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Old 8th December 2011, 23:59   #16
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car ??

Yes A5 with the 2 ltr TDI and the C 200 CDI with the killer exterior package seem sensible choices. Am surprised that there are no backers for the Volvo.

@ Suhaas - The Alfa 159 is another unconventional option. From a styling perspective Id place it very high on my list. But almost every review that Ive read or seen states that the 159 is not the most dependable car - plus the im reasonably sure that the lease company will not offer an Alfa.
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Old 9th December 2011, 00:07   #17
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car ??

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@ Suhaas - The Alfa 159 is another unconventional option. From a styling perspective Id place it very high on my list. But almost every review that Ive read or seen states that the 159 is not the most dependable car - plus the im reasonably sure that the lease company will not offer an Alfa.
That's precisely why I did not suggest the 159.

Although a great car, it's plagued with reliability issues and unless you're ready to bear the issues an Alfa comes with, I'd suggest you stay away. From what I see, you have a few options. The Passat is one. And then you've got the A4 2.0 and the C200 CDI.

Also, do take a quick look at BMW's latest 3-Series.

If reliability is your thing, then look for a Honda in the same range. They offer the same equipment and luxury, are generally more frugal and easier to maintain as well. The Honda will ensure that you don't look flashy in front of your bosses

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Old 9th December 2011, 04:54   #18
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car ??

Interesting conundrum this, Zed.

One car that I think you should consider is the Lexus IS200d. Looks great (IMO), quite comfortable up-front, reliable, has mild sporting apprehensions and passes the emission requirement. Give it a thought!

If it's a relatively more nondescript car you're after give the S60/V60 a shot. Very comfortable front seats (Really!), well built and neat design (again IMO). The S60/V60 in D3 monicker meets the emission requirement. I'd tell you to consider the Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan (Love it!) but I don't know if your local Saab showroom is still around

Cheers!
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Old 9th December 2011, 10:26   #19
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car ??

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Yes A5 with the 2 ltr TDI and the C 200 CDI with the killer exterior package seem sensible choices. Am surprised that there are no backers for the Volvo.

I have always believed that Volvo has some truly fantastic products in its portfolio but its not backed by strong marketing. This is specific to India. Add to that the sparse dealership network and very very poor brand awareness among Indians in general (people with new money still aspire to own a Merc today. Of course the ratio has gone down with Audis/Beemers forming major chunks of aspirations but the majority still remains with Merc)
In Europe of course the scene is different.
Just look at models like the s60 and xc60. Beautiful machines. Somehow Volvo need to rid themselves of the 'mom's station-wagon' label and make it amply clear that they are a serious contender targeting the same customer base as the Teutonic trio.
Volvo can be considered as a serious option especially the s60. Just have a TD and see if you like the over all drive experience.
Good luck
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Old 9th December 2011, 16:45   #20
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Interesting conundrum this, Zed.

One car that I think you should consider is the Lexus IS200d. Looks great (IMO), quite comfortable up-front, reliable, has mild sporting apprehensions and passes the emission requirement. Give it a thought!

If it's a relatively more nondescript car you're after give the S60/V60 a shot.D

Cheers!
Have made up my mind to go in for European brand. I certainly recognize the fact that geographic boundaries have started to blur and that most competitive brands these days cannot be defined, per say, by their country of origin. That said - A Volvo, Audi or a Merc offers a certain value proposition & pride of ownership which is different (though not always 'superior' as this is subjective in relation to the need) from what a Japanese brand offers. And my personal impression is that a Japanese car is not the best options in Germany, Unless one is based in Frankfurt or Berlin with all the trappings of a metropolis.

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I have always believed that Volvo has some truly fantastic products in its portfolio but its not backed by strong marketing. This is specific to India.
Volvo can be considered as a serious option especially the s60. Just have a TD and see if you like the over all drive experience.
Good luck
I plan to do so. Yes, Volvo usually finds mention after the big three German Brands. From the recent design direction its clear that Volvo is in an attempt to change this perception. And the S60s and crossovers are desirable cars by any standards. Am not sure of the After-sales network in this part of Germany - will be something to consider-
The revised C class, on the strength of its exterior styling, has created quite a bit of interest and not just with the nouveau rich in India. I tend to take a neutral stance on whether the three pointed star is the benchmark in safe, comfortable & stylish motoring.
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Old 9th December 2011, 17:04   #21
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

There is a new contender - The Opel Insignia 2012 - with the 2 ltr bi-turbo diesel that churns out almost 200 bhp at 4000 rpm with 400 newtons of torque lower down the rev band. And meets the 135 g\km CO2 limit - Holy smoke!! I like the styling of the station wagon over the sedan. Interior styling is really attractive. Prices are slightly lower than a similar spec A4 ( though there is no similar spec engine @ VW-Audi )
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Old 10th December 2011, 13:47   #22
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

Just go for the merc. Its pretty clear you are fixated on the three pointed star and you will be delighted at heart.

Whatever you choose, do justice to the autobahns and keep the pedal where it belongs, on the floor that is.

As for me, I might have gone with the beemer but its not me, its you and so go with your heart which is clearly beating me rc... me rc...me rc...
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Old 11th December 2011, 01:56   #23
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

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Just go for the merc. Its pretty clear you are fixated on the three pointed star and you will be delighted at heart.

Whatever you choose, do justice to the autobahns and keep the pedal where it belongs, on the floor that is.

As for me, I might have gone with the beemer but its not me, its you and so go with your heart which is clearly beating me rc... me rc...me rc...
I have to say that I have a slight bias towards the Merc purely on account of the 2012 Avant grad styling package. At the same time the bi-turbo motor in the Insignia is clearly the performance benchmark. If there was some way to plonk that motor into the Merc - that would be the end of this discussion.

Thanks to you and to the rest of the folks for the comments and suggestions.
Keep them coming...
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Old 11th December 2011, 03:54   #24
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car ??

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Have made up my mind to go in for European brand. I certainly recognize the fact that geographic boundaries have started to blur and that most competitive brands these days cannot be defined, per say, by their country of origin. That said - A Volvo, Audi or a Merc offers a certain value proposition & pride of ownership which is different (though not always 'superior' as this is subjective in relation to the need) from what a Japanese brand offers. And my personal impression is that a Japanese car is not the best options in Germany, Unless one is based in Frankfurt or Berlin with all the trappings of a metropolis.
Lexus is a considerably upmarket brand and is priced on par with the German Trio. Do check it out, it might tilt your views! That said, if it's a European car you want... so be it!

While you're considering the Opel Insignia (stonker of an engine going by the specs) may I suggest the Citroen C5? Very comfortable car, decent amount of kit and neat, understated looks. Also comes with airy, beautiful interiors!

Besides, it's unmistakably German


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Old 11th December 2011, 09:02   #25
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

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There is a new contender - The Opel Insignia 2012 - with the 2 ltr bi-turbo diesel that churns out almost 200 bhp at 4000 rpm with 400 newtons of torque lower down the rev band. And meets the 135 g\km CO2 limit - Holy smoke!! I like the styling of the station wagon over the sedan. Interior styling is really attractive. Prices are slightly lower than a similar spec A4 ( though there is no similar spec engine @ VW-Audi )
Good that you got in the Insignia to the mix. Very capable option outside the usual suspects (BMW/Merc/Audi). The C is also a good option, but does the CDI comes with the 7-speed auto?
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Old 11th December 2011, 14:04   #26
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Good that you got in the Insignia to the mix. Very capable option outside the usual suspects (BMW/Merc/Audi). The C is also a good option, but does the CDI comes with the 7-speed auto?
Having used an Automatic for a while have decided to switch to a manual. Just to give the ol left foot a bit of exercise
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Old 11th April 2012, 01:07   #27
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Having used an Automatic for a while have decided to switch to a manual. Just to give the ol left foot a bit of exercise
What car did you eventually get? Did the suggestions help?
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Old 11th April 2012, 02:10   #28
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

Settled for an A4 with the 170 hp 2 ltr diesel. Booked 4 weeks ago but delivery isnt until the first week of September. The mid level Audis and VWs have a really long waiting period in Germany.
Decided against the A5 as the level of equipment wouldve been pretty basic considering the monthly lease guidelines from my employer. Thanks to all you folks for the suggestions and comments.
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Old 20th July 2012, 11:58   #29
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

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Settled for an A4 with the 170 hp 2 ltr diesel. Booked 4 weeks ago but delivery isnt until the first week of September. The mid level Audis and VWs have a really long waiting period in Germany.
Decided against the A5 as the level of equipment wouldve been pretty basic considering the monthly lease guidelines from my employer. Thanks to all you folks for the suggestions and comments.
Zed, updates please!! Pics, config, equipment trims etc. Eagerly waiting for the pics!
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Old 20th July 2012, 14:12   #30
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Default Re: An Enjoyable Conundrum - What Car in Germany?

Have to apologize for the fact that the final spec sheet is in Deutsch.
Not a problem for you AK - since im sure your german is better than mine, Ich denke.

The spec sheet was the outcome of an online tool from our leasing provider to (a) select and (b) spec the vehicle of my choice. The cool bit is that my org's car policy is integrated into my login to this online tool. So I basically start this online process with a list of cars and options in line with my eligibility criteria rather than having to skim through all the interesting options and then checking for compliance. Long story short - it was a pleasant and hassle free experience and the final outcome was this 'order sheet' which became the reference document for internal processing and doubled up as the Purchase order to the leasing company.

A4_spec1.pdf

A4_spec2.pdf

So here's the part that may leave you questioning my sanity. I made this purchase decision without (a) visiting a show room (b) test driving the car (c) checking out the extras \ interior specs in the flesh.

Im the kind of guy that would normally spend a lot of time & effort on the shortlisting process (fully relishing it)

Somehow this time the information from the Audi website + the online tool described above + inputs from colleagues & friends + online research (incuding T-BHP, needless to say!) + restrictions based on my organizations car policy made a showroom visit seem almost redundant. The closest I got was to walk through the parking lot a nearby Audi showroom with a colleague to decide on the color. There was no A4 in white in the parking lot but there was an A3 and it looked fabulous. I did not really feel the need to go into the showroom - in my defense it was around lunchtime and I was really hungry. And that was pretty much it.

Which is why I can really relate to Audi's new marketing tool : car-less showrooms across Europe.

A4_Emissions.pdf
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