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Audi A4 2005+

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  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    ED is supposed to be coming.

    I was contacted by an Audi intern who told me she was working on a web survey of current Audi Financial customers (who had given their e-dresses to Audi Financial). I filled out the survey. It had "20 questions" to determine what my expectations would be for an Audi ED program.

    Audi used to offer it.

    BMW and Mercedes and others offer it.

    It is a way, based on how you rationalize it, to "get a free trip to Europe" while buying a car that you would buy anyway (and also getting to drive it on the Autobahn).

    Everything but gas is taken care of for you and all you have to do is go to your US dealer, make the arrangements and go to Germany to pick up and drive your car.

    I sent a "what route I would like to see offered as a 'trip' once one had flown to Munich (or Frankfurt) en route to Ingolstadt." I picked hotels and restaurants and even a general sightseeing tour that would involve both Autobahn driving and secondary road driving.

    I volunteered to pick up my next car in Germany (I was NOT asking for a free car) knowing that 2005 would be the year to do so.

    Although several emails were exchanged between the intern and me, I guess her "grant" was up and her last email from her boyfriend's in Detroit was over 6 months ago -- I have not heard a peep since then, and I do believe she is back in Germany finishing her studies -- and hoping to be put on full-time in Audi's Marketing and ED department (she was hopeful).

    Audi wants to do this program like a 5 star visit to Germany -- they want to make this unforgettable. They want this to rival or beat BMW's or Mercedes program. I understand this, but I am unclear what the costs would be to "get a pilot program" up and running with some willing participants like my wife and me.

    Of course, in the mean time, Audi has temporarily lost both of us as customers -- and I doubt if a ED program would have made me fork over $+150 per month extra for a less full featured car.

    For those of you who are interested in Audis and are also interested in European Travel, I urge you to take a trip to Germany (start in Munich), visit the Audi factory and museum up the road from Munich in Ingolstadt and get to know Bavaria, Austria, Italy and Switzerland (to name a few) -- or at least some selected cities in this area of the world. While in Germany, rent an Audi (likely it will be a stick shift) and see the countryside, drive on the Autobahn at 200kph and soak in the local culture (and beer).

    Audi, IMHO, is missing out on a great American Tourist contribution to the German economy and Audi is missing some sales that could otherwise go to them instead of some other car company that has such a ED program.

    Send a letter to Audi of America -- let them know you want to buy here, deliver and drive there and have your new baby shipped back to the US.

    What can it hurt?

    Regardless -- make the trip to Germany -- for Bavaria (and Berlin, too) is one of the most beautiful vacation spots anywhere.

    I'm going back for trip 20 something in September -- can't wait!
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 139
    Man o man....I know what you're saying Mark....I just peaked at the new A4 2.0 for a friend of mine and the leases are not that enticing. He indicated that although he love the built of my Audi (I have the 2005 A4 1.8), he really loved the shape of the Lexus IS when we saw it at the NY auto show. From what I understand, the IS will have plenty of toys plus a very healthy engine with lots of torque. I guess just like you, we are going to lose him to the "other side". But that is the price of competition. Audi, BWM and MB have their work cut out for them with the upcoming Lexus IS (I believe a AWD will be coming), the redesign G35x and Acura TL (although the latter only in FWD).

    As per ED for Audi, I would love to be one of the first ginnie pigs to try this option. However, I was under the assumption (following the BMW ED posts) that you actually end up paying less for the car even including the trip expenses. I don't exactly know how deep the discount is to make it worth the trip, but if I can get a "free" trip to germany, drive my baby in the Autobahn, stay in a nice four star hotel and have a better monthly payment, I would jump on it. But let's see what happens when me lease expires.

    Hey! how is "M" driving? torque??? handling?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    One of the points I was attempting to make in my post was that you essentially do get a "free trip" to Europe with the ED programs of most of the Germans (and I believe Volvo, for example, too, has a good ED program -- I, for one, have NOT been to Sweden and it might be a decent trip, assuming I would want a Volvo, which at this point I do not.)

    The discount (which I presume if calculated as "off US MSRP") at least covers the round trip air fare. Further, some of these programs include some other perks that if you had to spend your money make the trip even less costly. Most of us, however, getting "free air fare" to Bavaria will find other ways to spend the money -- when buying or leasing an Audi, you will be tempted by the Audi Boutique in Ingolstadt, at least.

    I may have not been clear previously, pertaining to the M35x that I ordered and the BMW X3 that my wife ordered.

    Not that this much detail is all that important to you and others here, I will be as clear as my normal tendency to be verbose permits:

    On March 18th my wife ordered a BMW X3 3.0 "her way." The approximate delivery date is May 31 - June 15 time frame. I thought that was quick for an as yet unbuilt car, but the dealer claimed that as long as the order was received in Munich in March, the "lease price" would be 'locked.' My wife continues to drive her 2003 TT; in fact in March we put the brand new, never used, OE tires (summer only) on the car (at 39,000 miles). When her new BMW comes in, I will take the TT and stop driving my 2003 allroad that has just passed 45,000 miles.

    I ordered my car, technically, on March 31st -- the order was placed according to Infiniti's schedule (I am told specially ordered cars can only be ordered for a specific time period one time per month.) I was quoted "just to be safe" (this quote came from the Internet sales manager at Infiniti4less (Denver)) about 110 days from the date the system accepted the order. My written sales order and the e-mail trail says "July" is the anticipated month of delivery. They have allowed me to amend my order with the addition of an "accessory" body colored "splash guards" -- they are, I believe port installed, so that was not a show stopper. My price turned out to be $2000 off MSRP. I was quoted $0 down, 15,0000 miles per year, 39 months and $677 per month, including tax (in Ohio that is a big deal). I was told, if I wanted to put any money down that each $1000 would lower the mo pay by $30. Hmmm $30 x 39 = $1170. This almost seems like putting money down is -- for once -- not a completely foolish thing to do (as it almost always is, on a lease).

    So, while I have given Infiniti my essentially non-refundable deposit and ditto BMW, my wife and I continue to happily drive our 2003 Audis day in and day out.

    I have driven the M35 and M35x -- I had no interest in driving an M45 for I knew I wanted both a 6 and would only buy AWD (since I am 99% certain there will be $3.00/gallon premium in 2005 or at the latest 2006 and I am a firm believer in the "superiority" of AWD as the best motive force.)

    I can give you my test drive impressions -- the Infiniti M is certainly different than Audi, BMW and Mercedes (but that is NOT to say that Audi, BMW and Mercedes are like each other, for that matter). The Infiniti feels more German than any non-German car I have ever owned or driven. Indeed it is this firmness, some would say stiffness, that attracted me to it (and that is with the 245 x 45 x 18" UHP all season tires/wheels).

    The change in the lux content of the Audi for 2005 moved Audi somewhat more to the Premium Lux/Performance side and the 2006 M seems to be more to the Premium Performance/Lux side. In other words there is similarity in feel between this Japanese entrant and the German cars that I have been used to. My wife, no surprise, thinks both the new A6 and the M35X are too "plush" and cushy. But she also thinks likewise about my slightly modified 2003 allroad (lowered suspension and sport anti-swaybars); and that this desire for plush and cushy [her words, not mine] is indicative of my recent status as an AARP member (tis true, tis true -- I'm 53 and that darn AARP magazine just started showing up one day -- how did they know?)

    I think the M35X is a "tweener" -- it is in between the power of the A6 3.2 and 4.2 with the M's 280 HP and 270 lb ft of torque. I have read the test reports and the M is, on paper at least, quicker than the A6 3.2 -- but then almost everything is quicker than the new A6 (which is a bone of contention -- considering the outgoing A6 2.7T S-Line was said to make the run from 0 - 100kph in 6.4 seconds and the new similarly priced A6 3.2 requires 7.1 for the same sprint).

    The Audi is nose heavy and when pushed will understeer -- however, Audis handle very very well make no mistake about that (the new A6 with the sport suspension does out handle IMHO the outgoing A6 4.2, but not the limited edition RS 6). The Torsen (quattro) system has a lot more history (which may contribute to the Audis handling prowess despite its heavy nose) than the Infiniti AWD system, but then again the Infiniti is better balanced and FWIW does have a RWD biased AWD system (indeed it is almost entirely RWD until the AWD is "needed" based on coefficients of friction.)

    I would not have a problem with either car in the handling or traction department frankly.

    Comp to comp (features/content and/or price dependant) the Audi at the moment in time that I attempted to make my final apples to apples (financial) comparison, cost significantly more per month [lease payment], had a shorter warranty by 10,000 miles and was not as powerful. Several features on the M aren't even offered on the Audi too -- but overall it is possible to configure the cars "similarly."

    I did not feel I had to settle for a Japanese car -- my wife and I could have "kept the Audi fires burning" financially had we not participated here in edmunds so much and due in part to the education offered here test driven so many competing cars.

    I have not lost my "lust" for Audis -- nor has my wife. Indeed we spent this past Saturday test driving (for fun) the new A3 -- what a treat, Audi should sell all of these little dudes they can build.

    Audi has lost us for about 3 years -- as the director of the Audi Club says "we'll be back." I suspect there is at least a 50% chance of that being the case.

    I'll report on both the X3 and M35X when they are actually in our garage (probably the X3 in early June and the M35X in mid to late July.)

    More than you asked for, I know, but I don't want you (all) to think I'm now daily driving an Infiniti M35X, for I continue quite happily motoring in my allroad for the time being.
  • thebody5thebody5 Posts: 20
    You make a great point about pricing. But I don't believe that japaness will ever catch the germans in the way they make their cars. Yes when you spend 30k on a car they are all good cars. But I will take a german car any day over a japaness car. Japaness make great electronics, but you know what? I am not buying a car for electronics. We as American get all wrapped up in all the extras and really forget about what is really important. Safety, handling, and of course they fun of driving.

    If you truely have a great product and believe you have the best product on the market are you doing to sell if for the same price as the lesser products. Audi's biggest problem is Brand image. We all remember the early 80's and of course the coil problems of 2002 and the way Audi handled it. Let me ask you all a question, when you were growing up what car did most of all say we wanted to own? Probally a BMW or MB right? And why is that? Because the Brand image that they were the cars to own. The high class cars. Well Audi has done that in Europe for the first time the Audi line up is rated first in its class in ever catagorey. Once they create that image here in the states and show everybody Audi is a better product than BMW or MB residual values you go up and they LEASE Prices will start to fall back in line. Also once the new 3's hit the show rooms you don't expect to see leases equal to what they are now do you?
  • I would like to second Mark's comments about Bavaria. I just got back from a week and a half in Munich and the area is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. The people are so friendly and of course they all speak English. Driving in Germany is very different (and refreshing) from the U.S. -- the drivers are all very good and very considerate. The left hand lane is only for passing and it is illegal to pass a car on the right; I witnessed the police giving tickets for this on several occasions. The Autobahn is great, of course, but it can be daunting at 130 MPH. We had a Mercedes E-class rental car and it was rock solid at 130 MPH.

    Ingolstadt is a short 45 minute drive north of Munich and should not be missed if you have the time. They have English tours every day at 11:30 am; our tour guide said it is rare to have large groups for the English tour and in fact on this particular day it was only my wife and I. As a result the tour guide was able to show us things and take us to areas that cannot be done with a larger group. Best of all, my wife, always a fan of BMW's, was so impressed with the tour that she agreed to let me trade in my B6 for a B7 in the near future. I was going to do it anyway, but at least I don't have to sneak around anymore.

    If you are in the area you must also make time for Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is about 2 hours from Munich and the view is breathtaking as you near Salzburg and see the Alps in the background. Unlike some other countries in Europe, Germany is very efficient, organized, and clean. I loved it, but my wife commented that she could use a little more "riff-raff". She prefers the hustle and bustle of China.
  • I bought a 2005.5 A4 2.0L for $336 over invoice. I traded in my car and received $1100 more than Edmunds.com said I would on a trade-in.
  • rjorge3rjorge3 Posts: 139
    Great posts Mark and Spursrule......Well, if Audi ever decide to do the ED, then I would love to spend a good week driving in Germany in my new baby. I am already planting the seed in my wife's head (the things a guy have to do to get his toys) that I want to visit Germany in the near future, of course she doesn't know yet that it will be to take delivery (hopefully) of our future Audi :shades:

    Let's see what happen.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    I would be more for a BMW style ED. Where after saving $$$ you can plan your own trip, ect, ect. Im not one to like a "pre determined" package ala MB. Did your schedual not allow for a ED on the X3 ? What were your thought's on the A3 ?

    DL
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    We're going to Munich, Verona and Venice with two other couples around Oktoberfest time this September -- so a pick up of a car would not have worked out since the 6 of us want to spend time in the dining car of the train from Munich to Verona.

    The A3 -- considering it was FWD -- was outstanding in every way I can think of. It exceeded my expectations by far. It was NOT that much of a letdown from the excellent VW R32 I test drove late in 2004. This was an absolute strippie -- but the ride, handling and the power of the 2.0T engine only carrying around that much weight made it seem very powerful and quick, indeed.

    The back seat and the cargo space were more than adequate and the fit and finish was typical Audi (very high).

    This little dude cranked up to be an S3 would be a sales leader if you asked me.

    Put the 3.2 engine in it, the new 40/60 quattro drive, keep the stick shift and add all the nice stuff from the new A4 -- charge some number beginning with a "3" and answer the phone "Order desk!"
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Sounds like a great trip, Too bad a ED did not work out this time. Not meaning to get too far off since this is technically a A4 thread, Its too bad Audi seems to get so much right and a few things Price/ no Quattro wrong with the A3. Sounds like item #2 down the road will be addressed , but closer to a number starting with 4 (wow) based on fwd 2.0.. and going by the 2.o to 3.2Q price gap in the A4.

    DL
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    Well that makes no sense at all, does it? The A3 is pretty close already to the A4 -- at least in the front seat and looking out over the hood.

    The rear seat allowed my wife to sit behind the passenger seat with it adjusted for my 6' frame (the seat was at least 90% as far back as it would go.) The boot was plenty big enough for a medium maintenance run to Costco for groceries and I assume the back seat can fold forward which would make the A3 darn near a station wagon in carrying capacity.

    The ride, fit finish, look, smell even of the interior (and remember this was a base model) were classic Audi (refined "perfect").

    The price of this little guy was $24,999. Add $5K for the 3.2 engine and your still at $29,999, then add $1.9K for quattro and then add $3K for the premium package and $750 for the sport set up, $350 for sat radio and throw in the kitchen sink $1500 for navigation and you are at: $37,499 for what would be, um, an A3 S-Line methinks.

    Considering that the current A4 (non S-Line) fully optioned is $45K that would make the A4 S-Line, what $47,500? I guess $10K is enough to not hurt the sales of each other -- but if I had to choose, based on one 30 minute test drive of the A3 and several longer test drives of the A4 3.2 -- I'd save my $10K and go with the A3 S-Line and not miss the tiny bit less rear seat legroom (tiny tiny bit less, frankly).

    The guys I work with who all love to opine about cars don't understand the need for an A3, thinking that the A4 2.0T FWD could be sufficiently decontented to get the price point where it needs to be. Funny these cars guys think Audi has much more room at the top than at the bottom.

    I dunno -- if anyone would ever listen to my thoughts, I certainly would see the A3 S-Line as my dreams have configured to be a great seller and an even greater performer (a la the VW R32 "who knows somebody.")
  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    I am curious about any comparisons between the 1.8TQ against the 2.0TQ. Anyone who has leased or owned both cars, as opposed to test-drivers, if you could share your impressions, comparisons and contrasts that would be great.

    Cicero
  • skinnydogskinnydog Posts: 20
    I'm actually an ex-audi owner (turned in my leased 2002 1.8TQ today). I've driven an A4 Avant and sedan for the last 7 years, but couldn't do it again as the current pricing and lease terms are just lousy and am still not happy about how they responded to the ignition coil problem. I too drove the A3 and just loved the DSG transmission, but just don't see paying 30K+ for a hatchback. Also the lease terms on these have got to be the worst in the industry. The 36 month residual is 50% and the money factor is .003 or higher which is 7.2%!!!

    My sister is also an A4 owner with just under 50K miles and looking to get a new car. The BMW 330ix has 4K in dealer cash right now which can be used to knock off about 6K from MSRP. She's looking at will equipped one for just under 38K. Is there any reason she should stay with the new A4?
  • I bought a new 2005.5 A4 2.0 T 3 weeks ago. The steering wheel vibrates when driving on the highway. Well.. it's not such a vibration as it is a "buzz". It doesn't happen all the time - about 60% of the time. I brought the car to the dealer - they performed some tests and then did a 12 mile road test - they couldn't find what I was talking about. They told me the roads tend to be bad in NJ and that will cause whatever it is that I am feeling. Anyone have experience with this?
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    I have around two months and 2K miles on my 2.0Q with 6MT and the larger wheels/tires. No problems at all, rock solid. Just did a long drive, 250 miles round trip, last weekend and it performed flawlessly :) .
    Sounds like something is not quite right and the dealer needs to look harder.
    Good Luck
  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    Can you share more about your driving impressions during your 250 rt? And what did you drive before you picked up your 2.0? Also, are you manual, tip or cvt? And finally, how was your mileage against speed? Thanks. Cicero
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    OK, lets see, I had a Passat 2001.5 GLX 5 speed for four years. Couldn't wait for the new Passats to arrive after seeing the A4.
    The A4 is a 6MT - I only have manuals.
    My mileage, according to the computer the second thousand miles was around 27MP - mostly back and forth to work on a 50/50 mix of local and freeway driving
    On the 250 mile trip it was 29 mpg - and I was going 75- 80 on I 84/I 91 most of the time.
    This car steps out and handles wonderfully - optional 17" wheels but not the sport suspension.
    The Bose/XM sound system is great
    I notice a little wind buffeting when passing other vehicles - that is my only complaint.
    The car was delivered with zero defects or issues - over inflated tires were just an annoyance.
    Hope this helps.
  • cicerocicero Posts: 51
    Thanks. I am not sure what you mean about buffeting when passing but it seems like you are happy with the mileage to power. I think it would be great if you and the other members of the forum who have made recent purchases/leases of the new generation cars could periodically share your driving experiences from time to time. As you may know, I posted asking for impressions from those drivers who had a 1.8TQ and now drive the 2.0TQ and it seems like that query had a chilling effect (smile) without any drivers responding. I have to admit to wanting the newest, latest, etc. (rear-end not included) but when I consider that the improvement in acceleration is about one second my new car fever subsides. I know that there are other features such as the vastly improved suspension, seating and the headlights, etc. but apart from appearance it may not make much sense for me to upgrade for a few more years unless I obtain a windfall of some sort and then it would be on to a A6....
  • kirby2010kirby2010 Posts: 136
    I've started looking over the A4 site because I'm afraid I won't be able to replace my A6 w/6-speed anytime soon with a new A6 and manual transmission.

    Some great comments on the pros and cons. I agree that heavy, stop and go traffic has contributed to the demise of the manual. The first dealer I stopped at four years ago only had one 6-speed and it was a year old demo. The dealer I finally settled with didn't have any on the lot and had to hunt mine down. (Very good experience.)

    I taught all my kids to drive manuals and then sent them off in a manual equipped car (mostly VW). The reasons were as follows: I believe teen drivers with manual transmissions have fewer accidents that those driving autos (can't prove it but I'm convinced) because they have to pay attention to drive; and, no pressure at college to loan out the car because nobody, but nobody, knows how to drive a standard.

    Does anyone know if the A6 is going to come with a manual in the future??
  • joxer1joxer1 Posts: 27
    May be an effective anti-theft as well. My sister had her Prelude (my old car) stolen a number of years ago and the thieves ended up stalling in an intersection, paniced, and ran off. Unfortunately she did have some repairs to do though.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    I have no clue why anyone would think stop and go traffic would help kill a manual transmission. Go to Italy -- er, try Rome or Florence. Talk about traffic. Heck, try Paris or even lil ol Munich -- they are all European crowded and from what I can tell (last trip July 2004) still predominantly manual.

    I was going to suggest the cell phone usage could be a contributor. But the Italians are worse than we are in that regard.

    I hate to say this as a born and bred American -- we are either lazy or in this one narrow regard "ignorant" of what we are missing with respect to the stick shift.

    And, just like me, we "cave in" and buy automatics. I gave up first in 1997 with my A8, then vowed to get back to manuals after three Audi V8 equipped cars in a row (all automatics) ending with a 2001 A6 (Audis automatics are, shall we say, "frustrating" on good days -- tip / throttle lag, etc.) So I got the only full-size Audi (at that exact moment in time, as I recall) that I could get with a stick -- an allroad. I still love this car, but the lease is almost up and for the time being the 2005 allroad is just another 2003 allroad and one would have to be ordered to get it with a stick shift.

    So, I'll stick with "we Americans have gone automatic, as the path of least resistance (and I'll submit least control and least fun) out of simply not knowing any better (en masse)."

    Waaaaah! :cry:

    Whattyagonnado?
  • joxer1joxer1 Posts: 27
    In researching a new A4 I came across a slightly disturbing site where dealers were rated (1.8t.org). No nearby dealers were rated well, and in fact the nearest one and where I was thinking about buying from was almost the bottom of the entire list (Queensway in Etobicoke, Ontario). I think the words crook and incompetent were bandied about.

    How has the general service experience been with Audi? Do you get calls to rate your service, and does it come back to the service departments as an incentive? I know my BMW dealer was always asking me to rate them 'Truly Outstanding' and it apparently meant a lot to the serice guys and the dealership.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,107
    My personal experience since 1977 is that the dealers are most often very good, sometimes good, sometimes outstanding. I would give them a 28 year average grade of at least 85% to 90%.

    I have, however, read many, many troubled tales as told by Audi customers about their dealers.

    I think the dealer body has improved in the last 5 or 6 years "steadily" and starting in 1997, the dealers began a sharp improvement in quality capping off a gradual improving period of time from 1988 to 1996 (the Audi advantage was born in 1988, as I recall -- but then it was called the "3 year test drive").
  • kirby2010kirby2010 Posts: 136
    Agree with your comment on theft reduction, by the way. Didn't think about it at the time I posted that comment but I leave my car running on those cold winter days when I stop for coffee. I sometimes wonder what someone might think jumping in.

    I recommend you meet with the service manager and even ask for a reference. The service department at my dealership is great in all regards. They ask about the questionnaire when I pick up the car and want to know about any adverse comments in advance. I would not hesitate to tell them up front what I planned to say. Typically a follow-up phone call a week or so after the service. Sales and service are a well run operation.
  • joxer1joxer1 Posts: 27
    Well, a couple of replies that seem to go against the grain of that site. Of course people who are ticked with a dealer are more likely to post a comment/go looking for such a site than happy/satisfied ones. But my nearest dealer does seem to be at the bottom of that unscientific heap...
  • knermlknerml Posts: 1
    What are the tires you haves on your A4 (size and brand)?
  • wculbert1wculbert1 Posts: 16
    Will be renewing my lease late ths summer, and am sticking to the A4. Any real life or test drive comaprison notes on the 6 vs the 4 cyl?
  • My car has Pirelli 17" wheels without the sport suspension. I notice the slight vibration in the steering wheel when travelling approximately 60 mph. I thought a tire out of balance but the vibration doesn't happen all the time - maybe 70% of the time when the car is at 60 mph. Can road conditions, even those seemingly smooth, cause a vibration in the steering wheel when travelling a certain speed?

    i took the car to the dealer and went i went for a ride with the shop foreman. The car did not demonstrate the vibration during this ride. He's of the option it's the certain road conditions that cause the problem. anyone else notice this?
  • macmurdomacmurdo Posts: 31
    Interesting... I just took delivery of 05.5 2.0T with auto last week. Also has 17" wheels with all-season tires. The first time I drove it... no problems, but I had music on etc. That evening driving with no sound on... I noticed a metalic "buzzing" that seemed to come from something in front of me. Only happened when I was accelerating and seemed to be only around low gear shifts. My dealer had put their license plate metal frame on holding the temp paper tag... I thought somehow that might be doing it.. played with the screws and haven't heard it since!

    Hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing this!!!!!!!
  • macmurdomacmurdo Posts: 31
    Here's a real life experience. I just left a 2002 Lexus GS300... very comfortable but very sporty performance Japanese car (RWD). I live in a place where it snows, so RWD was unpleasant... wanted to get into AWD when the new 2006 GS came out, but the price point became prohibitive. I decided to shop.

    Test drove many cars, including the 3.2 A4 and 2.0T. Priced out the 3.2 with what I'd like... wow... for a smaller vehicle that seemed a lot. So redrove the 2.0T, really paying attention to the drive, performance etc. I soon realized that there was not much difference in power/pep, in fact the 0 - 60 time difference is ~0.5 sec! Needless to say, I put the options that I wanted into the 2.0T and ended up with a great performance vehicle with very acceptable asthetics and fantastic options!

    Hope this helps!
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