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2009 Audi A4 Avant vs 2007-2009 Lexus RX 350


I’m due for a new car and have narrowed it down to 2 - the newer A4 avant and a lexus Rx350. I generally prefer the feel of a wagon - drives like a car, low to the ground, fairly easy to park but still with a lot of room for a family (which we don’t have yet, but soon). I drive 120 miles a day (commute from San Francisco up to Sonoma county) and plan to make this car last. I’ve heard both sides of Audis - ones that last forever and others that have had headaches. The Lexus Rx may not be as good on MPG or as smooth to drive but my father in law swears by them and how long they last without issues. They just seem sort of big and bulky to me. I have the option to buy an A4 Audi avant, 2009, 35k miles, with lots of great commuter features (xm, bluetooth,ipod) for essentially $27k through a local guy. If it checks out at the mechanic, am I crazy not to buy it and keep looking at RX 350s? Would love any thoughts on maintenance and cost to own. Thanks!

As much as I like my ES300, if I were in your situation I might go for the (completely checked out with full maintenance history) Audi. It would make that long daily drive more enjoyable, especially if some side roads are involved. But this is one of the few situations I’d consider getting an Audi-backed extended warranty (absolutely no third-party warranty).

And check out the ‘should I buy an Audi’ discussion:

An alternative, if you can wait a couple of months, will be the Acura TSX Sportwagon, but a bit more $$.

Apples and oranges. Not comparable. If you want a wagon buy a wagon. There aren’t many to choose from, but there are still a few.

By the way, I’m with you. I prefer a wagon and am avoiding the SUV/Crossover craze like the plague.

If you have to choose between the Audi and the Lexus, I’d vote for the Lexus as less expensive to own over time.

Good luck.

Instead of the RX350, why not look at it’s (somewhat)cheaper twin, the Toyota Highlander

You can buy an XM or Sirius receiver for your car that plugs into your car audio system. You should get a price break if you subscribe for more than one year. I have XM (love it) and subscribe 3 years at a time. Sirius used to have a lifetime subscription; maybe they still do. But it was really the lifetime of the car (as long as you own it). With a portable receiver, that could be a very long time. Toddle on over to and and see what offers they have for a portable receiver. The big box retailers sell them, too.

Thanks for all the responses! I just had the Audi mechanic who was looking at the car for me point out that he drives a Toyota. Sad to part with the sporty wagon but that is a pretty dismal sign.

I have an Audi A4 Avant and really love it. I have not driven the Lexus. The Audi gets much better gas mileage than the EPA estimates. I can get over 30 mph on freeway at 75 on the cruise. It is not a big car especially for back seat passengers. The other disadvantage compared to the Lexus is that is rides very low, good for handling, but its for well surfaced roads only. It is very comfortable for long road trips and fun to drive. Great handling and good acceleration with the 4 cyl. I’m guessing the Lexus is more reliable in terms of repairs, but that’s the price you pay for performance and fun.