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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Took some time yesterday to take some test drives. Salesperson was more than accommodating. Here are my thoughts on the 2 cars:

A4
This was my second time test driving this car. I was able to try one with and without the sport suspension. Wouldn't it be great if BMW offered a sport package for $750? Here are my thoughts:

Pros
1) Car is a good value. For 47.5k, you can get an A4 Quattro with the 252 HP engine, premium plus, and technology package. It compares to a 330i optioned up to about 51k. Plus, you get the virtual cockpit which BMW doesn't have.
2) It's a good all around car. Drives pretty well, quiet, and absorbs impacts, both with and without the sport suspension.
3) B&O 3D audio sounds very good, and the base audio is quite good also.
4) Conventional 18" summer tires is a no cost option, and a spare is included.
5) You can see they sweated the details: fingers in the cup holders to hold smaller cups; sunload sensors on the doors just below the glass; 2 USB ports in the console storage area.
6) Apple Carplay and Android Auto
7) The AC performance is magnificient.
8) Quattro really aids cornering when you apply throttle.
9) Controls and switchgear are superior to F30.

Cons
1) RV not as generous as BMW.
2) Maintenance not included, although, if you buy it up front ($895) you get an extra percentage point on the RV.
3) There is a noticeable hesitation/lag when applying throttle from a standing stop. This occurs in all driving modes.
4) Transmission shifts well, but is not on the same level for smoothness and responsiveness as the N26/8AT ZF combo.
5) Drivetrain noise not as pleasing as N26.
6) Drive is not as sporty as F30. Throttle is not as responsive as F30 in any mode, even with sport shifting program added.
7) Steering is very light in any mode, but tightens up a little at speed.
8) Storage in doors not as generous as F30.
9) Console controls are a little scattered. Volume control is in a strange place.
10) Trim aluminum/wood does not match interior as well as F30.
11) Side view mirrors are too small.

The A4 is a very good all around car. For those that are not as interested in the sport side of things, it seems it's hard for BMW to compare, especially when price is considered. For those that value the driving experience more, it's a tougher choice because the Audi cannot match the engine/AT marriage that the F30 has, and this, along with the throttle delay, may be unacceptable.

The A3
I won't do a full pro/con on this one. My feeling on the A3 is that you get a smaller, more nimble car for a little less money, but you give up a whole lot in refinement, space, and interior quality. The dash is, to me, unacceptable for a car in this price range. The screen that emerges from the dash screams UPDATE NEEDED!. Road noise is noticeable, and the engine seemed to lug at times, causing vibrations, even though there was plenty of power available (220 hp). The console is low rent and dated. I also drove an S3 and it had more power, but for 49k, that dash and console aren't even in the ball park. I think the GTI makes more sense than the A3/S3.
 

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Your #3 con is the main reason I couldn't pull the trigger on a new A4. That hesitation accelerating from a standing stop was too much for me to overlook.
 

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Your #3 con is the main reason I couldn't pull the trigger on a new A4. That hesitation accelerating from a standing stop was too much for me to overlook.
One of the things I hated about my 2012 A4. Can't believe it hasn't been resolved.

My impression of my A4.

[Mash the pedal.]
A4: Oh, do you want to go?
Me: Yes!
A4: Are you sure?
Me: Yes! For the love of God, go!
A4: OK. If you are really sure.
Me: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
[Finally starts moving.]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One of the things I hated about my 2012 A4. Can't believe it hasn't been resolved.

My impression of my A4.

[Mash the pedal.]
A4: Oh, do you want to go?
Me: Yes!
A4: Are you sure?
Me: Yes! For the love of God, go!
A4: OK. If you are really sure.
Me: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
[Finally starts moving.]
Tough to say if they tried to sort it out or whether they didn't have enough complaints about it.
 

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So, whose goodness wins for you right now? Are you going to buy an A4 or wait for the G20? Does the A4 FWD architecture play any role for you?
 

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I would consider the A4Q in Canada because it is offered in manual and the Canadian 328i is not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, whose goodness wins for you right now? Are you going to buy an A4 or wait for the G20? Does the A4 FWD architecture play any role for you?
Well, I submitted an offer to my BMW dealer today on a 330i with AT, HK, Premium, leather, DA, heated seats, NAV, and 397 wheels with staggered summer tires (MSRP 49,668). We'll see what they say.
 

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One of the things I hated about my 2012 A4. Can't believe it hasn't been resolved.



My impression of my A4.



[Mash the pedal.]

A4: Oh, do you want to go?

Me: Yes!

A4: Are you sure?

Me: Yes! For the love of God, go!

A4: OK. If you are really sure.

Me: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

[Finally starts moving.]


Is the delay a result of the dual clutch auto? I rented a 2017 A4 last month and felt the same sensation.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is the delay a result of the dual clutch auto? I rented a 2017 A4 last month and felt the same sensation.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
I can't tell. In the many reviews that noticed the same thing, I can't remember any that pinpoint it. It's not a dramatic delay, it's just there. Some may not notice at all, but for F30 drivers that are used to urgent response from the N26/8AT, you notice it.
 

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Sounds about right. I value performance and seamless engine/trans more than I value tech and interior fit and finish thus, based on your review, The f30 still sounds like a better choice to me and always cheaper to lease. The new A4 is damn nice though

I am not a fan of the dual clutch VAG and no automatic touches the zf 8 in the bimmer, for the money. In videos, the 4 banger sounds course in the audi vs the 4 in the 328/30. I think interior wise the audi sort of owns the bmw but I have never thought the f30 was a bad place to be. If buying the car, the audi is the better value, clearly.

Your comments on steering are interesting and match comments in most mag reviews ive read about the A4. The same mags that slag on bmw for numb steering do a big circle jerk over the Audi, which also has numb steering. Bunch of lemmings
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds about right. I value performance and seamless engine/trans more than I value tech and interior fit and finish thus, based on your review, The f30 still sounds like a better choice to me and always cheaper to lease. The new A4 is damn nice though

I am not a fan of the dual clutch VAG and no automatic touches the zf 8 in the bimmer, for the money. In videos, the 4 banger sounds course in the audi vs the 4 in the 328/30. I think interior wise the audi sort of owns the bmw but I have never thought the f30 was a bad place to be. If buying the car, the audi is the better value, clearly.

Your comments on steering are interesting and match comments in most mag reviews ive read about the A4. The same mags that slag on bmw for numb steering do a big circle jerk over the Audi, which also has numb steering. Bunch of lemmings
There's no doubt that the power delivery of the F30 is noticeably better than in the A4. I'm a little puzzled as to why Audi made the steering so light, even in dynamic mode. I'm sure they're doing what their market surveys are telling them. As a total package, it's a very nice car, and for most buyers, a serious challenger to the 3-series. But yes, the lease deals aren't quite as generous but the purchase price is certainly lower.

One thing I forgot to mention in my review: the side mirrors seem too small to me.
 

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Your #3 con is the main reason I couldn't pull the trigger on a new A4. That hesitation accelerating from a standing stop was too much for me to overlook.
+1

I also test drove an A4 and S3 and the turbo lag was unreal, especially from a stop. It almost feels like the engine is stalling before the turbo spools up and then it takes off like a rocket. It all felt very artificial.
 

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Audi also allows up to 9 MSDs but it only reduces the MF by 0.00005, however, starting MF is .0010 instead of BMW's 0.00146.
No, that's fine, I was only joking about BMW's ... er ... utterly optimistic RV. It is not that Audi's RV are lower, they are just more realistic :)

+1
I also test drove an A4 and S3 and the turbo lag was unreal, especially from a stop. It almost feels like the engine is stalling before the turbo spools up and then it takes off like a rocket. It all felt very artificial.
OK, guys, I am not defending VAG, but there is something to understand there. I own two VAG products, one turboless and one with turbocharger, and they both behave the same way - to get to GO!, you have got to make it understand that you want to go. That is achieved by BOTH throttle position AND rpm. Only one is not going to do it. If you are used to BMW's go-go-GO! as soon as you reach about 1,800 -2,000 rpm with disregard to throttle position, then I understand how you will perceive what is happening as a turbo lag. I will slightly disagree, although, with turbocharger, turbo going berserk is nowhere near as smooth as what BMW does when it starts pulling from low rpm with no regard to where the throttle is.

At least on my turbocharged car, the engine is basically the same one (EA888) and I believe electronics are probably the same or, at least, done with same philosophy. So, if you want to try it next time you drive VAG turbocharged engine, try to smoothly bury the throttle past about 50% of its travel and then judge if there is a lag or not.

Again, not defending VAG and their way of doing it, but I can tell you that my GTI is a lot easier and less frustrating to drive (than my E92) in stop-and-go traffic because of that - keep throttle below 50% and it behaves like a car with half the power - although, again, I still think it responds well as long as you expect that only half of the horses show up for the roll call with throttle in that position.
 

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Even in base suspension the 3 series is a lot more fun to drive however I would take an A4 over a non adaptive suspension 330i. The ride quality is a lot better.
Both the F30 & B9 A4 rear seat room are probably the best in class. I am about 5"11 and I can sit comfortably in the rear seat in either car.
I prefer the sound of the A4 engine over the n20. The new b48 engine does make a better sound.
The zf8 is a better gearbox than the Audi dual cutch. Unlike other dual clutches, Audi version does a good job at low speeds.
I like the fact the Audi offer 2 grays on the A4. Monsoon gray reminds me of space gray which was the color I had on my second e90.
Although the MMI has better graphics than the idrive. Idrive is easier to use.
If you get the prestige package the residual goes down 4%. That an extra $60 a month. BMW dealer mf markup max is .0004 with Audi dealers they can markup the mf a lot higher.



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