Audi vs. Volvo vs. Subaru

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by etoiles, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. etoiles macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    Jun 12, 2002
    Location:
    Where the air is crisp
    #1
    Ok, I know those are different beasts... but we need to buy a new car and can't decide, and I know a lot of people here have strong opinions when it comes to cars :)

    My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a new car. We live in southern california, but love to go snowboarding in the winter. So basically, we are looking for a car that has room for 3 or 4 people and ski/snowboard equipment, and is nice to drive on freeway (my commute) and mountain roads (US mountain roads... still pretty comfortable by European standards). It should also have decent gasmileage. We'd like to stay well below $30K... and would keep our current VW GTI as a second car (ideally the two cars would complement each other).

    Personally, I also enjoy stylish interiors... but can't be too picky, I guess.

    Cars that we have been looking at:
    -Audi A3
    -Volvo V50 (they have an oversea purchasing program, where they fly you out to the factory and offer cheaper prices)
    -Subaru Impreza 2.5 wagon
    -?

    Any comments ? Feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    Sep 18, 2006
    #2
    I own a Subaru AND a Volvo and I recommend them 100%. My Subaru is a 2002 Impreza WRX and it's wicked fast, fun and sure footed as a rabbit. The Volvo is an XC90 and probably the nicest vehicle I've ever owned.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either brand as long as the sticker price of the Volvo isn't an issue. The Subarus are priced quite fair as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. jacg macrumors 6502a

    jacg

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    UK
    #3
    I have an Impreza. They handle really well and reliability is great but check fuel economy if you are going to be doing a lot of miles.
     
  4. RugoseCone macrumors 6502

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    Aug 22, 2002
    #4
    I'll voice my support for the A3. I've got an '02 A4 and it's easily the best purchase I've ever made outside of real estate. The weight and AWD will be good for driving in slick conditions and taking those mountain curves.

    On ice the AWD doesn't make any difference IMO, but in the rain driving my car is like being on dry roads.

    As for safety, Audi is getting great safety ratings and in some instances better than Volvos.

    Although I've read some complaints about electrical issues online, they seem to have overcome the problems that plagued their cars in the 80's. My vehicle has been incredibly reliable for four years, but it could be that I'm just not used to that based on some of my old cars…
     
  5. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #5
    I can't comment on the Audi or the volvo as I've never driven or owned them. I'm sure theya re good cars, though I'd be a bit worried about reliability of the audi. VW/Audi have not fared particularly well in reliability recently, nor have any of the german manufacturers for that matter.

    As for subaru, I can totally recommend them. I haven't had an impreza, but my family is on its third legacy/outback, and they all have the same basic engine architecture. The first one went 10 years and 240k miles beofre being sold off. The second is still going after 12 years and over 200k miles. The third is brand new and is really super nice. Subaru's reliability has always been top notch, their engines are proven, and you get a lot of great standard features. I don't think you'd have any trouble going with the subbie.

    You do of course have a lot of other options. Not the same market segment, but thinking of the kinds of things you say you would use it for, a small, car based SUV might do you very well (honda CR-V for instance, available with 4wd and pretty rock solid, cheap. Lots of others out there as well). Check out edmunds.com for lists of cars/suv's under 30k, and start narrowing down possibilities from there. Lots of possibilities.
     
  6. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #6
    I would go with the Volvo. I am not a fan of the new Impreza look, and Audi=VW= reliability hell with the electrical system, etc. And to chime in a 3rd party vehicle, the Saturn Aura is pretty decent. It has a good interior, and the DOHC 3.6 V6 and 6 speed tranny with tapshift is a nice combo on the XR trim.
     
  7. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    I love Audis, so I say A3, but I've never driven any of them, or even been in one of them, so don't consider me a reliable source of info :D
     
  8. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    #8
    I own a Volvo, and I have to say I feel like I'm driving a tank when I'm inside. I love the piece of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, I'll be protected in a giant marshmellow of airbags.

    Not to mention that even the base sound system is pretty sweet. It's a very simple car, no wizbang features or fancy graphics. Very easy to handle, and since it's a turbo, nice and quick on the road.

    Mine is a '06 S60, but I've driven the V50 too and it has most of the same features I just described above.

    Only thing about Volvos is the turning radius sucks and they have finnicky onboard computers. I've had my firmware updated twice because the computer thought something was wrong when there wasn't.
     
  9. etoiles thread starter macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    Jun 12, 2002
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    Where the air is crisp
    #9
    Thanks for the quick replies !
    I guess the Subaru would be the most 'reasonable' choice from a price perspective, but as I hinted before, I am a sucker for European car interiors ;).

    I have been trying to stay away from SUVs because of efficiency issues, but the C-RV has a similar gas mileage than the other cars I listed, so I might have to look further into it.

    The Volvo seemes really nice inside, but I will have to see it in person... it would also be a big jump in size, but then there is plenty of room on US roads and parking lots :)

    So far, I have only test driven the Subaru... trying to get more informed before 'facing' the car dealers.
     
  10. DJ OJ macrumors regular

    DJ OJ

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    #10
    My Mom used to have an Audi. Nice car, not so fun to drive. Right now she has a volvo cross country XC70. More FUn to drive. Don't know about Subaru. sry about quick reply.
     
  11. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #11
    If reliabilty and low repair costs are a factor, Subaru hands down.
     
  12. etoiles thread starter macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    #12
    safety is definitely high on my list, too... I have been hit by other cars twice. Once on the freeway, when traffic came to a complete stop (guy behind me was distracted and didn't brake in time), and once when a driver didn't stop at a right light. My cars got totalled both times.

    My point ? You don't have to be a bad driver to love airbags !
     
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Sod off
    #13
    The A3 is a very nice car, but the cheaper models are bad value compared to the new Golf/Rabbit, and once you start adding options they get too pricey.

    The Subaru Impreza is quite ugly. But in WRX form it is a true sportscar for the common man - an awesome drive.

    I don't have much recent experience with Volvos - as far as I've seen they are pretty solid cars but not particularly cheap to buy or own.
     
  14. Cube54 macrumors regular

    Cube54

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    I would check out 'Consumer Reports' before you buy etoiles

    The Volvo V50 has some seriously bad info. The other 2 were fine. The A3 was the winner, except for the need for 'Premium Fuel' & milage. The Sub. was okay too, except for the no fold-down rear seat option which means -> roof rack for you if you're going skiing.
     
  15. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #15
    If you want Volvo engineering without the expense, check out the Ford Five Hundred. I find the Five Hundred to be very comfortable and it handles the Nebraska winter well with AWD; also, the trunk is huge. The Freestyle is essentialy a Five Hundred wagon, if you want the wagon format, and the Mercury Montego is basically the same vehicle.
     
  16. etoiles thread starter macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    #16
    Interesting... I will sign up to get those consumer reports.

    So do you get Volvo engineering in a Ford, or do you get a Ford in a Volvo ? Does it matter (I have not been terribly impressed by Ford in the past) ?
    cheers
     
  17. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #17
    Ford bought Volvo Cars in 1999, and the Five Hundred uses the platform of the 1998-2006 Volvo S80. Our '05 Five Hundred is a lot nicer than the '99 Taurus it replaced, which cost us about the same amount of money; the ride quality is smooth, power is sufficient for any practical purpose other than towing (still best to get a truck for that), and the safety ratings are very good.
     
  18. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

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    Jun 20, 2004
    #18
    Volvo uses modified Ford bases for their cars. Basically, the Volvo engineers take the Ford provided frame, modify it to Volvo standards, and then build a car around it. Most cars these days are all built on a standard frame (for instance, you will find the same frame in a Jaguar that you find in a Volvo or a Lincoln, since the are all made by Ford. Same with other companies).
     
  19. Cube54 macrumors regular

    Cube54

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    #19
    You've got to be kidding, right???

    Ford 500 - Try a *fat man's golf-cart that steers like a Sherman Tank in a bad rain storm on a sunny day*.

    The reason the trunk is so large is 'cause it holds all your Walmart Specials & extra food !!
     
  20. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #20
    Go with the Audi.

    (I own an Audi TT and I *love* it.)
     
  21. misam macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Near Seattle
    #21
    We have four all wheel drive cars, a 1998 Volvo V70 XC, 2004 Mercedes E320 4-matic, 2005 BMW 325xi, and 2006 VW Passat 3.6. We ski every weekend and have a 70 mile or so drive each way. I can't reccomend the Volvo, we have had way too many problems with it, but it was the first year of AWD for Volvo. I have driven a loaner V50 and it was OK, not great, certainly not as nice as the A4 and 3 series, or even the Passat. You could probably get a new 328xi for low 30k's which would be an awesome car, and comes with free maintenance for the first four years. We just got the Passat, and we seriously looked at the Subaru Outback 2.5xt and A4 2.0t. I don't know how much the A3 costs, but you can get a Passat 3.6 4motion for about 30-32k, and it's a lot bigger than the A3 and a lot faster than the Legacy 2.5i. So if I were in your position I would cross out the Volvo, and look at the A3 (doesnt the 2.0t only come with FWD?), Legacy 2.5i/xt, and Passat 3.6 4motion.
     
  22. Yakamoto macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #22
    All are good

    But the audi is better, legendary AWD, traction control, beutifull interior,
    really cool red lights in console.... Plus all this about being problamatic is like saying Apple is no good because it needed to be fixed. Mine works great
    2004 Audi a4 and 2002 Jetta Wolfsburg, Plus the audi has great service.
    Good luck on whatever you choose though.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #23
    Remember also that the base Audi A3 is front wheel drive. If you want Quattro you must get the V6 and the price starts at $33k. :eek:
     
  24. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
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    The old world
    #24
    You can get the 2.0 TFSI (200hp) and two of the Diesels with Quattro as well.

    The Volvo probably has the most space of the cars. Volvos are very practical cars. They are pretty comfortable as well bit a bit boring...

    I would definitely go for the Audi if the price is not a problem.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    Not in the US, unfortunately. :(

    There are only two engines, the 2.0 turbo and the V6. Quattro is only available with the V6 - which is stupid because Quattro is one of Audi's selling points. A FWD Audi these days is basically an overpriced Golf.
     

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