Last post on May 09, 2010 at 1:06 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Convertible, Sedan, Wagon
#11 of 12 Re: 2009 A4 Quattro 3.0 Handling in Snow by markcincinnati [hpmctorque]
May 08, 2010 (5:59 am)
I own a software company -- never have worked for any car company.
Started in software in late '70s -- first manager owned an Audi Silver Fox, a Porsche 944 (turbo) and a BMW that had the word Bavaria on the rear deck lid. We used the Audi and the Bimmer from time to time as company cars (we ran a service organization that processed payrolls and general ledgers for our clients, so we needed to pick up and deliver input and output.) I got pretty fond of the Silver Fox, and when it was time for my own company car, I opted for a brand new 1978 Audi 5000.
Now 28 Audis later (and two VW's and three BMW's [my wife's]), 6 tours of the Audi factory in Ingolstadt, 4 Audi driving schools, one BMW driving school (Austria and the Us respectively), I have become a German car fan and an Audi geek.
I read and internalize just about every shred of press about these cars, especially Audi.
Now you have TMI.
I am certain, the '07 did not have Rear Biased AWD, BTW.
Also, I completely agree that Audi has always had the reputation of being nose heavy. Yet, I do believe that Audi has the most experience and the best AWD systems available today to mere mortals.
Yet, I am willing to admit that, from a practical standpoint, the BMW X-drive is a great system and that most folks will never notice the difference between the two approaches.
Nevertheless, Audi, despite producing cars that were nose heavy, somehow engineered handling and performance into their cars that seemed to defy the laws of physics.
Now with the MLP chassis, Audis are better balanced. Moreover, with the newest quattro systems and things like Audi Drive Select and torque vectoring, Audi keeps serving up platters of whipass to BMW and Mercedes (even the aging C6 A6 won a recent comparo against a 5, as did the B8 chassis better the Bimmer 3.)
Yet the reputation for reliability has escaped ALL the Germans and, as far as I know, ALL of the Europeans, when put up against the Japanese and, apparently, Koreans.
Part of this (for Audi), a minor part, does have to do with the fact that Audi had to come back from the brink after the 60 minutes program regarding unintended acceleration. Why that is important is that Audis sales slipped to such low US sales numbers (and high US rumors of unsafe and unreliable cars).
Audis have excellent warranties, are relatively inexpensive to certify to 100,000 miles, yet remain (as do most Euro cars) saddled with a reputation of only OK durability. All the makers, on the planet, are striving to increase their real and perceived reliability and durability reputations.
Audi is no different. And Audi has made great strides -- but, then again, it was compelled to.
An Audi (or a BMW) out of warranty is a scary thing -- for these cars, like almost no others, are breathtakingly expensive to maintain and repair once they exceed their manufacturers protection cocoons. Even today, I paid for the Audi full service program for my '09 A4. Folks who won't pay the $700 are shocked when they see the first $300+ "oil change." My buddy nearly had to be revived when his BMW, at 52,000 needed new front brakes and it was just south of $2,000 (which pretty much was the cost of the BMW sponsored 100,000 continued protection.
"I told you so" didn't even have to be mentioned. to him. He now drives American only.
Another buddy, out with the 5 series, in with the Genesis sedan -- 100,000 mile OE warranty and less money too.
If you want to drive one of these great machines, you pay and you pay and you pay dearly -- unless you go for the extended programs.
Last data point, my wife's lawyer buddy, went from BMW to Lexus -- one of the power window motors went out on the Lexus, right after the warranty concluded. Roll up your arm and bend over -- this little do-dah was practically a 4 figure fix. She said she would've let it stay broken had it not been the driver's side power window.
These lux and near lux cars are not for the faint of wallet, no matter what their country of origin, is a point I'm making here.
#12 of 12 Re: 2009 A4 Quattro 3.0 Handling in Snow by markcincinnati [markcincinnati]
May 09, 2010 (1:06 pm)
Thank you for your direct and detailed reply to my questions. The fact that you're not associated with the auto industry, other than as a consumer, and that you clearly acknowledge your general preference for Audis, gives your answers extra credibility.
Yeah, I remember the Fox and the 5000. Both were really well designed, appealing cars in their day. I chose to by a '78 Pontiac LeMans, with the Chevy 305 V8 and optional handling suspension. That was the first year for GM's down-sized intermediates, and it proved to be a good car. It was hit by a pick up truck, but, fortunately, the injuries were minor.
As for the '10 models, I agree with you that the A4 compares favorably to the competition.
If our A4 delivers average reliability, and the maintenance and repairs are only somewhat above average, we'll be happy, and we'll consider another Audi when it's time to trade. Our preference is to drive our cars at 100,000+ miles, so we'll see how this A4 does over the long haul. According to the owners manual, coolant and automatic transmission fluid have to hardly ever be replaced. Do you change change these fluids more frequently than required by the owner's manual? That may be a moot point for you, since you probably trade your cars frequently.