A 6 Questions

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On 17 Jan 2004 22:39:39 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comPirate (Dave LaCourse) wrote:


All Road. No brainer.

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I would recommend a Range Rover. They have an outstanding rep, and have the luxury needed. I had a 2.5 diesel, it was great. Mind you if your in the US, I would go for the 4.HSE. Here in the UK, fuel prices are crippling :(
Bhoona

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Here in the US, we get the 4.4 BMW driveline only. At 72K - 84K, that would be about my last choice. While the new Range may be an overinflated X5, and a wonderful truck, there's plenty of British left in it to make it anything but reliable....
wrote:

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If you insist on "most reliable", avoid German cars then.
Possible alternatives. - Lexus RX330 - Acura MDX - Infiniti G35X.
I'd still take an E-Class. :o)))) Or an Acura TL for 20K$ less.

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That new Infiniti G35x looks intriguing, nice engine and sounds like a really good AWD system. Should be reliable and a great value all-around. As you're looking to keep it for 10+ years re-sale value isn't really an issue (which would be my one minor concern with getting an Infiniti).

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You guys are missing the point. The original poster was looking for an awd *car*, like in *sedan*. He doesn't want to go the SUV route. He wants a car that will seat four adults comfortably and has awd. The obvious choice is the best awd system out there - Audi, and the car would be the A6 or the A8, hands down the two best ald sedans in the world. Period! Dave
http://hometown.aol.com/davplac/myhomepage/index.html
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awd
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Are we allowed to disagre? ;o)
There is also the S80 AWD and Pacifica.
Dont' forget that in a SUV, you are 30% more protected than in a comparable car (except large ones), according to stats from IIRS. 30% less injuries, deaths and collisions, according to them.
I am sure that in California, you can live without AWD even if it would be nice to have in 2% of the conditions. Your call.
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 12:31:21 -0500, "Saintor"

There's a recent New Yorker article talking about this issue, actually (can't remember the issue, but I str Jan. 5). Basically, SUV drivers are more likely to get into accidents for two reasons: stupid driving because of arrogance and erroneous assumptions about their vehicles and inability to get out of trouble. Sedan drivers know their limits better and are able to nimbly avoid trouble. As a result, SUV drivers seem to create more accidents and actually aren't that much safer.
I'll stick to my 98.5 A4 Quattro; it's driving great on snow tires right now in western New York.
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Saintor writes:

Sure, you can disagre <sic>, but he is *not* looking for an SUV. He *has* an SUV.
Dave
http://hometown.aol.com/davplac/myhomepage/index.html
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Correctomundo. My 02 Ford Explorer does anything I would want in an SUV. I actually don't NEED any other car with an S420 and a Ford Explorer. What I'd LIKE is to emulate the quality and impression value of my passenger vehicle, and have my 4 wheel drive in my passenger vehicle. Then I'd get rid of the Explorer, consolidate insurance coverage, and so on. I don't think the Subaru will work, as I want to use this for my "dress up" work car, although I think Subaru has proven itself better than anyone in the all wheel drive passenger vehicle department over the years, and you do get the most bang for the buck.
I think I'm down to the A-6 with the 4.2 liter engine, the Mercedes E 500 4 Matic as choices. The Audi appears to be wider, and seems to have more rear seat room, and a longer history in all wheel drive. Neither seem bulletproof in reliability, but I don't like the SUV platform, and I'm not seeing a sedan from the Japanese in a four wheel drive format, unless I missed something.
If I don't go with 4 wheel drive, then I can just keep my 99 S420. It does everything else I want. Although I do worry about reliability on my S Class as well, particularly since it is out of warranty.

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Infinity G35X new Lexus GS (not out just yet).
- -- Curtis Newton snipped-for-privacy@remove-me.akaMail.com http://surf.to/cnewton <delete remove-me. to respond to email> ICQ: 4899169
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Why the 4.2? Just out of curiosity. The 2.7T gives you better acceleration and gas mileage.
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In doing a side by side comparison, it appeared that the body is actually bigger, with more room inside, and a larger gas tank (petrol) on the 4.2, and that there were a few other items standard on the 4.2 that didn't come on the 2.7 T. No other reason, really. I like the 2.7T as well. Although I've tended to own V-8s over the years so I'm more familiar with driving a vehicle without turbo lag lifting out of the gas into corners, and dropping the hammer coming out. I would imagine that this has changed since the last time I owned a turbo charged vehicle. Any strong reasons for one over the other?
I think the 2.7 T was less expensive to purchase.

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The 4.2 is wider, but it's only because the wheel arches are more flared. The passenger compartment is exactly the same size - no more room.

Taking the difference in consumption into account, there is not that much difference in range between the two version.

The 2.7T has a little less weight hanging out over the front axle and, therefore, has a better turn in. This is compensated for, to some extent, by the wider tyre on the 4.2. The S6 and RS6 are better in this respect.
--
Peter Bell (Note Spamtrap - To reply, replace 'invalid' with 'bellfamily')

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acceleration
Although
dropping
Not really, just drive both and see which one you like. After reading some owners reviews on www.carpoint.com it seems like people were disappointed with the 4.2 performance, whereas the 2.7 owners ranted and raved. But as you said, it all comes down to the buyer and what they prefer.

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from
Hi Larry.
About two Months ago I was in the exact same boat as you. I wanted four wheel drive combined with quality and reliability. I started out looking at the Japanese brands, and found them to be a nice product for the price, but not built nearly as sturdy as the German cars I test drove soon after. I ended up narrowing my choice down to these three: Audi A6, Mercedes E-320 and BMW 5 series. Let me quick give you a quick synopsis of each one.
A6 2.7T Quattro:
I was impressed with this car. I test drove a 2000 with only 31,000 miles and it was an Audi certified vehicle which meant it came with a two year extended bumper to bumper warranty after the manufactures warranty ran out. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles, GPS navigation systems, Quattro AWD, power everything, 12 airbags, and more creature comforts than I can fit in an essay. The twin turbo 2.7 liter six cylinder engine made great power, with the torque peak at only 1800 rpm the car was very tractable and passing was a breeze with the silky smooth power delivery....but at the same time I've never felt a engine so willing to soar right up to the redline, and it felt very at home at the higher engine speeds. The ride was very good, offering a fine balance between sport and touring. I found the handling with the Quattro to be very reassuring, predictable, and responsive. I was so impressed with the car I almost made a deal that day.
BMW 528i:
I know this isn't AWD, or even offered with it, so I'll make it brief. Very much a drivers car: crisp handling, smooth power, harder suspension, and excellent breaks. It fit like a glove from the first second I sat it in. Build quality felt very solid but didn't have the goodies like the Audi. The absence of an AWD system made me pass on this one, but a masterpiece nonetheless.
Mercedes E320 4MATIC:
Funny enough the car that I thought I would like the least was the one I ended up buying. Everything about this car felt right from the start. You have A Mercedes so I'm sure you'll be able to relate with a lot of the stuff I am going to say about it. Just don't confuse the E-CLASS with your much larger S-Class. The E-Class can hold its own right up there with the best from BMW and Audi. I also drove a E430 with the hotrod 4.3 V8 shoehorned in, and the power combined with smoothness is something I've never experienced in another car before, it was also as quiet as a snowflake (same can be said for the 3.2 I-6). I'm simply amazed that Mercedes can make the E320 ride so smooth, yet handle so well. It looks huge from the outside, yet when your driving it, you would never guess the car weighs 3500lbs and is 10 feet long. I've driven it through a pretty severe snowstorm already and the 4MATIC system worked wonders, that along with the 40 other kinds of traction control systems that aid the 4MATIC. I seriously think it would be almost impossible to slide off the road with the 4MATIC. When the road was clear, I tried my best to get the car sideways or to slide unfavorably and I couldn't phase it. To top it all off, the E320 is built like a band vault, has industry leading quality/reliability, its fun to drive, safe and offers more accessories than you could ever need.
So please...before you make a decision, give the A6 and E-CLASS the once over...I think you will prefer them over any Japanese or domestic brand for not only the quality, but the superior engineering and creature comforts. If you plan to keep the car for a long time (which you said you did) than again, German cars are built for the long haul. I have owned 20+ year old Porsches and BMWs and even at that age they were still looking and driving like new, likewise I've never been able to keep a Japanese car for longer than +- 10-12 years because any older than that and they really begin to start showing their age with rust and interiors that literally disintegrate. Either way you go, good luck with your next car. Let us know what you decide.
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Thanks, Dan. This was exactly the type of comparisons I was hoping to get from owners of the different marques. Very informative. I'll be test riding both of them, but that doesn't answer the question of reliability. That's where real world experience is appreciated.

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to get

test
reliability.
I have a friend who has completed 180,000 trouble free miles within two years in a diesel Audi Allroad [yes really]. I once had an Audi 90 quattro and didn't like it much and the parts were expensive. Also the depreciation was horrendous here in the UK at that time. I have owned a ML270 which was fine over two years with only poorly aligned trim to worry about. Presently own a BMW X5 which has done 15000 miles trouble free apart from sluggish driver seat belt retraction. Plenty of Volvo XC90's around here, which are well liked. I would not imagine that they are the most reliable or hassle free cars though.
Huw
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---- lots of good info snipped---

Some of the vehicles mentioned previously and below are AWD rather than 4wd. Some vehicles listed as AWD are actually "on-demand" AWD rather than full time AWD. Volvo and Mercedes have on-demand AWD systems, where the "other" two wheels get power only when the default drive wheels begin to slip. Audi and Volkswagen (and Subaru) have full-time AWD systems. Not sure about the other Japanese marques.
Japanese cars are known as being generally more reliable than Europeans or Americans. Problem is, that the Japanese have just recently discovered AWD in sedans, with one exception, that nobody mentioned. That is Subaru. However, noone mentioned them probably because even the largest Subarus will not comfortably seat an adult in the back seat.
The recent "discoveries" of AWD for Japanese sedans include those by Infiniti and Lexus. I have seen various surveys placing Infiniti or Lexus as the most reliable marque in general. Even Ford and Chrysler will reportedly offer large AWD sedans in 2004 or 2005. I wouldn't trust their reliability as far as I could throw them. For all of these, there are always the caveats about buying a model in its first year of existence.
That leaves you with Audi A6 class and A8 class, and Mercedes E and S-classes and the VW Phaeton, also not mentioned above. Volvo has AWD in the S80 sedan, which should fit adults in the back seat. The Audis are probably slightly more reliable than the Mercedes, but neither Audi nor Mercedes is very reliable in the entire spectrum of cars out there. Volvo has had AWD in the S60 for a few years, and in wagons for longer, but there are so few out there that I really don't know much about reliability. The VW Phaeton is an unknown quantity, but it will likely be similar to the Audis as for reliability. But I think that $65-80k for a VW will be a psychological stretch for most folks.
I own 2 Audis, a '99 A4 Quattro and a 2000 A6 Quattro. I got the A4 at 43k, now has 76k. Got the A6 at 43k, now has 60k. Both with Assured warranty. Had to replace a bearing in the A4, covered under warranty. Had to replace a control arm in the A6, covered under warranty. Not sure if that means they are "reliable" or not. Both cars are rock solid, and of course, great in the snow. The cars with AWD, of course weigh more than their 2wd counterparts. I figure, if you're carrying that weight around, you'd might as well use it. Mercedes and Volvo are default 2wd systems, with the 2nd axle only activating "as needed." I like awd in summer & winter. If you only hit the snow once per year, then that distinction btw full-time and on-demand AWD probably doesn't matter to you.
Many folks out there drive audis for 150k-200k-250k miles and love them. In general, they have their problems, but the Quattro system has 23 years of history and development behind it. The word "bulletproof" is often used, at leat for the Quattro systems, and for some of the engines. I am 6 feet tall, and with the front seat adjusted for me, I can sit comfortably 'behind myself' in the A6. The A8 has several more inches of room than the A6. If you want the most reliable marque out there, go for Lexus or Infiniti. If you want the most reliable AWD *sedan* that fits 4 adults comfortably, then go for an Audi Quattro.
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I am also 6'0" tall, and recently "sat behind myself" in a 2004 Subaru Impreza, and it was fine. A lot better than my iX. Headroom in the front was as good or better than any of the bimmers (E24, E30, E32, E34, E36) I've spent time in, the controls were great, the interior was functional and attractive.
The Impreza is probably the closest thing on today's market to my trusty 325iX -- 200 pounds heavier, 3 horsepower less, full time AWD with viscous couplings, 2.5L motor, 5spd manual, 4-door, etc.
In nasty weather, the iX is utterly unflappable and unstoppable. At 316,000km it does take some maintenance, but I can't bear to part with it, so I'll give it what it needs. It's never stranded me. It's a blast in the dry, the wet, and the snow. It's got character and great road manners.
If I was forced to replace it I think I'd get an Impreza TS. About $23k CDN vs the 325xi at $43k CDN. Subaru has been doing AWD in a logical way for 30 years. The cheapest used Xi on the market right now is around $25k CDN and is saddled with all manner of electronic gagetry and driving "aids".
I'll lament the passing of my iX if and when the day comes. There aren't many cars out there to replace it with.
-Russ.
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