car shopping

Kent McLean kentmclean at
Wed Jun 23 00:24:36 EDT 2004


The deed is done.  Yesterday, I traded in my Miata (on the first
day of summer!) on a 1994 Audi 100 Avant FWD automatic (call me
stupid). The car needed some work before I could use it (ECU and
its wiring harness, serpentine belt, battery).  The car started
and ran, but was a complete unknown as it hadn't been driven in
a few months. Today, I put 346 miles on it.  Here are my thoughts
on the C4 bodied 100 and my 1989 Type 44 200 TQ...

- The turbo definitely has better pull, and quattro can't be beat.

- The V6/auto combo isn't that bad if you aren't expecting neck
   snapping acceleration.

- I like the room in the engine bay on the C4. Swapping out the
   serpentine belt (Thanks, Scott) is a 5 minute job and a 1 on a
   1=easy, 10=hard scale. The Type 44 alternator belt I'd rate a 10.

- I miss the MFD (multi-function display), especially "miles to

- I miss the voltmeter.

- The C4 steering is Buick-easy at low speed, but feels fine on
   the highway.  Servotronic?

- The cars (both Type 44 and C4) are superb highway cars. They
   have long legs and can eat up the miles. They are also fairly

- My 200 had the automatic climate control (ACC). My C4 has the
   manual 3-big-knobs for fan, temp, and direction (foot, vent,
   defrost).  I like the set-it-and-forget nature of the ACC, but
   I also like the simplicity and in-control feeling of the manual

- I miss the diagnostics of the auto climate control.

- I prefer the C4's analog clock over the 200's digital clock.

- The C4 has a *tiny* glove box. If you have the owner's manual
   in it, you can't fit a glove, too.

- 346 miles on half a tank of gas. I don't expect another 346
   miles from the second half. (My 200's fuel gauge would slowly
   fall to 1/2 tank or so, then plummet to empty.)

- I hope the C4's Bose stereo outlasts the 200's.

In all, I'm impressed with my new wagon. It's not a turbo, it's
not a quattro, but it is an Audi.  And it meets my needs to haul

'89 200 TQ, "Bad Puppy"
'94 100 S [1] (name to be determined)

[1] In the 50's, Austin-Healey built a race car based on it's
100.  It was an "S", after Sebring.  A 100 S.  55 made, worth
big bucks today.  No relation to my Audi 100 S.

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