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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans

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  • I don't know about ultimate, but, perhaps this and the S4 might be inspiration for a Legacy STI (wagon of course!). Now, I like the engineering better in the WRX STI, but, I'd personally like to see this type of styling direction in future STI's. Perhaps the wings and such could be an add on "Rally" option something like the EVOs?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    '03 and later Subies have not shown this symptom. This thread tends to focus on the more extreme alternatives, like the STI, so it's probably not the place to ask your question.

    -juice
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I wouldn't recommend buying two Volvos after a Benz and a Lincoln. If you appreciate luxury, both would be a step-down from before. I find Volvos bland and uninspiring- instead of the S60R, look at the S4 sedan, the E350 4Matic, and the BMW 530xi (M3 and C55 are both RWD, and the 545/E500 are overpriced). Also, instead of the XC, look at the new ML, the Q7, and the X5 if you don't need third row seats, you could also look at the 9-7X and the MDX.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 190
    I just drove an S60 with the T5 turbo from SF to Tahoe and around Tahoe. It is a very nice car and does not seem to be related to previous generations of Volvos (which I really disliked). The S60 is fast (except off the line), has a beautiful, comfortable interior and good space in the trunk. It is a nice combo of American - comfy, Euro - solid suspension, excellent safety, and Japanese - good acceleration, decent gas mileage. It handled well in the snow in its winter mode. But this is still not a crisp, sharp handling car and not really in line with the better driving dynamics of the German cars or even the Saabs. But if road feel is not that important, it is a nice car. I recently drove the slightly smaller A4, which was much more tossible and tight.

    On esf's post, why would you recommend a ML, when the guy said he didn't want one due to reliabilty issues? Mercedes and non 3 series BMWs are in a huge reliability slump.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    the XC90 is a far better vehicle than any of the competition you mentioned

    the X5 will be more fun to drive, as long as you don't need to bring anything with you...
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    Nissan/Infiniti's current advertising campaign makes a big deal out of the G35 being a RWD sports sedan, that has AWD when you need it

    This seems important, but how important do you think it is? And what is Nissan's competition doing? Are the others FWD, with AWD as needed?

    (I believe the STS is RWD)

    No one here has mentioned the STS AWD. Wouldn't an AWD STS V6 cost you less than a 335xi or an Audi Quattro?
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    OH, and as long as your BMW dealer offers you a loaner to drive while your X5 is in the shop

    again

    and again
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Do you have stats comparing the repair frequency of the x5 to the xc90?
  • jpennjpenn Posts: 68
    I've been directed to this forum by calidave, I assume to offer my opinion on AWD Sport Sedans. My position and feelings are simple and, most likely, are shared by many others.

    Over the past ten years I've had three SUVs; a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited - the less said about that vehicle the better, a 1999 Lexus RX300 - a fine luxury CAR but not a true SUV, and my present 2002 Acura MDX - a good vehicle which is an excellent compromise between a luxury car and capable SUV. While the Luxury SUV concept remains a good
    one, the comfort, handling and styling are becoming stale. Thus the advent of the AWD Luxury Sport Sedan (or Coupe) has taken center stage. Acura, BMW, M-B, Volvo, Caddy, Infiniti and Lexus have all presented fine examples of what this class of vehicle can be. What is needed is some type of comprehensive evaluation to separate the good from the average in much the same way we did with the SUVs. If someone had done that with the Jeep and Lexus I would have been a lot farther ahead, although the Acura hadn't been born when I first got into the SUV market.

    Anyhow, those are my ramblings on the subject.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    no, good question. My info is anecdotal and based on what I keep hearing on these message boards.

    I only have two friedns with X5s. Both of them love them, but they admit they have been in the shop, alot. They are both D.I.N.K.'s, so the lack of cargo space doesn't bug them. I have an XC90 and a couple of friends with XC90s, and all three have been bullet proof, but they are only 15 months old, or so. And I have read of folks with XC90 p[roblems, but not that many. Reliability does not seem to be an issue with the XC90, but it does seem to be an issue with the X5.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    RWD bias means the front tires aren't so badly overburdened (100% of the steering, carrying 60% of the weight, 90% of the braking, plus whatever % of acceleration). Plus there's no torque steer.

    BMW, Mercedes, some Quattro systems, and Subaru's most advanced AWD system (VDC) use a rear-biased system, just like Infiniti.

    -juice
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "no, good question. My info is anecdotal and based on what I keep hearing on these message boards. "
    I don't know. It didn't take me much time to find complaints about the xc90 on here. ;)

    Also, according to yahoo autos, ayt least, the x5 is more reliable than the xc90.

    I think the xc90's advantage is that it's bigger and cheaper.

    How is this related to ultimate AWD sedans? :)
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    I don't remember. How did we go down the xc90/x5 path? I'll have to look back.

    I see. Back in September, jowila posted that these were two vehicles he was considering, along with a bunch of AWD sedans.

    according to Edmunds, a 2005 AWD XC90 costs about $.86/mile to own

    a comparable X5 is $1.01/mile. That is a fairly significant difference. I didn't focus to see what the difference is attributable to, but you'd be hard-pressed to come up with any reasonable comparo of two cars and come up with a $.15 difference.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    1) Better looking
    2) Safer
    3) More reliable
    4) Better performing

    For an x5 3.0L edmunds tells me the TCO is .81 a mile. That includes $4,144 in maintenance and $1,358 in repairs.

    An xc90 2.5T AWD comes in a .72c/ mile for me, incl 3,196 in maintenance and 1,444 in repair.

    For me, at least, the 4 reasons above are worth a few cents a mile. ;)

    After all, a chevy suv can be big and cheap to own, but we're talking _ultimate_.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    1) Looks are subjective. To each his own. I like how the X5 looks. I also like the XC90. Neither is allthat great. It's hard to make something that big look all that good.
    2) Safer? the X5 over the xc90? That's fairly unlikely, especially given the XC90's superior performance in the the snow (provided both vehicles have decent tires, of course). But I think both vehicles are "safe enough" - certainly safer than anything either of us was driving even ten years ago. But I do think the odds of flipping an XC90 are lower than an X5, but probably not different enough to worry about.
    3) It costs $.10/mile more than the XC90 and it's MORE reliable? True, the repair costs were a wash. I guess it gets its greater reliability through its increased maintenance costs?
    4) I am sure the X5 is more fun to drive in and around town, or in dry conditions. I'd love to see how it did getting up my driveway in Tahoe. I think I'd rather be in the Volvo in Truckee in February than in the X5, though I'm sure the X5 is more than adequate. Of course, the X5 will become MUCH less safe than the XC90 once you strap your luggage to the roof in the X5 since it won't fit in the back. All that weight up top diminishes handling and makes you much more vulnerable.
  • I have been shopping these fine autos for about 2 months now. I have made a decision, and my criteria was as follows. A four door car with descent autocross capabilities. It needed to be comfortable for sometime long road trips. As well AWD for the torrential downpours in the greater Houston area also known as hurricane season.
    I pretty much drove all in the category and some left out. I have only driven the two wheel drive beemer. The difference maker for me was that it came down to lease rates between the S4 and the bimmer, and the S4 was close to the same payment while being much more car. The BMW was the BMW and nothing further needs to be said...excellent.
    The Volvo S60r was as well very nicely appointed. {it should be noted that any car in here is as said before, ownership worthy} The seats were excellent as was fuel economy as opposed to the Audi. Power was very strong and I didn't notice much lag. It handled well but lacked that tight feel of the two Germans. Not floaty mind you, but not near as tight as the two Frau's.
    The Legacy offered the most car for the money. Good power and reliability, but I had a hard time getting comfortable
    {to much driving, not enough mountain biking :sick: :P ;) }
    I tried to drive an STI but apparently Subaru does not allow this. Kind if hilarious if you ask me but I've spent to much time on this lunacy in another forum.
    The S4 was to me the synergy of all these cars. It in my mind gets an 8 out of ten in every category. Power is effortless,and the gearbox and seats were out of this world. I may give up some reliability but it's worth it for the driving dynamics and the excellent dealer service I received. Something that Subaru strangely enough couldn't offer.
    These are of course just my opinions, an they are ..well we know what they are like ;) . I hope this helps some, and the Audi will be in my driveway not soon enough thank you.
    Hope this helps
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aren't those a bit big for autocross?

    Try out an S40 T5 with AWD, or maybe an A3 2.0FSI (though Quattro isn't available yet).

    You may even consider a two-car lineup, given the comfort and autocross requirements push you towards different cars.

    My 2nd car is a Miata, it serves that purpose nicely.

    -juice
  • I would define myself as an amateur autocrosser at best. I felt that the daily driving factor was more important. I thought the A3 2.0t was great. I didn't notice any torque steer {although I wasn't flogging it real hard due to the fact that it had like 20 miles on the odometer} In short, I can give up some size for for practicality although, I could autocross my silverado if I would just tie the battery down. I just can't get in to how Volvo's feel. Lot's of S4's auto crossing BTW...
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    The g35x varies from 100% rwd to a max 50/50 torque split when slip is detected. A normal starting point is 75 rear 25 front from a standing start. If any slip is detected there is a seamless transfer of torque to the wheels that aren't spinning. The car has a snow mode which controls throttle response as well as, locking torque distribution to 50/50 upto about 12mph, and then goes back to primarily rwd. On most dry roads you really can't feel the awd characteristics of understeer. The X feels like a rwd sedan in the twisties :)

    This is the primary reason I chose this car over the Audi or the BMW awd cars. BMW awd versions never go 100% rwd, same for the Audi which I believe is normally 50/50.

    So far this winter I have found the G35x has been a snowmobile when needed and is truly a fine handling sedan to boot.

    I tell everyone to go drive the cars back to back on an extended test drive, and pick the one that you like best. For me the 280 HP G35x is the Ultimate AWD sedan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I recommend a driving event hosted by a manufacturer. For example, Taste of Lexus is a great place to do this, because you can drive an IS back-to-back with a 3 series and a C class Benz.

    Ironically when I went I enjoyed some other cars better than the Lexus models. Then again the new IS was not yet available.

    You can't go crazy, but you can drive briskly and get a decent feel for the cars. To me, a 525i felt kinda slow and heavy, while the TL felt lighter on its feet, which was surprising. The ES was floaty and the GS wasn't much better.

    I didn't like the G35 as much as I thought I would, either, though it was an auto and it didn't have AWD that I'd want. To me the bummer is you can't get a G35x with a manual.

    -juice
  • I agree with you on the 525, and G35. The 525, as I have posted over on the LPS forum, felt the same to me. It was puzzling to me as to why someone would buy a drivers car, only to have it feel like a 50 year old, overweight, hooker. {I hope that needs no explaining} The G35 felt very underpowered to me. I drove the manual {RWD} and found it to be not near as torquey as some have said. Interior was nice but not as nice as the Acura.
    The 525 was driven at the GM drive event where they purposely put the competition out that is underpowered, and under equipped. The G35 was driven while having the wifes car serviced. It was CPO so no excuse about not being broken in.
    BTW I have never driven a Lexus that wasn't missing a propeller so as to properly be called a boat IMO.
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I might try a new car test drive on the G35. You are the only person I have ever heard say that The G 35 was under powered :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To me it wasn't that. It's hard to quantify, it just didn't feel as "tight" as I want cars to be. This was an auto, RWD, model, and I don't recall the specific packaging. Perhaps certain models feel tighter and a manual would probably work wonders.

    -juice
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    My 05 G35x actually has firmer shocks than the standard G35. Don't know about the Sport version, but the X drives very nicely. The AWD is just the ticket for slippery snow covered roads ;)
  • I realize that may seem a little weird. It may have been because I had been comparo shopping rather extensively and that was the day I drove an M3, and an S4. Most cars feel slow after that scenario. It just seemed slow to respond and not happy about revving. That's the same way I feel about the GTO vs Mustang GT. The Mustang is a lot snappier, and felt livelier through the power band IMO.
    The car did feel tight, but the gear box was a little notchy. Good seats, and interior. I think a good value. Just not for me. :shades:
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    There are certainly tons of awesome choices out there in cars. Thats what makes shopping for that perfect vehicle for all of us both fun and difficult at the same time.

    Our predjudices and opinions make for some interesting reading when it comes to cars :)
  • Yeah, no complaints from me. It's a blast. BTW, shattering all pre-concieved notions, some of the best service I received has been from BMW.
  • conallconall West TexasPosts: 91
    "A torsen is better for track/dry conditions, but no way is it better on ice and snow."
    I would say that torsen is still great for wet conditions.
    I myself have not found a "no traction situation" for my Urq on wet roads.
    Are you comparing the original torsen to the new traction control systems? If so I can understand your argument. If not please explain.
    I know that Audi used to compensate for this with the dif locks on the Urq. It worked well enough on the old military jeeps.
  • Forget RWD and forget the Quattro. Try the new 330Xi. I just traded in my RWD 2006 530i for a 530Xi--and I can tell you the Xi will blow the doors off the 530i on anything but a dry, smooth road. In the wet or on snow, the Xi will leave the RWD in the far distance. Unlike other AWD systems (Other than perhaps the Acura RL), the X drive/DSC system actually alters the power distribution from rear to front as you go around turns even in the dry--maintaining neutral steering throughout the turn and maximizing speed throughout the turn. The experience of going around turns as on rails is awesome. There is absolutely no torque steer through the steering wheel even if you floor it in the middle of turn. I drove a 2005 Audi A4 in an autocross and it is good, but it feels relatively numb compared to a BMW 3 series.
    Also, the new 255 HP N52 engine in the 330i is awesome, equaling the 280HP Infiniti in acceleration, with far more available torque throughout the RPM range.
  • Wrong: the BMW X-drive in the 2006 models provides 100% power to the rear wheels up to 12 miles per hour and is capable of shifting all power to the wheel or wheels that have traction in a very low traction situation. Your G35X, unlike the BMW, cannot shift power around turns in the dry, and as such cannot assure neutral handling throughout the turn. The G35 engine is also torqueily challenged below 4000 RPM whereas the BMW has maximum torque as low as 2700 RPM and the BMW has a six speed automatic to better match engine speed and gearing. Also, I drove a G35 in an autocross and the steering was really poor in road feel--I wouldn't want to drive one fast on a winding road.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, that's what I meant.

    Torsens have a bias ratio, say it's 4:1 just for this example. That means it can send 4 times as much torque to the axle with grip, but not if the other axle has zero grip (such as on ice). Bias ratio of 4 times 0 is still 0. Power would leak completely, rendering the torsen useless.

    Traction control addresses that. When tuned it can add an artificial resistance to make sure that doesn't happen.

    Audi Quattro's bias ratio for most models is 2:1, which is why power split can vary from 33/67 to 67/33 front to rear, and of course newer models have traction control.

    -juice
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I'm glad you like your new car :)

    Your G35X, unlike the BMW, cannot shift power around turns in the dry, and as such cannot assure neutral handling throughout the turn

    That is not correct. The attessa awd system on the G35x starts out with a 25F/75R torque split until approximately 12 mph then employs 100 rwd until any slip is detected. Power is automatically transfered, via an electromagnetic clutch, up to a maximum 50/50 ratio, to whichever axle has the most traction. The Infiniti also has a snow button. This locks the axles to a 50/50 split and reduces throttle sensitivity. At 12 mph, the system reverts back to the standard rwd mode. Finally, the Infiniti also employs stability control (VSC) and traction control along with the awd strategy illustrated above.

    Perhaps you learned about the Infiniti awd system from a BMW salesman ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you both may be right, ironically. Depends on what model year you refer to.

    I believe Infiniti upgraded the AWD system recently, I think for MY2005. Sounds like you described the 2005+ system.

    BMW also upgraded X drive, or whatever they call it, recently.

    Any how, you'll be surprised to hear that I'd argue Subaru's VDC is more advanced than either of those. VDC can send 100% of power to either axle, i.e. it's not limited to sending just 50% to the front. It's proactive like attessa and X drive and incorporates traction and stability control, just like BMW and Infiniti, but it has fewer limitations.

    Even Audi's quattro can only send 67% of power to either axle, not 100%.

    -juice
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    That doesn't surprise me at all, Subaru has been making awd cars for a long time. The Nissan version of attessa that Infiniti uses is a much less advanced version of awd that was used on their Skyline cars back in the 90's. The attessa pro version controlled torque delivery to each wheel.

    The awd function on the Infiniti G is unchanged from the 2004-2006 models, however. It has always been an active and, primarily rwd biased, system.

    The descriptions of the BMW 2006 xi system are rather vague as to how it distributes power in a normal traction environment. The pre-2006 xi systems had power going to both axles even under normal driving. I haven't seen a clear explanation of how the 2006 version handles that situation.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    A reporter from a national newspaper would like to speak to consumers who have purchased a high-end or high-performance wagon, such as the Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes-Benz E55, Dodge Magnum RT or the Volvo V70R, as examples . If you would to speak with the media, please respond to [email protected] with your daytime contact info. and city/state of residence no later than January 6, 2006.

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    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • Why but an A4?

    Problem with the Audi is that it is category killed by the 3 series with AWD. Both AWD systems are fine (nothwithstanding irrelevant nitpicking over different systems by insiders).

    Both systems offer great control on already good cars. Prices are now pretty darn close. Without a discount, why go Audi. Let's be honest. (I also wouldn't say this about other Audis or other BMWs, just in this segment where Audi seems so clearly weaker).

    BMW
    -Better handling, driving feel and excitment in 3 series
    -Better quality track record in 3 series
    -Cooler more modern interior in 3 series (Audi might win on quality of materials, but I think equal and BMW is more attractive on the inside)
    -Styling is equal given the new 3 series is less attractive than old model. Audi is nice and clean, but aging (A6 or A8 more impressive)
    -BMW's new free maintenance deal
    -BMW's better resale value
    -Close pricing if you are careful with options on 325 (and for example go with a leatherette that no one can notice anyway).

    In short, why buy an Audi A4? (Ever meet someone that bought a 3 series and regrets not getting the A4....)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I did drive a 330 and a a4 back to back on a track at a BMW driving event. At least on a twisty little track, the bmw does much better. The a4 is not bad, but i agree, for the same price, i don't know why it's pick it over the 3, particularly since ( in my opinion ) the bmw is at least as good inside.

    Looking at the cars side-by-side you can see BMW's edge in architecture. The a4's front wheels start just in front of the windows, while on th BMW they are pushed way forward.

    'course, if you give me an rs4, i'll praise it just fine. ;)

    dave
  • I also think the A4 lags a bit in horsepower, but I am happy with both the 325 and the 2.0 in daily driving.

    To be cynical, it would seem to me the A4 is better for leasing. No worries on resale and less on quality. I assume people price the 325 and go to an Audi dealer and say politely, I prefer the BMW, what can you do to substantially beat this price.

    You are right on the wheel placement. If you look at the wheel base numbers, the BMW is longer, but shorter overall. Better handling, but means the Audi is more cramped somewhere (I am not tall, so didn't notice with either car...)

    I'd settle for the S4 personally, the RS4 might be dangerous for me...

    I wonder how the market will evolve, but if A4 sales go down, I'd expect the next model to be brough in with a lower base price, increased power and probably trump the BMW in styling. Then I'd go back to the A4 as a value proposition....
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Because the new ML has better reliability.

    I don't recommend Mercedes-Benz, but I would rather have that than an XC90. Volvo disappoints me repeatedly.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    In the new Road & Track, the Audi A4 2.0T quattro, BMW 325xi, Mazda Mazdaspeed 6, Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 Spec-B, Infiniti G35X, Volvo S40 T5 AWD and Lexus IS250 AWD were compared.

    The Audi won. The BMW came in third, behind the Legacy!?!?

    I completely disagree with you on the styling inside and out... the A4 is sooo much more beautiful and graceful in the Road & Track pics (It's Imola Red S-Line edition, with the huge 5-spoke wheels from the A6 S-Line). Even Road & Track thinks so: "The exterior has the body of a full-on hottie," and "We continue to be impressed with Audi's interiors, and equally so with the A4's sexy new body." The BMW's interior looks not only austere, but slightly ugly due to the color choices. They said that the A4's interior, "continues to draw praise for quality and styling," and that the A4 was the, "sportiest of the bunch".

    Here are the scores:
    A4- 377.5
    Legacy- 376.2
    325xi- 360.9
    IS250- 357.6
    Mazdaspeed 6- 351.4
    G35X- 345.4
    S40- 330.8

    It was out of 400 points. Notice the significant gap between the top two and the 3 Series.

    I needed to set it straight, sorry for being harsh. For some reason I couldn't find this article on their website, but go to a store and get the magazine if you don't have it. (Road & Track March 2006, the new Camaro Concept is on the cover)

    ;)
  • The current issue will not be on the website until the next issue comes out, if you get my meaning.

    Not that any of the "paid writers" opinions will necessarily sway someone, but Car & Driver, too, says Audi's interiors leave the other guys "on the trailer."

    The delivery specialist at my BMW dealer is a college senior and has been working at the dealership to help put himself through college. He bought an A4 at the BMW dealer.

    Now there is proof! :surprise:

    Further evidence of something pertaining to AWD can be found here:

    ClickyClicky

    It seems that quattro is still King of the Hill.

    Seriously, we all have our biases. I don't know anyone who has regretted getting their 3 or their A4. I don't think anyone that I know has abandoned their A4's for 3's and with the advent of X drive, rarely the other way around either.

    It was an eye opener to see the A4 2.0T q outgun the BMW 325xi in the magazine. Then to see the A4 can be had for $369 a month with $995 down (national campaign) for 36 months -- almost wipes out the Subaru's "price advantage."

    :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll have to check out that issue, sounds interesting.

    MT recently tested the Legacy spec.B against the MazdaSpeed6 and they picked the Subie over the Mazda, so the spec.B is getting a lot of good press.

    That model has different wheels, tires, and re-tuned suspension, but the same powertrain as the regular Legacy GT.

    That ain't a bad thing, though, Autoweek did an AutoFile on the Legacy GT and said it was quicker than their S4.

    Audi has the DSG tranny, which gets better reviews than BMW's SMG. Was the R&T test car equipped with DSG? I think that could have helped the Audi a lot.

    -juice
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    That's interesting, but i still think it's telling that every time BMW doesn't win a comparison test, everyone thinks it's news. ;)

    I like comparison tests, but it's not going to make my car buying decision for me. I think audi has nice interiors, but personally, i like the new 3 interior better. I also like how the new 3 looks better. We might as well argue what movie star would be a better date. I think the s40 is a great car (i like it more than the a4) and it came in last in the comapro. The test hasn't changed my personal opinion. *shrug*

    dave
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Look at the article. The pictures flatter the A4 enormously, while the 3 looks underwhelming and mundane.

    I love both in the flesh, but the Audi is better at posing ;).

    Also, without the iDrive, the 325xi's interior looks uninspired. The A4's at least looks proposeful, if a bit "German black-hole"-ish.

    :)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Could be. I think the appearance does depend heavily on angle of viewing. I like the 3 best from the side ( very athletic looking ) and you don't see the overdone snout or kia tail lights. ;)
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I thought you liked the 3?

    Actually, I think it's the coloring and wheels that they had that makes the 325xi look terrible. It was a "greyish-brown" color, with these little wheels with too many spokes. The interior was atrocious- it was maroon leather seats with this disgusting wood trim color. Then again, the magazine didn't choose these colors. Otherwise, the 3 looks good- I prefer it in black over beige.

    They were lucky with the A4- it came in Brilliant Red with black leather and aluminum trim. With the S-Line package, it looked especially fantastic.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I do like the three, and would pick it over the a4 in a second. I just try to be objective about its good and bad points; I don't think it's perfect.
  • raln48raln48 Posts: 30
    -Better quality track record in 3 series

    With respect to quality, BMW has declined in reliability and overall quality over the past two years. This is reflected in Consumer Reports reliability records. Audi on the other hand has made significant improvements and has achieved "recommended" status.
    I have owned both -- a 3 series and now an A4. I will agree that the BMW has much better handling, driving feel, and resale value. My experience with the Audi has been much better with respect to reliability. In the past year and a half, I have driven my A4 Avant Quattro over 60,000 without a single problem of any kind. I live in Minnesota. This car has seen temps in the winter of -30 and in summer of over 100.
    Times change and so do the products that car companies offer. Audi has made great strides in the past few years and there's no doubt that this will continue.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    MN -> Quattro-land.

    -juice
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    "That's interesting, but i still think it's telling that every time BMW doesn't win a comparison test, everyone thinks it's news."

    The reason it's "news" is because basically all magazines are biased. When they walk into a comparison test involving a BMW 3 Series, they are already prepared with the fact that the 3 Series will probably win, and look for more reasons to let it take the blue ribbon.

    I'm not saying it wins by "cheating," but it's their basic choice. They probably wouldn't even need to test the other cars in a test that has a 330.

    Audi winning shows how magazines are opening up to other cars and seeing the ways that they are better. Audi has won dozens of times with the S and RS model, but rarely with the "A" designated models.
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