Last post on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:47 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Infiniti G35, Audi A4, Coupe, Sedan
#12 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [socala4]
Jul 10, 2005 (10:29 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 (11:39 am)
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 (4:40 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 (3:59 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 (9:42 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 (9:53 am)
Nothing beats a '71 Goat LOL
#19 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [colonel35]
Jul 12, 2005 (9:55 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 (10:07 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.
#21 of 41 Re: G35 Coupe Vs Audi A4 sedan [edwardsf]
Jul 15, 2005 (1:03 pm)
"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."
Ok I felt that I had to sign up for the forum just to join this discussion because: I just got the Infinity coupe (manual), and the other car I was debating for was the Audi A4, and on top everything else I used to drive a mercury capri.
I would agre that the infinity may feel somehow like an american muscle car if you drive it slowly at low RPM because of the low end torque. However, that does not mean that it has the handling characteristics of a muscle car. On the contrary it is a very fast car and it turns like it is on rails. By "on rails" i mean not only that there is no tire slippage, but the car does not even think about leaning towards one side.
IT is only 300lbs heavier than the A4, and its 100bhp advantage more than make up for it. So do the fat tires on the 19 inch wheels. Even the sport package of the audi comes with 17inch wheels only.
Also the steering of the manual coupe is very responsive.
I have to assure anyone that is reading this that the coupe with the manual transmission has all the power and cornering ability one will ever need out of a car, outside of a professional rally race. Currently I am "breaking in" my car so i do not rev it over 4500 rpms (peak power is at 6800). Even with that limitation, the car picks up speed so fast it is downright scary. And the car has always been completely confident on any turn i have had the guts to put it in. I read in the manual that a light is supposed to go on when the automatic nanny goes into action, I have not been able to get that light to turn on yet. So this is no muscle car in the turns.
Now you may thing that the audi is more flingable, because sometimes a car with less power and less grip is more fun to drive. That is because less power means that you can rev up the to the max power band and keep it there without fearing for your life and taking turns is more challanging. You also get this exhilarating feeling when the tires are screeching below you and you know you are at the edge of your grip on some tight turn. That was definately true of the mercuary capri. But it should not be confused for better driving characteristics as my Capri proved to me one day when it decided to do an impression of Disneyland's tea-cup ride in the middle of a busy three lane road.
So basicly the infinity g35 manual coupe outdoes the audi in every driving characteristic there is. It turns better accelerates better is more stable on the turns, etc. And in most important characteristics the infinity is far ahead of the audi. So if you want performance that is the car to have.
However many people want other things, and i have to admit the Audi A4 is a very good looking car both inside and outside. If that and the fuel consumption are important to you, you may as well go for the audi. And the audi is a very good performer as well ... just nowhere nearly as good as the infinity.
The infinity coupe has a beautiful shape which is somewhat ruined by the generic looking front grille and rear taillights. The audi has a good looking but somewhat generic shape which is made to look excaptional (in my opinion) by the superb design of the lights grille, etc.
From the inside the Audi just looks great period. It is in no doubt the best interior in its class. The infiniti has some strange choices in the interior (such as the fact that it puts the temperature readout in a heads up display, yet you still have to look down in order to reach the temperature knob, while you get convinient radio buttons on the wheel but the radio readout is not in the heads up display so you have to look down to the console to see what radio station you are on.
However after the infiniti went with real aluminum this year the interior looks very good as well (but not audi good of course). And the wheel and instrument panel are superb -- the wheel feels great and looks great (even its stitching matches the color of the lights in the instruments) and when the wheel adjusts the console moves with it, so you always have a perfect view of your instruments.
But in any event if you are a very aesthetic person, the audi will probably be better for you.
As far dependability, i think it is pretty clear the infinity wins out on this. First of all even if the two brands had equal reputation for dependability the fact that the audi has front wheel drive and a small turbo powered high revving engine means that the components of the audi will get used up much before those of the infinity. And in general infinity has a better reliability reputation than audi.
I leased my car so I was not especially worried about dependability but I did notice that the residuals of the infinity were higher than those for the audi. I chacked on the web and it seems that the G35 has the best residuals in its class:
http://www.alg.com/awards.aspx (scrow to the bottom where it says award winners and click on "near luxury")
Well hope this helps, sorry about the long post but i have a new car and i want to talk about it, you know how it is.