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Audi A4 2005.5 vs VW Passat 3.6 2006

ask2ask2 Posts: 7
edited March 10 in Audi
I have been in the market for an entry level sport/luxury sedan for a while now. I initially was interested in the VW Jetta GLI and really liked the ride as well. However, VW has a really convoluted options package that will not allow you to add options like power seats, etc. to this car (for more on this see my post in the Jetta forum (2006+).

Long story short, I have now moved on to the VW Passat 3.6 as it has all the options that I am interested in. While I was shopping around, I happened to run across the last 2005.5 Audi A4 quattro at the Audi dealer. This also happens to be a fully loaded car with all options I need. Also, since it is a 2005.5, I am getting it for about 5K less than MSRP.

Specifics on the two cars in question:
1) VW Passat 3.6 (2006)
Sport Package 1 with Nav
I was offered a price of $33,400 + Ts for this
2) Audi A4 2.0T quattro (2005.5)
Packages: premium, sport, audio, lighting, Nav
I was offered this at $34,500 + Ts

I realize this is an apples-oranges comparison but it is more from the price point of view. I really like how both of them drive. VW has a lot more included options (heated seats, rear vents, tire pressure monitoring system, paddle shifters etc.). The concern is that it is a brand new model and there is not much info on reliability out there yet. The Audi on the other hand has all wheel drive, an upgraded sound system, adaptive head lights (I realize I can get those with the passat with SP2 but that puts me out of my price range), and the free scheduled maintenance.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome...



  • If you don't do it for 280HP do it for the fact that both cars use the same basic parts . Look under the hood most of the parts will have the four rings of Audi and the VW logo . The VR6 has been used for years and years and years !!! Most of the new technology on the passat has been used else where . The FSI (Audi),DSG (Audi), Electromechanical Steering (Porsche) just to name a few . I my opinon buying the A4 is the same as buying a Jetta with different styleing .
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    Wow! I am not completely sure but I think every contention that you made in your post was absolutely wrong. Basic parts? What basic parts? Audi uses Audi and VW uses VW parts. You can't switch between the two. DSG is only offered on the Jetta GLI and FSI only on the Passat 2.0T. The platforms are also NOT the same.

    And one other little nibbling thought. Maybe one should actually drive one of these cars before making whole hearted recommendations. The VW and the Audi drive absolutely nothing like each other. The A4 has much tighter steering and grips better than the bigger, but more solid Passat. Acceleration is also very different as the 2.0T has great torque in the mid range while the VR6 is better off the line and is smoother. The Passat is a midsize sedan with a big comfy back seat, while the A4 is a small car with a tiny back seat but with absolutely gorgeous, sporty interior.
  • The one thing to consider is VW's terrible customer service reputation. I would bet that Audi would have to be better. I have a 2000 Passat and its been a total nightmare.

    Dave in VA
  • jpvwaudijpvwaudi Posts: 139

    Sorry, but you are completely wrong. The DSG is offered on Audi products using the transverse mounted engine (TT, A3) and within a short time will be available across the model range. Additionally the 2.0T FSI is an Audi motor. FSI technology was introduced in the LeMans dominating Audi R8 race car. Furthermore, platform sharing DOES exist between the two companies:

    For example "A" Platform: Jetta, TT, Beetle, A3
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    How I got into this spec discussion is beyond me. My post was not well written but I attempted to say just what you said. I said platforms are not the same - referring to the contention about the A4 and Passat. Second, I incorrectly assumed that everyone knows that FSI is an Audi invention - I should have written that "FSI and DSG are on many Audis and only on a couple of VWs." But you know what? I don't really care about these specs very much as I think the driving the cars is much more interesting and telling. For instance, I drove an A3 with DSG for an hour on windy country roads. I loved it and it seemed a bit quicker than the A4 but the DSG did not seem so radically different than the A4's sport and manual modes. The difference seemed to be the tighter suspension and the size and weight.

    I dashed off my post without seeing that it was not clear because I sniffed out that the previous poster is a VW salesman and found that annoying. Sure enough, he admitted that he is (a VW salesman that is ...). I find it more enjoyable to discuss things with people that have some real interest in actual driving dynamics so I am signing out of this one on the specs.

    Back to the two cars (minus the specs): I would be interested to hear from someone who has driven the VR6. I only drove the Passat 2.0T and as per above found it stable but ponderous and family car-like. It is no longer a sports sedan as its predessor was. I read Edmunds review of the Passat VR6 on the autobahn and they seemed to like it so I am wondering if the suspension is tighter on the Passat VR6 than on the Passat 2.0T.

    I drove the A4 - without sport suspension - and found it a much sharper handling car and with more exciting and usable acceleration than the Passat 2.0T. My guess is that the A4 2.0T and the Passat VR6 will come out the same in price with comparable options but they will still be two very different cars. You can put all the HP and hi tech suspension you want on, say, a RL but it will not handle like a TSX.
  • jpvwaudijpvwaudi Posts: 139
    I am a salesman myself, but enjoy taking the time to learn my craft and product; I tend to take a more consultive position with my clients.

    The driving dynamics are hugely different between the new Passat and A4, more so than the previous generation. The 3.6 VR6 is a fantastic powerplant, but the power overwhelms the front wheels of the new Passat. One of the biggest mistakes I feel that VW made in designing the new Passat was changing the layout of the engine from north-south to east-west. Sure, it gives the car more interior room up front, but it eliminates the four-link front suspension that worked so well to limit tourque-steer in the 98-05 models. To me, the car feels more like a Maxima than it should. They took some of the German out of the Passat. If you're seriously considering the VR6, I would definately wait for the 4Motion. Those cars should be arriving later this month.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    Hey, Knock that evenhanded, informed posting off; I might lose some of my stereotypes about car salespeople.

    Cereally, do you think that VW/Audi is too eagerly trying to meet the U.S. market demand for HP (as personified in the G25 and TL)? German sedans (and less so Saabs) have that remarkable mix of rosd feel, handling and smoothness that the Japanese - for all their incredible car design abilities - cannot duplicate. Or have they even tried? The Japanese motor car marketers have very cleverly tapped into the power hungry American persona and focused their efforts on HP and 0 to 60 to take a big bite of the sport sedan segment. But I yawn after driving a TL (although not a Euro built TSX) and scratch my head after driving a G35. But I feel a connection to the road and the car after driving the poorly thought of C240. I still think that I would prefer my 1976 Mercury Capri (German-built of course) over a TL....
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    have been moved to the more appropriate place to compare pricing info - here's the link: ask2, "Audi A4: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" #523, 15 Nov 2005 12:51 am.

    We'll continue to compare the features and attributes of these two vehicles here.

  • jickjick Posts: 14
    I had a 2004 V6 Passat with tiptronic transmission, it was ok, then I drove the new 2006 3.6! Wow what a car!
    I was in the dealership this past week for a scheduled service and a 2006 Passat 3.6 had just arrived. It came with the Sport Package II: Top of the line seats, fantastic radio with 6 disc CD, 17" rims, and a stiffer suspension. I bought the car, this car is absolutely fantastic.
    I have driven Audis but, can not afford them. Plus the maintenance is quite a bit higher.
    If I were you I would get a 3.6, try a test drive! You will love it. I recommend the Sport Package II, a big difference in the seats.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I am a salesman myself, but enjoy taking the time to learn my craft and product; I tend to take a more consultive position with my clients.

    Assuming you sell VWs, what do most buyers of the Passat say they're cross-shopping it with? This new Passat nearly prices itself out of Accord/Camry territory if you aren't careful with the options. It seems to be more of a competitor pricewise to the Avalon,300,Maxima etc. What do you think?

  • I just purchased (Monday) my new A4, only option was leather seating surfaces, which consequently gives you a sunroof. Sticker was 31.6K, I paid 30K. I would have gone with the quattro, but I had to absorb 5K in negative equity in my trade.

    I drove the Passat 3.6 with the SP and I liked the ride and Handling of the Audi better. The VW package options drove the sticker up to around 36K. Both vehicles are a blast to drive, but I tip my hat to the A4. Actually, on the fun meter, the A3 has them both beat (unless you throw quattro into the mix, then the A4 wins).

    With the included scheduled maintenance, I think the A4 is a much better value for the money than the Passat.
  • jimd4jimd4 Posts: 877
    Well I have a 2003 Audi A6 2.7T which comes off lease at the end of 2006. It is my second one. They are wonderful cars and service is great. All around handling and comfort are superb. They fix any little thing you find. I have been looking at the 2.0T Passat, the A4 Avant 2.0T and the 2006 RAV4 since the sticker of the new A6 Avant is up around $51K and I would like a litte more hauliing space The Passat wagon is not out yet it seems. The Audi includes all service ,oil, brakes etc for 4 yrs and 50K miles. The only reason I am looking at the Passat is it is well equipped and about 5K less than the A4. I can certainly recommend the A4 if you can live with the size which is pretty good. One thing that make the Audi motors great is they have a very low and broad torgue band. Max torgue starts at 1800 rpm or so. The RAV4 V6 for example has to be at 4600 rpm or so for max torgue. So the Audi will accelerate nicely with out shifting down and reving up. This makes it a lot more quiet and enjoyable to drive. The 5 speed auto (6 speed ) now adds to that smoothness. And since it does not need to rev all the time, MPG is very good.
  • I just traded my 2004 Maxima 3.5SE for a 2006 Passat 3.6L. The cars are nothing alike. As for torque steer--my maxima had it real bad, it is not noticeable in my passat.
  • Remember that the Passat is on the market for a year in Germany now, so it's not really "brand-new" and the first flaws should have been resolved...
  • I have a 2003 A4 Quattro that is nearing lease end. We are seriously considering a loaded 3.6 Passat to replace it. One of the major differences between the cars is size. The Passat is a mid size sedan, not a compact sport sedan, the Jetta is the equivalent here. Sit in the back seats and that will be immediately apparent. The quattro has been great, reliable and fun but it is small. Especially with a new baby seat in it! Unfortunately, we now live 2 1/2 hours from the nearest Audi dealership so maintenance is an issue too. The Passat drove awesome! Clearly a german car inside and out.
    But it is a bigger heavier car that while comparably equipped to the A4, will never be able to match the driving feel of the lighter car. Bottom line, different cars that fit different needs.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    The problem I would have with the new Passats is the apparent cost cutting. The consistent high quality interior of past Passats is no longer there. Where there used to be chrome plated metal is now replaced with plastic and the acres of black plastic comes across as bleak.

    I'm heartened to see that the Audi A3 for the most part keeps with Audi's high standards.
  • I had 2004 passat 4 motion for 2 years, and went into the dealer last week trade it to the new 3.6 passat 4motion~.
    yeah it is different, faster, bigger, and younger exterior and interior. For audi, my friend has a 1.8t. what i found out is you pay a little bit more for audi because of the brand position. and also audi usually use newer techs than VW. But after all, no matter which one is better, it is all depends on how much you want to spend:) I choose Passat because i can't afford a audi A6....:)
  • canouracanoura Posts: 9
    i have a 1.8t and next Tuesday my pain will end, i will pick up a 3.6 passat.
  • badsaabbadsaab Posts: 12
    We are cross shopping the 3.6 4 motion against the volvo v70 and xc70. I've had 2 other vw's (Jetta GLX vr6 and Passat 2.8) both were great cars (the Jetta a blast). So I was excited with the prospect of the new Passat. It drove great, but my objections are with some of the details. Cheaper parts and really the deal killer might be the new seats- what is up with the passat seats, the are aweful compared to my othe VW's? Why change them? The golf, jetta and gti still have great seates, but the passat's are flat, narrow, and too cushy in the wrong spots.
  • ddelectddelect Posts: 2
    Hi, I am having a problem trying to find an answer to, I think, a very easy question. I want to buy a AUDI A4 Station Wagon, but I want to be able to tow a JET SKI, the dealer says I can't wire the car to the trailer. My question is why NOT. CAN it be done or do I look for another car. :)
    Thank you very much, waiting for an answer.
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