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I'm torn between a 2006 Audi A3 and a 2006 BMW 325i

Discussion in 'Car Forum' started by tomr365, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. tomr365

    tomr365

    185
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Montreal, Canada
    I've test driven both with a 6 speed manual transmission. For fit and finish, standard equipment, looks and style the BMW wins hands down in my opinion. The engine on the Audi actually seems better though. They have similar performance stats, but with the Audi you put your foot down and no matter what gear you're in or how low the revs are it pulls. It's the torquey turbo effect I guess. The bimmer on the other hand has a much smoother power, it was actually far more subdued then I was expecting (I test drove the Audi first).

    I'm planning on doing a single lease payment no matter which I take.

    The 3 year single lease payment before taxes for a base model Audi will be around $17K CDN. The single lease payment for a base model BMW 325i will be around $20K CDN + tax. Note that the BMW is a bigger car and comes with leatherette interior and Xenon lights standard. The Audi doesn't even have heated seats on the base model.

    Aside from the initial savings insurance will be $45/month more expensive on the BMW ($260/month total... ughhh), plus I will have to install a satellite tracking device for around $300 + $10/month.

    I'm also slightly concerned about the flashiness of the BMW. Like it may attract too much attention, or raise some eyebrows among people I work with, customers, etc.... I guess I don't really care what people think, and at 25 years old it's not that big a deal to drive a car like that, but I don't want to have the kind of car I have to worry about leaving parked on the street downtown at night. Plus I'll probably be less likely to get stuck in the snow in the FWD Audi.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. OUSooner

    OUSooner

    1,271
    36
    Jan 22, 2004
    Oklahoma
    While I do think the Audi is an underrated car it's not in the same league as the Bmw. Audi/VW have been have quality control issues of late as well. The 325 has been around forever and will serve you well.
     


  3. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Skeet Surfer

    895
    0
    Jan 24, 2005
    Charlotte NC
    a dedicated set of snow wheels/tires on that BMW and you should be fine. Of the two choices, I'd take the BMW, as I have never been confident in Audi/VW's reliability.
     
  4. pnarq5

    pnarq5

    244
    0
    Feb 11, 2005
    Ohio
    Neither will be as reliable as a good jap car, but the BMW will be the better of the two. I think the BMW is much better car too.
     
  5. geminicricket

    geminicricket NRA Life member

    6,548
    18
    Apr 26, 2001
    Lewisville, TX USA
    Get either one and tell us about it from time to time.
     
  6. fisherm

    fisherm

    73
    0
    Jul 10, 2005
    Miami,FL
    Ultimately your choice. :)
    But since you asked, then you must be looking for others opinions.

    I understand your concern re: "flashhiness".
    I had to talk the missus out of an X5 for the same reason.
    However, the alternatives were less expensive than the X5.
    :)

    If you are going to spend that much money, get what you enjoy and will be proud of;
    not a compromise so other people won't talk about your car.
    If you are going to compromise, at least save some money...
    to spend on something else that makes you happy.
    Maybe a few training sessions out at gunsite? ;)

    My preference is for the BMW.
    They are sweet handling cars.
    I find that they are one of the best all round cars.
    9's across the board, rather than 10s and 7's averaging out to a 9 - like some others.

    Being used to turbos and Type R vtecs, I did find the 325 lacked some uumph past 4500 which I kept waiting for.
    It was still nice, just didn't have that kick in the pants I like.

    Having said that - know that it will be spending some time at the shop, and that it will not be as reliable as a high end Japanese car.
    Nothing major usually, but generally annoying electrical problems; power windows, sun roof, central locking - stuff like that.
    The aluminium block however has been known to cause serious problems if you run it through a cold water puddle after a particularly "spirited" run. :)

    Enjoy.
    They are both nice choices.
     
  7. tomr365

    tomr365

    185
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks for the input everybody.

    What's making this decision harder is not choosing one over the other, but choosing one over the other when the A3 is going to be significantly cheaper and I'm not sure I like it *that* much less than the BMW... and it's probably an all around more sensible purchase. Reliability isn't that much of a factor since it will be under warranty the whole time I have it either way.

    I actually had the numbers wrong in my initial post. The BMW will be $21K + tax (for 3 years and 72,000 km), the A3 will be $16.5K + tax (for 3 years and 75,000km). Plus at my current rate I'll save about $1.5K on insurance over the course of the 3 years as well with the Audi.

    So all in all with taxes and insurance added in we're talking roughly an extra $7.5K to drive the BMW over the course of the 3 years (I didn't count the Lojack because I would get one of those on either car, even though my insurance requires it on the BMW).

    Basically unless BMW is willing to come down on their price tomorrow I'm going to get the Audi. Bling bling. ;)
     
  8. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    50,946
    3,482
    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    The BMW will come included with scheduled service and maintenance. Does the Audi have the same deal or not? If not, then add the cost of service & maintenance to the budget.

    As far as BMWs spending time in the shop, you people must have mistaken them for either Italian, British or American cars (although the X-series and Z-series are American assembled). ;)

    Yes, they do have some minor niggling electrical issues now and then, but serious repair times and engine problems? Sorry, methinks not. I'm on my third Bimmer now and if that's a trend, I think that I would notice by now. If BMW were to have that much of a problem, I wouldn't have spent all of my hard earned monies on them all these years. I like BMW just fine but I sure as am not dedicated to a crappy marque unlike lots of people who are blind devotees to the brand names; whatever the brand names are.

    As far as A3 vs 325i, well, I haven't test driven the latest Audis, so I don't know, but I've driven an A6 with the 2.5 turbo engine about four years ago and it was a competent vehicle. The suspension wasn't quite tight as the equivalent BMW 5-series, but wasn't bad.

    Toss a coin.
     
  9. chrismartin

    chrismartin

    108
    0
    Apr 9, 2003
    Hampton, VA
    I've had an Audi for the last 8 years or so (2 different models) I have friends that have BMW's. I like both a lot. I have found the interior fit and finish better in the Audi, the the BMW typically has a better engine (from a speed/HP perspective) given a similar price point. As you have noted you are comparing apples to oranges with the A3 Vs. 325, a better match would be the A4 to the 325. Regardless, I like the A3 a lot. I'm avoiding test driving it as I'm almost done paying for my A4 and I'd just end up with another car payment. :)

    I'll be hitting 120K miles on my 98 A4 this week. Oh, the lease is good, these wonderful german cars are insanely expensive to fix out of warrantee.

    Chris
     
  10. pnarq5

    pnarq5

    244
    0
    Feb 11, 2005
    Ohio
    I would only buy two makes of German cars-BMW and Porsche. To me, they are the only cars that the performance justifies the lack of reliability. If I could not afford the BMW or the Porsche, I would buy jap. Audi are too damn soft.
     
  11. fisherm

    fisherm

    73
    0
    Jul 10, 2005
    Miami,FL
    +1

    The A4 is the only Audi I would consider.
    I am not a big Audi fan
     
  12. tomr365

    tomr365

    185
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks again for all the input.

    I put a deposit down on a Jet black on black BMW 325i today. It's being shipped from a dealer in Toronto and should be under my butt on Friday.

    I predict I will have a sleepless night on Thursday. ;f
     
  13. SkaOG

    SkaOG

    82
    0
    Jan 30, 2005
    Orlando, Fl
    both are great, my dad had an 89 BMW 325, it was alright, nothing special(but it was cool back in 89) but the new ones are supper nice. I could go with the 330CIs those are hot
     
  14. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    50,946
    3,482
    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Don't get too carried away because if you go over the annual mileage, you WILL get raped.
     
  15. tomr365

    tomr365

    185
    0
    Jun 15, 2002
    Montreal, Canada
    10 cents each purchased in advance, 15 cents each purchased at lease end (that would be about 8/12 cents US). Not too bad.
     
  16. dbrowne1

    dbrowne1 Senior Member

    749
    0
    Jan 7, 2000
    Virginia


    Funny. I would have said the opposite. Is your A4 a 1.8T, and do you have a performance chip? If not, GET ONE. It will add literally 50hp and 80ft-lb of torque.

    Only if you take them to the dealer. ;) Most work you can do yourself, the rest can be handled by a carefully selected private shop who won't butt ream you on work like the dealer.
     
  17. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    1,539
    1
    Aug 1, 2003
    Indiana!
    The BMW program offers service and maintenance up to 50k. Considering that the oil change intervals are 15k, and that (just about) anything else can and should be considered a manufacturer defect and hence covered under any warranty, the "free service" plan amounts to 3 free oil changes in practice.


    I've driven both. While both are great cars, the best value based on fuel costs, insurance costs, depreciation and purchase price for comparably equipped models, the Audi was the clear winner by a substantial margin (even when equipped with quattro over the BMW's RWD). considering you'd be going the lease route and have already crunched the numbers, that may not be relevant. For sheer practicality, again the Audi is a better choice. I also think it look better. The new 3-series doesn't appeal to me all that much, aesthetically speaking. The Bimmer OTOH is more satisfying to drive hard. The RWD that makes it less practical in the snow makes it more of a thrill in twisty environs.

    It's definitely a tough choice, but if I couldn't get the 330i, I'd go for the Audi. If you were to widen the search, I think the Acura TL might be of interest. I was in a similar situation about a month ago, and that was the car that finally won. It ended up being a MUCH better value than either if the German rides.
     
  18. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    1,539
    1
    Aug 1, 2003
    Indiana!

    Whoops!

    I think you'll have a lot of fun with the 325. One of the dealers I went to for to test drive one just handed me the key and told me to be back whenever. ;N Man, that was fun!
     
  19. kawalerzysta

    kawalerzysta

    266
    8
    May 10, 2004
    Mt Pocono, Pa
    Go with BMW. A3 is nothing more then overprice Golf GTI.
     
  20. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    50,946
    3,482
    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Nah, Audi and VW only "shared" a few things.;P

    And the BMW scheduled service is more than just an oil change;) And an oil change with synthetic oil is probably going to set you back at least a few bucks. Times three, that's still money you have to shell out. Not that BMW's scheduled service is "free". It's not "free", if you know what I mean.