My wife and I are thinking of buying a used Audi (2005), Volvo (2005) or VW Passat (2006).

We heard positive things about the Audit. Anyone have experiences they’re willing to share - particularly how they would stack up against each other?


To learn how they behave:
(1) Read about them in car magazines like Car & Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend and Automobile, which you can find in your public library. All of them have web sites which contain links to abbreviated test reports.
(2) Use Google or Yahoo to search for articles about them. Specific web sites to search are,,
(3) Drive lots of different cars before making a decision. Reading is good preparation, but is not a substitute for driving.

To learn how expensive they are to maintain, look them up in Consumer Reports, which you can also find at the public library.

None of the three is likely to be a low maintenance car. Ditto for BMW. You should also look seriously at Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.

I think it depends on your criteria, are you looking for performance, economy, low maintenance, longevity, luxury, handling, all of the above? What type of car are we talking about, large sedan, sports sedan, wagon, AWD, sporty, etc?

I assume you are interested in a euro car and understand the costs. I would probably lean towards the audi/VW, but it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

Which models - A4, S40?

You’ll have to go back to 2003 to find a G35 at the same price as the cars the OP mentioned.

If you are looking for fun, what about a 2004 GTO?

Those three choices resemble playing the shell game without the pea. The VW may be the best of the three. Look around. Just for fun, look at a Camry, a new one with the rocker panel dress up kit and ask about the interior kit if there isn’t one on the lot. The looks are really special and it’s made in the USA. Made by people who aren’t taking all the profits home in their paycheck. About $30,000 for the Camry. If you don’t look at all the cars, a good one will stay hidden.

I would only consider leasing any of these vehicles. Lease a new one, and turn it over BEFORE

the lease and/or the warranty runs out.

The positive messages you got were probably from owners who purchased NEW and only have experience with low-mileage ownership. Maintenance and repair costs can become very high as these vehicles age and mileage accumulates.

They are attractive cars, but not cheap to own.

Based on the OP’s question, I assume that they can afford not to drive a toyota. Personally, I would never buy another car made in the U.S.; been there, done that (I would probably also avoid the newer volvos due to their unfortunate association with ford). Anyway, I was just curious why you think there is a difference between the VW and the Audi?