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Audi A4 vs Acura TL vs Volvo S60 vs VW Passat



  • How does the Volvo S60R compare to the G & TL?

    I never really researched the S60R, but I see it can come with a 6MT, has about 300 hp and AWD. I would expect handling to be its downfall, but I don't really know. Anyone look at it and the G & TL & form an opinion?
  • I've driven an Acura MDX suv.. not a sports sedan.. but wanted to mention quality was NOT good and customer service poor.. so, against popular opinion, I will never recommend an Acura product. I owned a Volvo s60 awd .. can't beat the comfort of those seats.. but one DANGEROUS problem I must point out. I've never seen a sedan with such poor turning radius. Barely escaped several accidents. Stop at a t-intersection.. turn right.. and you're into the oncoming traffic lane before you can swing into your intended lane! Every parking experience becomes a 3-point turn. So can't recommend Volvo only because of that feature. I've got two friends that swear by Audi. The A6 and the Passat are basically same package .. right? So probably doesn't matter which one.. of the options you listed I'd go that route. Just my opinion
  • txn8vtxn8v Posts: 7
    I've been reading the postings on this site for months to make sure that the TL was the right car for me. I've test driven nearly every other car in the same class including the new Lexus IS and the TL is always on top. So I had decided to get the TL once I get my tax return and hopefully by then the Ipod integration would have been out and tested. Well the other day I went to VW dealership to look for a Tourag with my girlfriend and decided to take a second look at the Passat. I wasn't to impressed with the new 2006 model when it came out a few months ago and never really even bothered to test drive it. But this day they had a fully loaded version with V6 and sport package #2, which is their best sport version of the Passat. So I decided to take it out. I was ready to be disappointed because the value edition of the Passat looked and felt cheap and I thought it would be the same with this car. But man I was wrong. Besides NAV (they do offer it, but it is not nearly as good as the TL NAV) it had everything I wanted in a new car. Great fit and finish, very nice leather and even more power than the TL. The test drive went well and I wanted to see the TL right away to make a comparison. Five minutes later I am at the Acura dealer looking that the TL. The Passat has the edge on fit and finish, quality of materials and a much better stereo (i listed to both cars stereo with my own cd's for about 30 minutes each). I was 100% sold on the TL from my own experiences with the car and the info on this board, but after the Passat test drive I am really don't know which one to get. I think the biggest factor in not getting the Passat is that EVERYONE that I know that has bought a VW has had a lot of problems with the car and trying to get it fixed. Like the looks of the TL but the quality of the Passat feels better. Any suggestions?
  • We purchased an Acura TSX(2005) last March and the car has been a dream. We got it with everything accept the skirts and the gold package. The service has been as outstanding as the car. It's fast, reliable, virtually sound proof at speed, and the nav is the best I've used. There's only two things about it I'd change, first, it's my wife's car and she got it in meteor silver, and second, we should have gone for the TL which she thought was too big? :confuse:
  • I compared and tested cars 1 thru 6 on this list along with the Mercedes C350 for possible replacement of my Maxima 3.5SE. My neighbor talked me into visiting a VW dealer for a test drive in the 2006 Passat 3.6L. I bought the Passat.
  • starman98starman98 Posts: 119
    Also give the Lexus IS350 and BMW 325i drives I never liked Volvo's and never will. The passat was alright but medicreo compared to everything else in this price range.

    The G35 is nice but a big refreshing is coming in 2007 so you might want to wait on that.

    BUt Acura's build quality is amazing car is amazing dealerhsip CS though is total crap worse than Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Ford (where I purchased past cars).
  • So nhdriver1 can't recommend the Volvo S60 awd based on turning radius.....

    I just wanted to point out that the turning radius on the Acura TL is actually 1 foot WORSE than the S60 (38.7' on the S60 and 39.7' on the TL). They both aren't much fun in tight turning situations..... like parking.
  • cruznsdcruznsd Posts: 8
    txn8v, I have owned both a VW Jetta GLI as well as a Volvo Turbo wagon. Both will be more expensive to maintain than the Acura. The Volvo may be safe, but it is underpowered and fit and finish are for crap. The VW was always fun and pretty reliable, but prepare to bend over when it is time for service. Our Volvo replacement, a Honda Odyssey has been terrific only problem being transmission which has been replaced under warranty and they also extended the warranty. I have been shopping for a new car for months and was about to purchase an Audi A3 as it is one fun go-cart ooops I mean car. That was until I stopped at the Acura dealer to check on the TL. In CA we are able to get rediculous deals on the TL at this point in time. 06 TL auto with Navigation for 31K including destination!! It is not quite as fun to toss around as that go-kart like A3, but as far as bang for your buck nothing comes close. The TL comes fully equiped, the Passat, Audi and the Volvo options are very pricy and will run you 5K more for the same equipment. I am not sure what the problem was with the TL's sound system that you listened to, but I have not heard anything close to the sound quality coming out of a TL in any of the other vehicles mentioned. Its one downfall is it inability to play MP3's. Check edmunds list of best stereos in cars between 25k and 35k, RL =#1, TL = #2 and I must agree unless hip hop is your favorite.
  • I was sitting at the Acura dealership about to sign the papers on a TL. I changed my mind at the last minute though. The TL's interior simply reminded me too much of my 2003 Honda Accord. Both of these are great cars in almost any aspect, but I personally just hated driving the Accord, plus I never became very comfortable in its seats. I also read that the TL's interior doesn't age very well. So, I finally realized that the TL wasn't for me.

    I had owned a '99 Passat which gave me 0.0 problems in four years of ownership -well, I once left the gas cap loose and got a CEL, but it went away after a couple of days-. I also loved driving that Passat.

    Anyway, I ended up with a Passat 3.6 with the luxury package. I'm averaging about 28 MPG in a brand new V6 engine. I'm very happy with my decision so far.
  • I was in a similar boat for the past few months. Looked at some Acuras (TL and TSX), the A4 and others. Finally decided to go with the Passat 3.6L with the Sport 2 package, Black interior and exterior for a pretty good deal (over 6K off of list). It is absolutely amazing. The interior detail, the stereo, the 280hp engine's acceleration, and the handling are so much better than everything else I've driven. I'm sure there will be some quality issues along the way, but for me, it's THE car for the money (approx 30K). BTW, I agree with you on the lower-end Passats, you have to go with the 3.6 for the "real" Passat euro-sports-sedan experience (preferably with the Sport pkg and some 18" wheels).
  • voxboyvoxboy Posts: 30
    Can anyone enlighten me on this? Consumer Reports gives the Volvo S60 FWD an above-average reliability rating, while it gives the AWD model a below-average reliability rating. Logic dictates that this gap in customer satisfaction is 100% AWD-related. But is that truly the case? What sort of problems should I expect and how severe and/or frequent are the issues that arise? I need to understand if the AWD S60 is going to be a reliability headache.
  • pats1pats1 Posts: 36
    My wife drives a 2006 S60 AWD 2.5T and I have a 2006 A4 2.0T quattro auto. I'm not sure how they market these cars (as in suggesting they should compete with one another), but they are markedly different from one another. I agree with the comment made some time back about the S60 turning radius - horrible. But I would not drive past the Volvo dealer just because of that - you adjust to that just like you adjust to speed-sensitive steering and different brake feel, etc. It's a great all-around sedan, actually a bit quicker than the A4. The seats are the most comfortable and supportive around, and Volvo has come a long way in the styling department, inside and out. The interior seems roomier than the A4 although they look alike on paper. But the A4 handles more crisply and is better equipped for the money. The A4 is more of an enthusiast's car and the S60 fits the bill for those who want an "almost-enthusiast's" car. I am not knocking Volvo owners as "less than", as I said I really like the car. But if am going to take some winding backroads and want to have fun, I'd probably grab the Audi keys before the Volvo keys. On a freeway, I like the ride of the Volvo a bit better. I cannot comment on the Consumer Report lower rating for the AWD as we have only 5K miles on the odo on the S60 - no problems so far.
  • jdog973jdog973 Posts: 1
    what to lease, both 36mo/36K miles...

    The most basic Audi A-4, front wheel drive, MSRP 31,500
    -1200 down $408 per month

    acura TL base (MSRP 34,500) for 1200 down, and $435 per month

    and lastly, are these good deals?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let me suggest that you also ask about the terms of each individual lease in the A4 Lease Questions and TL Lease Questions discussions. You'll find leasing experts there who probably won't see your post here.

    Perhaps others in this topic can give you feedback on the cars themselves if that's what you're looking for.

    Welcome to CarSpace - good luck!
  • maurawmauraw Posts: 1
    I own an S60, previously owned a Passat and frequently drive my brother's TL. I like my S60 a lot (especially for the safety), but it has a VERY small back seat. I LOVED my Passat, but it was pricey when it did have a problem. I've never owned an Audi, but it seems that they're resale value is not great in my area of the south. Above all I am in love my brother's TL. It drives beautifully, holds it's value, is very reliable and my own mechanic urged me to buy one over any other car (he hated my VW and is iffey about the S60)! Regardless, I think you've narrowed it down to some nice choices. If I wasn't a Volvo safety mom, I'd be in a TL. Good luck!
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    If I wasn't a Volvo safety mom, I'd be in a TL.

    If this is accurate, I'd give the TL a good look next time you're ready.
    The safety cage in the TL really holds up and gets great marks in safety tests.
  • vtdogvtdog Posts: 163
    After 14 years and 125k miles I recently traded my '93 850 on an '07 s60 AWD. For the first month, I had trouble adjusting to the different (and goofy) turning radius and often had to back up and try again when pulling into parking spots, but now have no trouble at all. It just took getting used to the difference.

    The car has only about 3,500 miles, but so far has been flawless. The only change I plan on making is to go to fully synthetic oil from the semi-synthetic used by my dealer. I only put on about 9,000 miles per year on the car and the 7,500 mile change for me means it takes the better part of a year to accumulate. So, I figure I can make the change without any increased cost as my dealer will put it in without further charge. In fact, the cost per quart for the full syn oil from the local discount store is actually less than the dealer charges for the semi syn.
  • Like many of you, I too arrived at the two models for the final run-off for my next car. I had a chance to drive the two cars this week, and here are my notes:

    Acceleration - Passat v6
    The TL accelerated well, but there were times when the car really felt like it was struggling to accelerate - and this was the S-Type I was test driving. The Passat V6 does not struggle as much - especially at take-off speeds.

    Driveability - Passat v6
    This is highly subjective (to my wife and myself), but the Passat felt like a fun car which handles the corners with ease and aplomb. This is not to say that the Acura TL drove terribly, it drives real well, but just not as well. The other big ding against the TL was the shameful turning radius - among the worst in its class.

    Ergonomics - Passat v6
    Those aspiring to join the NASA Space Shuttle Program will feel comfortable in the Acura - that car has buttons, rows of buttons, and columns of buttons. For guys, a good thing. For Women, an unmitigated disaster. Much can be said for less is more, and in this case, the Passat wins this one hands down.

    Interior Design - Acura TL
    If there is one item of lamentation from many VW owners, is that VW did go cheap on the interior This generation of VWs is certainly INFERIOR to the fit and finish quality of the previous generation. The Acura easily won this criteria.

    Visibility - Passat
    The other nagging issue I had with the TL was the visibility. The front frame beams are wide, and will obstruct your vision during a turn. Rear vision (Blind-Spot) is also limited. No such issues with the Passat

    Reliability - Predicted - Acura TL
    We've owned a VW Passat v6, and know that it is indeed average in reliability. A good, dependable car. But let's not kid ourselves, Acura has far less issues than the Passats, and always will due to their zealous devotion to ironing out the bugs

    Curb Factor - Acura
    Again, this is VERY subjective. I personally think that the perfect Passat is the 2002.5 model with today's V6 engine and a NAV. Today's Passat body style has a bit too much chrome in the front for my taste.
    The Acura looks, well, almost indistinguishable from a new Accord IMHO. So why did Acura win? Because Volkswagon decided that the only "Appealing" colors that should be available to VW owners are the lame Black / White / Gray / Silver (are they trying to say that the purchasing demographics are old retirees here?) / CrayonRed / CrayonBlue colors. So, to enjoy your Passat, you would either need to be color blind (to opt for the lame Red / Blue colors) or, show people just how plain, boring, and OLD you are with the lame Silver and Gray colors.
    Great job VW! You've managed to neuter a perfectly fun and driveable car with a pathetic color swatch!

    Value - Tie
    Fully loaded, both will take you to the cleaners. A slight edge might go to the Passat for many standard safety features.

    Safety - Tie
    Yes the Acura has better crash ratings, but the Passat has a lot of other intrinsic safety feautures such as Adaptive headlamps that actually helps avoid them in the first place.

    Resale - Probably Acura
    Let's face it, Acura's have a good resale value because they are treated as a luxury brand. VW is NOT a luxury brand - despite the luxurious trappings. Ergo, Acura will have a higher resale value.

    Most unlikely to be stolen for a Joy-Ride - Passat
    Thanks to the uninspired colors available for sale (Black? White? Gray? Silver? - Are they trying to tell us that the buyer demographics are old people?), it would be hard to pick out a Passat for a Joyride in a sea of Gray and Silver cars in a mall parking lot.
    Insurance companies should offer special discounts for those who opt for the horrid Red or Cobalt Blue colors - since car thieves usually have more pride than to steal something so badly colored.

    Winner - ?!?!?
    Go for the Passat v6 if:
    * You're in it for the driving experience
    * Crave performance
    * Love the safety features
    * You don't mind people asking how old you are when you choose Black / White / Silver / Gray
    * You don't mind people LAUGHING at you when you choose the Red / Cobalt Blue color

    Go for the Acura if:
    * You like the resale value
    * Define luxury as a soft leather seat with a TON of buttons
    * Like a reliable car with decent handling and driving characteristics
    * Want to choose a color that doesn't make you any younger / older than you really are.
  • Not sure if you are still shopping or not after looking at the dates. This last 2 weeks I was in the same boat. I had a Ford F150 LAriat I bought new in 2005 with 21 miles and had decided it was time to trade in for something with better gas millage. My wife drives a Volvo V70 Wagon so I went and checked out the S60. For the money I didnt feel I was getting as much as I would get form Audi A4. I ended up going with Audi becuase They gave me 23000 for my truck which is a great deal and then sold me a 2007 A4 demo that was loaded and low miles for only 23000 so for the bang per buck that was a steal. My fule economy has more than doubled and the A4 is one of the funnest cars I have driven in this class in years. I guess in the end its all preferance shoot I had a chance to get an 2005 merceded E-320 and turned it down I enjoyed the A4 so much
  • I know your comment is a couple years old, but it needs to be addressed. Volvo USED to be safer than everything else. They're still safe, but many others have caught up and even exceeded them. In fact, in Europe Audi is the one with the rep for safety. If you go to, you can see that Audi and Acura have the top safety marks. I'd say Acura is currently ahead of Volvo as a brand, and has had the safest car around, the RL for many years now.
  • My wife and I just purchased a new 2010 TL /tech package. Our reasons were the tech package, ride quality, performance, size and what we thought was a good price for the vehicle we wanted. We tried the A4 and just were not blown away. back seats were just to small.

    My wife drives the car daily and I get the driving chores (!!) when we go out and Church. She likes It and I like it too.

    I will admit that it does not seem as zippy as a S2000 in rush hour traffic but if pushed will surprise you as far as how well it does handled. Just remember it is 3735 lbs. I would not drive it at 9/10 under those conditions.

    It is definitely a freeway cruiser and a adept passer when you need to. Quicker than the seat of your pants will indicate. One glance in your rear view mirror will
    assure you that you are going a lot faster than you think.

    In all fairness we liked the Volvo S60 (I believe it was out of our price range) and VW Passat (rear seats room was tight)
  • Congrats on your purchase! I had an 04 TL for a long time, and agree that it is a great, sporty family sedan!

    The Passat should probably no longer be in this discussion - my understanding is that the Passat only comes with a 4 cylinder engine now - the "CC" has the 6 cylinder engine.

    Enjoy your new ride!!!
This discussion has been closed.