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Audi A4 2005+



  • javan69javan69 Posts: 17
    "Congrats on your order of your 2.0. If I may ask, did you drive the 3.2 also and if so, what made you choose the 2.0? I'm trying to decide between the two and can't decide if the 3.2 is worth the extra money."
    Assuming this responds to me (as the 1st half of the post did), I did not drive either. I drove the 1.8T and 3.0. After driving the 1.8T, it was definitely out, no matter what. I liked the 3.0 but it was late December so I focused on the B7. I put in for the 2.0T after reading a lot of reports and deciding that I did not need the extra power at $7,000. I also didn't want to wait until now to do the test drive and then wait forever for the order since I don't have a car. Alex's posts at Audiworld have reassured me (though I doubt he has S.F.'s hills - but 207 ft-lbs torque oughta be enough). I suppose I can ditch the full-size spare too. ;->
  • javan69javan69 Posts: 17
    "I tried looking at Consumer Reports website but I'm cheap and didn't feel like paying to subscribe."
    You could stop by Safeway and browse the mag like a real cheapskate. I bought the mag because reading about all the different cars is great when visiting the men's library.
  • djca33djca33 Posts: 10
    Nah, I didn't drive the 3.2 .. I just knew the 2.0T would offer enough power for me. Plus, it offers the same otions as the 3.2, unlike the B6 I could get the same stuff at a less expensive price. And coming from an 85 Ford P/U to an A4, is a "come up" enough. I wouldn't get the 3.2...I'd just have paid the extra price and gotten an A6...maybe.. But I'm happy with the car, the colors and the options... I live in a city with alot of traffic too, so I really don't need all that extra power.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    Saw a guy last week eating a chicken fried steak on a plate at a redlight...Gggrr

  • What bid price can I get away with at the dealership for a new Audi 2.0 Q? Invoice + $500? Can I do better for cars in stock or to be ordered? Many thanks.

    Although the story didn't include many of your comments it did address some of your concerns such as Audi's marketing strategy, pricing strategy, etc.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Yep, that's my 15 minutes of fame, OK, 5 minutes of fame. I sent it to the Audi Car Club of NA and the director asked me if I still am driving Audis.

    Well, y'all know we are still driving Audis (my wife, too, that is).

    The issue has nothing at all to do with the inherent goodness of the cars -- although I can no longer argue they are #1 -- the best I can do is argue they are "tied for #1."

    When you have passion about something, you don't just abandon it -- this could happen, of course, but it hasn't happened.

    Big difference.

    I hope that Audi monitors this -- the article references the dealer's frustration at the current pricing scheme, too.

    Audi doesn't want to be seen as "discounting" -- and BMW does? I don't think so.

    I rarely see an Audi on the roads here in Cincinnati -- well, let me amend that, sure I see plenty of B5 and even a reasonable number of B6 A4's, almost no allroads and as of the end of the year 2004, a bit more Sline A6's (which were seriously discounted to make way for the new A6's).

    Audis sales dropped off nearly 10% -- their new products are Better than ever -- Best ever, frankly. I would flood the market with them, get some buzz going and/or I would advertise them heavily, print, electronic, Internet.

    I would change the web site. Shameless copying if needed -- check out the Mercedes web site, for instance.

    I know, Audi sold 800,000 cars and BMW sold 1.2 million or something -- I know bucks count and maybe Audi doesn't have the bucks (but the parent article in BW makes it seem like Audi has the money and the area in which it needs to shore itself up is in the United States).

    We are the recipients of MIA Audi marketing from this Audi-files perspective.

    Even the never follow theme is wimpy. How about something with some backbone?

    So, hear me now, listen to me later: we are still in the Audi family; and, we do want to remain in the Audi family. But, as good capitalists, perhaps if we make enough noise and vote with our dollars we will get someone's attention.

    Time and time again, I read that it takes 5 times as much effort (and all that implies) to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. Hmmm, that means my wife and I represent 10 customers or at least the effort required to get 10 customers!

    Why not just keep us instead?
  • jendonjendon Posts: 2
    congrats i too am looking for a similar car could you help me out and give me an idea of what kind of deal / experience the dealer gave you?
    also was it a lease or loan

  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    "dead set against incentives" Not a good move me thinks .

  • djca33djca33 Posts: 10
    Actually, I've been in communication with the dealer since August when I was going to get a B6. However, I decided to wait for the B7 and have had a very good experience. He didn't have my car on the lot, but he picked it up off the port in order to prep it for me. It was really a no-hassle deal. I'm doing a Premier Purchase at $422/mo. for 39 months and then purchase the car afterwards. By the way, I'm picking mine up in Eastern PA...
  • jendonjendon Posts: 2
    thanks for the reply did you have to put anything down or trade anything also what is a B6 or B7 are these the brand new body styles big grill etc ?
    is the premier purchase strictly from the internet/

    All this help and your response is really appreciated...
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    Have you looked into leasing over the same terms? I explored the premier purchase which also has milage restrictions, etc. (Audis version of GM's smart buy, most every car make offers these types of quasi-purchases). The interest rate was higher under the PP then the subvented lease for the A4 SE. While the 05.5 A4 doesn't lease under then same terms as the SE it may still be cheaper money then the PP. You also must be putting down a hefty cap cost reduction (i.e. down payment) to get the $422 per month payment. Leasing may offer better terms and a cost savings then the PP. Just a thought here.
  • aceman40aceman40 Posts: 3
    Does anyone know if and when the 2006 with the new front grille and new engines(2.0 abd 3.2) will be available at the dealers?
  • mariobgoodemariobgoode Posts: 114
    Don't forget that VWOA also makes the Porsche line of cars. And they're no slouch, either.
  • nospamnospam Posts: 54
    Mark - thanks for the good posts. I'm glad your comments are getting national attention (businessweek) because frankly AOA's terrible lease rates have me looking elsewhere, when I'd really like an A4.
  • Mark, since you seem to be so knowledgeable about the a4s, do you think i got a good deal?:
    2005.5 A4 2.0T 6MT Quattro
    Premium Pkg
    Sport Pkg
    Lighting Pkg
    MSRP- $35,000+

    I put $5500 down and my monthly is $359 for 36 months/10K miles
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Since you bought this car, I assume, since putting money down on a lease is, ill-advised, I would tell you that the current discount off the new A4 ranges from virtually nothing to as high as something under 5%.

    How did you do on the actual selling price?

    My concerns about Audi have nothing to do with the cars being overpriced. Using MSRP as a benchmark, alone, the Audi is usually a higher value than its competition.

    However, therefore, notwithstanding, take a fully optioned A6 3.2 and comparably configure a BMW 530 and the Audi will be $54K the Bimmer $57K. If we all bought cars in cash, the Audi wins on two fronts it is less money apples to apples PLUS it is (today) the only one with AWD.

    The lease cost is my concern, especially since the majority of Audis (and cars, generally) are not acquired in CASH on the barrelhead.

    Audi's US head claims he does not want to undo all the good that has been done for Audi over the past few years by "discounting." Do you think BMW is discounting its cars as part of an overall strategy to become the German Discount Car Company? Yea right!

    I would ALMOST rather BMW would just raise its prices to match Audis, but truth be told, my concern is deeper: Audi may have lost its MARKETING edge most notably evident when the market is flooded with Premium AWD available products later this year.

    Audi has been the underdog in many ways, sales being the factual measure, public/market perception is Audi is the "Avis" of cars ("we're number 2, we try hard-er" kind of thing.)

    Juxtapose this point of view from a US consumer with the retailers -- this sentiment certainly seems to be shared, if you believe BW Magazine -- by the dealer body. They want to be able to sell more cars and at this point, price (as a practical matter, per month) would serve this purpose.

    Then put some salt in the wound (in my estimation) by reading the current Automobile magazine that basically says "German cars ain't what they're cracked up to be" in terms of quality and reliability. This article is particularly hard on Mercedes and VW, but Audi certainly comes in at best as a "D+" or maybe a "C-" when viewed in those (quality and reliability) terms. And Audi actually seems to fare better than both Mercedes and its parent VW. But Porsche is the ONLY German brand that apparently ranks as "decent" -- your interpretation of this article may differ.

    The German cars, so says this article, have dropped in quality and reliability -- all the while the Japanese cars (even for German customers) are more highly regarded in terms of quality and reliabiliy.

    The article, which is a must read, BTW, does offer up the opinion that the Germans may be improving.

    I read the article as just another variation on the Emperor's New Clothes.

    Finally, although in absolute terms Audis are NOT more expensive, the net of all of this discussion is that, as a practical matter, Audis are not as highly regarded as some of their competitors, which does make them from a market perception point of view as that relates to $, more expensive: manifested via faster depreciation and, for reasons that seem almost bizarre, money factors that essentially make a less desirable car (ouch, did I say that) for the market, cost more. It is the ability to compare one to the other that is hurting Audi, perhaps not too much now -- but when the list of cars with "the Audi advantage -- AWD" becomes as long as your arm, Audi will not have been able to position itself as it appears they want.

    What they are doing from a marketing perspective, that is, seems, to me, to be counter-intuitive.
  • timartm5timartm5 Posts: 1
    Hey! If you buy an Audi you will LOVE it for years. I know Audi has had a bad reputation, but now their product quality has increased dramatically(with help from Porsche). I have owned a few BMWs and a Porsche 911, and really, the quality of the cuild materials and the refinement of the car exceed both brands. I currently drive an Audi s4, and I would reccomend the new A4 or A6. Good luck on your decision.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    Here's the problem I'm having with the BW article and the dealerships in general. Why are they only using Audi/VW finance to lease out these cars? I've leased several Lexus in the past. None of which were threw Toyota/Lexus Finance. When the lease rates were not competitive. The local dealership sourced out the lowest rate. In a competitive marketplace...Other banks, would be eager to get in on this action. Why are the dealerships waiting for Audi to pave the way? Should these dealerships go elsewhere to lease out Audi vehicles. Audi will be forced to be competitive, since their own network of dealers will have shown they will not lose a sale to a rival based on lease terms alone.
  • jsyarussjsyaruss Posts: 50
    I was wondering the same thing -- what about securing funding through another source... but then i figured that the issue must be with the residuals more than with the money factor... I assume that the resids are set by Audi directly, but perhaps that's not right...perhaps some other leasing company would do it? I'd love to learn more... Thx!
  • mileswmilesw Posts: 29
    To MarkCincinatti...
    I was very impressed by your methodical test drive and thorough reporting. I can relate to your test-drive approach -- I'm an engineering professor and I once spent an evening with friends mixing ingredients in minute proportions to determine the optimum Bloody Mary recipe.

    Now to my questions...
    I'm just beginning to shop for a replacement for my 1997 Audi A4 (2.8 V6, quattro, manual), but have not begun test driving yet. I'd love your input.

    Here's a little background: I plan to switch to automatic, since my wife is just learning to drive (she somehow survived to her 40s without it, and I don't think she can deal with a manual).

    I have really loved my A4, but there seem to be a lot of AWD sport sedans now.

    1. What do you think of the Infiniti G35x and the M35x? Reviewers rave about these, but the G35 (even the 2005) looks cheap to me. I haven't seen the M35x in person, but I'm not sure I want the bigger car.

    2. How would you compare the 2005.5 A4 (both engines) with a 1997 A4? (the Business Week article says you've had lots of Audis, so I thought you might have experience with this)

    3. Having driven the automatic 3.2, how miserable will I be switching from manual? I've driven manual for ages, but I live in Chicago, where you don't get to fully enjoy it. How does the automatic deal with tight curves?

    Any thoughts you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your informative posts.
  • djca33djca33 Posts: 10
    I'm putting down $3000. The B7 is the new model with the big grill. The B6 is the model you've seen people driving around for the past few years. Go to or and look in the galleries section. You'll see the different models there. Most dealers should know about the program, however, I have found out that some don't....but they weren't familiar with the College Grad Program either.
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    I'll give you my opinion.
    My new B7 A4 stickered at $36,696, invoiced at 34,402.
    I got 1,000 off the sticker.
    There are various costs associated with any lease or purchase - plates, acquisition fee, etc. And there are sales taxes, at least in CT.
    I went for 36 months and 12,000 miles. My cap cost reduction expense was $1,710. I was looking to get to a monthly cost , including the state of CT sales tax of $450 - that's approx. $422 per month before sales tax
    If yor $5,500 was all up front cap cost reduction AND you paid other fees on top AND that $359 has sales tax added, you may have paid a high price.
  • Markcincinnati, i did not buy, i leased. that is why i wanted to know yor opinion since you were taking about lease rates and how bad they are with audi.

    taxman: it was 5500 down total, including everything. and 359 a month after tax
  • greg945greg945 Posts: 7
    I've spent about a month of near-sleepless nights, painstakingly researching "$35K sports sedans" that might replace my VW Passat. I follow the automotive world closely, so it was utterly clear that the only four contenders would be the manual-transmission versions of the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Acura TL and Infiniti G35 (with a bias toward the G35 due to the fawning praise of all my favorite car magazines.)

    I had pretty much decided that, although this will be "my car" and the roomy Volvo wagon will continue to pull family duty, I really needed the car to pitch in as a second family car. On that basis, I dropped the BMW and Audi from my list, thanks to their now-legendary miniature rear quarters.

    That brought on an intense, soul-searching debate (aided by several test drives) as to whether I could overcome the G35's somewhat sub-par interior, and (for Chicago's horrid roads) a rather harsh ride and gain a wonderfully balanced, "throw it into that curve in 3rd" machine. Or...could I get past Japanese "Speed Racer" styling, and Acura's somewhat ridiculous burdening of its Accord FWD platform with near-300 horses, and sink down past the high windowsills into the TL: The best value proposition in the category (period!)...I mean, navigation, 5.1 channel sound and Bluetooth for $33K, with a touch of negotiation??

    My wife is a good sport, and accompanied me on some wild-eyed test runs, but in the end, I had to agree with her that, as fun as the G35 really was, it put us too close in touch with the inadequacies of IDOT.

    Then, curiosity got the better of me, and we decided to "drop in" at the Audi dealer to see if the new B7's might have a smidgen more rear space than the B6, and to see if 30 extra ponies made the 4-cyl. even more entertaining.

    Well, the back seat appears as cramped as ever, but...after riding in the big G35 and TLs, the rest of the B7 fit like I glove. I'd somehow forgotten that I was *meant to drive a VW/Audi*, with the good-natured, light shifter; taut but never harsh springing; balanced and confidence-inspiring handling, free of ugly compromises; and a beautifully understated, impeccably tailored interior.

    This, and an Audi apologetically committed to doing better on reliability and service. I wanted to cry...hadn't it been hard enough to get myself to think that an Acura could be cool?

    So, here I am at the crossroads again: Can I ignore the fact that my 9- and 12-year old sons are not, in fact, getting any smaller, or that they need Dad to truck them around when the Volvo is parked at the mall?

    If I could wait around 6 months for the new Passat, believe me I would...I never have understood why the Passat could be endowed with most of the A4's basic goodness, but none of the passenger room.

    Can someone slap some sense into me, and send me off to the Acura dealer, where the Abyss Blue 6MT with Camel leather awaits me???

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Based on the newness of the A4 (B7) any discount off MSRP ranging from 0% to just under 5% is possible. I would think you should be able to get about 3% off the sticker unless inventory is really low, there are no other dealers near and/or demand is off the scale high.

    I don't understand, nor do I need to, the rationale of putting $5,500 down. The only way I look at this is to suggest that for each $1,000 you put into a leased car (that you initially, at least, have no intention of buying, at the end of the lease) the payment drops perhaps $20. If the term is 36 months, and you bought down the payment by $20 (just as an example) the monthly cost without the down payment would be $720 higher over the term of the lease ($20x36). If this example holds true, then you could have put the money into almost any liquid high income investment and taken the $20 out each month and been ahead by the delta between the $1000 - minus the $720 + plus the income earned on the declining balance over 36 months.

    It seems to me that putting money down on a lease makes the car cost more than if you put nothing down.

    It is a free country, and you should do what makes you happy or comfortable or whatever.

    I have just never been able to make money down on a leased car a workable option.

    Now, if the $1,000 down reduced the payment by $50, that might make some sense since the cost over the term of the lease would be reduced $1800 netting you an $800 benefit.

    I have not noticed the cost reduction per $1000 to be that great, historcially, however.

    So I can only comment that if your discount off of sticker was ~3% that you did fine.

    My dealer was able to come up with about $2000 off on an A4 that was ~ $44,500. On the A6, however, the most I could get off (at the beginning of 2005) was $1500 on a $52K car.

    Again, my concerns were less with respect to the MSRP than the depreciation and money factors that Audi Financial structures. My experience has been that Audi Financial usually has more generous depreciation numbers than other financial institutions.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    1. What do you think of the Infiniti G35x and the M35x?

    Both of these Infinitis are quite nice. However, the M35x is the clear choice here. The G35x is powerful, well appointed and overall I would not have any problems if it were my daily driver -- but even with its improved interior for 2005, it is from that one perspective a notch below the Audi A4's interior. Last year, the G35 "beat" the B6 A4 in a comparo in C&D magazine. The Infiniti was #1, the Audi was #5 (of seven).

    The M35x gives up nothing -- it reminds me very much of a somewhat more powerful new Audi A6 3.2 with sport package. The Audi, in relative terms, is sluggish when compared with the M35x, and the interior of the Audi is still at the top of the class -- but the Inifinit's interior is a close second. I liked the Infiniti better than either the RL or the new GS -- but the GS from Lexus, did seem to be the poshest interior in the land. That poshness does not catapult it to a higher status than the Audi however. Audi, regardless of what other things you may have heard, "knows interiors better than anyone!"

    So, the M35x with 280HP, 270 pound feet of torque and a 5 speed auto with Infinitis take on RWD biased AWD, is the Japanese BMW (so says at least two auto magazines.) I understand this sentiment.

    I wonder if this is an indication that the auto journalists felt that the M handled better than the Audi (Motor Trend, for one, certainly felt it did) since Audis tend to have more understeer than BMW's (coming soon better balanced Audis, but not here today). So net net, I'd take the A4 over the G35 price not part of the equation and vice versa if the deal on the G35x beat the A4 (the G35 is more powerful than the Audis, BTW, big time -- and the warranty is to 60K b2b and 70K on the powertrain.) Are you spotting a trend here?

    2. How would you compare the 2005.5 A4 (both engines) with a 1997 A4? (the Business Week article says you've had lots of Audis, so I thought you might have experience with this).

    Night and day difference. The new A4 is a jewel (in either guise). If I were getting one with an auto, I'd go ahead and get the 3.2. If a stick would be even remotely possible, I would probably find the 2.0T just perfect (and order it with all the toys, including sport.

    3. Having driven the automatic 3.2, how miserable will I be switching from manual? I've driven manual for ages, but I live in Chicago, where you don't get to fully enjoy it. How does the automatic deal with tight curves?

    The 6spd tip is wonderful -- caution, it MAY be inflicted with tip lag. I have test driven the 6spd several times and found no lag, but already over on the A6 forum/town hall, some folks seem to have induced it. If it responds to the retrain command, that would probably not be so much an issue that I would avoid it -- I just like sticks, but the A4 3.2 was fantastic and the tip has a sport mode. The tip is intuitive, it knows what and when to do things, it was great on the curves, it held the gear and did not upshift, which allows you to power out of the apex of the curve.

    In a world where there was lease price parity, I might not ever have test driven the Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, Jeep Hemi, Cadillac and others too numerous to mention here -- the edge that I believe Audi has lost has more to do with marketing than content or performance. There is something about the feel of an Audi that is ALMOST in a class by itself. Indeed it used to be in a class by itself. Now, however, there are many reasonable alternatives and Audis head in the sand leasing schemes do little to persuade me that they understand that they are perhaps at a point of inflection and that all the good to great carmakers are bringing fine premium AWD cars to the market THIS YEAR!

    Hello is this thing on?

    Under normal driving conditions the next generation quattro system “biases” 60% of drive torque to the rear axle and 40% to the front. In the U.S. market it looks like only the 2005.5 S4 will have it for now; all quattro-equipped 2007 models are due to be fitted with the new system.

    You're a performance enthusiast, so is this new system a big deal to you? Assuming, of course, that you stay with Audi.
  • taxman10taxman10 Posts: 59
    I had the same conumdrum - a a B5.5 Passat GLX, 5 speed manual coming off lease on 4/1. VW said they'd allow up to 6 months extension if I was going to buy another VW/Audi car. I had not had any problems with the Passat ( called it my A5 due to the slot it fits in between the space offered in an A4 and A6 ).
    I drove the G35, Subi Gt Ltd, checked out the TL. But then saw the A4 on 2/20. The other three don't compare. I'm sure the Passat will be a fine car when it hits the US. But I picked up the A4 2.0 Q manual on 2/24.
    No regrets.
    No kids to drive around, just a 20 speed racing bike that fits nicely with the rear seats folded.
    I wonder if VW Passat 4 motion models will have drop seats when the new ones come out?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Much ado, much ado, methinks. The Audis Torsen system is great, leaving it alone, frankly wouldn't make me think Audi was slipping technologically.

    My comments about balance, were not just the RWD biased AWD that so many auto journalists go on about -- rather they were a statement that suggested that Audis in comparison to BMW's had too much weight on the front wheels -- that is the current Audis have more than 56% of the total weight on the front end. Some other cars have closer to a 50 50 F/R "balance."

    To "shut some people up" (no one in particular), I think Audi will bring RWD biased AWD to their cars in the very near future -- but as long as the engine overhangs the front axle (since it is NOT transverse in most Audis), the balance will be more of an issue, IMHO, than the bias of the AWD system. For the record, Volvo's AWD system is 95% F and 5% rear even though it can shift torque to the rear instantly when needed. The quattro system is fundamentally a 50 50 split, making it 40 60 or whatever seems to me will have less of a dramatic performance impact than would pushing the engine back to better balance the weight.

    The performance issues that plague recent Audis are generally understeer induced -- I do not see how biasing the AWD to the rear will make as dramatic a contribution to improved handling as would getting the F/R weight distribution as close to 50 50 as possible.

    That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

    At least the RWD biasing of the AWD is responsive to the "criticism" that is "out there" -- completely rooted in fact or not.

    This change to RWD biased AWD beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but, to repeat, is NOT the end all be all for performance improvements that one could hope for.

    Funny -- the nose heavy RS6 still handled great -- Audis engineers have proven time and time again that they can engineer their cars to handle far better than their lop sided weight distribution suggests would be possible.

    Imagine how good it will be when the weight bias is improved AND the new torque split AWD system is brought on line.
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