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Buying an A4 (long)

824 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  xMetal
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but...

I've made my decision, and tomorrow I'm putting down a deposit for an A4, which should arrive in a couple of weeks. The IS is just too expensive for the car that it is, and not as fun to drive as the Audi; also, the A4 interior is as good as it gets in the automotive world (I know this is subjective, but IMO there's no comparison).

The Lexus ownership experience overall has been nice, and there are definitely some things I will miss about my SC400. For one I will miss the Lexus stereo: no one makes a better stock system, and the IS seems to excel in this category as well. I will also miss the service department (but not the cost): Lexus service is nothing short of amazing, albeit a bit pricey. I will certainly miss the gobs and gobs of smooth creamy torque available at any RPM (which the IS is somewhat lacking, by the way), but definitely will not miss the pathetic gas mileage. Also I will not miss the fact that a surprising number of people that I meet who know I own a Lexus automatically assume I'm a jerk. Really.

My car is very nice, but tends to be quite blah most of the time. I got the feeling that in the end, the IS would be the same. I get the feeling that I will have fun tossing the A4 around for years to come, as it feels lighter, more nimble and surefooted, and just plain more connected to the road. The five-speed certainly is a huge plus as well.

Also in Audi's favor, the AudiWorld forums are quite a wealth of information as far as fixing and playing with minor modifications. I enjoy doing small fixes on my cars, I always have, but with a Lexus that is nearly impossible. First off, noone is going to write a Haynes manual for a Lexus, and secondly, the folks at the Lexus dealership were quite unable or unwilling to give me a diagram or directions of how to do something as simple as replace the brake pads. That hurts. I hope the IS is more successful and materials such as those become available to the owners who want them. In contrast, this question was posted at the Audi forum:
It received 12 responses. Really.

Good luck Lexus owners both new and old. The IS certainly has it's virtues, but for me they are not enough to command a $35K price tag.

PS the S4 starts at $37.9K...
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I'm glad you are happy with the A4. I was considering an S4 until I realized that in MY 2002 they are releasing a new body style. I don't really want to sell my car until I finish college (another 2 years) and I don't wanna deal with model shape changes are prices suddenly drop of the older shape.

PS the IS _STARTS_ at $30.5k with about a $26k invoice. Honestly, who buys a barbones car with no options? In all the years been with my parents buying cars, we never go barebones. Even our Toyota pickup (was $12k new) has a bedliner option!!
Good for you... As the owner of a 1998 1.8t I know the A4 very well. I have no doubt that the IS300 is superior to the 1.8t and 2.8. The biggest diffence for me is walking into an Audi dealership and the salespersone telling you right off, the S4 is not rare and people who tell you that are lieing, and right off telling me 3,250 off the price of an S4... no hassle. I dont think anyone cares about your post and you should post on the audiworld forum. The IS is a better value than the 2.8... end of discussion. Just the tires alone that are standard on the IS are around $200, plus they are 17"

[This message has been edited by xfilextremis (edited July 08, 2000).]
Where are you xfiles, up here in the bay area you cant get one even paying MSRP, you have to pay $1-5k over MSRP to get one new, and wait....
I think its a good thing that you decided to get the Audi A4... are you gonna get it with Quattro? And i do care about your post

-Soon to be an Audi A4 1.8 Owner!
Very true..I just stopped by STevens Creek Audi/Porsche this morning to get a glance at the S4...nothing. They are expecting a 8 month wait on it, and no negotitaions whatsoever (where do these people get off saying they get $3K + off MSRP)?! I also inquired about the A4 1.8T, but you know isn't as cheap as people make it out to be. The base model has cloth or "leatherette" interior (do all Germans like nawgahyde or is it me). LEather isn't even an option till you go to the 2.8 model. As a matter of fact, typeical prices seem to be around $29K...for a 1.8t....hmmm. Seems like a big rip off for a high end Jetta to me!

Originally posted by Brandon:
Where are you xfiles, up here in the bay area you cant get one even paying MSRP, you have to pay $1-5k over MSRP to get one new, and wait....
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I changed my screen name from xfiles to ISisBEST. Just got my IS today. Sweet ride. Never seen so many double takes
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A4 is S-L-O-W. If you are into slow pork, then A4 is the car for you.
S4's apparently aren't too rare here in Raleigh, NC: there were two not spoken for at the dealership this morning. I don't know if you could get them for much less than $1000 off MSRP, though.

Oh, and for whoever said the A4 is slow, you can spend about $500 on a chip and get around 200-220 HP, 0-60 around 6.5 sec.

I'm not bashing the IS, it's a very nice car, just turned out to not be my cup of tea.
Yea, you can deal on S4's here in Texas as well. I negotiated an A4 2.8Q for my girlfriend (who went with a C instead) down to 33.1K with everything except bunwarmers. You could get an S4 with numerous options for 38-39K in Texas.
I thought A4s were "sluggish" in handling compared to the BMW and the Lexus ?

I'm considering an A4, but whenever I test drive one I can't decide if it's fun to drive or not. It's got a great interior, half-decent shifter (at least it's got one), and nice handling with the sport package, but the Quattro handling is a little disconcerting, it just feels weird when it transfers power in a corner, maybe I'd get used to it. Can't get 200-220 hp w/ $500 by the way, you get about 180-200 hp at 14.7 psi, wouldn't risk going higher boost than that unless it's a 1-year lease.
I looked at the A4 as well, but found it very hard to justify for several reasons.

First, the 1.8T is slow in stock form. I was looking for something a bit faster than my current Subaru, and amazingly this car fails the test. That was disappointing. Yes, I know you can chip the car, but I'm kind of big on warantees, and I wouldn't want to immediately have to mod the most major component of my car just to get reasonable performance out of it.

The 2.8 is a bit better, but not quite as compelling in stock form. 190 HP is not badm but also not that great, and unfortunately, when that factory warantee wears off, there is almost nothing you can do to boost performance. This is also true of the IS (unless they bring out that supercharger, but the IS has greater initial performance IMO).

Thirdly, and probably the main reason I didn't want an A4, is that they are so common, and so common looking. They truely look like a Camry of a few years ago. I added up the costs of the stock car, plus options to bring it to a reasonable level, plus the cost of suspension, wheels, body kit, etc and already we are talking the price of an IS (with a large chunk of that having to be placed on credit cards).

So for me, I was looking for a car that bone stock would be compelling, interesting and a bit different. The A4, while very nice and certainly high quality, just didn't fit the bill.

I would take an S4 though, but that extra 8 grand just wouldn't work right now.

Have fun with yours!
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Exactly what year of the Camry does the Audi A4 looks like?
Now it doesn't look like a camry from all angles, but the side profile of the 1995-96 Camry is very reminiscent of the A4. The A4 looks like a slightly squashed camry.

It's a nice car, but just boring, in my opinion. I see literally 30 a day and they all look the same. Dull and everyday.

You can make an A4 look very cool, but you need to spend that extra money to do it.

The IS is different right out of the gate.

And you have to admit that compared with Audi's other models, the A4 and A8 are rather dated (which is exactly the reason they are being redesigned)

Have fun
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