Audis have corrupted me too (longer)

Tony Hoffman tfh400036 at
Wed Jul 27 11:22:58 EDT 2005

Well, I can completely identify with you. We have several Audi's, including a 4000Q and V8Q for daily drivers. Each has it's strengths and weeknesses. Mine is the 4k. 
There are two ways of looking at this scenario. One is the "low maintenance" way. The other is the "low cost" way.

The low maintenance way works out like this. Toyota Corolla. OOOOps, did I say that out loud? Seroiusly, though, a newer car is going to generally use less maintenance. The new Audi's even have it covered for 4/50. However, as you stated, the dealership is quite a drive, so that isn't much of an advantage. Generally speaking, Toyota's and Honda's are going to require the least maintenance.
The low cost way works like this. How much would it take to get your current car into good reliable order. $2000? $3000? Now, compare that to the cost of a newer car, and you can see where this is going. Yes, there are hours of work involved, but that part of the fun of ownership (to some of us). Your car was probably around $35k new. What does it cost to drive something comparable today? A base A6 leases for $550 per month. Six months or so, and you have paid for all of the maintenance on your car.
I know this debate well, because I struggle with it as well. However, I'm not willing to shell out the $55k for a new A6 4.2, but the wife wants a nice car. We both dislike my brother's 05 civic, even though it is brand new. In the end, though, it's up to you to decide which is best for you.
Tony Hoffman

Keith Lawyer <LawyerKG at> wrote:
The gf's '90 200 is getting to the point where it needs replacement. She needs to take frequent road trips and we simply don't trust it any longer, plus we're getting tired of the typical Type $$ maintenance you all know and bomb, new steering rack, etc etc. Of course that said we'll still keep the car and I'll use it for a *local* commuter.

Anyhow, the problem becomes that anything new/newish that we drive (that we can afford) simply pales in comparison to the Audis we're used to.

Last year we drove an (don't laugh) '01 Nissan Frontier a friend was selling because I think a mini-truck could be practical while still getting decent mileage. What a pile of garbage. It was tinny, weak, cheap, loud and rev-happy and all around unimpressive.

Last year I persuaded the gf to test drive a Murano (no, not set on Nissans, just coincidence). I think they look kinda cool (flame if you must) and it looked to have enough room for the dogs, could be nice for road trips, and the hp specs on paper looked good. The gf thinks the Muranos are ugly but she humored me. We both walked away from this $40k vehicle again (which was likely not affordable for us anyhow) unimpressed; the power was ok, the auto tranny which seemed to think it was constantly slipping (I know this is supposed to be normal) was annoying, but most importantly it just didn't handle as well or drive as nice and predictably as our 200 with 270k miles on the clock. Yeah, I know the Murano is an "SUV" and has a higher c.o.g., etc, I guess I just expected too much.

Now we're looking at a 4 door Tacoma (probably not the '05s which have grown considerably while also becoming much uglier at the same time), but I fear the same results after the test drive. I also like the new Mazda 3's and 6's (yeah, we're all over the board) but I fear the "sporty" looks are only skin deep.

In the end I think we're gonna have to lower our expectations considerably or raise our price range. We're willing to make some concessions but it's hard to swallow a large monthly payment when you feel like you're ultimately getting less vehicle. Somehow I was naive enough to believe that 15 years of technology creep would have allowed auto manufacturers to make less expensive vehicles handle/drive as well as the Audi did when it rolled off the lot in 1990 (or as it does today for that matter)...........apparently not. Perhaps we just need a new Audi; the main hang-up there is no dealer within a 5 hour drive, which kinda negates any advantage of a factory warranty.

Keith L

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