Used Car buyer question

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I will be enrolling in graduate school soon but will be commuting about 100 miles each way, twice a week for about 3 years. This is on top of working full-time. I need a car that can provide this
transportation. I am looking at a 2000+ Maxima, a 1999+ BMW 3-Series or a 1999+ Audi A4 or A6. I will be spending about $15k-$17k for this car. Obviously repair costs and reliability are key factors for this planned commute.
Any suggestions?
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Darren writes:

Where do you live? Snow country? Get the Audi Quattro. The Maxima will be cheaper to own than a BMW.
Dave
http://hometown.aol.com/davplac/myhomepage/index.html
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They are all fine cars that should easily do 200K if properly maintained. The Maxima will be a little cheaper to maintain, but they are all good choices IMO.
Darren wrote:

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The BMW and Audi would be my choice in terms of driving pleasure but in general be prepared for higher repair costs with the Audi and BMW autos; if reliability and costs are one of the most important issues to you I would stay away from Audi altogether. They are nice cars and fun to take skiing but everyone I know that has an A4 or A6 has spent quite a bit to keep them on the road. My boss purchased a brand new A6 last year and it has been in the shop a couple of times for the infamous coil replacements and has already had the transmission replaced ! Also at work, one guy sold his 2000 A4 3.0 Quattro to somebody else at our company and let's just say the transaction hasn't been to the satisfaction of both parties. The car was properly maintained and through no fault of the previous owner, has required

imagine owning a 3-4 year old Audi.......
The Maxima should provide bullet-proof reliability, be pretty fast with that nice V6 but a notch below the BMW and Audi in the fun to drive, one with the road feeling....

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if
them
Parts are very cheap if you source them from a german parts supplier
My boss purchased a brand new A6 last year and it has been in

2000
required
Wow he must be special, the 3.0 B6 was not released until 2002, do you mean 2.8 B5?
Mines 6 yrs old and still drives like the day I got it

that
the
Nissan V Audi :)
German everytime
Ron
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Why? How do you compare reliability, handling, power, and seating room?

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Yeah, it's a 2.8, sorry bout that

mean
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What "infamous coil replacements"? And where can one go to learn more about Audi A 6 reliability?

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Coil packs failed on Audis after 2002 for about a year, now they are all replaced under warranty
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Check out this website:
http://www.carsurvey.org/model_Audi_A6.html
-- http://www.anti-leech.com/spam/spambot_stopper.php
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The Bimmer isn't likely to meet your price point, but it will be the most satisfying car. Also you should consider poor weather behavior. A 3-series ix which has all-wheel drive might be good for you, if you find a good price. I commute in Michigan daily about 70+ miles round trip in a 1992 325 with a 5-speed, now up to about 140k miles. I don't like the reduced security in snowy weather or the high cost of dealer maintenance, but the car is phenomenal in any other conditions. I have not put snow tires on it, and maybe I should have. After I got a few things restored, I have had no failures that prevented using the car, even on vacation trips.
I think there is ultimately more durability in a BMW than in a Nissan, though the frequency of repair in a Nissan will be lower. I would not trust Audi at this point, because I hear too many stories of VW products of recent years leaving people immobile. It's too bad, because I've been thinking of looking at an all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive sedan (325ix, quattro, or 9-5).
Ken

on
3-Series
this
this
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Ken: Don't hesitate, do it now. All-season tires are a poor compromise in any conditions, but worst in winter weather. Good, modern technology snow tires are incredible by comparison. Don't saddle a great machine with such poor shoes.
-Russ.
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I've done winter driving in Michigan and you should be on WINTER or even SNOW tires. If you commute you often have no choice but to be out there on whatever tires you have.
...yes, you should heed your own advice.
After I got

I find VWs very disappointing to own especially with regard to durability. They look nice and even drive well but don't seem designed to last. Their engines seem to perform well but also seem not to be designed with durability in mind. VWs tend to look and feel tired as quickly as the rest of the non-luxuary marques...with a puddle of oil under them to boot. Recent models seem to have reliability problems.
I don't lease and only buy to own for the long term so I care about durability.
IMO, the new Audis have the best interior fit and finish but are too staid for my taste. Audi exteriors are too egg-like to me; plain-looking. I could never gather enough interest to own one.
I don't like FWD and think they're potentially more dangerous than RWD in Winter. If traction is an issue I'd pick an AWD - Subaru or BMW. Always pack a shovel in Winter.
Michael
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And, if you're following that advice, make it a *long* shovel; because shoveling snow from around the wheels doesn't help. You've gotta get it out from under the *bellypan* of the car to get it unstuck.
Don't ask me how I know. >:^[ -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; done that)
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wrote: [snipped]

He's not asking about VW products, he's asking about an Audi.
hth ;-)
/daytripper '00 s4 6spd
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True, but there is a lot of platform in common between them.
What does "hth" mean?

Nissan,
not
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Ken Freeman wrote:

HTH - hope this helps.
--
Phil Robyn
Univ. of California, Berkeley
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Thanks - it does indeed help.

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VW/Audi are related. They share some technology and even their finance company is shared.

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These are good choices but you would also be very happy with a honda 2002 V6 or a Lexus 1999- 2000 with that money. I spent 4 years commuting every single week between Long Island, NY and College Park in Maryland (239miles each way) with a used 94 Saturn my dad bought for $5000 at that time. Never had a single problem. Gave it to someone else after 179K miles. Still running strong. Very savvy in gas (15 fills a tank) reliable, and parts and service are really cheap too.

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