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Old 02-18-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
lemming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate View Post
Somewhat surprisingly, you can get a new A4 Quattro in manual still.

http://www.bmwblog.com/2017/09/27/te...uattro-manual/

Edit: amazingly, my dealer's inventory shows 5 in stock.
my vote would go here.

very refined interior and the engine has tons of torque for what it is. no one does the 2.0 litre turbo better.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:13 AM   #12
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Yeah the A4 is definitely worth a look.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:15 AM   #13
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FWIW (not much really) I had a VW Jetta in rental car trim this week while I was in California and it was absolutely awful. Most any American or Japanese rental has been more pleasant.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:46 AM   #14
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The Jetta is not great. Nor is the new Passat. Both have been biggified and decontented to appeal to mass market Americans.

The Golf still feels German, and has much nicer interior materials.

The R is really hard to argue with. Itís very fast, AWD, not terribly expensive, and has a Swiss Army knife utility to it. Itís also fun to drive, though being honest the carís biggest weakness is that it doesnít really sing to me. I like it, and I canít think of anything Iíd rather own for the price...but I donít *love* it.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate View Post
Somewhat surprisingly, you can get a new A4 Quattro in manual still.

http://www.bmwblog.com/2017/09/27/te...uattro-manual/

Edit: amazingly, my dealer's inventory shows 5 in stock.
Mistake in the article. B8 never stopped offering a manual either in A4 or S4. B9 launched without manuals in the A4 but with the promise of them coming. B9 has no manual S4's.

I'd be interested to drive one. I did have the b8 a4 for 4yrs/45k miles, a good daily & winter drive but not an interesting one. In every condition but snow, the mk7 GTI (or any Golf R) is way more fun to drive, even with FWD. You just don't get a semi-luxury sedan. I'm also curious if the newer weaker sauce quattro would be an issue or not.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by John V View Post
Macan was the first thing that crossed my mind. I have to imagine it handles about as well as a WRX but does everything else better. Supposedly the handling is fairly playful as well but . You should at least go drive one.
Directly compared, Macan S does not handle as well as a WRX. It's a very nice, peppy, good-sounding SUV, but it's still on stilts. I drove one at launch. It was not nearly as sporty as my "sports" a4.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
It's just weird because I don't view the E46 refinement as boring. I view it as a positive.
e46's used to feel refined 15 years ago. Not any longer, the world has changed.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
Itís also fun to drive, though being honest the carís biggest weakness is that it doesnít really sing to me. I like it, and I canít think of anything Iíd rather own for the price...but I donít *love* it.
I was curious about your long term review. That sounds about how I feel like I'd feel if I had one. I'd definitely love to take you up on your offer to drive it though.

Regarding the Macan: if I decide to get an suv - yes. But the JGC was mostly just goofing around. For now I'm sticking to my requirement of being a manual.

A4 is worth a drive for sure, if I decide to go the less fun route. The BMW 440i xdrive actually comes in a manual as well - but it's nearly 60k.
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt View Post
I'm not sure the E91 wagon or Cayman will make it through 2018, so I drove (or attempted to drive) a bunch of cars today.

Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86
Apparently no one in the northeast buys these, so no dealers order them.

VW Golf R
Apparently everyone in the northeast buys these, so they are all have deposits before they reach the dealership

Subaru WRX
To my surprise, I kind of liked it. The 2018 model has more sound deadening so it's a little less awful in terms of NHV, but only slightly. The tire noise is still pretty bad. The clutch and shifter are also a little less awful than the previous year. It turned better than I expected. And the Recaro seats were comfortable. It's obviously still a low-rent interior.

The biggest shock was that it has the worst throttle mapping and rev hang of any car I've ever driven. Pressing the throttle 1 inch gets you 75% throttle. And on the 1-2 shift the revs don't drop! They just stick where they are for over a second. It's insane. But apparently a $695 Cobb Tune solves both these problems.

But for whatever reason, I enjoyed driving it. I just kept thinking - this is so much more fun to drive than the wagon. I worry the road noise would grow tiring, but maybe not?

VW GTI
Since no dealership had a Golf R, I asked to drive a GTI. Maybe it was just the contrast from the WRX and Cayman (which I drove around to the dealers), but I was surprised at how civil the GTI was. Clutch and shfiter much more refined and easy to drive smoothly. It turned in nicely and really hugged the road. I didn't love the engine sound - a little too lawnmower-esque. I left thinking... that was a perfectly fine car, but it was somehow boring. Maybe the R would have fixed that? Do I just a mental block against Golf's because I think they look stupid? Also, Golf R's don't have a spare tire, which just infuriates me. My wagon is a pain to put a bicycle in because there's always a goddamn wheel & tire in the way.

I wish I could learn to love a Golf R. It would simplify my garage.


2013 Golf R
The only Golf R I could find on autotrader within range was a 2013 Golf R. It was OK I guess? It was like the '18 GTI but old and beat up, a little faster, and AWD. In my experience, VW's age much worse than other cars for some reason. I left thinking, I never in a million years buy this car, but maybe a 2018 R would somehow be different.


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Overland
After all equ's JGC discussion I've been intrigued by these. I kind of liked it. It was more car-like than I expect for a nearly 5,000 lbs vehicle. Yeah it leaned a lot if you attempt to turn quickly, but somehow driving it wasn't bad. It was a more pleasant than a pickup truck. The 6-cylinder engine would be fine for me. I just can't see wanting to drive this on a semi-regular basis during the winter, so I can't figure out how it would make sense. I can't justify it as just a home depot truck.


Bottom line:
I have no idea. I'm doing nothing for now and will re-asses this spring/summer. I'd love to get down to 2 cars though so if I could find a fun AWD vehicle I like that would just be lovely. Model 3?
Good stuff... These are like my shopping trips.

What do you not like about your e90 awd wagon? Its age/condition or its handling? I doubt any recent audi or bmw or Macan would be a drastic improvement in the latter - without major $$ spent on S4 or 335 optioned up, but of course major improvement on the former.

Definitely drive the Mk7 Golf R. I haven't touched one, but the mk6 R was much better than the mk6 GTI. I haven't driven the mk6 R and the mk7 GTI back to back, I might like the latter better, but that's a guess. Also our mk7 isn't stock. Engine sound isn't great, but it won't be in any 4-cylinder.

The Mk7 GTI (SE leather w/ Perf Package, red brakes and LSD) works very well for us. With APR, it is basically as fast as a Golf R, just a bit less traction, more like a Mini JCW, being able to break loose at all sorts of speeds. It is very much limited by its all-season tires, would feel downright sporty with more grip and - I daresay - match the Golf R for fun (though not on a track or on snow). It is also a tank in the snow with Blizzaks and front LSD. I think there are slicktop GTI's as well with plaid seats. The sunroof is pretty useless in that application.

Cool that you tried the JGC. It's a pretty nice truck/SUV, soft but not hateful. I do like either the hemi or the diesel much better.

Anyway, you have a different problem, moving from 3-point to 2-point optimization. I wouldn't have a truck/suv in a 2 car garage. These days, with lots of construction, parking space and the big dogs big stuff, crates etc, it makes partial sense.

You need to figure out the Cayman R. Seems like it's not really working for you. What color is it again?

Are you keeping the e46 definitely?
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Old 02-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I'm also curious if the newer weaker sauce quattro would be an issue or not.
The WRX (non-STI) has a weak sauce AWD as well. It's the same as the crosstrek, etc. Open diffs front and rear and it basically fails a diagonal test.
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