Old Audi/New Mazda comparo

Mike Arman armanmik at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 28 14:47:34 EST 2003

Seeing some stuff on the list about "I'd rather drive an old Audi than a
new (insert name of Japanese car here).

Well, we just got done buying a 2002 Mazda 626 (6,500 miles on it) to
replace dear bride's destroyed 1991 323 whcih had a violent disagreement
with a truck.

The Mazda is nice, new, shiny, clean, and everything works. It has a 16
valve four cylinder (two liters, I think) and an autotranny with overdrive.
She loves it.

Guess what - ole curmudgeon here likes his 1986 Audi 5000 5 speed better!

The 2002 Mazda is buzzy on acceleration, and the transmission doesn't seem
to be able to make up its mind as to what gear it wants to be in. The
steering is vague and there is no real road feel - you have to keep making
constant steering corrections. The brakes are pretty good, and the car has
mouse-fur seats! It has a CD player (which works), and about a zillion
little hidey-holes scattered around for sunglasses, cell phones, and so
forth, and they are all made of pretty much unadorned plastic. The heater
is quite enthusiastic, but it doesn't seem to turn off! It either blows hot
air on your face or on your feet, and it seems impossible to modulate how
hot, how much, and where.

The 1986 Audi is quieter at speed, definitely feels FAR more solid,
acceleration is smoother and stronger (which is interesting - the Audi is
108 HP and the Mazda is supposed to be 140 or so), and the Audi steering is
much, much, much, much better - more precise.

I have a moderate length list of "issues" that need my attention on the
Audi, and some items that do need to be replaced (torn CV joint boot and
front shock absorbers, there's a clunk in the exhaust where the center
muffler is hitting something, and yesterday the power antenna developed a
case of priapism, but I do have a spare), but all in all, I just plain like
the Audi better, even though the Mazda is FAR more reliable and 16 years

Remember the Audi cost $33,000 in 1986, and new price on the Mazda in 2002
was about $20,000. Now let's adjust the $33,000 for inflation over 16 years
. . .

Basically, even though sometimes (even frequently?) the Audi is a true,
certified pain in the ***, I'm still not ready to give it up, and to date
I've seen nothing I like as much.

(Oh yeah, the replacement rental car  - the first one broke - was a 1999
Cavalier - hint - if you plan to buy a car for someone you really hate,
this would be a good one! What a truly VILE vehicle that was!)

Best Regards,

Mike Arman

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