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A3? Subaru? VW Wagon?

navybeannavybean Member Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in Audi
I'd like to reopen the discussion similar to one on this board from a few years ago - it's really a similar situation and I'm stuck between a few choices...I would love if someone could weigh in!

We're a young couple, house with a super-steep driveway, in an area where it won't snow all the time, but enough to want to buy a car with an icy-steep driveway in mind. Husband has a VW Golf 2-door stick shift, I would like to get a slightly bigger car for myself, automatic, but keep the hatchback look. No kids yet, but in the near future.

These cars have made my list of favorites:
1) A3
2) Passat Wagon/(should I also consider the Jetta Wagon?)
3) Saab 9-3 Wagon
4) Subaru (Outback? Outback Impreza?)

So far I have only driven the A3 (2008), Passat Wagon (2007), and I did drive a 2002 9-5 Wagon but thought it felt too big. I loved the way the A3 felt and the Passat had a less powerful but very similarly enjoyable experience. Is there another car I should be considering? Will any of these clearly win out over the others in your opinion?

Requirements/Priorities are:
-$20K or less (I will be looking for a preowned)
- 4 doors (or 5 if you count the hatch)
-can comfortably fit car seat(s)
- not a sluggish ride
- Looks smart. I REALLY love the European styling...but with a very good argument could be swayed to the Subaru, as I've always admired them. The Outback does seem a bit big though.
- SUVs are not an option. I want to stay on the small side of things.

I would love to hear your thoughts!


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    nomowhalenomowhale Member Posts: 17
    I have a 2006 Audi A3 2.0T 6 speed manual. I think it is an excellent car but I am not sure if it will meet your needs. First, I have owned a Honda, Acura, Saab, VW, and several BMWs over the years and it has the best engine of any of my vehicles. It is very smooth, has great pickup and it is very fuel efficient. I purchased an older BMW convertible several months ago which has become my daily driver. I love rear wheel drive cars so the BMWs driving characteristics has put the A3 to the sidelines. The A3 will become my bad weather car. Unfortunately, with all season tires the car was not great last winter. I love hatches and sportswagons so I may replace the A3 with a similar car that you are looking for. Whatever you do I would recommend snow tires. They make a huge difference. The best car I have ever had in the snow was a RWD 2000 BMW 323i with snow tires. Also, I would recommend that you find a wagon with all wheel drive. You won't find an A3 with Quattro in your price range since they didn't introduce it in the A3 until 2009. All A3s in your price range will be FWD. Here are several cars that you should test drive: Audi A4 Avant with Quattro, Subaru Impreza and Outback, Saab 9-2x and Volvo V50 T5. The 9-2x is essentially an Impreza but note it does not come with electronic traction control. Try to find a Certified Pre Owned model. With that you will get an extended warranty. My wife drove an A4 Avant back in 2000 when my oldest child was born. We have owned several Audis and we have had good success with them. I have not driven either Subaru, the Saab or the Volvo. If you drive any of them, please post your thoughts.

    Good luck in your search.

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    ddmarobbinsddmarobbins Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I've had my 2008 A3 2.0 front wheel drive since Dec 07. 16K miles on it now. Our other cars are an aging but invincible Volvo XC90 that our teenagers drive, and a 2008 BMW RWD (worse than my Audi in the snow). We live in Seattle where the roads are wet Oct to May, with occasional city-crippling snowstorms during which we wait for the snow and ice to melt. No city plowing! The FWD A3 was okay with a teeny amount of snow on the road, but otherwise pretty useless. If I had it to do all over again, I'd buy a used A4 wagon with AWD, or the Volvo V50 AWD(and in fact may switch this car out soon for that as my new job requires lots of driving every day). I'll try snow tires this winter and see if that helps. If you do start having babies, the A3 cargo space in the back will probably not be adequate. And I would REALLY recommend you buy AWD on whatever you decide,esp with that driveway!. Volvo's are fantastic (we've had 4) but it may not be your thing and their gas mileage is terrible. I liked the Subaru Forrester a lot when I was testing cars in the fall of 07, but I am fairly tall with some back issues, and have found Subaru seats just not adjustable enough for me. Good luck (wagons aren't so bad so long as they are cool Audis!)
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    204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    The A3 probably fits meets the largest number of your criteria, but as already stated my be on the small size & does not have AWD except in the high priced model.

    As far as getting a reliable AWD vehicle that will provide, space & good fuel economy and under 20K, the a 1-3 year old Subaru would be your best bet. Actually you may be able to find a lightly optioned Impreza or even a Forester X in the very nice 2009 redesign for 20K, especially if you can find a demo or one that is still on a dealers lot. I would certainly suggest you drive the Subies before deciding.
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