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Audi A4 3.2 quattro vs. Infiniti G35x vs. Volvo S60R (AWD-geartronic)

agsastaragsastar Member Posts: 1
edited May 2014 in Audi
I am close to buying (no lease) one of these 3 but can't decide on which one! I have test driven them all, they all have different performance each with pros and cons. I plan on owning the car past the warranty life of 4 years so I am also concerned about reliability. Also, what kind of out the door price can I expect on these models? (plan to pay cash, live in SoCal) Any input would be appreciated. :)


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    frisconickfrisconick Member Posts: 1,275
    Japanese cars, in general, are the most reliable, the Volvo is boring imho. The Audi is very nice, but I would go with the G. :)
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    klpeelklpeel Member Posts: 46
    It may not be an issue with you, but I just bought the G35x, and my decision process was much the same as I wanted an AWD. The cost of getting comparable to the G35x in the Audi and Volvo S60R was something I just couldn't justify. If I remember right, both require getting up (possibly well up) into the 40s, where you can hit the G35x in the mid to upper 30s.
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    mnrep2mnrep2 Member Posts: 200
    I also chose the G35x. A friend has the A4, I came from a 2000 Passat. Wanted to get away from the fwd bias of those two cars. The G has a much larger interior than the Audi as well. I am truly impressed so far with the G. Fast and quiet with great handling. AWD and stability control are awesome as well. I test drove the car this past winter and found the AWD to be very unobtrusive and confidence inspiring. Great ability to start and turn on slippery surfaces.

    I also believe that you will have much better long term ownership bliss with the infiniti vs. the other two. My Passat needed a $1,200.00 timing belt change shortly!! You don't have to worry about that particular issue with the G.

    Finally, bought the car with every option except chrome wheels for $36,500.00 + TTL.
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    frisconickfrisconick Member Posts: 1,275
    Enjoy your new ride! I think you made an excellent choice. :shades:
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    klpeelklpeel Member Posts: 46

    That is exactly the same transition I made (from the 2000 Passat). I am very happy with the move. The G35x is quick, powerful, smooth and agile. I find that I miss only one thing from the Passat GLX, and that is the auto locking doors at 10 MPH, which is minor enough given the huge improvements in almost every other way. The only thing that really bugs me about the G35x is the lumpy seat bottom on the right side of the drivers seat (to accomodate the brain-dead location of the seat controls). Driving with my wallet in my left back pocket is bad enough (on long drives I always take it out). It makes me feel like I'm sitting on a second wallet on the right side ... only wish I could take it out as well!
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    dawghousedawghouse Member Posts: 2
    I've read that the 2006 S60R comes with a 6-speed auto, and a change to the AWD system for shifting more power to the rear wheels on launch. I'm looking at the S60R ... wife requires the Auto-trans, refuses to deal with the stick (hey, at least I won the 'R' debate, even if I have to compromise on the tranny :-) ). Anyone know if the new 6-speed has the same torque specs as the 2005 5-speed auto, i.e., did Volvo make it robust enough to dial the torque back up to the manual-trans spec? Or is it still pretty much the same spec as the 5-speed?

    Also, anyone know much about the 2006 changes in the AWD system?

    I'm close to purchasing a 2005 for a couple-K under invoice with model year end incentives ... just wondering if waiting for the 2006 is worth the extra cost (probably $3-$4K). I don't intend to take it to the track ... and the wife certainly isn't ... so I'm not too concerned about shaving off a few tenths from the standing quarter mile. Just like a it to be 'quick' and agile for my day-to-day driving.
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    poeti18poeti18 Member Posts: 10
    Although I can't answer your specific questions ( changes for 2006), I can assure you, that the "old" automatic ( I have the 04 S60R automatic) is plenty agile and fun for day-to-day driving. I too compromised on the tranny secondary to wife/stick issues. However, I have no regrets.
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    dawghousedawghouse Member Posts: 2
    Well, we went ahead with the 2005 R two days ago ... figuring that I'd already cashed in all my 'brownies' with the wife talking her into the R instead of the 2.5T or T5, there just wasn't enough to justify the extra cost, and wait, for the 2006 R. I got a 2005 R loaded with everything except the sports skirts package for $2K under invoice. The 2006 would have meant probably $2k over invoice and a wait ... so at a minimum a $4K spread to improve the 0-60 time. That just doesn't compute with the wife ... put together female DNA and a CPA and I've got a 'no contest' situation versus my testosterone. If I'd actually made the play for justifying $4K to shave off a second from 0-60 ... I'd probably just get the blank stare.

    Am I right in my understanding that after you get up into 3rd gear in the GT, that the torque limit between the 2005 & 2006 would be similar, i.e., the changes in the 2006 mostly address off-the-line acceleration ... but 40-100+ the two cars would be pretty similar in acceleration? The AWD changes in 06 sound like they are limited to torque pre-charging for off-the-line, but once you're rolling the AWD behavior should be very similar, i.e., the 06 change isn't a permanent bias to send more power to the rear wheels, just a bias for the initial launch. Is this a correct assessment?

    Maybe I can talk my way into an Evolve powerchip upgrade down the road ... still wouldn't be as quick as the 2006, but close. Anyone have some quantitative info on whether the 5-speed GT auto can handle the occasional 288 ft/lbs ... for average city/hwy driving, not talking about taking it out onto the track every weekend. If I were a weekend rally type of guy, I'd have waited for the 06.
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    mike048mike048 Member Posts: 10
    2005 G35x - Graphite/Graphite Premium Pkg C, with splash guards and floor mats - full size spare. No Nav. $32,600 I bought the extended warranty for an extra $1,000 bumping it up to 7years/100,000. Miller Infiniti in Sherman Oaks.
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    nodecafnodecaf Member Posts: 2
    While my R is manual tranny (wife refuses to drive auto), the powerchip replacement is a wonderful thing. My '04 came with a wrong chip originally that limited it to 13x top speed, so the chip was replaced as a recall. Not that I'd notice moving at city speed normally, but it did help with both low end and high-end acceleration if and when I'm able to get on the expressway (oxymoron if I ever heard one). Not exactly apples to apples comparison, but hope that helps.
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    djc93djc93 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know is there any big difference in speed with the automatic for 2005 and the new six speed for 2006?
    Any other rmajor differences between 2005 and 2006 - like the AWD system?
    Reason is that I can get an 05 leftover at a real good deal - but I don't want to make the worng decision over a few K.
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    marcelovmarcelov Member Posts: 2
    The 04 to 05 did not change much of anything.. the most changes was in the outside of the car, and the 6 presets in the radio (instead of the dial presets for 20).
    If you are trying to get the most value and I sugeest you look at the 04 S60R. There are not many for sell, but if you search you can find them. A good deal for a low 30s... in a car that will last almost for ever.
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    chinky11chinky11 Member Posts: 1
    hey my dad recently bought the 2005 volvo s60r. its a 5speed auto. i have seen and have ridden in the new 06 model. i have been into cars my whole life and what what i think is that the 05 and the 06 models differ is i think the 06 runs the same horse power but with but with a little more low end torque off the line. my dad raced a new 05 infiniti g35x turbo'd and exhaust and smoked him w/o his foot to the floor. the handling is fe nominal it sticks to the road like no other. serious. i dont think it matter much about the new 06 its just preference of knowing you have the newest model.
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    dhamiltondhamilton Member Posts: 878
    I drove the S60r and found it to be a nice car. In comparison to the A4 I find it apples to oranges. I find it hard to compare any non-German car to a German make. The Volvo is fast to be sure and has a nice interior. The steering and gear box feel is relagated to second.. no third class citizen status IMO. These are very important benchmarks for me, thus negating any advantage in speed the Vovo had over the Audi. I have an S4 on order so I guess my wallet has spoken.
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    quasiactuaryquasiactuary Member Posts: 50
    There is absolutely no way that a s60r (300hp) smoked a turbo'd g35x w/o flooring it. There is no way that a s60r smoked a non-turbo'd g35x (280hp) w/o flooring it. A s60r is a little faster than a non-turbo'd g35x, but not by enough that it could "smoke" a g35x w/o flooring it.

    If your dad smoked a g35x w/o flooring it then the g35x wasn't racing and/or it wasn't turbo'd.

    S60r is a very nice (and fast) car, but there is no way that it would smoke a turbo'd g35x when a non-turbo'd g35x has virtually the same power as the s60r. No way.
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    swapdriverswapdriver Member Posts: 1
    If you are concerned with reliability and durability,after the warranty, do not buy a German AWD car. I own a 1999 A4 Quattro and it is has not been reliable or durable. In less than 60K miles I'v had to replace both left and right front control arms (Audi recall), and at my expense both rear wheel bearings. In 50 years of car ownership, I have never replaced a wheel bearing, let alone 2 on the same car. I would stick with a Japanese car, the G35x or the new Lexus IS-250 AWD.
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    My experiences are about 180 degrees of yours.

    I am, however, not suggesting that the Japanese cars are unreliable -- only that our 28 Audis and 2 BMWs (both AWD) have been reliable.

    Expensive to repair out of warranty? Breathtakingly.

    But, I think this probably describes any car these days.

    On the other hand there are ceratinly lots of folks who swear by their "fill in the blank" car's reliability.

    We all want more reliable cars, he said in his best Homer Simpson style.

    But we also want cars that are rewarding to drive. Test them all, over the same test drive loop. Then test them again.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
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    kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    How much more expensive is "breathtakingly"? Double? Is this all parts related (as another poster suggested)?

    Perhaps Audi is the ultimate lease car? Drive it 4 years/50K miles and close out/return it once the warranty is gone?
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    esfesf Member Posts: 1,020
    We've had the complete opposite experience- I've owned three Audis for more than a year each (one was used), and none had problems (except for a minor oil leak).

    '98 A4 1.8T (we got it four years old for my son's first car)

    '00 A6 2.7T quattro (our first Audi)

    '05 S4 Cabriolet (replacing the A6)

    '06 A3 2.0T FronTrak (this is not AWD, but I've only had it for two months anyway [replaces the A4; my spare car])

    No problems worth noting... the first week I got my S4, the air con wasn't up to snuff, and Audi not only replaced the system but offered to throw in a free set of 17s for the winter.
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    zheka212zheka212 Member Posts: 68
    I second that (and not only because I drive '05 G35x -- previous models had 260 HP, but the '05 and later do have 280). I have test driven the Acura TL (270 HP), Accord (240), Audi 2.0T (the 6 cyl is out of my price range), Jetta and the Volvo (T5 not the R, so I'm sorry if I am making assumptions here).

    In my experience no other Japaneese, and very few European makers can compare with the pickup of Nissan's VQ engine. The turbo always has somewhat of a lag (we are talking single factory units here), and the other Japaneese and some European makers are too concerned with saving gas -- which is why a 270 HP Acura does not come close to the pickup of my G35. Nissan engines burn gas like there's a hole in every cylinder (I get about 12 MPG with "spirited" city driving), but I am yet to find a car outside the Mercedes S500 league (and this includes the new Mustang GT) that I had trouble keeping up with off the light. I never tried to race an S60R, nor would I say it is not an impressive car, but I still have trouble picturing the Volvo "smoking" and Infiniti without climbing past 60 mph.
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    jccai1jccai1 Member Posts: 113
    Well, "smoking" is a subjective term, so I can't really argue that point one way or the other. But don't under-estimate the torque from these Volvo turbo engines. I've driven the S60R, and that engine has torque! We have a Volvo with the low end 2.5T engine (208hp), and even it has respectable torque at low RPM.

    I currently drive an 06 G35 RWD. Despite the 280hp rating, I find the acceleration soft off the line, when compared to the BMW 330Ci I used to own (both are stock with automatic). The G35 has a lot of power above 4000 RPM, but that's not how I normally drive. Maybe it's due to differences in vehicle weight, transmission gearing, tires, whatever. But my guess is that my G35 would lose to my old 330Ci in a stop light race, at least till 50mph. :)
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    socaljoesocaljoe Member Posts: 6
    It took me a month and half to shop for a car. I test drove the G35x, IS250 AWD (twice, different dealers), and A4 Quattro. I wasn't too impressed of the G35x's interior, I thought it looked like cheap plastic(should be better for a luxury sedan), I think that's something Infiniti needs to work on, but the power was plenty. The IS250 AWD, the interior was really nice, in CA., premium pckg pretty much came as standard and the keyless feature I thought was great. The first test drive of one, we went about a mile and almost drove it back. I just didn't like the way it drove. The road noise was bugging me and it handled like a shopping cart. A couple of days later I test drove another IS250 AWD at another dealership thinking the last I test drove was just a fluke. It turned to be the same, the drive was loud, the body roll when turning, and it didn't feel like it had enough ummph from the engine. I did come close on getting the IS250 AWD, but from the test drive I experience, I couldn't see myself paying over 36k out the door for one. As for the A4 Quattro, the handling was just superb, torque kicked in at low rpm and the turbo lag (it was a 2.0 turbo) was almost non-existant. It was what I ended up driving home, it came with Premium pckg, sunroof, wood trim, 17" wheels and 4yr maintenance service free. The out the door price I got was $37,700
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    magoonmagoon Member Posts: 32
    Your dad is full of BS. The 2004/2005 GT/Auto's were detuned from 295lbs of torque to 258lbs and further detuned to 236lbs in 1st/2nd gears. Volvo claims a 0-60 time of around 7.2 versus the 5.4 of the MT version. For 2006, the new GT/Auto is a 6 speed that can produce the 295 lbs of torque but is still a bit detuned in the early gears as 0-60 is claimed in the low 6's.
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    roy_lroy_l Member Posts: 1
    Okay, I feel I must defend Volvo.

    I have owned Japanese, German, and Swedish (Saab). My experiences included an '85 Honda Civic, an '88 Saab 9000, a '92 Volkswagen Passat, a '90 Toyota Corolla, an '85 BMW 635csi, a '94 Infiniti J30, an '01 Audi TT, an '00 Audi A6 2.8.

    First of all, the Infiniti J30 has easily been the most expensive automobile in terms of maintenance that I have EVER owned. The Saab suprisingly was relatively troublefree. At 90k miles, the tranny died, and I replaced it through a reliable mechanic for $5k. At 80k, I had to replace the timing belt for ~$600. On three seperate occasions, spaced about 10k miles apart around the 100k mark, my injectors died. Replacing those was $500 each time (labor intensive). And as for the interior... I ran into a suprising problem with my leather seats. They shrunk on the pasenger side making the seat very hard. In addition, the sunroof regulator wore out, and the cd player began to skip after the first year... Needless to say, I will not purchase an Infiniti again anytime soon.

    With my 635csi, my 2.8, and TT, all problems have been mild in comparision. For instance, a quarter of my 2.8's LCD trip computer screen has died. Another problem includes the blower fan was sticking on high at around 50k miles. That was covered under warranty.

    The TT (it has 70k miles) and the 635csi (aside from the A/C's compressor dying at 80k miles and the recaro seat gears stripping) have been bulletproof.

    These cars are admittedly are more expensive, but with proper maintenance, they will last. I am certain the parts are more expensive than a japanese car, but I actually have been fortunate enough to bring my cars in.

    I truly feel I purchased a lemon with the J30, but that doesn't affect the cost of the parts. They were much more expensive than I anticipated. I have since learned through feedback from a few friend/ mechanics that Nissan parts are the most expensive of all Japanese auto manufacturers. Just look it up on Autozone....

    I will give credit where it's due, however. The most inexpensive, troublefree cars I have experienced were the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.


    Now for my Volvo defense.

    The stiffest fastest car I have ever ridden in is my college friend's 1996 Volvo T5-R. It was VERY torquey. My girlfriend drives an Infiniti G35 Coupe. The first time I drove it, I was unimpressed for a 'sports car'. It was a bit soft. The T5-R felt much tighter and I clearly remember my head being pulled against the headrest. My friend, who I'll admit is a little nuts, says his T5-R felt very stable when he reached and cruised for a few miles 160+ mph in Nevada.

    I am convinced that the current S60R would drive similar to the T5-R. If it does, I believe it might actually pull away from a G35 (especially the G35x). Now... against a turbo'ed G35, I do have my doubts... But do understand and acknowledge, these Volvos are quick.


    BTW, is it me or does the interior of the G35 already feel dated?
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    dhamiltondhamilton Member Posts: 878
    I have driven extensively my good friends s60r. It is a very nice car but feels as loose as a goose compared to any Audi/ BMW. The engine is very torquey and responsive however, I just don't like how it feels.
    Great seats as is the norm for Volvo
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    The engine, too, has the habit of backfiring -- which just doesn't seem right in a car in this class.

    But I thought the S60 type R was a very impressive car otherwise. It did, however, seem outclassed by the fresher cars from Germany.
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    dhamiltondhamilton Member Posts: 878
    in today for service on my wifes fx [the service has been outstanding so far] and they tossed me the keys to a barely used G35. I have written in the past that I thought this cars useable tourque to high for me. Well I still think that, but boy was it fun without a 380lb ex football playing salesman next to me. Ya just have to keep it on boil so to speak. I still have my sights on that S4 but I must admit that the new 335 sounds enticing.
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    audeng1audeng1 Member Posts: 2
    Recently purchased a 2004 G35x and am very happy with it so far. I purchased a extended warranty to 5 years/ 100,000 miles just in case. Came from a 1999 C230 Kompressor sedan that was bulletproof - no major repairs required in the 68,000 miles put on it. I would have stayed with MBZ if it weren't for the bad reliability press they have been getting on the recent stuff.
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    alltorquealltorque Member Posts: 535
    Was recently looking at buying a nearly-new Volvo S60R (AWD) but my local Volvo dealer advised the T5 or D5 instead. He said, and I quote, "The maintenance costs for the S60R could cripple you". When a main dealer says something like that I tend to take notice. Search is now on for a suitable S60 T5 or D5 SE Auto or a Jaguar S-type 2.7 SE twin-turbo diesel................once I can bring myself to part with my beloved Skoda Fabia vRS 130bhp TDi pocket-rocket. :cry:
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    cretinxcretinx Member Posts: 1
    The G35x only comes in automatic - that alone was enough for me to cross it off my list.

    S60R's AWD is merely haldex - this means it runs FWD all the time, and then if wheels slip, it goes up to 50% to the rear wheels.

    The Audi Quattro system is a full 40% front/60% rear split, and can apportion up to 100% to either front or rear as needed

    ALSO - The Quattro system is TorSen (Torque Sensing) - this means that it detects wheel torque, not wheelspin, when apportioning power - as a result, the other systems may spin before power is transferred, whereas the Audi's power is transferred instantly.

    Therefore - the Audi is a superior vehicle if your main focus is AWD grip - just remember, AWD doesn't help you stop!
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    leskapaulleskapaul Member Posts: 3
    I purchased a 2.0T A4 Quattro about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier with my choice. A manual transmission was a requirement for me, so as the above poster said that crossed several of the other options off the list. Granted the G35 does have more grunt, I didn't feel it was so much to overwhelm all the other disadvantages. The Audi interior feels flat out superior. The 2.0T with Quattro is more than capable of catching a policeman's eye from a hundred yards away -- and getting the driver a ticket. And what is most lovely these days is the fact that in a 10 minute (city) drive I can stomp on the pedal a couple of times and still come out with over 25mpg.

    Loving my first Audi :)
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    rallyfanrallyfan Member Posts: 36
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    alltorquealltorque Member Posts: 535
    No, not in USA. I live in the U.K. and Skoda are available in Europe, but not outside the EU, as far as I know. Feel sorry for you guys, but then again, your cars are miles cheaper than ours, as is your fuel - we currently pay circa equiv $7 per US Gallon for gas or diesel.............which is why diesels are so popular.

    In terms of customer satisfaction, Skoda rank right up there with Lexus, Honda and Toyota and light years ahead of Mercedes etc, (JD POwer 2006).

    Skoda UK homepage is here. Have a browse.


    The orange Fabia pic is taken from the current TV ad - shows a new Fabia being made from all sorts of confectionery. Kinda cool. Take a look at the Skoda Octavia vRS - saloon or estate, petrol or diesel, all 6-spd manual. Cool car and based on current Golf chassis etc. :)
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    ingvaringvar Member Posts: 205
    I would stick with a Japanese car I wouldn't. Had enough fun with Honda, 2 times (Accord 2001, TL 2006)
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    sjaievesjaieve Member Posts: 252
    OMG, is anyone seeing this post above mine. This is sad. Whereas making a blanket statement that one is better off getting a Japanese car may not be entirely accurate, its an educated statement in the sense that there are more reliable than German cars. The A4 is not exactly the best of engineering from Germany, but in this class of ELLPS its nowhere near the best in class. The top contenders are 335i (a very good example of the best of German engineering) and the G. I can understand someone driving a Mistubishi Evo making a statement like the G is not in the same league as his Evo, but an A4 :confuse:
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