A4 Avant Vs. IS300 Sportcross

I'm currently comparing the IS300 Sportcross to the A4 Avant, 1.8T Quattro w/ Tiptronic. I'm looking for people's opinions regarding the comparison and the
two cars, as well as the BMW 325IX wagon, and the Volvo V70.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote:

I've considered the S4 Avant vs the Volvo V70R. The Volvo is out for me because service manuals and fault code data are not available to owners at a reasonable price.. Just to find out why a check light is on costs $50 and a trip to the dealer. Also, the Volvo doesn't have full-tiime AWD. Audis do.
is300? Didn't know it existed. Just looked it up now. Looks nice.. no stick, "only" 215HP, no AWD..
Now, I wouldn't mind seeing this new Subaru here: http://www.subaru.co.jp/legacy/leg_50th/02/02.html 256 HP, but still only part-time AWD.
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Doug Warner wrote:

Last time I looked (quite a while ago), the AWD BMW was only available with the weeker engine. The 1.8T in the A4 wagon is also marginal for a wagon, especially with AT. How do the BMW and A4 compare size-wise with the Volvo?
You may also want to consider the W8 Passat (TorSen center diff; available with stick and sport suspension).
Re new Legacy/Outback availability: I heard this Spring or early Summer in the US - see: http://www.need-desire.com/main.html
I would expect the new Legacy AT to come come with the advanced VTD/VDC AWD of the current higher end models. In that case, even the AT version comes with a center diff, so it is full-time AWD. The MT versions have had center diffs and have been truly full-time AWDs all along.
- D.
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There about the same it seemed, I don't know the exact measurements. I can tell you that for what they charge for the T5 variant, you may as well get a V70 R.

The car is for my mother. She has a Lexus RX300 that's coming off it's lease and needs something new. Our inital plan was just to get har the new version the RX330 but my mom looked at a G35, an A4 and a Passat GLX and has decided that it's not important enough to her to keep spending $40-50k on a car. She seems completely content with what's avaliable in the $30-35k price range which puts the (IMHO) overpriced W8 out of the running.
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Steve Grauman wrote:

Make sure you look at the true market value (e.g., edmunds.com), not just at sticker, since some cars (including the W8 - last year, at least) can be had many $K under sticker.
On the Subaru side, if she is coming from the RX300, she might like the new Outback over the Legacy. The slightly softer ride and body roll may not be an issue with her.
- D.
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I've used Edmunds before, but I also know what the W8s go for at my VW dealer (I Own a GTi). The least expensive one they sold was a wagon that went for $35k. What we're looking at right now is the G35, the Acura TL, the A4 (1.8T Quattro Avant and a 3.0 CVT FronTrac sedan), and the Lexus ES330. All of them but the Lexus can be had loaded for $35k (MSRP of course, before haggling) and the ES330 can be had nicely equipped, but not loaded, for about the same.

We test drove an Outback, a Legacy with the H6 engine, and a Forester XT. None of them really hit the mark with her. Same with the IS300 sedan and sportcross, the Volvo S60/V70, the Saab 9-3, and the MB C-Class. At this rate, she may end up just plopping the $45k for another RX. But I appreciate all the advice so far. =)
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Steve Grauman wrote:

The RX300 is the sport-ute right? Maybe give the Nissan Murano a try. There's always the infiniti variant of that, but then you're back up to RX300 money.
Stu
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Yea, it's the Lexus crossover vehicle.

We looked at it, it was unimpressive. For the same money a GMC Envoy is a better buy, although it does have the typical GM interior in it. IMHO the RX330 and X5 are the best of the crossovers. Other than that, you really have to spend more money on a Range Rover or a Cayenne to get a better vehicle. The VW Toureag is awesome too.

Inifiniti charges an obscene amount of money for that vehicle. The FX45 is fast, but not much else. The $44,000+ FX45 doesn't come with a sunroof, premium sound or keyless entry! The Lincoln Aviator and the Cayenne S are better buys, but equally as much or more money, and outside what my mother really wants to spend.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote in message

Wait are we even talking about the same vehicle here? You meant Infiniti FX45, right? Comes standard with keyless entry, moonroof, 6 in-dash and premium sound, changer, dual climate, heated seats, power tilt/telescoping, HIDs, electronic brakeforce distrubution, vehicle stability control, 20 inch steamrollers, 10 air bags, steering wheel mounted controls, etc, etc. It's also the fastest SUV currently on the market second only to the $90K Cayenne Turbo. Car and Driver said it was the fastest(0-60 in 6.3) SUV they'd ever tested and the shortest braking SUV they'd ever tested. When the new BMW 4.8is comes out, it has a good chance if besting the FX45's straight line acceleration, but at identical power to weight ratios, it's going to be too close to call until it's actually tested.
The tech package adds: passive keyless entry, keyless ignition, rear backup camera, DVD navigation, DVD entertainment, laser assisted cruise control, brake preview, 10 speaker 320 watt premium sound with 2 subwoofers.
Do you even do a little research before talking about cars? You look like an idiot to anyone who is even slightly knowledgable.
And it's not like it just came out and details are sketchy. You posted this just weeks ago and the FX has been out for over a year already.
And if you're going to mention "better buys", the Toureg is a way better buy than the Cayenne. Better interior, more features, better looking and a lower price.
BTW, thinking of getting an S4 later this year. Seems like a bargain for a performance sedan.
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Yea. When we went to the dealer, they told us that a sunroof, BOSE sound, and keyless entry were extra charge options. So we didn't even bother test driving it. The other problem was all the reports I'd read about the 20 inch wheels making the ride rough and uneven. Frankly, I could care less about the 0-60 time, because that's not why I'm buying an SUV or crossover vehicle anyway. If we were shopping for a practical and fast vehicle in the $45-50k range, I'd rather have an S4 avant. The Touraeg V8 starts at around $41k, $4k less than an FX45 and does 0-60 in 7.2 seconds, plenty fast for an SUV. Besides, I found the Lincoln Aviator to be just as nice as an FX45, with more interior room, a better ride, a 300Hp V8, and a similar price point. If you havn't driven one, you should. It's worlds different than the awful Mercury/Ford twins.

Yes, I do. But frankly, I find the FX to be ugly and not particularly impressive in terms of interior trim. Couple that with a high price, and a rough ride, and I fail to understand why anyone would bother. If you want performance, buy a wagon. There are better choices on the market the the FX, indicated if by nothing else by the slow sales of the model.
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I'm not sure which I find harder to believe: either a) that you believed a car salesman about standard features on a vehicle or that b) you thought it was possible that a $44K luxury vehicle didn't come standard with keyless entry, a decent stereo, and a moonroof ;-)

The ride is very firm. Sports car firm. In fact, it's similar to my C5 with Z51, this was a concern to me as well, so I made sure my wife went on a long test drive on rough roads. She said "it's about as firm as my SC400". It's all a matter of preference. We like the firm ride.

My wife and I are performance oriented. We wanted the fastest acceleration and best handling in a midsized suv we could get. That made the FX45 the *only* choice. In fact, the Cayenne Turbo which is faster in a straight line still doesn't handle or brake as good as the FX45.

If performance is not the most important thing, I'd agree the FX45 is not the best choice.

Agreed, the FX45 is for a very niche market.

A matter of opinion. Most documented popular opinions do not agree with yours. I don't believe you think it is ugly but instead I think you're looking for any reason to support your opinion.

Well, depending on what you're looking for it is either a bargain, or high priced. It's a bargain if you're looking like a midsized SUV with all the latest safety features that handles like and accelerates like a sports car.

Need more space than a wagon.
There are better choices on the market the the FX,

In the end, it is niche market and Infiniti understimated the demand which is why purchased one last month for $8000 off MSRP.
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I like a frim ride too. But the reports I read of the FX45 made it sound more than firm, uncomfortable in fact. C&D, Motor Trend, Road and Track, all the major publications I saw who did a writeup shared essentially the same feelings. Bottom line, the Toureag and Lincoln Aviator both offer more room, better rides, and nicer looks for about the same money. I've never liked Nissan.

Sounds like what you really wanted was a sporty wagon.

Oh well. I think it's a waste of time and money.

I don't buy that, nor have I seen any reports to back it up. In fact, I got a ride in a Cayenne Turbo with the air suspension fully lowered and that thing drove like a sports car.

So, since many people find it attractive, and I do not, my opinion is not valid?

Not really. I think the FX is ugly and overpirced. A high performance vehicle for people who think themselves "to cool" to buy or drive a station wagon. Furthur more, I was unimpressed by it's interior (Nissan/Infiniti has a tendancy to go cheap on the details), and concerned about the reports I've read of poor ride quality. Couple these things with the fact that an uncle has had bad experiences with 2 Q45s and you can probably see why the FX is low on my list. The Toureag V8 has nearly unanimously been voted the best SUV of it's size and at it's price point, and CAR magazine of England even ranked over the MB ML430 (the 500 wasn't out yet) and X5 4.4i. It goes 0-60 in 7.2 seconds, offers usable off-road performance, a solid build with a great looking interior, and starts $4k lower than the FX.

It could only be a bargin to those looking for a seriously overpriced crossover.

With a cheap interior and from a manufacturer who's reputation over the last 10 years has been less than great.

$8,000 off?? Ok, *that* is a good deal. At $37-40k I'd at least want a test drive. It makes far more sense at that price point.
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How anyone can compare this guzzler to an A4 Avant though... Well over two tons, 15/19 MPG.;. Just another fatmobile.
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I have a 2001 S4 Avant and love the car. Driving this car is like driving in another plane compared with most other cars on the road.
I didn't think the IS300 was in the same league with the S4.
I have seen Ads for the Volvo V70R and am wondering if the car is a true performance car. I've owned a lot of Volvo's and like them, but don't think of them as performance cars.
Of course with BMW, you have to go to M3 to compete with S4, but no station wagon and I don't think 4 wheel drive.
The S4 with the Quattro is Awsome - that is the real key to this car. It is like a rocket ship on a rail, it just won't leave the road.
My only real complaint with the Audi S4 - is the visibility when backing up, etc. It is not an easy car from whihc to see everything around you. Of course this would be true of any of the Audi A4 series station wagons.
The great thing about the S4 is that not many people really know what the car is. Once in a while, someone will come up to me in a parking lot or gas station and start asking questions about it.
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We were comparing the IS300 to the 1.8T quattro Avant and the 3.0 FronTrac sedan. The S4 is a whole nother' league.
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*** post for FREE via your newsreader at post.newsfeed.com ***
The OP wasn't considering the S4, he was considering the A4 1.8T. Without wanting to presume to know the OP's opinions, I had assumed from this that "spirited" driving wasn't among his priorities.
Not sure whether to top- or bottom-post to this one, - Greg Reed
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