Last post on Jan 15, 2009 at 1:22 PM
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Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Car Buying, Wagon
#1 of 35 Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon
Nov 14, 2006 (12:29 pm)
Hi, I am thinking of replacing my Toyota 4-Runner with a luxury type of wagon. My wife and I have a toddler as well as a golden retriever. I just don't need the towing capability of an SUV and would like better on-road driving (less of the truck-like handling that my 4Runner has). I also want better fuel efficiency.
I am in the beginning stages of my research. I haven't driven any wagons yet, but am a bit nervous about making the transition from an SUV. I will probably go with a used vehicle, in the range of a 2003-2006. I am going to look at the BMW 3 series wagon, BMW 5 series wagon, Audi A4 Avant, Audi A6 Avant, Mercedes C-Class wagons, Volvo V70, and Volvo XC70 (although I am leaning toward a German car).
Can anyone give me some insight on their experiences in making the same choice I am going through? Any thoughts on these cars? Advice?
Thanks in advance.
#2 of 35 Re: Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon [waid10]
Nov 15, 2006 (7:27 am)
I cannot comment on the wagons you listed, but wanted to mentioned our experience in case that would be useful to consider.
We were in the market to trade in my wife's 2001 330Xi sedan for a new 330Xi. She loved the way it drove, but her car was starting to experience mechanical problems and there was no warranty, so we wanted a new car.
The BMW salesman encourged us to look at the X3. My wife liked the way it "felt" in the showroom. After a test drive, we were sold and bought one. My wife loves the way the X3 drives like a sedan, but has a higher seating position, more seating room, and much more utility than a sedan.
The 4 Runner is truck based. You may want to consider a car based performance vehicle like the X3 as an option.
Nov 15, 2006 (5:25 pm)
I had a 2002 A4 Avant that I absolutley loved - still miss that car. You do have some real pros and cons downsizing from a 4Runner to a small wagon.
1) Rear seat legroom in the A4 and the 3 series (and I think the C class) is limited, especially if relatively tall people are sitting in front. I ultimately got rid of my A4 due to my increasingly long-legged older daughter complaining of feeling cramped. This should not be an issue with a toddler, but if you are the sort that keeps your cars a long time it will become so. This will be less of an issue in the larger A6/5 series/V70 if you go that route.
2) Speaking as to the Audi, you will be floored at how much better it handles and drives than a truck based SUV. I'm sure the others are the same. Audis are wonderful in foul weather.
3) Usable carrying capacity is pretty darn good in all of these. The BMW 5 series wagon has more cargo room than their X5 SUV by a good margin.
4) Never own a European car out of warranty. While I think the reliability gap has narrowed a lot in recent years, the cars you mention above are all breathtakingly expensive to repair out of warranty.
Hope this helps!
#4 of 35 Re: wagons [bluetrane]
Nov 16, 2006 (7:59 am)
Thanks for your thoughts. I am a bit concerned about the cargo room available in the A4 Avant/C-class wagon/325 wagon. I need to compare these with their larger siblings.
Also, I am 6'3" and 215 pounds, so I need to make sure I am comfortable in the driver and passenger seats. I am comfortable in the driver seat of my 4runner for the most part, but feel cramped in the passenger seat. The wagon we pick will be our primary car for road trips so this is an important factor. Also, many of our road trips are to see family in the snow belt of northwest PA, so I need to be sure that these wagons are capable in snow. I am aware of Audi's reputation in the elements. I am not familiar with the capabilities of BMW's x-drive and Mercedes 4matic in bad weather.
#6 of 35 im in the same market
Nov 17, 2006 (11:25 pm)
I've been recently shopping for the same type of car, and had it narrowed down to those 8 as well. After test drive a few i chose the 5 series wagon, because it gets better mileage then the rest, handles better, and has the most complete options list. it just feels better to drive as well. I also like Idrive despite what most editors think. Once you learn it, you dont miss a conventional setup at all, and its capable of more. And as for winter performace, i have a quattro(audi awd system) equipped vehicle and its been great, but the new xdrive(bmw awd) is more advanced and from what i can tell is better. Edmunds reviewed the 530xi in the snow and thought it was.
test drive it and try iDrive to see if you like it. if you do, i would definelty recomemnd it.
#7 of 35 Re: Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon [bruc
Dec 11, 2006 (3:39 pm)
I'm also in the market to trade in my 2001 330xi for either a 2007 328xit or a 2007 X3. i have a 4yr old and a 7 month old. I also put in some fairly long drives visiting clients for work. Does anyone have any thoughts?
My pro's and cons for each are as follows.
Pro - better Navigation system with Traffic Updates
- Easier to Park
- Sportier, less body roll
Con - Lousy cup holders
- Cramped back seat(I'm 6 Foot and tend to keep the seat all the way back.
pro - More storage space
- More leg room in back
- More Horse power
Con - Worse MPG
- Older design
- May seem more ostentatious to some.
I'm torn between the two. I'd appreciate an opinion on either car.
#8 of 35 Re: Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon [bruc [nevcool]
Dec 11, 2006 (4:06 pm)
Regarding your "Pros" for the X3, you listed "More Horse Power", however, offsetting that extra power is also extra weight, 242 pounds to be exact. In order of horsepower the X3 is indeed the most powerful (260 HP) with the 328iT and 328xiT offering only 230. The other side of the coin is the power to weight ratio which ranks the cars as 328iT (15.34:1), X3 (15.43:1) and 328xiT (16.39:1). Then there is the gearing that allows these vehicles to accelerate. The order is still the same as the power to weight (6.5, 6.9, 7.1), however, the acceleration difference is fairly insignificant between the 328xiT and the X3.
#9 of 35 Re: Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon [ship
Dec 11, 2006 (4:51 pm)
Thanks for the info.
Which one would you choose?
#10 of 35 Re: Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 3-Series Wagon vs. Mercedes C - Class Wagon [ship [nevcool]
Dec 11, 2006 (5:56 pm)
Easy answer. I live in southern New Hampshire and we get LOTS of snow, so what I would order (and BTW, due to a new family member in the form of a yellow Lab puppy am seriously considering it) would be a 328iT (yes, a RWD version) 6-Speed Manual, PP, SP, Premium Audio and Xenon. Then, as its first winter approaches, I'd buy a full set of winter wheels and tires and keep on trucking. For my needs, wants and desires, AWD need not apply.