The O.C.

The O.C. "Inherits" an Audi.....

31 posts in this topic

Well, in a positive turn of events, my ex paid the remaining lease payments on our '07 A4 and gave it to me to drive. The lease has until December of this year. (I'm first on the lease, so you could argue it's my car anyways....LOL.)

This is good....because I'm about 4,000 miles over on my CTS lease....and it needs tires.....so with the Audi, I can drive that until December, park the CTS, let the miles equalize, and not have to put tires on it for another year or so.

It's been an interesting comparo to have.....two cars that are almost the same amount of money.....(A4...$39,000 msrp, CTS...$41,000 msrp)....couldn't be so different to be in and to drive.

The A4 is a 2.0T Quattro, 6-speed manual trans, S-Line package, Titanium package (charcoal wheels, black grille, black piano wood trim), Xenons, Navigation, Premium package. All that it lacks are heated seats and the Bose stereo (it needs it.)

Now let me say this UP FRONT....I love my CTS and nothing changes my opinion of it. However, in two weeks of daily driving in the A4, I have to admit, unforseen my me, that I actually like driving the A4 BETTER......(let the arrows and slingshots fly on here....LOL)

It's been a major realization for me. I've always loved BMWs, etc....but never thought I'd be an "Audi guy." What are the pluses on the A4 versus the CTS?

* Way more fun-to-drive...even with the L4 engine. There is an excellence in the relationship between the clutch, shifter, and engine that makes this car a true joy to row through the gears. It's also WAY easier to drive smoothly than the CTS. Now GRANTED....the CTS, I've learned, is not at it's best when linked to a manual transmission. It's simply no BMW...and seems like Cadillac never intended it to be one. The clutch in my car is very vague, the shifter has long throws (but they are Honda smooth I'll readily admit) and when you dip the clutch to shift, the 3.6L "hang on to revs" like has been explained as an emissions "thing" in the past. This car deserves an auto.

* A4 is tighter. My CTS has the top V6 suspension.....the "Sport" package with 18-inch wheels and tires. But compared to the A4, it's still luxury-car soft. Many people will like this...however, I like the snubbed-down ride motions that the A4 S-line suspension has. This also adds to the "fun-to-drive" factor. The CTS, at 34,000 miles, has many more creaks and groans than the A4 has at 22,000 miles.....but it's by no means rattly. Squeaks and groans only occur when you flex the body, say as turning into a parking lot with a change in pavement elevation that causes the body to flex.....or by going over raised speedbumps. The Audi is whisper-quiet over the same driving conditions.

* Interior materials and fit-and-finish. No contest here. We've all heard the praises about Audi interiors and this car is no exception. Now, I've always commented that I'm not bothered by the CTS interior...and that's still true. I acutally like the design/styling of it and the actual fit is top-notch. But, I have to admit it pales in comparison to the Audi in actual finish, etc. CTS leather on the drivers seat is shiny and worn at 34K miles....the Audi looks new at 22K miles. Plus, the steering wheel is small...! CTS wheel is overly large. You might not think this is a big deal at all....until you drive both back-to-back.

* Mileage. I have been getting about 24mpg (and it's a "fuel sucking" quattro) in mixed driving in the A4 for the last few weeks....compared to about 18mpg in mixed driving in the CTS prior to that. Plus, according to the buff mags, that's not at the expense of performance. C&D's road test of this generation A4 with a manual said 0-60 in 7.2secs. That compares to their figure of 6.9secs for a 6-speed CTS in a comparo. However, believe it or not, the Audi feels faster and torquier than the CTS...! Part of that is the turbo-boost on call to aid performance and part of that is the fact that, like I've complained in the past, the 3.6L in my Caddy just doesn't like to rev and feels not that quick unless you really run it up through the gears to redline. The A4 feels punchy from as low as 2,000 rpms....even at part-throttle.

* Features. Navigation (not available in the CTS Sport, for some unexplainable reason.) Short, 3-flash turn signals. Rear fog lights. Articulating xenon lights (as opposed to fixed xenons on the CTS.) Tilt AND telescoping steering wheel. Flat-blade windshield wipers. Auto up/down windows on all four. Integrated key/fob. Assist grips on all four sides. Console-mounted parking brake.

* Engine. I'm a big fan of the 3.6L HF V6....but it's better suited to an auto. Believe it or not, the 2.0T in the A4 is quieter and more refined than the 3.6L in the CTS....which gets growly when you rev it high. The 2.0T stays quieter all through the rev range. The A4 engine is more noticeable at idle sound-wise than the V6 CTS, but not any less smooth. Amazingly, no 4-cyl vibration through the seats/steering wheel/shift lever. 3.6L V6 has more attractive engine note though....even if it's louder.

CTS virtues?

* The CTS is still a lot roomier...it's a bigger car. Although I have to say the A4 trunk is about the same size....and I fit PERFECTLY in the A4 driver seat. That being said, if you had to take 3 other people out to dinner or something, the CTS is more accommodating.

* Sound system (Bose) in the CTS simply sounds fantastic! The Bose in the A4 (heard in a friend's A4) is not nearly as good....and the base unit in my A4 SUCKS.

* Styling. While I find the A4 attractive, definitely......the CTS has a great, unique style inside and outside....and I still get plenty of comments on it.

Sounds like I am bashing the CTS. But that's not the case. I still love that car. It's just that I've found a new appreciation for Audis that I never thought I would have. It's truly a great car to drive. And, if at the end of the two cars' lease, I had to decide which one to buy out, I'd have to say at this point it would be the Audi........the CTS simply is not meant to have a manual tranny....and suffers as a result. And it's simply not as much fun-to-drive. If you like an auto, and aren't as concerned with fun-to-drive, the CTS still ranks tops.

Edited by The O.C.
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Give the guy an inch and he wants the entire f@#king football field...

haha Just kidding, dude. Glad to hear you're liking the new car and it's really nice for you to be able to get it for the next few months!

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Give the guy an inch and he wants the entire f@#king football field...

haha Just kidding, dude. Glad to hear you're liking the new car and it's really nice for you to be able to get it for the next few months!

hey....gimme a day off work, a few shots of tequila, and I'll ramble on for a mile!

LOL

Nah....just a car guy....love comparing and contrasting.

Did I tell you guys about the R8 I got to drive last Saturday?

:AH-HA_wink:

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I don't think you did. I really am not excited by the R8 though.. I really don't care for it at all. But you can share. :smilewide:

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I don't think you did. I really am not excited by the R8 though.. I really don't care for it at all. But you can share. :smilewide:

Well.....I can say, although I wasn't the most excited about it, it DOES look way more fantastic in person. And it has a V8 "bark" that could make your heart skip a beat or two.....

Of course it was fast.....but the most impressive thing I could say about it was how uneventful it was to drive. It truly could be a "daily driver." The one my friend had was a traditional 6-speed manual (love the "clink-clank" as you shift through the gears) and the clutch and shifter were damn near as soft/smooth as on the A4. In fact, ironically, it was MUCH easier to drive smoothly than the S5 he took me out in a couple of weeks ago (which had a real tricky clutch "grab" point, etc.)

It didn't feel as fast as my '06 Corvette Convertible I had.....that car had way much more torque-and-grunt in the powertrain. But that being said....the R8 WAS thrilling as you wound it towards redline in each gear.

It was also comfortable inside. There was none of that "sitting in a bathtub" feeling you get in many supercars (and even the Vette).....you sat realtively upright for the low height of the vehicle.

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I think that was a fair review. Audi seriously is the underrated German. I loved the A5 at the Detroit Autoshow (Granted the chick was too nice to me much to my Fiance's dismay, not that she cares). Like you said the CTS is a good car and to give the benefit of doubt the previous Gen was General's first try.

Did I tell you guys about the R8 I got to drive last Saturday?

:AH-HA_wink:

Now I did not hear your rambling for five miles. :P

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I think that was a fair review. Audi seriously is the underrated German. I loved the A5 at the Detroit Autoshow (Granted the chick was too nice to me much to my Fiance's dismay, not that she cares). Like you said the CTS is a good car and to give the benefit of doubt the previous Gen was General's first try.

Now I did not hear your rambling for five miles. :P

Hey....the CTS (previous gen OR current gen) is a GREAT car....! Or else I wouldn't be enthusiastic after 34K miles. But I have to say, I really like the Audi....really....so shoot me....LOL

They are just two products in the same price class aimed at two totally different sets of consumers......I would rather have the harder ride, the closer-coupled cockpit, the faster-revving engine, the tighter ride motions, and the sportier feel. But I know there are others out there that would rather have the opposite.

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Audi is under rated. Thinking I might eventually buy a used TT myself, glad things are working out for you.

Kind of nice having two different cars to drive, isn't it?

Chris

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No wonder Detroit is having headaches these days! There simply are so many good, let alone amazing choices out there. As good as Cadillac and GM have become, is it any wonder they cannot support 30%+ market share? Audis are damned good looking vehicles, these days. I would be hard-pressed to decide between the two myself.

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I had a similar experience. I never thought much of Audi...but I'd never driven one either. Then in the past couple months, Ive driven an A6 and a TT. Incredible drives.

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No knocks against the Audi. They are nice drives but the reputation of electrical gremlins would have to be cured before I'd buy one.

I still think we need to trade CTSes for a week..... mine feels nothing like you describe. I'm getting 19.5 around town right now and I rarely even exceed 55mph anymore.

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No knocks against the Audi. They are nice drives but the reputation of electrical gremlins would have to be cured before I'd buy one.

+1

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I've driven an A4.....it is a fun drive..

THough it is true-it has onw of the worst radios I've heard since the early 90s...

I gotta drive the new CTS.....

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No knocks against the Audi. They are nice drives but the reputation of electrical gremlins would have to be cured before I'd buy one.

I still think we need to trade CTSes for a week..... mine feels nothing like you describe. I'm getting 19.5 around town right now and I rarely even exceed 55mph anymore.

In 22K miles with the A4, we've not had one problem.....seriously....not even the tiniest issue....<fingers crossed....knocking on wood>

At least one thing....I detailed the CTS over the weekend, and at least I won't be driving it and getting it dirty......

Would be interesting to trade. I really have no overall bitches with my CTS....I love it....other than the fact I think GM under-engineered it for a manual transmission. Seems like they just didn't put enough thougth into it....like they felt "well we have to offer it...so let's just slap one in." The car, I'm sure, is way more enjoyable with the excellent auto trans....

I'd say that on a mountain road, the CTS would be even more fun than the Audi thanks to the RWD chassis. Even though the CTS is soft in comparison to the Audi, it has really good body-roll control. I thrashed it one time on the 74 over the mountains into Palm Springs and it was awesome in the twisties. I just wish driving around town it had more of a tied-down, "sports sedan" feel is all.

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+1

Seconded... My friend's old Audi had the passenger door catch fire on the highway once... :nono:

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I do not like General's averseness to Manual Transmissions. Seems like they cringe after knowing they have to put one in a car. Yet irony is they do not offer automatics on the high performance machines although that seems to be subject to change in some of the performance vehicles.

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I'm looking forward to seeing the A5/S5 in person. I've long been an Audi fan----first noticed them with the original Coupe Quattro and the radical '83 5000 in Road & Track and then built the Tamiya 1:24th scale kit. (I don't think I ever saw an Audi in person until I started living in S. Florida in '82).

I even considered buying a A4 1.8T Quattro back in 2000. I love the design and interior of the A8 in particular; I've thought a2004-2005 A8 would make a great daily driver.. I have several friends with A4s, and they have had mixed results with them...several had recall issues that were common to all the 1.8s (ignition or something?).

Edited by moltar
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I'm looking forward to seeing the A5/S5 in person. I've long been an Audi fan----first noticed them with the original Coupe Quattro and the radical '83 5000 in Road & Track and then built the Tamiya 1:24th scale kit. (I don't think I ever saw an Audi in person until I started living in S. Florida in '82).

I even considered buying a A4 1.8T Quattro back in 2000. I love the design and interior of the A8 in particular; I've thought a2004-2005 A8 would make a great daily driver.. I have several friends with A4s, and they have had mixed results with them...several had recall issues that were common to all the 1.8s (ignition or something?).

S5 is good. If you are in market for a 50k coupe then ditch the BMW and MB. The ergonomics are well thought. The design is simple. Buttons are easy to reach and the MMI interface is good. The clutch and shift action is close to the Acura TSX, which I regard the best. Overall it will be a solid buy for 55K at which it comes loaded. I am not a fan of the 3.2. Don't get me wrong it is a decent engine, but does not live upto the expectations.

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The A4 is one of those Goldilocks cars... everything is "just right." It manages to look classy and distinctive without being pretentious, and it's competent at everything it does. I drove a 3.2 quattro auto a few months ago, and came away impressed by the attention to detail; everything from the sharp gauges to the well-sorted driving position makes the car feel more expensive (and the driver more talented) than it really is.

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The A4 is a slick little sedan, and I absolutely love the A5. I'm more in the VW income bracket, though, which is fine, as they have a lot of their more expensive siblings' driving feel built in.
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S5 is good. If you are in market for a 50k coupe then ditch the BMW and MB. The ergonomics are well thought. The design is simple. Buttons are easy to reach and the MMI interface is good. The clutch and shift action is close to the Acura TSX, which I regard the best. Overall it will be a solid buy for 55K at which it comes loaded. I am not a fan of the 3.2. Don't get me wrong it is a decent engine, but does not live upto the expectations.

I drove an S5 and it was sweet other than a grabby clutch that made it real tough to drive smoothly in the lower gears. Car mags have mentioned the same thing. It would still be a tough choice for me to get the (more expensive) S5 over a 335i Coupe though.....I still think the BMW is the prettier car of the two.

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I get to drive a euro-spec A5 3.0 TDi for a few days. :D :D :D :D

When are we gonna get this &#036;h&#33; over here?

I get all the british mags and I'm so pissed to read about all these great TD cars and we miss out on them all....! The Alfa Romeo GT Coupe 1.9L TDi I had as a rental in Germany a few years ago was AWESOME.....

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Well...if we even got the A5 TDi, I dont think it would be until 2010 or so. We will definitely get the new A4 TDi though. Sometime in 2009 I think.

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