Last post on Sep 20, 2013 at 7:48 AM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Audi A3, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#4 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [mamadadapaige]
Jul 09, 2006 (5:06 pm)
My nod goes to the A4. I own two A4's (2001 1.8T Frontrak and 2006 2.0T Avant). They are outstanding cars. Previously I did own a 1999 Subaru Outback, which was a fine car. Didn't drive it long enough to advise on the long term reliability. While Subaru's have an excellent reoutation, I had a friend with a late model Legacy Outback and the clutch failed early on and he had some other problems. My last issue of Car & Driver reviewed the zLegacy 2.5 Turbo after 40K miles and it had a ton of problems. I'm not so convinced the new ones are made to last like their reputation has it. Last, about the Subaru's, there is NO comparison on interior quality and how they feel and handle as compared to an Audi. It's not even comparable. Audi's are sports cars, and with the possible exception of the WRX's, no Subaru comes close.
I've not driven the A3, but I think they are too small for 2 kid seats and in my opinion, they are too closely priced to the A4's when optioned up. For mid $30's, go the A4 route. I'd go with the VW GTI for low $20's before I went for the A3. They are very close to being the same car underneath the surface (which I happen to like better on the GTI anyways).
#5 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [jfl]
Jul 09, 2006 (5:31 pm)
"The current Subarus have fared very well in crash tests. (I didn't look at Audi's results, they may be equally good.) If you tire of the car, I think you'll find Subaru has better resale value."
Audis also have very good crash test ratings. The A3, A4, and A6 are all silver rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Legacy and Impreza grab the gold.
As for resale value, I do know that my previous Audis have done better than I expected. But maybe my expectations were low .
Oh, another factor to consider is dealer support. A crummy dealership is a deal breaker for me. Mine's been extremely easy to work with. My present car was a factor (uh.. make that 'factory') order, verbal agreement, and no money down. Didn't hand over a cent until I picked up my car at the exact price previously agreed to. You can bet I'll be going back to that dealer. Just wish it was to pick up an RS4.
#6 of 43 I own both
Jul 09, 2006 (6:23 pm)
2000 Outback Limited, and 2006 A4 Avant.
The A4 is quieter, has incredible braking, gets better MPG, is quicker, and the Xenon headlights are to die for.
In NORMAL public street driving, there is no useful difference in handling. The Subie handles VERY good at the traction limit, even if it does lean alot. It's easier to take the Subie to that limit, than it is the A4 to it's higher limit. (We are talking racing speeds/g-forces here.)
The A4 has a better radio. The A4 has worse speakers. The A4 rides much more harshly. The A4's 'climate control' wants to do things IT's way, not YOUR way. The A4 seats belong in a Yugo.
I drive the A4 to work in summer, and the Subie in winter (with a set of wheels and Bridgestone Blizzak tires). I also drive the Subie to the store on the weekends. Every time I drive it, I say to myself "I LIKE this car!".
My Subaru dealer is great, and I trust them. My Audi dealer is the progeny of Satan, and I expect hell to erupt from their lot any time, now.
I don't think it was a wise expenditure of money to get the A4, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime splurge. I will NOT buy another Audi, but would buy another Subie today (and almost talked my spouse into getting one).
Do a VERY complete background check on your Audi dealer(s) before buying from them!!
#7 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [mamadadapaige]
Jul 10, 2006 (6:40 am)
thanks for all the great responses...
just to confuse matters even more, we stopped by a Mercedes dealership yesterday and drove around a 2004 E320 4MATIC wagon... oh my, what a car... almost too much car for at this point in my life. if only I were 5 years older.
It only had 11,000 miles on it and looked brand new. It is really a little beyond our price range though. They are asking $43,000 -- haven't a clue of what they might be willing to come down to.
The experience got me thinking of the other cars though. It would be so nice to be in a plush car. I think the Subaru Outbook is the most practical choice, I am just having a hard time getting excited about it. These nicely appointed European cars certainly have a good feel to them!
#8 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [mamadadapaige]
Jul 10, 2006 (8:49 am)
Ah... the new Subaru OutBook... would that be a journal about Subaru drivers coming out of the closet?
Sorry about that!
I believe that you probably meant 'Outback'.
Well of course you did.
Anyhow, do you live in an area that 'features' deep winter snow or do you plan to drive to such locations? If not, the Subaru Legacy wagon would provide better emergency handling by virtue of a lower center of gravity. Those extra few inches of Outback ground clearance come with a price in the handling department.
In closing, it looks to me as if you should try to go on a few more test drives before you do the deal.
Best of luck...
#9 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [byronwalter]
Jul 10, 2006 (1:34 pm)
oops... yes, the outback. i was typing in a hurry.
yes, we get lots of snow in the winter. We are in New England. We have a ski house that we travel to on the weekends up North so I would like something that has AWD.
Incidentally, the reason I am looking for a new car is that my car (which was only 7 months old and was purchased new from the dealership) was stolen right out of my driveway while we slept. We live in one of the safest towns but still this happened... I am still a little shocked.
It is totally infuriating because I think we are going to take a huge hit on depreciation if the car is not recovered which at this point is unlikely as it has been a couple of weeks (the insurance company requires us to wait 30 days before calling it a total loss). At this point, I am sort of hoping they don't find my car even though it will be a great financial loss as I can only imagine what it looks like.
#10 of 43 Legacy experience
Jul 10, 2006 (1:42 pm)
I have a 2006 Legacy i-LTD wagon and my neighbor has an Audi A4 wagon. The profiles are very similar as are the interiors. I had a 95 Legacy wagon and it is still going strong, with the original battery and muffler and 200,00 km! I love driving the new one - and the sunroof is amazing. The highway mileage with some stop and go stuff is a true 31 mpg - on regular. It is very easy to like this car - and if you use it in the winter on snow it is truly amazing at getting through stuff that seems too deep for an SUV. I looked at the Outback, and it seemed like a Legacy dressed up as an SUV but fooling no one. I couldn't discern the difference in handling, but the higher road clearance costs money and affects handling negatively. The Audi has traction control and stability control. The Subaru doesn't and I never was in a situation where I needed either but some think those are deficits. The i-Ltd only comes as a 4-speed automatic with sport shift. Just to confuse things - have you looked at the new Passat wagon? It is the best looking of the lot and has many great features - but VW has not yet made reliability and repair expense into its strong points.
#11 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [mamadadapaige]
Jul 10, 2006 (3:40 pm)
Many moons ago I had a car stolen out of my driveway (I was renting at the time). I ...ah... left the keys in the car!
Kid down the road skipped his lithium and decided that he should drive to Montana in search of dental floss. Got picked up about 100 miles west of my place.
Anyhow, you really could use the AWD. Both the Audi A4 and the Legacy/Outback have very good AWD systems and in your case you just might need the Outback's extra ground clearance.
Hey, but just stay away from that $$$ used Mercedes
#12 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [byronwalter]
Jul 11, 2006 (5:26 am)
I will look at the Legacy... I know so little about Subaru at this time - I thought the Legacy was a Sedan and the Outbook was the same car but in a wagon. Tells you how much I know.
It is nice to hear so much support for the Subarus as the Audis will be a little pricey for us - not to mention the used Mercedes (here is the small world part of the story: when at the dealership, they gave us a Carfax report on the mercedes which revealed the former owner, who happens to be just down the street, literally 100 yards down the road - same small street in the same small town. I plan to ask him about the car - only has 11,000 miles on it - it is a 2004, but the reality is that the car is too nice for us - the rugs are off white - my kids will have this absolutely stunning car looking like a mess after one ride in it).
#13 of 43 Re: AWD car needed: Audi A4 Avant vs. Audi A3 vs. Subaru Outback [mamadadapaige]
Jul 13, 2006 (9:09 am)
After reading this thread, I'm not sure what you are looking for or what is most important to you. The A3 is more of a sports car than either the BMW, or MB, IMHO. If AWD is really important to you, the Subaru (or Maxda, see below) is probably the way to go for a new car.
However, I lived for years in the Boston area and I probably engaged the 4WD on my truck a half dozen times each year; in snow country, they know how to get the roads cleared quickly. In fact, I always noticed that most of the cars stranded on the side of the road on snowy days were always SUVs, no doubt driven by drivers who thought 4WD was a substitute for common sense (ie, you don't try to drive the speed limit in the middle of a snow storm, no matter what kind of vehicle you have). The 2.0 A3 is a hoot to drive and can easily be had under $30k.
A couple of other vehicles worth a look might be the Mazda CX-7 which is a very nice package for the price and the Infinity FX35. Both are available with AWD. And you could check on some used Audi A4s or A6s as well. Depreciation tends to be high with most Audis so you might be pleasantly surprised at what you could afford.