Daer Ray and Tom,
I have always wanted to own an Audi but have been concerned about reliability. I currently drive a very reliable 2002 Honda CRV. It is comfortable and spacious, but it isn’t a pretty car and the road noise is irritating. When I met my husband he drove an Audi Fox that I loved but it was always in the shop. I have been researching the Audi dealers in the Denver area and haven’t been that impressed with comments about service quality. What should I do?
Daer Ray and Tom,
I would think with your history and research results Audi would be pretty low on your list…take a look at Infiniti as an alternative, or Acura.
You are not asking a car question, your heart wants an Audi, but your brain says no. I still want an mgb-gt…
When I met my husband he drove an Audi Fox that I loved but it was always in the shop
Maybe it wasn’t the Audi you “loved” but the type of car it was. Try cars that are similar from more reliable manufacturers and see if you can “love” them as well. Check CR reliability ratings and reviews for quite and reliable cars and see which are “pretty” to you when you try them out.
The Fox was one of the worst cars Audi ever made (and they made a lot of bad ones in the 1970’s – 1980’s). My A4 was an entirely different car. Since you also live in Denver, talk to the guys at Champagne motors (Denver’s top independent Audi specialist) before you buy anything. I wouldn’t service my Audi anywhere else.
PS:Don’t buy an new one, look for one that’s 2 - 3 years old for 40% - 50% of MSRP
Consider this. If car A averages one problem out of 5,000 cars and car B averages two problems out of 5,000 cars, car be will be reported as having twice as many problems, but it still is only one changes out of 2,500 that you will have a problem.
I question every estimate of car problems. No one bases their reports on questionable data. They may be using the best available data, but I have yet to see a study that really does it right. They need to adjust for a number of factors.
For example, would the typical Ford buyer report or maybe even notice a small paint flaw that a Rolls Royce owner would likely report. Would you expect a high power sports car to be driven easy compared to a soccer mom’s car?
I am not suggesting you ignore the reports, just be a little skeptical of them.
Also consider how the buyers of a certain vehicle use them. I’ve seen report after report showing higher powertrain reliability on a Ford Fusion than on a Mazda 6, despite them using the same powertrain (ok, the 2009+ Mazda 6 is on the same transmission as the 09 and earlier Fusion - the 2010 Fusion uses a different transmission but the same engine). Similarly, Consumer Reports reported what appeared to be significant differences in powertrain reliability between Dodge Magnums and Chrysler 300s…
But the Mazda 6 and Ford Fusion should have the same powertrain reliability, and the Magnum and 300 should have the same powertrain reliability.
The only explanation is a difference in how the drivers push the cars and report problems. A typical Mazda 6 driver might push his car significantly harder than a typical Ford Fusion driver. But you as an individual, should see no difference between the two.
For the same reason you want an Audi, I would like to have a Jaguar. I think they are really great looking cars. However, I prefer to look out in the parking lot a a Jaguar one of my colleagues drives. I then don’t have to worry about the repair bills or the fact that the nearest dealer is 60 miles away.
Since I have to depend on my vehicle, I drive a Toyota Sienna. It gets me where I am going and hauls people and things. Assess your needs in a car. If the Audi meets your needs and secondly fits your personality then go for it.
The car that fits Triedaq’s personality is an old diesel that makes a big stink, a lot of noise and doesn’t move very fast.
Here’s what I recommend:
Pick the Audi that you like the most, and would most likely buy, given the chance.
Now, search Google or Bing, or whatever, and find a forum of people who own these cars.
Now search through their forum for at least a month, and see what type of problems they report with their cars, and if they are able to get them resolved by their local dealers under warranty, and how many time it took to get the problem resolved.
If everyone is only reporting problems like the wheels and tires being out of balance, then its not much of an issue. If they are reporting huge clouds of blue smoke everytime they start the car, you might want to think about skipping the car.
If they are reporting huge electrical issues that the dealer can’t figure out, then you really want to look somewhere else.
If they are reporting transmission failure in 15k miles, you might want to really, really, really look somewhere else.
Research will give you the best idea if you truly want to buy an Audi.
You only live once. If you can afford it and it makes you happy, go for it.
If you want a new Audi, you should just lease it and turn it back in at the end of the lease.
Edmunds estimates that it will cost about 70% mor for maitenance and repairs for an Audi A4 vs. an Acura TSX. While significantly more, it may not be a deal-killer for you. MSN Autos rates it in its highest reliability catagory. They have a wider tolerance for problems than Consumer Reports, who has the lowest tolerance.
I know a few driver’s who simply love their Audi’s. They expect higher repair bills but that is the price they are willing to pay in order to drive an Audi. If you buy new you’ve got some time with warranty coverage. If you buy used you should get a good pre-sale inspection due by an Audi knowledgeable mechanic.
If I was going to buy an Audi I’d make sure I had a good mechanic lined up to keep the car repaired and running properly.
My neighbor loves his A6, and has had good luck with it, owned it for 6 years. It’s just a question of higher expected costs and repairs. I would be nice if the OP would indicate what Audi they’re considering. I’d be very worried about a 1990 or 2000 used car, not at all worried about a 2010 (at least for the warranty period).
Depending on the type of users the forum caters to, 15k might be long lived. If you see several posts that start with “Check out this new burnout I just done!” or “So I just smoked some tard in a 'Stang”, avoid the forum
edit: I agree with Goldwing, Audi is just one of those vehicles you lease instead of purchase(same with BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, etc). And I’m big time against leasing
Texases- I am looking at a newer A4. quattro. I had an Acura Integra before the CRV. The Integra had great handling around corners but didn’t do so well in the snow.
Any other suggestions for upscale 4 wheel drive sedans?
Twotone- what do you like best about Champagne Motors?
Thanks everyone for your advice.
Another option would be an awd Infiniti G35 or BMW 328xi. Or go for the newest A4 you can.
That’s a G35x; It’s a terrific car and very reliable. The fussiest car guy I know bought one new and is still happy.