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Old 06-04-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
PeteOz77
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Default Buying a New(er) car

I have decided that due to rising fuel prices, the fact that I have quit racing, and the fact that 98% of the time I am driving, I am the only one in the vehicle, It's time to sell my Quad Cab 4X4 Mitrusbishi Triton.

SWMBO drives a Lexus RX 330 (smaller SUV) and we don't have kids, so pretty much anything I buy is going to be OK, unless of course I spend a stupid amount of money on it.

I am considering buying a 2002 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8 Turbo with around 60,000 miles on it. It's show room perfect and has a full service history. I have been looking for a while and haven't founder a cleaner, straighter lower mileage one available within 8 hours of my house.

SO I guess I am looking for input on Audi and A4 Quattro in particular.

I know they are expensive to fix
I know they have some issues with auto Trans and some with dashboard display.

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Old 06-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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At least with the Audi/VW's I have dealt with, there are constantly problems with electrical. Whether it is the coilpack throwing cylinder misfires or just general electrical failure, I've never been a fan. They are expensive when they need to get fixed, and for the price you'd be just as comfortable in a stuffed passat (lower mileage, and newer). Are you looking for something in the midsize luxury segment? Have you looked at the 1998-2005 GS300/400/430? I have a 1998 and I love it, however the 2001-2005 are a bit nicer. The GS400/430 (depending on the year) gets better gas mileage than the 300 and they are a very comfortable car. Reliability is second to none.

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Old 06-04-2008, 03:18 PM   #3
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Oh, I just realized that you're in Australia? Maybe it's the V300 or aristo over there, not quite sure.

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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What class of car are you looking at? By this I mean, 4 door sedan, 2 door coupe, sports, lux., car, truck? If you dont have kids and your still looking for something fun, go with a nissan 180sx or 200sx, or the silvia line. If you want a great reliable car,with the prospect of having kids, get a toyota or step it up to a lexus. Or even go with a honda/acura, thats al preferance. I know your car market is differnet from the US market, but you get ALL of the great cars with teh best motor options. You can get something fun and reliable that will still get great gas mileage.

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:08 PM   #5
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Get a Chevy Chevette. They are great small cars and great on mileage. You can probably find a used one at a very reasonable price as well, since they are not made anymore.

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
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M co-worker is getting 52 MPG highway in his '90 honda CRX I am VERY jealous

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Old 06-04-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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I have a 2004 Audi A4 (hence the username) with close to 60,000 miles on it.

I love my car... but... i know its quirks and while I'm comfortable with them, not everyone wants to deal with it.

The quattro part of it is fairly reliable.

The 2002's were notorious for coilpack failures. Check to see that they've been replaced. Mine failed a couple months ago - it was only one coilpack but I went ahead and bought additional coilpacks just as a backup. Coilpacks are roughly US$40 each and they are super easy to replace.

Window regulators are another well-known problem. My front regulators were replaced during the warranty period so I don't know how much they cost or how easy they are to replace.

The fuel filter needs to be replaced at 60k miles. I replaced mine a couple months ago. It was fairly easy and took about an hour.

Timing belt needs to be changed at this mileage too.

I have manual transmission so I can't comment about the auto trans.

All in all I'm happy with my car and the things that are failing now are consistent with a 60k mile car. It's still running strong and gets great gas mileage.

(my car is modified so there are other problems related to that, but if the car you're looking at is stock, you should be good.)

*edit*
I've never had a problem with my dashboard display and haven't heard anything about problems with displays either.

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input so far guys. To answer a few questions...

I am looking for 4 door sedan luxury/prestige autos, less than $20K. Cars are VERY expensive here, regardless of brand, so I have to be looking at something at least 5 years old to fit into that price range. I strongly considered a Lexus IS200, but they are still hovering around the $24K range. I'll have another look in the 300 series.

I have explored the Passat, which is essentially the same car as a standard A4. THey are quite abit less expensive, but just don't have the same level of fit and finish, or performance.

A4J, thanks for the play by play, I'll check on the coil packs, and if they haven't been replaced, I will get a couple of spares. Also, the manual says timing belt at 110,000 km and the car has 97,000 km on it. Based on my driving habits, I won't need to get it replaced for 10-12 months, but will definitely do this on schedule.

I know Japanese cars are more reliable, and better value for money, but I just don't like them. THey are very expensive to fix in AUS as well, and even if they don't break down as much (in theory), I prefer the fit and finish as well as the ride and comfort of euro luxury. Lexus is the exception, and we already have one of those... a second one isn't out of the question.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:28 PM   #9
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I have heard several Audi horror stories (one from close friends on a brand new one) about electrical issues with Audi. How about a 3 series BMW? About the same price point as Audi, and less lemon type issues. Same steep maintenance, though.

I understand why people like Lexi, but for some reason they strike me as cars for old people. Some of the controls are almost insultingly large-like they're for bluehairs. I test drove the Lexus SUV's when we bought our Acura MDX. We love the MDX, but it's a kid carrier and it doesn't seem you need one of those.

I have test driven the Acura TL a bunch of times while getting oil changes on the MDX, and it's a really snappy, responsive mid-size sedan. Pretty sharp looking, too.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteOz77 View Post
Thanks for the input so far guys. To answer a few questions...

I am looking for 4 door sedan luxury/prestige autos, less than $20K. Cars are VERY expensive here, regardless of brand, so I have to be looking at something at least 5 years old to fit into that price range. I strongly considered a Lexus IS200, but they are still hovering around the $24K range. I'll have another look in the 300 series.

I have explored the Passat, which is essentially the same car as a standard A4. THey are quite abit less expensive, but just don't have the same level of fit and finish, or performance.

A4J, thanks for the play by play, I'll check on the coil packs, and if they haven't been replaced, I will get a couple of spares. Also, the manual says timing belt at 110,000 km and the car has 97,000 km on it. Based on my driving habits, I won't need to get it replaced for 10-12 months, but will definitely do this on schedule.

I know Japanese cars are more reliable, and better value for money, but I just don't like them. THey are very expensive to fix in AUS as well, and even if they don't break down as much (in theory), I prefer the fit and finish as well as the ride and comfort of euro luxury. Lexus is the exception, and we already have one of those... a second one isn't out of the question.
Well just to put it out there...

You do live in one of the best Jap. spec markets in the world. I did not realize that they were expensive which really sucks because they make amazing cars. Even if you do not buy one, at least go out and test drive one for me.

The holy grail of sports cars, the Nissan Skyline. You have 3 generations available to you, the R32, 33, and 34. If you can find a place to test drive ANY of these, take one out and beat the SH!T out of it!!!! They are a landmark car in the history of automotive technology. So if your interested, it would be one of the coolest cars you could drive!

But thats just me
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