building equity.

    My wife's soon to be built X3 is $46K (USD) and for 36 month/15,000 miles with no money down (OK $250.00) the payment is $581. An Audi A4 3.2 @ $44K (USD) same terms was $684. The residual on the BMW was higher and the money factor slightly lower.

    Now, you may not care for a BMW or specifically an X3 and I accept that. But similarly, I priced an A6 vs a BMW 5, a Mercedes and recently an Infiniti M35x.

    The Audi cost less than the BMW when configured as close as option packages etc would allow -- but was over $119 per month more. The Mercedes was MORE expensive but was about the same as a far less expensive Audi, finally a $50,240 M35x needed to be compared with a $51,770 A6 to come mostly content-wise close and the monthly difference was over $150 per month lower for the Infiniti.

    None of this means a hill of beans if you want to simply look at cars based on the monthly payment -- heck they'll pay YOU to take a Jaguar around Cincinnati.

    However, if you will find "equivalent" cars (in YOUR mind, for YOUR purposes) and would actually be OK with them being your daily driver for a few years, then the "cost dependency" DOES rear its ugly head.

    Since many of these cars are NOT from the US and NOT built in the US, there may be money factors at play here. A car from Munich or Ingolstadt, imported here to the US has Euro Dollar issues to address (and one would think equally so)>

    Yet, when a $54K A6 equates to a $57K BMW and the BMW costs less to "acquire" -- something ain't right. Now, in my case, I would not want the BMW, so its lower price is simply an indicator of the lower value the market must place on the Audi or the higher cost of money Audi Financial must want to place on the transaction. In any case, since someone, some human being inside Audi made the decision(s) to market the new Audis thusly, it appears that they have not fully scrutinized what Acura, BMW, Jaguar, Cadillac, Volvo, Infinity, Lexus and "the rest of the usual suspects" are doing.

    The main issue is that Audi used to be different or at least very rare in that it offered very nice German sport/lux cars at slightly lower prices and with a HUGE advantage: quattro. The playing field is no longer thus -- who doesn't offer AWD in at least one car in their line up that is playing in this league. Name a Premium Brand (and Saab doesn't count) that typically plays in "XYZ" magazine comparos -- check out the new Car and Drive, a couple months back look at Motor Trend and so on -- Audi has serious competition.

    Audi, for this moment in time, has serious and viable and affordable (relatively) competitors that can be had NOW and several more that will be here in the next 90 days (think two new BMW's both avail with AWD -- the 3 and 5 series).

    I maintain that this is a marketing or marketing influenced blunder that 25 years of quattro and accolades upon accolades will not, cannot, mitigate. The NA consumer, at least, reads, uses the Internet and can test drive in an auto mall, a half dozen similar market segment cars in an afternoon -- Audi needs to combat the current crop with superior products and competitive prices. I will suggest they have leading products (but not leading alone) -- they are members of the pack, that is, but not THE leader of the pack any longer. Yet they seem to be from the consumer's point of view (the majority of these cars, these premium cars, are leased and or financed with the mfg's financial arm) the most expensive as if they are the "ONE" leader of the pack.

    This position, IHMO, ended with the roll out of the 2005 and 2006 competitors from Europe, Japan and the US.

    Still having said all of this, we would have paid MORE for a $44K A4 than for a $46K X3, but not $103 per month more considering the A4 had no bluetooth and no On*star and most importantly no manual transmission.

    I suspect we would have paid at least $25 or $35 per month more for a less well equipped less expensive Audi -- but alas it was not even possible to make this concession.
  • I am considering a 2.0T Auto with sport package. The dealer had two black cars on the lot but only with the 17" wheels. He strongly recommended the 17" wheels over the sport package indicating the sport package was much too rough. Granted, he didn't have a sport package car on the lot and I'm discounting his comments since he probably wants to sell a car on the lot. However, I'd like to know people's feedback regarding the 17" wheels only versus the sports package. The sports package looks much nicer.. lowered and all. However, I'm curious about how much ride quality in day-to-day driving is compromised. I drove the 17" wheels only car and it handled quite nice. I'm really just concerned about the harshness of the sports suspension.
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    Scan up to post #519.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    WoW TT for an X3,Enjoy it Mark. Perhaps one Day Audi will listen.

    Maybe you can give Trahan an earful Wednesday.

    DL
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Get the sport package -- 17" wheels are ok, fine, in fact. The sport package does NOT make the car difficult to endure from a comfort stand point, quite the contrary when you are no longer simply going in a straight line.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The TT was replaced (or will be when the X3 makes the journey from Germany) with the X3 for my wife; I replaced an allroad 6spd with an Infiniti M35x -- I would have paid slightly more for a new A6 than the Infiniti, but once again no such option was possible.

    What you can only imagine is that since 1977 I have had Audis, my wife has had Audis, my company (the company cars, that is) has had Audis. My wife and I have been the proud as punch driver/owners (leased) of some 27 Audis.

    We found this decision, this time, incredibly difficult -- darn near painful.

    So despite our willingness and even desire to "stay the course" -- well the great hand of Adam Smith snatched us away from Audi after nearly 30 years of loyalty to the brand.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to underscore the point: my wife and I travelled to the factory in German 6 times since 1993 as a kind of pilgrimage to the "holy land" where they build these wonderful cars -- Ingolstadt. We will miss Audi, but we will follow their progress and like Ahhhnold says, "we'll be baaaack!"
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    OH my another suprise. Did you take delivery of the M yet ? I got hosed on my last Infiniti for resale. Then again if you leasing it's a guaranteed residual.

    Since 97 ive wanted to like/own a A4.For some reason theres been a compelling reason to go another direction.Perhaps in the future it will work out.

    DL
  • Mark,

    You seem to be a very active member of this forum. I'm sure the other members appreciate your feedback.

    I don't mean to be difficult in asking very subjective questions however I am trying to negiotate the price of a car that is in port and I've only driven the new A4 with the 17" wheels. Can you compare the 2003 1.8T w/ sports package with the 2005 2.0T w/ sports package? My 2003 is a bit choppy.. not bad mind you but it is a bit choppy. Do you know if the 2005 sports package is a little more refined? Also.. the sales person who only has 17" wheels A4s on his lot said the car is bad in the snow with the sports package (even wi/ all season tires - I couldn't understand that one) and he also said the sports package makes a car "50 times" more likely to suffer a blow-out. Any truth to this?

    I recognize your response is your opinion and everyone can have a different opinion on the subject. However, since I do not have an opportunity to test drive the 2005 2.0T sports package on bumpy roads, etc.. I'm just looking for a little council.

    Thanks for your help!

    PS: I did look at message 519 but it wasn't entirely helpful.
  • mileswmilesw Posts: 29
    Isn't there another dealer near you where you can try out the sport package?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    My initial "best suggestion" for you is to find someway to take a test drive.

    And I punctuate that suggestion with the following:

    Test drive the normal and sport back to back or as soon as possible ON THE SAME route and do it twice. Please do it once with no radio or stereo on, too.

    Also, on at least one of these two test drives per suspension type, get aggressive to see what the dynamics are like.

    Hopefully you route will include freeway, secondary and twisties.

    Hopefully, too, if you take a passneger with you on one test, you will also take a similarly sized person on the other test drive. I would advise driving car during these tests completed by yourself.

    My opinions, my "bum" and yours although similar are certainly not the same. I am a 6' nothing 189 pound 53 year old. I think cars that ride like sofas are bad, indeed, thus far, I have not found any Audi too stiff and I have driven them all except for the RS 6.

    Hope this helps.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I agree that the sport package w/ the 17's on the 05.5 A4 is not bad at all. A little bit stiffer than the regular suspension, but I wouldn't call it overly harsh.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Mark

    Wow, we lost you buddy. I understand why but wow! I am hoping when the 2006 version is available there lease rates will be more competitive; if not may have to finance.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    So I am checking to see if anyone out there is going to be joining the Live Chat on Wednesday April 6th. I cannot make it but would appreciate who ever attends to ask the following questions. If possible, could you post the replies as well.

    1. Will Bluetooth be available on the 2006 B7 version?
    2. Will ipod be available on the 2006 B7 version?
    3. What options will be available on the 2006 B7 version for the S-Line / Ultrasport?
    4. What interior/exterior or option changes are different form the 2005.5 B7 vs. the 2006 B7? Basically, what is the difference form the 2005.5 vs. the 2006 model?

    I know it is a laundry list but if someone is available maybe they are wondering the same things.

    Thanks in advance
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Bluetooth will be available around the 22 week of production, which means it's probably unavailable on the 05.5's. Look for it on the 2006's as an option.

    No clue on IPOD

    Ultrasport and S Line cars will most likely come for 06.

    I doubt you'll see major option changes for 2006. If certain packages aren't selling well, they may chang/combine option prices and packages.

    The car was just redesigned...so what to you expect in 6 months?
  • joxer1joxer1 Posts: 27
    iPod integration is very interesting to me as well - MB seems to have a nice implementation and it would seem that Audi could do the same. I know its picky but I would hate to buy a car a month or two too early and not have it available - I missed out on the memory mirrors on my 3 series by a couple of months, so even though my wife and I don't have to fight over seating position we still struggle with the mirrors - for the last 6 years. Bluetooth is just for phones, right? No big deal for me, and studies seem to indicate that it has NO SAFETY BENEFITS - driver's on hands free phones still drive very much like they are over the limit for alcohol.

    I would like to know what Audi's story is on the comparative pricing between the US and Canada seeing as its all run out of the US. My pricing on a nicely equipped A4 came out $5000 CDN (4K or so US) more to buy the same car in Canada. Are they really cutting the margins fine in the US with the very weak dollar, or gouging us a wee bit? Doesn't much help me that most of my investments are in US stock and the long tumble of the US dollar has eroded years of investing. On top of that, the residuals I've seen are horrendous and the rates for leasing are way higher than the competition. I would love to buy this car but it may well be that the early bird gets the shaft if they're not careful. All very interesting moves in a market where the number of vehicles sold here has dropped year over year by a huge amount - down 46% in March, somewhere in the 30s for February.

    I drove an A4 a couple of days ago in the rain/snow here in Toronto and was impressed by the quality, features, and traction of the 2.0T Quattro, but the steering feel is still no BMW and the lease quote was just nuts - $200 over a X3 3.0 or V70 for instance. I just couldn't see paying $2500 more a year for this car. If I have more respect for the residual than Audi finance does I guess I could buy it outright, but I was hoping for the US dollar to rebound before I cashed anything in.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Rjlareo

    Don't expect any changes at all. Just looking for solid info. as to the availability for Bluetooth and ipod as well as S-Line options. Figure this guy on Wednesday is the best one to ask for accurate info.

    One more question to add to the list would be when could you place an order for the 2006 version?

    Anyone can help would be appreciated!

    Thanks
  • armin1armin1 Posts: 4
    I drove the new A4 3.2 sedan with sports package and did not find it uncomfortable on a choppy road (even though the dealer in the passenger seat told me that he noted the difference to the regular suspension already on the parking lot). Compared to the previous A4, I thought the sports package is definitely more comfortable and not choppy. The reason why I am considering the regular suspension is really just the at least 20 mm (4/5") increased ground clearance with the regular suspension.
  • armin1armin1 Posts: 4
    Does anyone know, whether the ebony colored leather seats feel much hotter after the car was standing in the sun for a while than the platinum ones?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    You can place an order for a 2006 right now, if you are willing to do so without a price guide. You would not be obligated to buy it, however the slight risk of a $500 deposit might be enough to dissuade you.

    I ordered a 2000 Audi TT -- it was delivered 14 months later. My deposit, at that time was $250. I had a "rough" idea as to the cost. When the car came it, I got $1,000 off sticker when there were NO discounts period.

    Ordering generally means you get the best price -- and there are several "if's" that make this so. The main one is the fact that the dealer pays no floorplan costs since the car comes in and goes to the customer immediately.

    Holding cost, carrying cost, floorplanning, inventorying work to the customer's disadvantage. Once again, even though we were willing to buy off the lot, my wife and I ordered two as yet unbuilt cars and got what we believe are very good deals and for EXACTLY, not approximately, the cars we wanted. Oh yea, it takes about 90 days to scratch the new car itch, however.

    I guess the only other way to get a better deal is to wait until all the cars are picked over at year end and buy that lone Audi A6 4.2 that has been on the showroom floor since last September -- 'cause it is NOW $9,000 off -- and it is purple. But if you squint real good at night is sorta looks like navy blue metallic.

    Place the order for your new 2006 now -- trust me, they'll be glad to take the order, it means they are +1 in allocation, too.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    I am so tempted, to -- oh heck, never mind.

    I suspect the black seats are hotter than the grey seats. But I doubt that my bare thighs would know the difference, the seat will feel too hot in either case.

    Buy what is attractive and practical for YOU -- the minor temp differences while measurable, probably, will not be discernable by most human's fleshy parts.

    There's hot, really hot and damn hot -- in the summer they all feel at least really hot!!!

    If you care, I'd go with the grey but that is purely for aesthetic reasons.
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Mark

    Glad to see you are still on the forum after your recent purchases. I have been thinking of placing an order early for the 2006 version but am still waiting for confirmation on a couple items.

    1. Will it have Bluetooth option
    2. Will it have an ipod connection option
    3. What are the different packages or options for the S-Line
    4. What will the leasing prices work out to be

    Finally, I am still comparing this car to the 2006 330i. Everything being equal as far as options on both ( except for awd ), this will be a very difficult decision for me. I could see myself putting in an order in the May time frame once the bmw is in the showrooms and some kind of order guide is available for the A4. Test drive them both to death and decide from there.

    Any advice?

    Thanks
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Rumor has it:

    1. Yes
    2. Not heard anything
    3. If S-Line holds true to the past, S-Line = Ultra Sport, there are no packages or options as far I as know; the only exception might be UHP A/S tires vs UHP Summer tires. All other options probably carry over unless something would conflict with S-Line.
    4. Past performance is no guarantee of future results -- however if things continue as they currently are, the Audi will be the most expensive car period in its class, factoring in Audi Financial's estimation of residual value. Paying cash will not mitigate this, financing will not mitigate this and leasing ONLY serves to demonstrate it.

    Check the lease money factors and the residual at 24, 26 and 39 months. Beyond that you are risking paying too much. Get the residual that AF uses for the months stated. Do NOT put any money down as a cap cost reduction. If you are tempted to do so, please send the money to a charity, a needy relative or friend or if you are set on giving money away, send it to me and I will gladly spend it for you and send you a picture of what I purchased with your money.

    The 2006 BMW will undoubtedly be lauded with much praise by the press and it will probably be a great car. If you must have a BMW please wait for the xi series to be released if you are hoping to compare a BMW to an A4.

    Note that the curse of the current Audi A4 3.2 has all been sweared to be removed by Audi of America -- the manual transmission returneth.

    From day one, the BMW will have the manual transmission.

    The Audi will [non-permissible content removed] for tat have a lower MSRP and will cost more to lease and unless the lease residual is a bogus number, it will cost more to own even though it will probably be thousands less.

    Audi may be "forced" to rethink its leasing programs what with new competitors popping up like weeds -- and virtually everyone of them offering AWD.

    The Audi will, probably [hopefully], have that certain something that will keep it as a top member of the pack. Who knows what Volvo or VW's new AWD Passat for that matter will throw into the fray. Then there is the new Lexus, BMW, probably even a Saab, eventually, will come out that can play in the same sandbox.

    Jaguar may, may mind you, have thrown in the towel with respect to the "X" cars and attempting to make them "wannabe" cars. My totally bogus hunch is that Jaguar will stop trying to play the game on being "cheap." In Cincinnati they'll pay you to lease a new Jag -- they can't give 'em away.

    Cadillac too is not to be discounted as "just an American car."

    Audi has to stop being as good as the best, every one of these suspects is a good car. And, time and again, even the subjective press demonstrates that:

    #1 the bar is moving upward constantly

    #2 the difference between the best and the worst of the legitimate players is a lot like the difference between a gold and a silver medal in the Olympics.

    Audi, in my humbler opinion, used to be either a gold or a silver medallist yet available at a bronze price. Now it prices itself as if it has always been a gold medalist, as if to say "price don't matter to the folks we're marketing to."

    But it does.

    What also matters is if BMW comes out with a 330xi @ 255HP hot on the heels of the Audis 3.2 @ 255HP and the Audi doesn't out accelerate, out corner and out stop the BMW, "it just don't matter!" The Audi, much as I love them, are NOT regarded with the same reverence as the BMW (at least not on this side of the Atlantic).

    Audi must fight by "outdoing" "undercutting" or in some way, fashion, form, or regard "out performing" the other guy in some way or by virtue of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, so to speak.

    As I have said, Audi doesn't consult with me, these are just my observations -- I sit by the railroad tracks and watch the cars go by, watch the locomotives go by and over time I have seen the evolution of the cars and the locomotives. Audi, once a leader is now a member of the pack, another train on the track, sometimes in the lead, but increasingly not.

    Still at the same or for a little more money, I'd take the Audi anydayoftheweek!
  • bmwcccbmwccc Posts: 234
    Mark

    Thanks for the reply. There is some great advice in there, I hope that by the time the 330i comes out, there might be a little leveraging room with either brand when i walk into both dealerships.

    Let me think about sending you that check, maybe I could write it off as a consulting fee.

    Anyway, I hear you about the leasing instructions; I appreciate that considering I have never leased.

    As you often say, times be gettin interesting (or something like that). I have a few more months to research, test drive, rattle the dealerships cages to make my decision. All the cards will be laid out for a true comparison for the cars themselves, the options and the leasing / financing options.

    Thanks again!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    Thanks for doing my job for me :) I just popped in to remind you all that the chat with Marc Trahan is tonight, 6-7pm PT/9-10pm ET
    In case you miss the big banner at the top, here's the link:
    http://www.edmunds.com/townhall/chat/audia4chat040605.html

    Bring your questions - you guys are so knowledgeable that I expect good questions from you!

    kirstie_h
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