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Old 07-10-2005, 10:42 AM
OneLuckyPuppy OneLuckyPuppy is offline
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Location: Canada
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 2004 325i
Originally Posted by obLu
If this thread hasn't been beaten to death already, I'll pitch in my two bits. I'm in Seattle ... lots of rain blah blah but only occasional light snows. Problem is we have so many steep hills, that even a dusting of snow shuts down the city.

I had two e46's (99 328i and an 01 330cic) before going to Audi (03 A4 3.0 and now an 01 A8L), I'm expecting to put my order in or buy an e90, if they've got a decent one on the lot, here in the next few months. If that tells you anything.

Audi pros: AWD really puts the power down in the corners when it's wet. Interior quality and materials is absolutely beautiful (because they skimp in unseen areas). Snow traction even with summer tires is awe inspiring ... notice how I say traction. That's only GO, quattro didn't help stop or turn so that was downright dangerous when I was caught in a .25 dusting of snow with contisport 2 summer tires. I had to creep along at 5mph because every touch of the brake pedal brought out ABS. But I got up my steep driveway without the traction control ever kicking in.

Audi cons: AWD handling. The engine is still out over the front axle and the front tires are still doing too much work. The result is terminal boring understeer no matter what you do. Even a stiffer rear sway bar doesn't help much balancing the car out. Ride quality in Audi's suck. You either get stiff and floaty with the standard suspension or stiffer and floaty with sport suspension. Maybe they've fixed it quite a bit since my 03, but I'm still reading stuff in the rags saying Audi's suspensions are just too stiff for what you get handling wise. To sum it up, it's rock hard when it doesn't need to be, and too soft when you don't want it to be. They just don't spend enough time or money developing the suspension for real roads. After 3 hr's of driving on our crappy freeways I'd be more beat up from my stock sport packaged audi than I was my H&R and Bilstein e46.

Buy the BMW, and buy a set of studless winter tires like the pilot alpin 2 or similar and find wherever you can to store them. I know you're resisting because you don't want to deal with it, but with either car if you can't stay home when it snows you really should. The biggest thing is, German cars are heavy and they take a lot to get them stopped when traction's bad. M&S all seasons will help just a tiny bit over summer tires, but they're still a compromise. If you're buying a BMW why compromise?
Excellent comment, Audi has a AWD with front biais which means that it is primarily a front wheel drive until there is a spin, this is when the rear wheels are solicited. Also engine weight and most of tranny weight over the front axle which renders the car light from the rear. The fun about BMW's is their 50/50 weight and RWD, creating less understeer and throttle oversteer upon demand. So if my choice was beside an Audi with Quattro, and BTW I live in Canada where I see six month of snow, or a BMW with RWD I would got toward the BMW in a heartbeat (which I did previously)! If I lived in Pittsburg ( was once there on business), with houses clinging to cliffs, I would be tempted to go towards the Subaru Legacy GT (AWD), and before anybody comments or flame me make sure you have tried the car. In MT form it has 50/50 differential setting and plenty of HP and torque (250, 250). The only change I would make to the car is the springs and sway bars (STI). This car with this setup is the closest to a 3 series that I have tried for cheaper, fun to drive and absolutely better going up a hill and cornering (AWD), lower priced with better secondary market than an Audi and a better reliability track record than Audi, and a heck of a sleeper too!

All of that being said nothing replaces good quality winter tires! As interesting as it can be, there are a multitude of winter tires for different applications and most people by based on third party recommendations when their weather patterns are totally different then the individuals that has made the reference. Make sure that the treads on your tires are adapted to weather in your area and driving style.

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