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Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback



  • emsgemsg Posts: 2
    The Impreza, Saab 9-2, the Mazda 3 are on-again/off-again members of my shopping list.

    Between the Outback Sport and the Mazda 3 (S Grand Touring), I think the Mazda wins. The Saab 9-2 corrects two of the three biggest gripes I've got with the Impreza: seats, handling too tight. Third, of course is gas mileage which is on par for AWD cars. The fully loaded Mazda has all the gadgets, space I want and meets my minimum performance spec.

    Re-tested the 2.5XT Limited, this time with automatic. Plenty of pickup. Comfortable. Was surprised how easy it was to get the back end to loose traction in a tight turn onto freeway on ramp. To be fair, my Acura GSR lost traction doing the same thing in the same place. I could have driven that 2.5XT home.

    The Subaru dealership was comfortable to deal with. Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City, CA. No problems going back there to buy a car. So far, only Audi dealers have shown themselves to be consistently malignant whereas the one ugly Subaru dealership seems an oddity.

    First big surprise for the day, test driving the Volvo V50 (both the 2.4i and the T5) was a blast.

    Tested the automatic. Comfortable, quiet, balanced, controls in the right places, easy to find a comfortable driving position, ride was well controlled. The 2.4i felt a little muted. The T5 gave me (almost) all the lovin I needed laying down rubber in a fast acceleration off the line at a light. Drive was reasonably good for an automatic, driver shifting seemed to make it responsive enough to make me happy. Steering was a little stiffer in the T5 but I didn't make it loose traction tightly cutting onto another freeway on ramp.

    Second big surprise of the day. I've been driving manuals for 20 years and I'm good at it. Double de clutching, heel/toeing, transmission only braking at speed in the Santa Cruz mountains - no problem. Neither automatic will do what I can do. There would be no remorse about going automatic and letting the car do its own thing during the mind numbing, spirit crushing chore of a daily commute. Either of 2.5XT or V50 automatics would still be fun driving the PCH.
  • Another couple of cars and a few comments. The Audi A4 is a bigger than the A3 and all but the XT and it is quieter and has better gas mileage. If you order it with sunroof and leather but without the premium package, I think it can be got for $33k. A RAV4 is sort of an SUV but not. It is car based and gets pretty good gas mileage. Same with the Ford Escape Hybrid. The XT is an ideal car except for that awful gas mileage. You would think they could do better. The gas mileage kept me from buying one.
  • wcc1968wcc1968 Posts: 17
    Man this confuses me even

    I too am going back and forth between an '07 Avant with 12k miles or a new '08 Outback XT.... this makes it harder.

    also looking at some SUVs as well. Im coming from an M3 btw, but need a practical vehicle for work and play.
  • What about the after sales service?

    How good is support for either model in your area?
  • I work around cars, but not for the dealers. I also love the Audi, cool cars, great style, AWD necessary where I live & play..but talking to owners and repairers, big $$ to maintain. Every time something breaks (and it does), at least $1,000 repair bill. Good car to get if you plan to dump after 36K and don't mind spending your time taking it to dealer (even for warranty repairs), getting alternate transportation, etc. The used Audi is probably back on the lot because the owner got tired of the "issues" :lemon: and traded on another for better luck of the draw. I bought the 08 Outback XT Limited (only trim now) with AT Sportshift, has 3-mode throttle map, very cool. It's a great car, the turbo doesn't lag, feels more like a V6 than a turbo (very transparent). Having owned another Subaru (00 OB auto), the only things that will usually go wrong, brakes (eventually). Change oil religiously every 3K with SF synthetic to keep from sludging and coking the turbo. If you have an M3 you probably already over-maintain your engine to keep it nice. I see the Audi as the exotic Porsche like AWD. The Subaru is the Toyota/Honda like AWD. If image is everything, buy the Audi. If you want to drive, enjoy (it's a kick to drive) and spend money on other things, buy the Subaru. BTW, getting 24MPG mostly rural/mountain driving on the XT. The Audi might get a little better with the 2.0T due to lower displacement. The 3.2 V6 would probably do the same or worse than the Subaru. We considered the Audi A3, but need AWD, so the 3.2 S-line is the only one, which runs $37K plus has lower ground clearance than the OB. The XT ran us about $32K loaded with all but NAV. The auto is about a $1K option. I would have been fine but wife drives most of the time and she hates the stick.
  • of Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback:

    1. which can wear chains without destroying itself (I hear Subaru warns people not to use chains on theirs)

    2. which does well in snow with its original tires?

    reason is I may need to do driving through mountain passes from Oregon through Washington, or down through several passes in S. Calif., during the winter. My current Malibu maxx is pretty bad wrt traction control and cannot use chains.
  • exactly true... I have driven Audis for the past 10+ yrs. and IMO they are the best cars on the road when they work right, but unfortunately, they are not particularly reliable, and they are horrendously expensive to maintain and repair.

    I am about to unload my beloved '01 A6 Avant with less than 90k miles, meticulously maintained, because of catastrophic engine failure --- inexcusable in a car of this quality and mileage and maintenance history.

    I love Audis but I'm done owning them out of warranty.
  • surprise...I found an Oregon chain provider that makes low profile chains that work on any vehicle. They are called "Z-chains".

    so that solves __that__ problem.
  • I just bought Shur Grip Z chains (1 pair) for my 03 Outback. I am inclined to put them on the front wheels. What do you do? If rear, why? How long have you used them? Thanks.
  • I decided on Auto socks from Norway to round out the winter while trying to decide on future AWD replacement for my Maxx (which without traction aides proved miserable on icy roads - that GM traction control literally shut the engine down when the wheels started spinning).
  • I need advice on the most reliable and easy to maintain used car to buy amongst Audi A4 1998 Avant, Opel Vectra 2000, and Ford Focus 2000 models as my 1st car, pls.
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