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Audi A4 vs Acura TL vs Volvo S60 vs VW Passat

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Comments

  • tcatnattcatnat Posts: 3
    rjlaero,

    I found that Audi A4 statement comical. No car in this class is junk. As I mentioned earlier I chose the A4 because it had a sportier feel that the TL or S60. The TL snd S60 are obviously larger cars with more rate HP but the Audi just seemed more complete to me. You cannot go worng with any of these and it will come down to persoanl preference. Also, Audi still offers scheduled maintenance and free oil changes, a nice perk. Acura and Volvo have discontinued these programs.

    I'm picking the A4 up tomorrow and will provide some initial impression details after the weekend.
  • taxesquiretaxesquire Posts: 681
    I can speak a bit about Audi and agree that it's a quality vehicle. I drove a Passat GLX for 4 years. Passat is to Audi as Toyota is to Lexis. At least in 2001 (and 1/2!!!), what they did was take the v6 available in the A4 (which is less powerful than the A6 engine) and put it in a Passat which is more similar in size to the A6. From sitting in friends' Audi's, I can attest that my Passat's interior was very similar in terms of workmanship.

    That 6 cyl engine is a great engine. The 5MT had plenty of torque throughout the RPM band - it was quiet, powerful and forgiving. The seats and interior materials were comfortable, well-designed and well-put together. And since my Passat handled very well, I am sure the smaller, more sporty A4 would, too. I would suggest anyone looking at an AWD BMW 3-series also check out Audi. I don't believe Audi has a RWD platform (am I right?); otherwise, I'd recommend it to all who are considering a 3-series.

    QUESTION TO AUDI A4 OWNERS: in my 4 yrs of Passat-driving, I only came up with 2 complaints, both w/r/t the steering wheel controls. On your wheels, are the radio controls on the right? Also, do the tuning buttons act as a general scan feature or scroll your presets? Mine were on the right side and scanned the dial rather than just presets. My only complaints in 4 years.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    With today's cars being so low-maintenance, I feel that free maintenance is a bit of a sales gimmick and should be a non-factor in one's buying decision. Usually maintenance for the 1st three years amounts to no more than a few oil changes and a couple of tire rotations.
  • Early report on my '05 Passat TDI: Driving mostly highway, got 39 mpg on the first tank (that's 2-3 mpg lower than the on-dash indicator would suggest). Cooler day yesterday, got readouts of 45 - 47 mpg on my commute, which should translate into an actual of 42 - 45. Sweet!

    Complaints?

    Occasional buzz/rattle from the rear (door? seat? can't tell) and bucking at 42 mph when the auto trans seems to be deciding between 4th and 5th gear.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    "Occasional buzz/rattle from the rear (door? seat? can't tell"

    Have had this in both of my VW's. It most likely is the rear door lock. It tends to buzz or rattle. It sounds like plastic against plastic.
  • "Occasional buzz/rattle from the rear (door? seat? can't tell)"

    Have had this in both of my VW's. It most likely is the rear door lock. It tends to buzz or rattle. It sounds like plastic against plastic.


    Any solution? Keep locked, unlocked? Duct tape? ;)
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I had the dealer try to fix it on my previous '02 Jetta. They didn't fix it. What they did do was cause the lock not to be flush with the door as it was when new. It was really no big deal, but just the usual experience with VW service. It seems as though everytime I bring my car to VW to fix something, my car comes back with something broken. I had a rattle in my dash in my current '04.5 Passat. During the second visit to fix the problem they cracked a plastic piece in the footwell on the drivers side (along with not replacing screws). I didn't find this for many many months after the service visit. I did not want them to touch my car again so I just glued the piece with some Gorilla Glue and went on my way. NO ONE would ever notice this so....alls good. I could literally go on and on with dealer problems..

    Back to your question......their was no fix for the lock rattle. I did notice that the noise disappeared when the lock was in the open (up) position. But, since we have automatic door locks that lock the doors when you reach a certain speed (17mph I think), I had them reprogram the locks not to lock automatically. This did work. BTW: This was done on my Jetta. My Passat is not too bad so i just don't bother with getting it looked at.

    This problem
  • dpavdpav Posts: 19
    Did your sales rep share what the expected residual of the 06 TL will be ?
  • Can we stop with Volvo is a Ford already? Lots of cars have shared components, some of Volvo's engines were co-designed by Porsche, they use Japanese transmission, they use all sorts of components from various sources but the cars aren't Fords at all. In fact, Audi is a lot closer to Volkswagen than Volvo is to Ford. At this point, only the s40 is shared with any other platform, and the s40 is a joint platform although it is based on the German Focus II platform. Volvo has a distinct feel, European for sure, but not German, not French, but Swedish. The seats, design, suspension tuning, and body structure have a unique feel to them. Also, the latest Ford, the 500, was styled by VW's stylist, the same guy who did the Audi 6 and Passat. And it shows.

    Audi is not always more expensive than VW or Volvo or anything Japanese? What are you talking about? There are plenty of Japanese cars more expensive than A4s and A6s (Acura RL is very close in price to the A6 for instance). There are plenty of VW's more expensive than A3's or A4s, think Toureg and Phaeton, and the Passat and A4s overlap at certain price points.

    I agree calling the A4 junk is ridiculous, calling any of these cars junk is ridiculous. They all are resonably well engineered and built cars. Overall I may find Audi best, followed by Volvo, but you can make an argument for Acura as well. Passat is in a different market segment, but I think it is tops of the family sedans and like it over Accord, Camry, Altima, and others.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I agree, Volvos are fine cars and highly rated by almost everyone. Additionally, they are in the same category as Lexus, Audi, Acura etc. They are certainly a cut or two above a Ford 500.
  • I believe that Edmunds Forum has a remarkable amount of people who don't even bother to test drive cars that they are critiquing. Statements such as Audi =
    Passat or Ford = Volvo, are patently ridiculous. I drove a Passat 2.0 and an A4 2.0 today. These cars are nothing alike. The Passat interior is pleasant but it has a broad dash and somewhat bland design of a family car. It is though a very nice family car and the engine is smooth and responsive. The transmission is also very smooth. The brakes seemed poor. The Audi interior is far superior in that the dash design, plastics, leather, and seat design are all much more high quality than the VW. The Audi interior has that spartan lux and sporty look/feel that Audi has had at least since the Audi 100 that I drove 23 years ago. But the real difference is in the acceleration and shifting. The CVT is flawless and the A4 is much quicker than the Passat at most speeds and appears to have much more low end torque. I have a Saab turbo and until this A4, I have not seen anything beat the Saab 2.0 turbo. The A4 was louder than the Passat, which bothered me.

    I also drove an S40, a great little car with excellent acceleration very close to the new A4 turbo. But the ride is poor and its roof line makes vision diffiicult for me (6-3). I have driven the TSX and the TL. I love the TSX as it is crisp, quick and handles lightly. You do have to rev it (like most VTEC engines). The TL is simply too luxury oriented for me. I really don't think of it as a sporty car. It is fast but does not feel nimble at all. It feels similar to the S60 I have ridden in but not driven.
  • Ooops, sorry. The even bigger difference between the A4 2.0 and the Passat 2.0 was the handling. The Audi (without sport suspension) was crisp, tight and fun. The Passat was pleasant, balanced and performed well but a bit ponderous. Something like the TL.

    BTW, the Audi gets 24/32 and the Passat gets 22/31. Is that difference just from weight?
  • Few randome responses on this topic:

    Volvos are fun cars. If I was in the market for a compact car, it would've easily been the S40 T5. I'm in the mid-sized market, and if the S60 came with a 6 MT, I would've considered it.

    I'm one of those who've said the Passat interior is similar to Audi, and I base that on personal experience, and stand by that comment with one qualification: I base my view on personal experience with a 2001.5 Passat and a 2002 Audi A6. The seats are the same - stitching, stuffing, etc. The gauges and center-stack controls are the same. I could believe that the A4 is firmer riding than the Passat, but do not believe the A6 is firmer. Audi is clearly sportier, but the Passat interior is very well-done and Audi-like.

    You said "The even bigger difference between the A4 2.0 and the Passat 2.0 was the handling"

    Of course the A4 handles better! The Jetta with a sport package probably handles better, too, since the Passat is bigger. The Passat handles more like the A6 b/c it's mroe similar in size to the A6. At least back in '01.5, what Passat did was take a car body similar to the A6, and put in an A4 engine (either the smaller one or the v6 one which was smaller than the v6 in the A6). Because of the larger size, the Passat is less sporty than the A4. Because of the smaller engine, the Passat is less sporty than the A6. Still kicks the crap out of the competition!!!!

    In my mind, it's unfare to compare the A4 and BMW3 series with "competitors" such as the G35, TL and the cars mentioned in this forum. Don't get me wrong, I'm the 1st person to say that you have to compare what you might buy. If it's an apples to oranges comparison, then you need to decide whether you want an apple or an orange. Anyway, all I'm saying is I understand the comparisions b/c of price, but I think that if you're talking about handling and sportiness (and not $$$) the TL, G35, S60, etc should be compared to the A6 and 5-series. Of course, the 5-series might handle better than the G35 and TL, but that's still what the comparison should be.

    Regarding a prior comment that the Passsat handles like a TL, I could agree. I think the TL is a stiffer ride (I have the 6MT w/ summer tires), but I also think I'm at my comfort-limit with the TL. I thought the Passat handled well, as did the S40 (though that is based on a short test-drive in which my main realization was that a compact car was too small for me).
  • I agree on most of what you said. I much prefer the pre 2006 Passat interiors to the current version of the Passat. Regarding handling, the new Passat, while feeling more balanced and solid, is not quite as sporty as the last version. And since the A4 is even more sporty this year (the 1.8 version did not thrill me), there is now a big difference. Hop in a new Passat and you might agree. I compared the Passat to the TL, but I agree with you that the TL is stiffer and sportier. I also think the TL, and the S60 are fantastic deals. As you say, they are comparable, though not quite as sporty, as the 5 series but cost about $15 K less. I think all four cars are super cars and good good deals in their respective niches: small sport sedan (A4), sporty near luxury sedan (TL, S60), sporty family car (Passat).

    Comparos should be:
    A4, 3 series, S40 T5, Mazaspeed 6, IS, C230, TSX, 9-3
    5 series, E series, A6, M45, S60, TL, 9-5, GS300,
    Passat, Mazda 6, Altima SER, Maxima,

    I have no clue what to do with the G35 as that round shift plate is too ugly for anything.
  • I'm enjoying this stream, Ed. You make good points. I'll only counter on your 2nd comp.: 5 series, E series, A6, M45, S60, TL, 9-5, GS300

    I think it should be broken up as follows:

    530 & below (525?); TL; G35; S60; 9-5
    530 & above (545?); A6; M; GS300; RL; S60T5(?)

    I'm not knowledgable with Saab or Mercedes
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I believe the Mercedes C class would belong in the 530 & below (525?); TL; G35; S60; 9-5 comparo
  • Well I been car shopping for almost 2 long months now, test driving everything I come across and wasn't getting that "I gotta get this car" feeling but I was saving the Acura TL, Volvo S40 awd, 06 Audi A4 quattro, and the Lexus IS250 awd for last cause I kind of figured I wouldnt get that feeling until getting to the main part of my test drive list. I'm currently in Alaska so the rwd 350 was out but when I get stationed back in the lower 48 that is what I want. So anyway test drove the Volvo still nothing. Drove the Acura which was my favorite all around before driving it for the way its packaged but didnt care for it after driving it, it just seemed "heavy" dont ask me what that means. So just yesterday I went to Audi and test drove a 06 2.0 A4 and absolutely loved it it was actually the longest test drive I had ever been on. It was so much fun to drive, loved the way it looks, and feels just so solid and So needless to say all that plus the audi 2 yr leasing special going on right now I opted to not wait for the Lexus 250 and jump on the Audi. I only had to wait 1 more month to drive the Lexus but they wouldnt be able to beat the leasing offer anyway so its Audi for me at least for the next 2 yrs.. Thank you for everyones discussions and opinions on all the vehicles it really helped me narrow thing s down and zone in on which had over all everything I wanted.
    in case you want to know
    06 A4 2.0 quattro
    auto, premium, technology 2, sunroof pkg,cold weather, ocean blue pearl/plat leath
    1080- due at lease inception
    435- a month
    Guess I'll see you all in about 23 months when its time for another vehicle
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Great post! Now that's how to pick a car, whatever knocks you out. :D
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    In the October 2005 issue of Car and Driver Magazine, they did a comparo of $35K sports sedans, which included some of the cars in this forum. Their results:

    1. BMW 330i
    2. Lexus IS350
    3. Infiniti G35
    4. Acura TL
    5. Audi A4 3.2 Quattro
    6. Cadillac CTS
    7. Volvo S60R AWD
    8. Saab 9-3 Aero
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    That was an interesting article.....They weren't too fond of the A4. They said the A4 was not a big step up from the previous A4 and the other makes improved substantially..........
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