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Old 16th February 2015, 23:42   #4456
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

The S60 also seems to be a good option except for the odd looking interiors. Thanks much. I understand that upkeep "cost" for the Germans would be higher than the Japs. But what I want to avoid is the frequent visits to the Service Centers ! Again, Japs would be better here, but which of the two can we "assume" to be a safer bet ?

So from this discussion, I have two more cars to test drive. (A3 and the S60).
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Old 17th February 2015, 01:17   #4457
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The S60 also seems to be a good option except for the odd looking interiors. Thanks much. I understand that upkeep "cost" for the Germans would be higher than the Japs. But what I want to avoid is the frequent visits to the Service Centers ! Again, Japs would be better here, but which of the two can we "assume" to be a safer bet ?

So from this discussion, I have two more cars to test drive. (A3 and the S60).
I don't really know between those three which is the best. But Audi is reputed to have improved on reliability and cost of ownership significantly over the last 5-6 years. Am sure you can get a lot of info on the internet forums on long term costs.
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Old 17th February 2015, 01:28   #4458
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Yes. I was in the process of reading those reviews one by one. Thank you. And the 2016 ILX seems like a good buy. Just that they are not sure when exactly it might hit the showrooms. I talked to a few of them. Now I am confused even more, in a good way though.

I have to sit down and think about my priorities and decide which would be the best among all the above. I started without any priorities and preferences and now it looks like I will need to come up with some.

Nice to meet you, Sir !
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Old 17th February 2015, 03:09   #4459
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Yes, I am talking about the wanna be SUV, the GLA.

I somehow do not like BMWs. The ride is really harsh for long trips. WRX is the only thing more stiffer. :P I usually drive all alone for days together. So I prefer more comfort than razor sharp handling.

I can drive anything that is AWD. (AWD because of the bad weather these days) No particular requirements. Just need a change from the usual ride. And I thought I should try a German this time. I can definitely take a look at the A3, which is a good suggestion. I am not interested in the CLA because of the same reason you mentioned above. I know it applies to the GLA as well, but I found it beautiful. But I can get over this "infatuation" in a few days.

One more question: Which of these would be easier to live with after, say, 3 years ? Audi or Merc ? Which one is more prone to niggles ?
Of the two, definitely Merc from reliability perspective. But if you are looking for a good AWD, I would go for Audi. Because Quattro.

You are right, BMW generally rides hard. The newer ones are softer (especially the SUVs) but bimmers are still relatively stiffer.
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Old 17th February 2015, 09:52   #4460
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I have to sit down and think about my priorities and decide which would be the best among all the above. I started without any priorities and preferences and now it looks like I will need to come up with some.

Nice to meet you, Sir !
Yes, for a big investment, do research!
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Of the two, definitely Merc from reliability perspective. But if you are looking for a good AWD, I would go for Audi. Because Quattro.
I'm not sure I agree. Audi has been doing better on reliability than Merc for a while now? Consumer Reports 2013 says that. I don't have a newer link, but as far as I remember, Audi have only improved.

Edit - Found a newer link - 2014 Reliability Study

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 17th February 2015 at 09:54.
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Old 18th February 2015, 07:08   #4461
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

vineethvazhayil.

Nice piece of information there. All these days I used to hear and believe people saying that Mercs are the most reliable among the German trio. May be they still are, when it comes to the engine and transmission. It might be the new MMI and other feel good stuffs that are causing problems. But MMI or transmission, a visit to the service center will be irritating. This is news to me.

Today I test drove the Audi A3, Q3, A4 and the S60. Test drove the C300 again. Did not look at the GLA and the CLA. And if you are wondering how I managed to do it on a weekday, I did not go to office today.

Test drove them back to back on the same route to compare them in a more unbiased way.

S60: Is a nice package. It feels solid and vault like. It takes corners with ease. Does not make you nervous at all. I liked the external appearance too. It looks beautiful in dark colors. But the dash board does not excite you. It is designed in an odd way. Not pleasing to the eye. It has a lot of good deals available in the used car market.

A3 2.0T Quattro: Felt OK to drive. I drove it after driving the C300. According to me, the interiors are good (not exceptional). It is OK to drive; not excellent. I usually do not care for moderate levels of body roll. But this car got unsettled easily. There was a huge incline on the way and I had to work my right foot a lot. We were just 3 in the car including the salesman.

Q3 2.0T Quattro: Right after A3, I drove the Q3. It is every bit identical to A3. But I felt more comfortable driving it due to the slightly higher seating position. I thought the Q3 would have a nice boot so that I can carry my bikes around if needed. But it would be really difficult to fit it in, unless I get a tow hook bike rack. That I can do in any other car as well.

I was not really impressed after driving the A3 and the Q3. Was getting paranoid about the 2.0TFSI and wondered why people were writing good things about it online. There was nothing extra ordinary about it and at times i had to really put my right foot down to keep up with speed limits on inclines. Felt like driving my 2.5L Nissan, the handling was better though.

A4: Again the same boring 2.0TFSI; or so I thought ! I was expecting it to be even worse because of the added weight and dimensions. But the moment it started rolling, I started smiling. It felt like a proper Audi (from what I have heard, never driven one hard). It responded well to even the slightest of throttle inputs. Bettered the C300 in almost every corner (or sharp curves) and I was pushing it harder. All this without letting my butt know about the undulations on the road (read BMW). Ride is definitely not plush, but not so stiff that it will make you uncomfortable.

Moral (as per my opinion): A3 and Q3 are to Audi what CLA and GLA are to Mercedes. They don't do justice to the brand. It is just about the brand name and market share.

Right now I am stuck with 2 choices: C300 4Matic and A4 2.0T Quattro. (Both 2014 and run under 10K miles). I am biased towards the A4. Need to finalize either of the 2 by this weekend. Now this new car bug has bitten me hard. Cannot wait any longer.

Question to all who see this post: A lot of CarFax reports for Audi states about "Airbag module reprogrammed". And I have been looking at cars that have run below 10K miles. What could this mean ? And a couple of them had turbo replacements by then. I will post the link to those CarFax reports if I come across them again.
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Old 18th February 2015, 07:37   #4462
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Have you considered/driven the new C300 (MY2015)? You may find it somewhat better than A4.

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vineethvazhayil.
Right now I am stuck with 2 choices: C300 4Matic and A4 2.0T Quattro. (Both 2014 and run under 10K miles). I am biased towards the A4. Need to finalize either of the 2 by this weekend. Now this new car bug has bitten me hard. Cannot wait any longer.
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Old 18th February 2015, 07:50   #4463
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Heard it is great. But i cannot stretch my budget for that. I can only look at "used" 2014 cars. So i did not even bother to test drive the 2015 C. :(
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Old 18th February 2015, 08:15   #4464
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Hey @DieselAddikt, do test drive the Infinity G37 (Q40) before deciding. Its a blast to drive. I'm not sure how good the AWD version is, but the RWD one is great. It will almost certainly be my next car.
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Old 19th February 2015, 03:20   #4465
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by DieselAddikt View Post
Heard it is great. But i cannot stretch my budget for that. I can only look at "used" 2014 cars. So i did not even bother to test drive the 2015 C. :(
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Hey @DieselAddikt, do test drive the Infinity G37 (Q40) before deciding. Its a blast to drive. I'm not sure how good the AWD version is, but the RWD one is great. It will almost certainly be my next car.
if you are not restricted to German cars, you must check out G37. Its powerful, RWD, good handler
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Old 19th February 2015, 06:04   #4466
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Hey @DieselAddikt, do test drive the Infinity G37 (Q40) before deciding. Its a blast to drive. I'm not sure how good the AWD version is, but the RWD one is great. It will almost certainly be my next car.
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if you are not restricted to German cars, you must check out G37. Its powerful, RWD, good handler
I think the only minus for the g37 is the dated interiors as compared to German cars of the same lineage. Just don't seem the same type of quality levels.

Dieseladdikt, the Audi airbag reprogramming, do you know if they were recalls? Also, Mercedes engine tranny maybe reliable, electronics and electrics are not.

PS: Infiniti cars are vfm, the reason I got an Infiniti was the lower price point for same features etc.

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 19th February 2015 at 06:08.
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Old 19th February 2015, 09:16   #4467
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Hey @DieselAddikt, do test drive the Infinity G37 (Q40) before deciding.
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if you are not restricted to German cars, you must check out G37. Its powerful, RWD, good handler
Point noted ! I will definitely drive one this weekend. But I have to tell you that I have never been a fan of those interiors. I used to get chances to drive one of them 2yrs ago; a friend's car. That was a 2009 or 2010 model IIRC. The motor is nice. But I will definitely try a newer one before deciding.

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Dieseladdikt, the Audi airbag reprogramming, do you know if they were recalls? Also, Mercedes engine tranny maybe reliable, electronics and electrics are not.
I should have thought about it seeing the number of cars reported to have undergone that update. Checked now after seeing your post and it is indeed a recall; and a very serious one at that. Here is a screenshot for reference.

Thank you all for helping me make an informed decision. Frankly, I'd not have thought about so many cars and their pros n cons without your posts. Now I have even more cars to drive and get confused about.
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Old 19th February 2015, 09:44   #4468
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But I have to tell you that I have never been a fan of those interiors.
Precisely my point. Newer cars don't have a vastly different inside. The Q60 was supposed to replace the G37, and has a much more modern interior.
Quote:
Thank you all for helping me make an informed decision. Frankly, I'd not have thought about so many cars and their pros n cons without your posts. Now I have even more cars to drive and get confused about.
Just to make it more difficult, the Lexus IS is also a half decent choice - must be comfy and smooth - rear room is tight, but you don't care. And brand new Cadillac ATS's are being sold at huge discounts - you may get a new ATS 2.0T or V6 at the price of your 2014 A4/ C class. They have the best chassis in the class, worth trying as well.
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Old 19th February 2015, 23:18   #4469
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How about the Buick line of cars? They look very nice, don't know the driving dynamics, probably a softer ride. The current Cadillac lines are simply superb, I actually prefer them to even the Germans, interior and all. Plus you get the GM Major Guard extended (bumper to bumper) warranty, typically less than $2000 for reasonable miles, which I recommend getting just before the new car warranty expires. I believe you have to get it a certain number of days before the original warranty expires. I don't know of any extended warranty by any other manufacturer that is of better value. You get a payment plan for up to 18 months with 0% interest. I have them on any GM car that qualifies. Simply superb value and zero headaches, it really is a no-brainer. When it comes to reliability, I believe, they're actually ahead of most.
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Old 20th February 2015, 01:43   #4470
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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I think the only minus for the g37 is the dated interiors as compared to German cars of the same lineage. Just don't seem the same type of quality levels.

PS: Infiniti cars are vfm, the reason I got an Infiniti was the lower price point for same features etc.
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Point noted ! I will definitely drive one this weekend. But I have to tell you that I have never been a fan of those interiors. I used to get chances to drive one of them 2yrs ago; a friend's car. That was a 2009 or 2010 model IIRC. The motor is nice. But I will definitely try a newer one before deciding.
I had test drove G37 bout a year ago, I was so excited bout the power and handling that I may have not paid attention to the interiors
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