Last post on Mar 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Sedan
#389 of 1366 Re: Dear Mr. Test Drive... [milesw]
Mar 07, 2005 (9:56 am)
1. What do you think of the Infiniti G35x and the M35x?
Both of these Infinitis are quite nice. However, the M35x is the clear choice here. The G35x is powerful, well appointed and overall I would not have any problems if it were my daily driver -- but even with its improved interior for 2005, it is from that one perspective a notch below the Audi A4's interior. Last year, the G35 "beat" the B6 A4 in a comparo in C&D magazine. The Infiniti was #1, the Audi was #5 (of seven).
The M35x gives up nothing -- it reminds me very much of a somewhat more powerful new Audi A6 3.2 with sport package. The Audi, in relative terms, is sluggish when compared with the M35x, and the interior of the Audi is still at the top of the class -- but the Inifinit's interior is a close second. I liked the Infiniti better than either the RL or the new GS -- but the GS from Lexus, did seem to be the poshest interior in the land. That poshness does not catapult it to a higher status than the Audi however. Audi, regardless of what other things you may have heard, "knows interiors better than anyone!"
So, the M35x with 280HP, 270 pound feet of torque and a 5 speed auto with Infinitis take on RWD biased AWD, is the Japanese BMW (so says at least two auto magazines.) I understand this sentiment.
I wonder if this is an indication that the auto journalists felt that the M handled better than the Audi (Motor Trend, for one, certainly felt it did) since Audis tend to have more understeer than BMW's (coming soon better balanced Audis, but not here today). So net net, I'd take the A4 over the G35 price not part of the equation and vice versa if the deal on the G35x beat the A4 (the G35 is more powerful than the Audis, BTW, big time -- and the warranty is to 60K b2b and 70K on the powertrain.) Are you spotting a trend here?
2. How would you compare the 2005.5 A4 (both engines) with a 1997 A4? (the Business Week article says you've had lots of Audis, so I thought you might have experience with this).
Night and day difference. The new A4 is a jewel (in either guise). If I were getting one with an auto, I'd go ahead and get the 3.2. If a stick would be even remotely possible, I would probably find the 2.0T just perfect (and order it with all the toys, including sport.
3. Having driven the automatic 3.2, how miserable will I be switching from manual? I've driven manual for ages, but I live in Chicago, where you don't get to fully enjoy it. How does the automatic deal with tight curves?
The 6spd tip is wonderful -- caution, it MAY be inflicted with tip lag. I have test driven the 6spd several times and found no lag, but already over on the A6 forum/town hall, some folks seem to have induced it. If it responds to the retrain command, that would probably not be so much an issue that I would avoid it -- I just like sticks, but the A4 3.2 was fantastic and the tip has a sport mode. The tip is intuitive, it knows what and when to do things, it was great on the curves, it held the gear and did not upshift, which allows you to power out of the apex of the curve.
In a world where there was lease price parity, I might not ever have test driven the Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, Jeep Hemi, Cadillac and others too numerous to mention here -- the edge that I believe Audi has lost has more to do with marketing than content or performance. There is something about the feel of an Audi that is ALMOST in a class by itself. Indeed it used to be in a class by itself. Now, however, there are many reasonable alternatives and Audis head in the sand leasing schemes do little to persuade me that they understand that they are perhaps at a point of inflection and that all the good to great carmakers are bringing fine premium AWD cars to the market THIS YEAR!
Hello is this thing on?
#390 of 1366 Mark, what is your take on the new generation quattro?
Mar 07, 2005 (11:44 am)
Under normal driving conditions the next generation quattro system “biases” 60% of drive torque to the rear axle and 40% to the front. In the U.S. market it looks like only the 2005.5 S4 will have it for now; all quattro-equipped 2007 models are due to be fitted with the new system.
You're a performance enthusiast, so is this new system a big deal to you? Assuming, of course, that you stay with Audi.
#391 of 1366 Re: New A4 Really Upset My Applecart [greg945]
Mar 07, 2005 (12:06 pm)
I had the same conumdrum - a a B5.5 Passat GLX, 5 speed manual coming off lease on 4/1. VW said they'd allow up to 6 months extension if I was going to buy another VW/Audi car. I had not had any problems with the Passat ( called it my A5 due to the slot it fits in between the space offered in an A4 and A6 ).
I drove the G35, Subi Gt Ltd, checked out the TL. But then saw the A4 on 2/20. The other three don't compare. I'm sure the Passat will be a fine car when it hits the US. But I picked up the A4 2.0 Q manual on 2/24.
No kids to drive around, just a 20 speed racing bike that fits nicely with the rear seats folded.
I wonder if VW Passat 4 motion models will have drop seats when the new ones come out?
#392 of 1366 Re: Mark, what is your take on the new generation quattro? [spursrule]
Mar 07, 2005 (12:14 pm)
Much ado, much ado, methinks. The Audis Torsen system is great, leaving it alone, frankly wouldn't make me think Audi was slipping technologically.
My comments about balance, were not just the RWD biased AWD that so many auto journalists go on about -- rather they were a statement that suggested that Audis in comparison to BMW's had too much weight on the front wheels -- that is the current Audis have more than 56% of the total weight on the front end. Some other cars have closer to a 50 50 F/R "balance."
To "shut some people up" (no one in particular), I think Audi will bring RWD biased AWD to their cars in the very near future -- but as long as the engine overhangs the front axle (since it is NOT transverse in most Audis), the balance will be more of an issue, IMHO, than the bias of the AWD system. For the record, Volvo's AWD system is 95% F and 5% rear even though it can shift torque to the rear instantly when needed. The quattro system is fundamentally a 50 50 split, making it 40 60 or whatever seems to me will have less of a dramatic performance impact than would pushing the engine back to better balance the weight.
The performance issues that plague recent Audis are generally understeer induced -- I do not see how biasing the AWD to the rear will make as dramatic a contribution to improved handling as would getting the F/R weight distribution as close to 50 50 as possible.
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
At least the RWD biasing of the AWD is responsive to the "criticism" that is "out there" -- completely rooted in fact or not.
This change to RWD biased AWD beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but, to repeat, is NOT the end all be all for performance improvements that one could hope for.
Funny -- the nose heavy RS6 still handled great -- Audis engineers have proven time and time again that they can engineer their cars to handle far better than their lop sided weight distribution suggests would be possible.
Imagine how good it will be when the weight bias is improved AND the new torque split AWD system is brought on line.
#393 of 1366 Darn, Mark!
Mar 07, 2005 (12:34 pm)
You said more or less what i was going to say!
I've thought for quite some time that if Audi went to "all quattro all the time" they could achieve more of a 50/50 weight balance, which would greatly improve the attractiveness of the car to me. Let VW be the FWD Audi.
It seems the slightly modified torque split is more of a PR move than anything else.
#394 of 1366 Re: New A4 Really Upset My Applecart [taxman10]
Mar 07, 2005 (12:44 pm)
I heartily endorse your choice of the 2.0T quattro manaul. As Car and Driver put it,
"The 2.0-liter, in particular, provides much more muscular low- and midrange response, with full-boost urge now so vivid that front-drive models have begun to feel the effects of torque steer—something Audi's clever front-suspension geometries had previously repressed. In Quattro all-wheel-drive models, however, the extra thrust simply hauls the car down the road in a way that makes you question the need for the V-6."
Meanwhile, my boys will be marched to the Audi showroom this evening for one last back-seat fitting to see if I am truly out of my mind, "or what."
#395 of 1366 Interior question
Mar 07, 2005 (2:46 pm)
Greetings folks. Question about the interior of the new A4s -- was playing around with the configurator (is that a word?) on the AudiUSA website and selected the beige leather...i noticed that the dash and all stayed grey. Is that right? For those who have seen it, how does it look? I know a trip to the dealer would answer my question, but I'm on the road and won't be back 'til the weekend... And, after being gone all week, it's a tough sell to get the wife and kids to the audi dealer So, any thoughts from those who've seen it? (I've noticed that many people on this forum prefer black, but I'm a tan leather kind of guy). Thx! S
#396 of 1366 Re: Dear Mr. Test Drive... [markcincinnati]
Mar 07, 2005 (6:15 pm)
Thanks for the great reply! This was very helpful.
Reading reviews of the B6 (such as the C&D article you mentioned) made A4 seem uncompetitive. It seems like the new engines in the B7 have brought the A4 back into the ballpark at least. Would you agree?
Quick question: Can you explain what sport mode does on the tiptronic?
Can you elaborate on differences I'll notice between my 97 A4 and the B7? Is it mainly the more powerful engines?
Thanks again for your insightful input.
#397 of 1366 Re: New A4 Really Upset My Applecart [taxman10]
Mar 07, 2005 (10:26 pm)
So you Bike fits in the trunk with the seats folded down ? Is that with the front tire removed ?
#398 of 1366 Re: Dear Mr. Test Drive... [milesw]
Mar 08, 2005 (6:40 am)
The differences are manifold. First and foremost the B7 is much stiffer than the B5. The ride is, at once, more comfortable and more controlled. Handling is improved. Turn in, throttle response, appointments, fit and finish, brakes, all improved. The cars share more in looks than in any other way.
Refinement quotient is up in the B7. Performance is up. Economy too is improved.
Sport mode: simply put, holds each gear longer. Shifts from lower to higher gears take place at higher RPM's. The car is more responsive since at any one time the engine is at a higher RPM in sport mode than in D mode.
I never counted the A4 out, regardless of a test report -- but Audi needed these new engines to compete in the current higher HP and torque environment we enjoy today.
The full screen MMI navi system is great too -- not quite up to Acura's standards, but a huge improvement over nav lite.