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Mid-size High Performance 5 Door Hatchback Recommendations Wanted

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Comments

  • 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: 5,343
    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: 1,740
    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: 1,740
    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: 5,343
    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: 1,740
    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: 5,343
    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: 1,740
    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.
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    It can be argued if the 2006 A3 is a first year model or not. It is definitely the first year model for the US spec and US version. How much different it is from other continents' A3's is a matter of opinion.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,740
    A Pity there is no exact comparative list showing the differences between Euro and US versions.

    C&D May pretty much tore Caliber apart, feeling it needed a lot more development. The SRT-4 version, they were much happpier with, but felt at present it may not be suitable for racing because it sits higher off the ground than the SRT-4 coupe did.

    The 3.2 A3 they liked the handling of, but bemoaned the weight increase and gasped at its cost. They also were hoping the new VW R32 currently in Europe would make it over here without waiting for the 2008 Golf redesign.

    Hope Edmunds will have its own comparo soon. :D
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Current indication is that there will be approximately 5000 US R32 starting this fall, likely with DSG, perhaps 5-door. Manufacturing costs do not allow much of a variation in terms of transmissions or number of doors. Ths is a one-time shot before the Wolfsburg plant changes over to the MkVI platform (which may allow a R36 in the future).
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,740
    Sounds like a repeat of the last time VW did the R32 exercise, only now with a newer model.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    Yeah, I don't know why they don't make it a regular staple item. The profit margin certainly is high enough to alleviate any fears of negative impact from Audi cross-shopping. And interest is high, especially after the great Top Gear video and results.

    By the way, in this never-ending saga, manual rather than DSG may be on the horizon, and the 5-door thing may be out unless they can somehow wring out an additional 5000 units or so.

    Also, I would not underestimate the "only now with a newer model" part. From all reviews I have seen, this is a phenomenal handler. Although I still think the 3.2 is somewhat outdated, and would have preferred either an upgraded 2.0TFSI or the 3.6 FSI VR6. :shades:
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,740
    new R32 sounds nice, but lack of DSG option (if that happens)is minus. Will be interesting to see if VW mandates XM or Sirrus with its options for that one.

    The 3.6 FSI or updated 3.2 with FSI would have been better choice for A3 3.2, given C&D found the current 3.2's not much quicker than the 2.0T.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    VW/Audi have signed an exclusive deal with Sirius.

    The required beefed up transmission for the 3.6 doesn't currently fit into the MkV platform. Since the MkVI is only 2 years away, for those that can wait there are better things on the horizon.

    I still find it mind-boggling that the AWD/2.0TFSI combo is not available on any VW/Audi product - and the first one that get's to the US may be the heaviest of the bunch ... the Passat...
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,740
    Did some visiting of the new Edmunds TrueCostToOwn feature and found the A3 cost $12K more to own and run over its 5 year rating period than the somewhat similar '06 VW GTI cost.

    Any comments? I did find their insurance pricing was somewhat off wrt my provider.
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    I got about a $9000 difference - and much of that due to the fact that Edmunds assumes the A3 insurance is more than twice as high as that of the GTI, which is clearly not the case. Time to inform Edmunds about their inconsistencies?
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Absolutely! Click on the Help link at the bottom of the page and write-in.
  • Hi all,

    Need your advice. I have scratched my car against a pillar about 1 month ago. The scratch is 2 feet long. No significant dents but the scratch is pretty deep such that the metal is exposed. It is a leased toyota matrix with 6 months lease remaining.

    I am in a dilemma as to which is now the best action to take. Received 4 auto body quotations and the price for painting the quarter panel and the rear door range from $700 to $1200. What is considered to be a reasonable price?

    As it seems that the paint job is quite expensive, i am tempted to do a paint job myself using the paint brush. Am sure the end result will look horrible as i have never done a car paint job before. And I am not sure what repercussions will there be if i decide to return a scratched car at the end of the car lease.

    So should i do the paint job myself or send it to an auto body shop? If you recommend to the latter, would also highly appreciate it if you could also recommend a reliable auto body shop. :confuse:

    thanks for your advice! :)
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    True, my insurance for the 2.0T A3 is like that of a family wagon, not a sport car. It's extremely low, lower than wife's Civic.
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