Buying new A4,330i, G35, CTS, C320

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Looking for the "one eyed man.... I have a 98 Q-A4 w/90k miles that I bought in 10/97. I suddenly have an itch that has taken me to the Web checking out the comparison of the subject with QA4 features. Besides
Rentals and my wife's Acura, I have only driven the A4 in the last umpty ump years which I enjoy very much but I'm thinking a change might be in order as this may be my next to last car (67yrs w/ early controlled Parkinson's), as I tend to keep cars 6-10 years.
The BMW comes up high on lists but they seem ubiquitous. From my look see, I lean toward the A4, C320 and G35 in that order.
Has anyone driven them and can share their view??
thanks, Bob
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Get the A4. I did just did the comparison (san C320 though). Snow (when I go skiing) is an issue as is driving in heavy rain. I don't think any other car maker can touch Audi for road feel and safety that you get with quattro. And maybe the AWD will help with you hand jigglies. :-))
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I've never liked the C-class and a recent drive of a 2003 model simply re-inforced my dislikes.The 3-series is a great car overall, and I've driven several of them, but it's not quite as powerful in terms of total torque output, and seems to need more revvs to get it's power out. The A4 would lose to a 330i in a flat out drag race but through tight canyon roads it'd be a very cloase race. A 3.0 sport package equipped A4 would be my choice, or a 1.8T with chip.
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On 21 Jan 2004 02:08:18 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Steve Grauman) wrote:

The thing with the MB and all other RWD is that they suck in snow. We get snow here a few times a year so it may not seem like much but having lived in snowy places and now a rainy place, AWD, the quatto version, is superior. We had a three inch 'dump' a few weeks ago and it was bad. Bad. My wife told me she had a short chat with a guy parking his 5 series at the bottom of a steady but longish 3-5 degree hill in our neighbourhood. Tried to get up the hill twice and had to park it. And given that people coming down the hill won't have much control, he left his vehicle in a precarious place. And oh yeah, he couldn't get it home. What a piece of junk. $50K and he has to leave it maybe a mile from his home.
And the G35X which I tried this past weekend has AWD on demand. Which is like uhh, third best compared to 4WD and quattro AWD. The Audi system is the only one with reall AWD all the time. I don't want the car to figure out when I need the extra pull; the G35X is basically RWD 99% of the time and worse, there is the 'Snow' switch you have to toggle. That along with other junk that Infiniti sticks in the cabin in lieu of useful things found in the A4 is enough to make the decision easy.
If I can't have quattro, I would stick with FWD.
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(Steve Grauman) wrote:

pretty well in the snow it's about driving skill not the wheels motivating.
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Tha Ghee wrote:

Well, ask any professional driver and they will tell you RWD is inferiour to FWD in snow/ice. Here we got snow maybe 4 months (or more, depending on the latitude) of the whole year (Finland), and at least based on what I've drove (my dad has a MB, my mom a BMW, and myself an Audi), FWD is much easier to handle in ice/snow conditions. It also won't get stuck so easily on uphills, when there's ice on the ground.
And looking how taxis drive, those with even MB won't say RWD is better.
- Yak
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ok but then explain why the top 3 selling vehicles in America are all RWD and there sold in Midwest and it snow there a lot??
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Obviously there are a lot of stupid people in the U.S. that still by RWD vehicles.
The facts have been documented for almost 40 years. When GM came out with their first FWD cars in the late 60s (like Olds Tornado), they documented with driver testing that FWD vehicles could safely be driven at over twice the speed of a comparable RWD vehicle on ice.

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cars. if your concerned about ice get snow tires. last time I check Germany gets snow and ice and there two biggest companies for making cars only make RWD, (minus the British Mini and DC Smart Cars).
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Trucks and SUVs are usually equipped with some form of AWD/4WD to help cope with ice/snow/rain/etc...conditions.

Actually MB and BMW both make cars with AWD. The 3-series is avaliable in Xi trim (AWD equipped), the C-Class is avaliable with 4Matic AWD, as is the E Class and S Class. Audi sells more cars equipped with Quattro than with FronTrac, Porsche makes the C4 and the Cayenne SUV. Infiniti just introduced an AWD version of the G35. Tests have proven that with standard road tires FWD cars behave in a superior manner to RWD cars in many winter conditions. That doesn't mean that people can't make RWD work in ice/snow/rain/etc...but it isn't *ideal*.
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Steve Grauman wrote:

And in the case of Porsche, most of their cars are rear-engined; i.e. the engine is over the drive wheels, as with FWD cars.
-- Mike Smith
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Mike Smith wrote:

Let's go through the Porsche line-up:
356: mid-engine, rear drive 911/930/968: rear-engine, rear or AWD 912/914: mid-engine, rear drive 924: front-engine, rear drive 928: front-engine, rear drive 944: front-engine, rear drive Boxter: mid-engine, rear drive Cayenne - front-engine AWD Carerra GT: mid-engine rear-drive
Looks like the model lines are pretty evenly split between front, mid, and rear for engine placement. And since mid-engine layouts still put the engine closer to the rear axle than the front, I'll give you those, too. But not a single one of them is FWD. Not even those with the engine over the front wheels. Hmph. Perhaps Porsche engineers just weren't aware of the performance advantages of FWD when they were building their 924, 944, and 928.
- Greg Reed
--
1976 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 9-Pass sedan
(FS: http://www.dataspire.com/caddy )
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Greg Reed wrote:

Indeed, I don't think they've ever heard of snow either. Or why do they make cars that suck in the winter?-)
- Yak
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Sure.
Wrong already. The 356 was rear engined and originally built on the same pan as the Bug.

The Type 911 hasn't be made since the 1960s, it's irrelevant. The Type 930 died in the 80s, same issue there. The 968 stopped being made in 1995 and it was front engined, not rear. You're not off to a good start.

Sorry, wrong again. The 912 and 912E were both rear engined, built on the 911 platform but with 4-cylinder engines (the original 912 used leftover 356 mills). The 914 and 914/6 were mid-engined but have not been produced in 3 decades. Sorry.

Out of production since the 1980s.

Out of production since 1995.

Out of produtcion in North America since 1989, gone from Europe since 1993.

That's "Boxster" with an "S" in it. But this is otherwise correct.

AWD on all three versions. =)

Irellevant. The Carrera GT was derived from a still-born GT1 project bound for LeMans. GT1 regulations don't allow for AWD. But you'll ntoce that every Turbo built since the 964 has been standard with AWD, and there was an AWD option on 964 Turbos.

Not really, their rear-engined for the most part with a few mid and front engined cars thrown in. You were wrong about a few of those models.

Are you seriously that dense? the rear engined layout of the Carrera gives the same traction benefits that *every* front engine, FWD car gets. It's the *same* thing in reverse!!

No one is claiming performance advantages. What I'm claiming is that FWD is less exepensive to build and SUPERIOR IN BAD WEATHER.
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Steve Grauman wrote:

Thanks for pointing out my unfamiliarity with Porsche's models. And my typo. (Makes me wonder whether the *correct* spelling is *in* my e-mailer's dictionary. 'Cause the incorrect one sure wasn't.) The only Porsche I ever liked was the 944 anyway. My point was that there is more to a car's handling than whether the engine is over the drive wheels. My reason for wanting to prove this point was to refute your argument that FWD is superior to RWD because the engine is over the drive wheels. You attempted to prove your point by citing cars that place the rear engine over the rear wheels. I tried to disprove your argument by pointing out that high-performance automakers also use rear drive with a front engine, and that they never use front drive with *any* engine placement. It would seem that moving the engine back to the rear drive wheels can improve performance, while moving the drive wheels up to the front engine does not. As evidence, I used the exact same tactic that you used: I cited high-performance automobiles. And I think I succeeded, as you partly concede the point I was trying to refute with "No one is claiming performance advantages" below.

*If* you also steer with the rear wheels and drive it in reverse all the time, *then* it would be the same thing. Since you don't, it isn't. If this assessment is wrong, then yes. I'm that dense.

Ummm... If FWD doesn't have a performance advantage, then in what way is it superior?
So a RWD car is more capable in good weather while a FWD car is more capable in "bad weather"? At exactly what point of deteriorating weather conditions does this remarkable alteration in the laws of physics occur? Will rain alone do it? Or just some morning dew? What about wet leaves? Or does it require some actual snow? Is a quarter inch enough?
My point is that a vehicle's handling characteristics are either good or they're bad. What a car does at the limit is the same (aerodynamic and tire-related effects excluded) regardless of whether that limit is reached on dry pavement at 80mph, in rain at 40 mph, or on snow at 20mph. The reason I like driving my FWD Oldsmobile in the summer and not in the winter is simple: In the summer I never drive it anywhere close to the limits of road adhesion. In the winter, it's at that limit often. The car drives great, as long as it's comfortably within these limits of adhesion. Outside that limit? Well, my advice is "just don't go there."
So *either* FWD provides superior handling -- in which case all the high-performance auto manufacturers should switch to it -- or it doesn't. Or, I suppose, different physical laws might apply on slippery roads than apply on sticky ones, as you seem to want me to believe. If you want to convince me that FWD is "superior in bad weather" you'll have to prove that a car's handling characteristics change fundamentally based on the grip offered to it by the surface on which it's travelling. Or that FWD is superior in *all* weather conditions. Or that my logic is fallacious -- because, I can only guess, of my density.
- Greg Reed
--
1976 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 9-Pass sedan
(FS: http://www.dataspire.com/caddy )
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It's a shame none of the "high-performance" vehicles you mentioned for their excellent handling characteristics can outhandle a last-generation Honda Prelude SH or a last-generation Ford Probe GT. If they could outhandle those two front-drivers, you might've proved something, but alas...

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Are you now claiming that a Prelude SH and Probe GT are capable of outhandling all Porsches? That'd make you a lost cause at best.
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Not all... but some-- the point is that the vehicle engine/drive layout does not necessarily mean that the car has a particular characteristic... the suspension has a great deal to do with it. For example, would anyone in their right minds ever suggest that a Ford Crown Victoria, Lexus LS430, BMW 745Li (all RWD cars) could ever outhandle one of these two examples or my Audi A4 3.0 CVT with the famous Audi 4-link virtual center front suspension? The fact is the Prelude SH's 0.96g skidpad numbers for the 600-ft. circle is better than most Corvette models and Porsche's.... and which would you rather be driving in ice, snow, or rain?

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FWD cars all understeer, and most AWD cars do too. No level of suspension tuning can ever make this not true, and anyone with tuning experience knows it. The Integra Type R, Volkswagen Corrado and 1990 Lotus Elan SE represent some of the best FWD cars ever devised, all of them understeer.

Where did that number come from? I've never seen any factory Honda post better than about .90 and that's the S2000. If a Prelude SH could pull .96 than the world would go lopsided. Every source I can find lists the Prelude SH at .89 on the skidpad, with a 0-60 of 7.7 seconds. Not nearly enough to beat a Porsche. A 996 Turbo can pull 0.98, the GT3 can pull 1.03g and the other models aren't far back.
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He's got some strange sources--- we all know the Prelude SH 0-60 was more like 6.7 seconds than 7.7 seconds... and you must be looking at a 700-ft. skidpad number-- different mags use different tests... check out car and driver from anytime in the 98-99 time frame and look at their car log and you'll begin to see things a little more clearly. The only vehicle tested that ever exceeded 1.0 g in the skidpad test was the Ferrari F40 and F50 and McLaren F1. I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers, but they are way off.

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