Last post on Aug 27, 2007 at 11:47 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Infiniti G35, Audi A4, Coupe, Sedan
#11 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 10, 2005 (11:28 am)
More great replies and very informative. I'm leaning towards the A4 at this point. As I research cars, it would seem by 2008 there will be a slew of new an exciting cars to choose from, even from GM! It would feel good to buy a great American car once again, although it is getting more difficult to call any car truly American or German or Japanese.
The A4 seems to be the best when you average out all the pros and cons. It has nice looks, the best gas mileage (in its class), solid handling, great interior, quality fit and finish, finally 200 HP, finally 6 spds, Finally a Premium Package that has all the right options(2006), all for thousands less than the G35 and 3-series! ALL they need to do is ditch Bose and switch to Mark Levinson (found in Lexus). The Bose is no where near $1000 better than the stock system. And since the 2006 is towards the end of a platform design, problems should be few and far between.
And in Ocean Blue Pearl Effect (now a sold order option only), there will be few on the road (which is always nice). My guess is you will see almost an many 2006 3 series on the road than honda accords. (5 series here are everywhere)
The G35coupe would surely make a great second car though!
#12 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 10, 2005 (11:29 am)
Thanks for the input socala4, I have never heard of these problems with the G35 before. When I test drove the G35 I really didn't like the foot-pedal emergency brake. I couldn't tell if it was on or off. My wife didn't like the interior quality of the G35 either, to me, I didn't think it was so bad, but not in the TL class that I bought for her. I thought the Audi 4 was under powered, maybe I should test drive the 6.
BTW how does leather turns to vinyl?
#13 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [frisconick]
Jul 10, 2005 (12:39 pm)
Re: G35 problems, the brakes are a problem known to the manufacturer -- for the 2003 and 2004 model years, Infiniti has been replacing rotors as a warranty item. But I believe that owners will be stuck with the repair bills once the warranty period has elapsed. The interiors are a common complaint, although I haven't read the forums here to see whether owners complain about them here, too.
The TL is a great choice -- well built, should be reliable to a fault, the option packages are easy and unconfusing (transmission and navigation are the only choices) and I don't blame people for liking it. It didn't happen to suit my tastes because the combination of the heavy six-cylinder and FWD made it feel to me like a big, heavy Accord -- not bad, mind you, but a bit sterile. If buying an automatic, I'd probably choose a TL over a 4-cylinder A4 with CVT.
Re: A4 power, while I haven't driven the 1.8 liter turbo on the outgoing B6 platform (confusingly, both the 2.0 liter and 1.8 liter are labeled as being 2005's), the 2.0 liter is supposed to be much better, lacking the turbo lag of the prior car and delivering much better acceleration. If you believe that the A4 is underpowered, be sure that you are distinguishing between the two cars. (The new B7 model has the more aggressive front grill and Japanese-style taillights as compared to the B6.)
I should mention that the desire for a manual transmission had a lot to do with my decision. At least in southern California, it would have been easier to find the Holy Grail than to locate a 3-series BMW or G35 with a manual (particularly surprising that a BMW can't be found with the transmission that it is begging to have.) Also, BMW option packages are a joke, the cars are either stripped or loaded with stuff that I wouldn't possibly want -- even a basic feature such as a folding rear seat an option (and not an easy to find one at that) and the Premium package is both costly and loaded with items that are, IMO, a waste of cash. (Do you real need an OnStar-type system when you have a mobile phone and road service?) And good luck trying to find a leather interior without paying for this costly, fairly needless Premium package -- the leather itself is an expensive option, but without it, you'll get the pleasure of "leatherette" (read: plastic) on your seats.
Although Audi doesn't make it as easy as does Acura, the option packages make more sense than BMW's, and you can get by nicely with just a few well-chosen option packages. In my mind, Premium is a must -- it bundles a moonroof with a leather interior, power front passenger seat and a computer that is more useful than I would have thought. I also opted for the Sport package, which is actually good value if you want the lowered suspension, sport wheels and lower-profile tires, you'd pay more in the aftermarket for the same things and the wheels look great, IMO. The Bose is a toss-up: the sound is just decent, not fantastic, but it does include satellite radio (either XM or Sirius come pre-installed, so be sure that you get the provider you prefer, you can't switch on the lot) and it is superior to the stock radio (a bit more wattage and better quality speakers), so I chose it anyway. Finding an MT was easy, and it is not difficult around here to find a car that had the features I wanted and excuded those things that I didn't want.
As for reliability, the A4 may be a bit of a bet. Anecdotally, there seem to be three basic kinds of A4's: those that are rock solid, those with minor faults (not drivetrain-related, but mostly little stuff, like interior trim, bulbs, locks, etc.) and complete clunkers. Because I have a turbo, I am taking the extra precaution of letting the car idle for a minute or two after prolonged and/or hard driving, to allow oil and coolant to cool the turbo prior to shutdown. Previous 1.8 liter A4's had issues with this, hence the 6-quart crankcase in the new car, but these issues are not uncommon to turbo cars that are driven hard and put away wet, that's as much owner abuse as it is a manufacturer's defect.
Vinyl leather comes from plastic cows, I thought everyone knew that...
#14 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 10, 2005 (5:40 pm)
Great and informative post! Because of your post, I am not going to buy a G35 now. I am going to test drive some Audis that I have ignored like the A6. I generally prefer Japanese cars over German cars due to reliability and even styling. But whenever I see an Audi, I think wow, nice car. My wife has a TL, so at least her car will be running, while my German car is in the shop.
#15 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 11, 2005 (4:59 am)
My issue with the G35 interior is...its apparent lack of durability. G35 interiors do not seem to age well, it seems that the leather turns to vinyl, the dash materials become dingy and interior parts do not hold up well.
I'm not sure where you're getting this from. I have an '03 G35 Coupe with 47k miles on it already, and when cleaned the interior and exterior look as good as new. Granted, the interior design leaves something to be desired compared to the A4, but I would--and Consumer Reports' surveys would agree--put up the reliability of G35 against the A4 anyday.
I'm going to guess that the rapid depreciation has some relationship to this.
Huh? The G35 is superior to the A4 in this regard, actually. See http://www.cars.com/go/crp/buyingGuides/articles/2005luxuryResidual.jsp.
#17 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 12, 2005 (10:42 am)
Super posts. We must have a very similar preference and feel for cars as your impressions are the same as mine after test drives of both cars. (Or we are just right
The G35 does feel like an American car. It has the strong, high displacement feeling of driving a 1971 GTO or Torino. But back then, I sold my Camaro and bought a Mercury Capri because it was lighter and more nimble. That is how the Audi feels next to the G35; less HP but quicker in midspeed acceleration and with more responsive steering on tight turns. Some commenters rightly point out the advantage of rear wheel drive and they are right. RWD sticks to the pavement in a much more predictable and balanced way than FWD cars. But the G35 simply does not make you want to scorch around a corner anyway as the car does not feel "tossable."
As far as the interiors, I think the Colonel got the only good one. I have looked at several used G35s and their interiors looked in the condition of say, a .... 1971 Torino. Wait, the vinyl would have been better! One note for someone thinking of buying a used G35 or dealing with an aging interior; you can go to speciality places and have gorgeous brick colored interior put in for $1000-2000. That gray/beige is way ugly to begin with.
One final point, because of its huge gas mileage advantage, the A4 pollutes a lot less.
My question for you SoCal is why did you go FWD and not AWD? So many on this forum swear that handling is much better on the latter, But these AWD fans do tend to equivocate when one asks them whether handling is any better on dry California roads. I do go up to far Norcal to camp and to Tahoe 2-3 times a winter.
Also the salesman said resale and especially residual is higher for AWD.
Thanks for your posts and any response.
#18 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [edwardsf]
Jul 12, 2005 (10:53 am)
Nothing beats a '71 Goat LOL
#19 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [colonel35]
Jul 12, 2005 (10:55 am)
I'm glad you've good luck with yours, but I have to say that I've heard complaints about it from owners, and was not impressed by the used ones that I saw at Infiniti dealer lots. (Hint to new car buyers: It's a good idea to go shopping for 2-3 year old versions of your preferred cars to see how well they seem to age.) On the whole, Nissan/ Infiniti reliability is high, but seems to be declining somewhat -- perhaps the company can't keep with its growing sales numbers, and rankings put them below Toyota/ Lexus and Honda/ Acura.
This issue with the interiors first came to my attention when I was reading the various car magazines -- I'll link a relevant article when I find it. The complaints about the interiors on enthusiast forums are also common, albeit not universal. (You'll have to search for this information on your own, as providing them here would violate Inside Line's terms of service.)
I would agree that except for the brake rotors, the G35 is probably a safer bet for reliability, although the car isn't quite to the level of a Lexus.
As for depreciation, asking prices in Southern California for G35's are fairly well below that of A4's, even on dealer lots. Intellichoice also gives an "average" score to the G35's (depreciation is one of its main measures), whereas the A4 received the highest ranking. My guess is that the stronger warranty/ service packages helps the Audi during the first couple of years, while the G35's interior does not allow it to project a premium image.
Re: reliability, here is an article from AutoWeek that is fairly upbeat about Audi quality improvements. It does read a bit like a Audi of America press release, but the cites from J.D. Power lend it some credibility: Click for article
#20 of 41 "Fronttrak" (FWD) vs.Quattro [edwardsf]
Jul 12, 2005 (11:07 am)
I opted for the FWD version for a few reasons:
-Car is a bit quicker because it is lighter (the AWD systems add weight)
-Slightly better fuel economy (again, less weight)
-Less stuff to break/ maintain (AWD systems are obviously more complex)
-AWD is not much of an issue in my area (no snow driving in Southern California, at least for now), and if I do relocate to an area with real winters (a possibility in my case), FWD should be good enough. (The RWD versions of the G35 and 3-series BMW are noted for being a handful in the snow.)
-A bit lower price (even with a mean haggle, I was reaching my self-imposed ceiling for what I was willing to devote to a car purchase)
Many Audi purists are devoted to quattro systems, and I can understand that, but I'm not a committed Audiphile, so I have nothing to prove. However, I will say that deep down, I really do prefer RWD -- the A4 handles nicely enough and I quite like it, but all things being equal, I wish the thing was RWD. FWD cars are inherently less well-balanced (ideally, a car would have a front-rear weight ratio of about 50-50, but most FWD cars are going to be around 60-40), and even a FWD car with good handling characteristics such as an Audi or Acura is prone to torque steer and the laws of physics. Of course, FWD is better in inclement weather (that front-weighted design keeps the front wheels planted on the pavement, pulling the back end along with it), so in terms of real-world driving, it is not entirely without its virtues.