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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Base prices are good, but options are kinda pricey, that's what gets them up there in price.


    A4 starts at just $26,520, but add Quattro and a few options and you're well into the $30s.


    Watch the options sheet and I think you can get a pretty good value.


  • I'm ready to close a deal on an '05 A4 1.8T Quattro Special Edition (Leather/Sunroof/Power */17" Wheels/Sunroof) with cold weather Pkg for just under 29,800, which includes destination.


    If this same car was purchased earlier in the model year, the MSRP would have been approaching 34k.


    Current ride is an '01 A4 1.8T Quattro. I shopped the Legacy GT - thought it was a fine car, but couldn't get past the fuel economy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's almost 40% more displacement, no way around using more fuel.


  • juice,


    I'm well aware of the difference in displacement, power, etc between the GT & the A4. Just explaining one of the factors that lead to my decision and the fact that the SE's represent a good value (My '05 and '01 purchase prices are within $500). I also own an '03 Baja and am aware of the performance of the N/A 2.5l engine, which is not enough for me personally. When I finally sat down and weighed all costs, along with the intangiables - the A4 was the answer for me (For the 3rd time '98/'01/'05).


    Now if I was in a mode where I was purchasing simply based on performance/price ratio, I would likely purchase a GT.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Great value, actually. That's significantly less money given it's so well equipped.


    You and a lot of folks think Subaru should have an engine inbetween the 165hp and 250hp choices available now.


    That gap is huge!


  • I agree that the base 2.5 needs a bit more...


    But my feeling is that its more than a sheer numbers game, since the 1.8T has but 4HP more, but has a nice flat torque curve from around 1800RPM on up. While it's far from being the quickest around, it's fun to drive and has a sporty "feel" to it.


    The Subaru base 2.5l reminds a bit of the old "Iron Duke" 2.5l I had in my Jeep Comanche pickup. The engine's personality is definately not what I would consider sporty.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru has an AVCS version of that engine in Japan, peak HP is only slightly higher but the torque curve is better.


    I think either a bump in base HP to 175-180 or so, or at least a 210hp intermediate engine option (2.5T from the Forester XT and Baja), would be a good idea.


    Problem is it might sacrifice sales of the more profitable GT.


    Subaru hit a record for sales in 2004, Legacy in particular had a great year.


  • I have to say I really like the performance of my Audi - its '04 1.8T Qautrro with a 6-spd - I have the prem pkg and 17" wheels - while I may lose here and there on the straight ways I make up for it on the curves and also I drive very sprited and get 24.5 MPG and that is driving in Atlanta traffic. I know subbies very well and they just don't have the fit and finish of the Audi.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try the '05 and later Legacy models, they got a lot nicer. I have an '02 and there's no comparison.


    Audis are very nice inside, tho.


  • I'm with you...


    I'm taking delivery of A4 #3 today. I previously owned a '98 and an '01, both were 1.8T quattros with premium & sport packages. The roads in MI suck, so this one is without sport suspension. IMO the handling of the '05 w/o SS is pretty good compared to the '01 and earlier models w/o SS. Just need to do something about the wheel gap though.
  • A few years back, I had a '99 Legacy and my father had a '98 A4 Quattro. I think both were great cars and both have come a long way since. I miss my Legacy since getting rid of it. I did feel that the interior fit and finish was superior on the Audi, but my Legacy was far more reliable. My dad would have spent thousands on repairs were it not for the warranty, and I think he even sent the Audi service dept. a Christmas card one year. I didn't even know who the Subaru service manager was.

    As far as snow performance, I think whoever raised the issue of ground clearance has a very valid point. I felt the Subaru was better in the snow as I found out having to drive down the street in 6" of snow to help dad dig out the Audi. If memory serves, the Audi was lower with performance tires, which improved handling, but sacrificed bad weather performance.

    IMHO, I do not think you can go wrong with either one and realize they are VERY different cars now. I feel that Subaru has improved considerbly and closed the gap with the new generation Legacy. If I had to do it tomorrow, I would take the '05 Legacy GT in a heartbeat and put the 5K-10K saved toward early retirement. Happy driving!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When we get lots of snow my neighbor asks me to buy the milk, and he has one allroad quattro and an XC70.

    Those even have the clearance but I think they're just not willing to risk doing any damage when the weather is nasty.

  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,904
    Your neighbor is a wuss.. tell him I said so.. lol

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Well after all the talk on here I drove a legacy gt limited 5 speed yesterday.

    First thoughts - interior is clean, functional and pretty typical of mid-level Japanese cars. The interior in not on par with a G35/3 series/a4 by any stretch. It's very econobox cheap. Soft materials but the overall design makes blah seem edgy.

    Seats were decent but the cheap leather wasn't warming me over. Steering wheel felt slim and plasticky. Not a very sturdy unit. Auto down on one window and no auto up at all? What the heck (sanitized per Pat's request), this is a 2005?! Shifter felt notchy without the engine running and just the clutch depressed.

    Started the car - whoa the 2.5 is a rough running engine. Neat little swing of the needles when the engine comes to life. Ran through the gears again at a standstill, still vague, notchy, rubbery VW-like manual feel. Pulling out of the spot the steering felt dead. That's okay, it's just parking lot stuff.

    hit the road and accelerate. nice. I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to have instant power (unlike the torque-less world of BMW's inline 6 engines). car pulls pretty strongly through the first few gears. also the bulky outside of the car doesn't appear that bad when moving. interior's feeling cramped though and egad do you sit up high in the car. I could use a lowering of a few inches.

    First corner comes and the car leans. Salesguy says many mods available. Yeah it'd need some serious tuning on the suspension to make the car livable. Once we hit the freeway the car roughly roars up to 80. Only 5 gears? Darn, no wonder gas mileage is bad! It's turning high rpms and I'm only doing 90. engine's pretty noticable too but not in a purring sexy way like my ZHP. This is more nissan clatter - as if a rod or some part of the engine will explode through the hood at any moment.

    Nice pick up though - again, the bad gearing means the car will sprint at highway speeds but it's at the sacrifice of mileage and the constant drone of a malfunctiong lawnmower sounding engine. Salesguy claims 3-4k in mods will get you over 300 whp. Intriguing...

    Off the freeway and banking. Not exactly glued to the road. The typical intrusive, fun-numbing of Subaru's awful AWD system robs corners of their enchanting promise. Car stays planted but doesn't feel like it's being guided by invisible rails (ala bmw, miata, etc). Too much mechanical interference with cornering, imho.

    On surface streets the engine's always on boil and little too unrefined for my tastes. The car wants to run hard but it's more of a nissan-like level of half-way threre luxury. This car isn't a near luxury competitor...too many cost cutting corners from the wind noise to the bad manual to the light doors.

    Good size trunk. Back seat is not comfy - neither is the bimmer's though.

    Overall a fairly fun car but more of a 22k car given the total lack of anything approaching luxury. honda's accord coupe v6 sports a better, more refined, eager engine, infinitely better tranny, and total luxury-like entombment. If not for the FWD, it'd be a lexus-like car. can't see spending 26-28k on this car. I'd always feel like I was driving something slapped together by boy racers who wanted to pretend they were going after the luxury class.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I disagree about the G35's interior, I actually think the Subaru's is nicer. Carlos Ghosn went a little too far in cutting costs.

    A 6 speed is rumored, basically SoA is training techs to service them, so it's almost certain for MY06.

    Accord doesn't come in a sedan with that manual trans. And the sedan's suspension is softer than even the Subie you're complaining about.

    The EJ25 engine is the same in the STi, same semi-closed deck block, forged pistons, different tuning. All the STi stuff bolts on.

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Have you been in the redesigned 2005 G35? sounds like you're talking about the 03-04 G35. Different ducks.

    I made it clear I was talking about the Accord Coupe. Just popped into my head as an example of a luxurious, quick, decent car in the low 20s.
  • hoxhox Posts: 24
    Tell me where you can find a v-6 6 speed Honda Accord coupe for $22k new? It stickers at $26,500 and only about 300 are produced for the states. If there pricing were here, they couldn't keep them on the lots anywhere. They go for 25k plus at dealers if you find them.

    Don't get me wrong great car, not AWD, but certainly tops the RSX or TSX (Acura's).

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    ell me where you can find a v-6 6 speed Honda Accord coupe for $22k new? It stickers at $26,500 and only about 300 are produced for the states.

    When i was shopping for a car in 03, I got offers of 22.5k on two of them from different dealers in san diego. when helping a friend look for a car in 04, we drove a 6 speed accord v6 coupe and also got an offer of 23.5k without haggling. just standing still. shrug, i take that to mean it's no big deal.

    If there pricing were here, they couldn't keep them on the lots anywhere. They go for 25k plus at dealers if you find them.

    honda dealers give their cars away and every honda I've looked at always is priced at or below invoice. usually below. could be the market you're in as san diego honda dealers will bend over backward to move product.

    Actually, I probably would take the TSX over it. Prefer the 4 door to the ugly look of the two door coupe world. I know i'd take a tsx over a 325i.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The last G35 I sampled was at a Lexus event last year, so I'm sure it was a 2004. Glad to hear there were improvements, I should check it out because I like the rest of the package.

    Honda might be afraid that a 6 speed Accord sedan would cannibalize the TSX and maybe even TL.

  • civic4civic4 Posts: 33
    I have also owned an Audi A4 1.8T. I will say it was a nice car to drive, but if you check out the problems with Audis, you would not want to keep the car past the warranty or Audi Advantage period. That is around 4 years or 50K miles. My wife and I drove the '05 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Ltd model ands were impressed with the fit and finish, especially of the interior of the car, the Audi has the exterior beat but we both agreed the interior was very impressive. We were quoted a price of $24,989 for the Ltd with automatic in a silver with black interior, we never buy on first quotes, we have a 2001 Audi A6 4.2 as our other car.

    The Audi had started "nickel and thousanding" us to death toward the end, transmission, turbo, timing belt tensioner, leaking gaskets, gas gauge malfunction etc..., needless to say, my wife gave the stepson the keys to go to McDConalds, well, the antilock was not working and the road was a bit slick from an early morning rain, (Audi wanted $1600 to fix the main brain of the car which was the problem with the antilock), the son was too busy looking inside his McDonald's bag, and what can I say, a telephone pole jumped out in front of him....(he says it was a squirrel that jumped out and he hit the pole to avoid it last minute, but we won't argue that point....just glad the Audi preformed as it did and gave its life up for his!!)

    We would have considered another Audi, but we tend to keep our cars longer than the warranty period, and the Audi just doesn't have the reliability record for mileage milestones. I have noticed Subaru owners do not have as many critical complaints as Audi owners....maybe we will be driving that Legacy Ltd. for our 4.2, no problems yet, and we have a 100K powertrain warranty on that vehicle, and with 43K on the odometer, we may keep her for a bit longer.
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