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  • 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.

  • 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%.

  • 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.


    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).

    -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. ;)

  • 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:


    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."

  • 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.

  • 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*

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They just tested the 3 series against the IS350.

    I think they picked the wrong models to test, though. They kept whining about the auto in the IS350, then why not test the IS250, which is a V6 as well and comes with the manual? It's closer to the 325 than the IS350 is to the 330i.

    I've also noticed that when they pick a 3 series with iDrive, it tends to lose, and the ones without iDrive tend to win. Pretty interesting.

    Another disparity - the IS350 had NAV, yet the Bimmer didn't. Pretty significant difference.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "ith 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 don't think this is an accurate statement. Some of the audis are recommended, and some are not. I didn't see anything(maybe it's new) saying that the a4 is more reliable than a 3.

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "The reason it's "news" is because basically all magazines are biased. "

    Eg, they didnt' pick my car first, so they have to be biased.

    I think the refs in the game last night were biased as well. :)

  • raln48raln48 Posts: 30
    "I don't think this is an accurate statement. Some of the audis are recommended, and some are not. I didn't see anything(maybe it's new) saying that the a4 is more reliable than a 3."

    I am specifically commenting on the A4 as is reflected in the title of the message.
    Perhaps there is another authority that publishes reliability ratings. My reference is specific to Consumer Reports. If you check it out, you'll be able to confirm that the A4 is recommended, and the 3-series BMW is not.
    The 3-series was recommended in the past, but lost that status based on reliability issues.
    This is an accurate statement which I'm certain with little trouble you'll be able to verify.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Last i saw was "too new to rate" but that was a few months ago.

    Next time i'm in the bookstore, i'll try to get the newest info.

  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    "Eg, they didnt' pick my car first, so they have to be biased."

    I don't own an A4. The 3 Series is a marvelous sedan, the sportiest in its class.

    You really didn't quote enough of my post to make fun of me- I backed up that statement in the paragraphs after that.

    Almost all magazines comparing the 3 Series to others walk in with the notion that the 3 will be better. The fact that the A4 beat it is a surprise for journalists to do.
  • raln48raln48 Posts: 30
    I need to correct what I posted previously about the 3-series. The winter issue of the CR new car guide, the 2006 3-series (E90) is recommended.
  • . . .of us are biased. When there are statistics, at least it is possible to say "the Rolls Kinhardly" has a zero to 60 time of a fortnight and if that metric is key (to you) use it in your evaluation of your purchase.

    I do NOT think, for certain, that the car magazines are biased so overwhelmingly to one versus the other make or model.

    But I also do not think they are bias free, not at all.

    The test wherein the Audi A4 SLine quattro 2.0T aced out a Subaru and a BMW 325xi appears as if it could've gone Subaru, Audi and BMW. But otherwise it seems like the BMW was destined to be in third place based on the numeric scores AND the bias (which, theoretically should or could have been in favor of the BMW.)

    Remember the BMW was a 325xi, not the 330, remember that BMW doesn't have the AWD experience Audi has.

    Remember the scores despite the third place showing for BMW were close, it is just that the Subaru and Audi were closer to each other than the BMW was to both of them.

    Next time, next year, next version, whatever, the BMW or the Subaru or some other brand will win. This in no way means that the BMW is not, in the US anyway, very highly regarded or that it has slipped.

    If anything this may mean that the Audi is improving, maybe it means that Audi has actually elected to bring a sporting model to the US while BMW, in their X drive cars, has not elected to make them sporting.

    SLine includes a sport suspension set up.

    BMW's sport package option on the X drive has nothing to do with performance insofar as I can tell by using the configurator on BMWUSA.COM.

    Would the test have been more fair, if a non SLine Audi would have been selected?

    Was this rigged?

    A: I don't know and I seriously doubt it.

    Were I BMW, though, I would pause a moment to reconsider a sport tuning option for my US bound BMW X drive equipped cars.

    But, as usual, BMW (nor Audi) didn't consult with me.

    Wonder what the results would be with an Audi A4 3.2 vs a BMW 330xi? One thing, it would probably make for great discussions. :surprise:
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I saw the road & track in question (as well as consumer reports, but reciting that is noe unnecessary).

    BMW, it seems, has made a conscious decision to not "sport up" its AWD cars, apparently assuming that the owners are already not placing a priority on sporty driving, as RWD is already available at a lower price. Additionally, they don't seem to have the steering feel worked out in the case of AWD either.

    This may be a "profitable" decision but the relatively poor placing in tests may translate to a poorer impression of its non-awd cars, their bread & butter.

    If i was focused on AWD, i probably wouldn't consider a 3-series. My interest in AWD extends to cars that are very nice but would otherwise be "saddled" with FWD. For example, the s60R wouldn't make it as a FWD.

    Well, this is threatening to get off-topic. ;)
  • First, thanks to all who responed to my earlier question (re: advice). The info was quite helpful.

    I was curious if anyone had advance word on what Audi might be doing for next year's model, which I assume arrives late summer this year. With the redesigned 3-series and Lexus IS already on the streets, and with the A4 full redesign still years away, I was thinking Audi might try sweetening the pot with their 07 A4 to maintain competitiveness. The others seem to offer quite a bit for the money.
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