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Mid-size High Performance 5 Door Hatchback Recommendations Wanted



  • costs a little more than the 30k listed

    The MSRP for the A3 goes anywhere from about $25K to $34K+, depending on which engine and what options you want. Many buyers pay between $1000 and $1500 below MSRP. So, look around before assuming it's too expensive for you. You don't need to spend more than $28K-$29K for an almost loaded version with the 2.0TFSI engine (my preference), DSG, and leather (Sport package, Convenience Package, and Cold Weather Package).
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    Take a look at the new Toyota Rav 4, with the new super powerful and efficient 3.5L V6 you'll lay waste to an X3 by about a second 0-60 MPH and still get significantly better gas mileage. Toyota is on fire with their new models I think.
  • ccd1ccd1 Posts: 140
    There are a numer of cars available or soon to hit the market which are all more or less going head to head with each other.
    The RAV4 is one, so is the Mazda CX-7, Ford Edge, Nissan Murano/Infinity FX, Volvo V50 and the A3 3.2.

    These cars have a few things in common, AWD, more space/utility than a sedan and a sporty component. Which one you choose depends on what you value/need the most. I'd submit the A3 is by far the sportiest and probably has the least space/utility. The others are more balanced between these factors.
  • nylajnylaj Posts: 24
    This thread hit the nail on the head for me. I'm still driving my '91 Integra because nothing else seems to "fit": sporty, fun to drive, utility without being an SUV. I had all but given up on a Hatchback and was leaning toward the SUV. What is wrong with us in the US??? I think the hatchback is a beautiful thing! Anyway, I'm off to check out the Volvo V50. I'm afraid they may be to expensive for me though. :-( Any thoughts about price points?
  • nylajnylaj Posts: 24
    Never mind too expensive, too many issues just in Forums within. . .Not for me. Moving on again. I wish Acura/Honda would do something about this. The car described above would definitely be SWEET!
  • ccd1ccd1 Posts: 140
    Couple of things about the V50. You might be surprised at the discounts, the dealer in my area is being very aggressive (as in $3-4k for the V50T AWD). This may have to do with a poor reliability rating with Consumer Reports.

    The wagon is well designed and fast. If you can get comfortable that the wagon will be reliable, it is a nice package. It is not a sports car. If you want to know the difference, jump into the A3, particularly the 3.2, and the differences will be obvious.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    Yes, the V50 was offered to me on a Lease deal for a sale price of $27,500 from an MSRP of 32,500 or so (V50 T5 with 5 speed automatic and premium package). With money factor and residual value offered, and 3,500 down, best deal came out to $350/mo + tax with 12K miles/year. Add $10/month for each 1K per year added in mileage.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    The v50 has a very bad reliability record. You might want to be sure your dealer has a top notch service department.

    Pity...the V50 seemed a viable alternative to Audi, etc., until I discovered that bad record.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    The V50 and the Saab 93 SportCombi both got big black marks in terms of reliability from Consumer Reports. Therefore, I have Xed out those two viable alternatives to the overpriced Audi A3.

    It looks like its between the A3, and the Rav 4 for me!
    Neither Audi nor Toyota want to deal much on the V6 Rav 4 or the A3. Worse, the V6 RAV 4 is rarer than gold or platinum, and people are prebuying the few available.

    Audi wants me to pay about $500 in fees, and $500 over cost over invoice. Which basically to me means, $1,000 over invoice because I believe Edmunds over dealers. Come on, Advertising, association, prep, port dock fees???? Why don't they charge for paper, electricity, and stamps while there at it.
  • carquerycarquery Posts: 35
    I'm about 6 months away from purchasing a new car and the A3 Quattro is high on my list. I've eliminated some like the V50 because of reliability issues (I've got an Acura MDX now that has been perfect so far, but the mileage stinks). I've read some mixed reports on Audi's reliability. Any comments on that?

    Also, does anyone have any real world experience on the Quattro's mileage?

  • nylajnylaj Posts: 24
    I have not been able to preview the RAV4 as of yet but my experience with a Toyota salesperson led me to believe that they are not liekly to budge on the price. I was considering the 4runner and then realized the RAV4 was coming out in V6. The salesman was all gung Ho to wheel and deal on an SR5 4runner but when I mentioned the Rav4 he told me that it was a "hot little car which will be in high demand". He then then tried to discourage me about purchasing the RAV4 unless I was willing to pay a significantly higher price. :-(
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    If you look at the TMW, you'll see that people are getting RAV 4's somewhere in the middle between invoice and sticker. Yes, it hard to negotiate a RAV 4, but you don't have to pay sticker. $1,000 over invoice should do it.
    Maybe a little more. But a RAV 4 is way cheaper than a 4runner!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Yeah, I'm kinda in the same boat - '07's my time frame. The Audi sounds like better handler, the Rave4 more versatile and reliable. Was disappointed A3 AWD is solely sport focused.

    But, Both are first year-ers _here_ and first year cars from anybody, anywhere, tend to have problems. Have you heard anything from JDPOWER or elsewhere on that?

    Also, Andres3, any ideas why the V6 RAV is so rare?
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Incidently, on the Audi World forum, comments are that the '06 Allocations for most Audis to dealers are completed, and that no more will be shipped for the '06 year.

    Is this true? If so, Am very surprised they are terminating orders this early!
  • ccd1ccd1 Posts: 140
    My understanding is that the factory switches over to the 2007s in April/May so we are near the end of the time period where you can order an '06.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    The reasons Toyota dealers have given me for why the V6 RAV 4's are so rare is as follows:

    1) the few they get are sold quickly, or sold "inbound" presales.
    2) Toyota and Lexus are using the same new dynamite new 3.5V6 in their higher production cars, such as the Camry.
    3) Toyota has introduced and will be introducing even more new models, and they are stretching their production capabilities with all these new models.

    With Toyota, and the fact the RAV 4 is made and assembled in Japan, I'm not worried about first year jitters and reliability.

    With Audi, I'm gravely concerned.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Granted this is old example but my first year Toyota '83 camry had quite a few glitches that the '84 excised. Some other mags have commented that some Japanese cars, built in japan, have a lot of first year glitches, including Toyota and Honda.

    Been burned, now shy.

    Perhaps after the initial buying frenzy cools down and Toyota ramps up production of more V6's to feed models requiring them, the Rave4 will be more widely available.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    CR reported that 1st year cars are 20% more problematic than even 2nd year cars, and it gets better as you go on (3rd, 4th year).

    However, my FIRST year model 2003 Accord LX V6 Coupe still had only one major mechanical defect, and only a handful of very minor ones. Thats high average reliability still in my book for 54K miles so far (cross fingers). Unfortunately, high average reliability isn't very Honda-like. The high end of average is the bottom edge of all Honda cars. Therefore, I was expecting bullet proof Camry dependability from 95 - 2005 , and what I got was less than perfect.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    yes, CU did point that out. But there are exceptions for everything. Perhaps Honda was more careful with redesigning the Accord than some of their other models (The Pilot was especially bad).

    Meanwhile VW's decided to change the Golf series in 2008 to a lower-cost-to-build design (current model costs 2.5X what similar competitors cost to build). So we may see major A3 changes then, since A3's related to Golf.

    And Pontiac today announced the cancellation of the Vibe's AWD and GT models, leaving only the Base, after May, 2006
  • misterjjmisterjj Posts: 32
    The A3 is NOT a first year model. It's been out in Europe, Australia, and other areas for many years. The U.S. market is a small part of the worldwide market for this model.
    The only repeatedly reported "glitches" on the A3 so far has been broken latches for the shade on the open sky system and there is a replacement latch available that is supposed to fix the problem.
This discussion has been closed.