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Old 06-13-2001, 03:24 PM   #1
BigElm
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Post WRX Wagon & Audi A4 Avant - Comparison

I'm looking forward to getting the Rex Wagon '03. Though I know what to expect of the Rex Wagon, based on the fellow i-clubbers feedback; I have been told to look into the A4 Avant by a family member (we'll leave it at that)...
I said, "Nice, but it's much more than a Rex". Then the reply is "Of course, it's German and has more features."

Now I know about the "luxuries" of an Audi and performance or lack of vs. the Rex. But please don't biased of Subies...Just need feedback, opinion and experiences.
Thanks!

Note: Legroom, headroom, etc. are taken in consideration too.
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Old 06-13-2001, 04:04 PM   #2
danc
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If the search is working, you should try a search for this as it has been covered before. Quick summary - WRX faster, Audi luxuriouser, IMO both handle well if you get the Sport package on the Audi, WRX cheaper, new A4 coming out for 2002, more niceties for Audi, current model Audi wagon heavier by 200 or more lbs and bigger. Waddya want? More sporty/fast/inxpensive/less cush, or slightly larger/more luxurious? They are both fun IMO. But you MUST get the sport package on the Audi if you get it.
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Old 06-13-2001, 05:02 PM   #3
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Well, the search is not working yet that's why I'm posting this....
It's not so much the luxury but the comfort, for long drives and space. How's the front/rear legroom in the Audi A4 Avant? I know about chipping an A4 (1.8T). So basically the advantages and disadvantages of each.
I wish the search function works, but you got to give Nick a chance
In the meantime, I can use all the information given.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-13-2001, 05:09 PM   #4
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My wife has a A4 sedan. It's a great car, but when you figure in the bang for the buck the WRX wins hands down.

Chuck
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Old 06-13-2001, 05:22 PM   #5
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The rear passenger legroom in the A4 Avant is horrid. I actually got my size 11 feet stuck behind the driver's seat. Took quite a bit of effort to extract them
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Old 06-13-2001, 05:31 PM   #6
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Now what's up with the new and "improved" 2002 Avant. It's kinda been in the dark unless someone knows someone that knows someone...
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Old 06-13-2001, 06:19 PM   #7
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BigElm:

go to Audiworld<-- click here for everything you'll need on the '02 A4. if you look into the Archives section (on the side, under "other site options", as "news archives") you will find an article of the '02 Avant. if you go to... i believe October 2000, you'll find the info on the '02 A4 sedan, along with pics and specs i think.

now... since the '02 A4 isn't here yet, i'll give you the low down of the current gen A4 (B5)

Pro (compared to the WRX)

- much, much more luxurious
- go ahead and sit in the A4's interior, play around with the controls, touch every surface you see, and everyone that you don't see, knock on all the trims... then go back and sit in the WRX and do the same
- the 1.8t engine is very easily moddable
- 4yr (for the '01 models and on, and i forgot the mileage) full warrenty. yes, they do replace your brake pads for free
- a very fun car to drive with the sport pkg, as someone has already mentioned. for '01, there is a quattro celebration sport pkg that includes 17" RS4 lookalike rims w/ SP8000 tires IIRC. very nice. i'd recommand it. oh, the 16" sport pkg also uses SP8000
- various things that will pleasantly surprise you as you become the owner of an audi. i can't recall them right now thought
- excellent road trip car. i know of several A4 owners who take their car between home and school cross country a few times a year. all commented on the lack of stress the car provided on long roadtrips

now, the bad
- depending on your dealer, modding may not be the way to go. some dealers sell you chips, others will want to void your warrenty for putting a different shift knob on.
- once out of warrenty, you *may* have some service bill issues. mind you, a lot of people i know do not have such issues, but some do, just like all makes. one '97 owner traded his A4 in for a 2.5RS because he was fed up with his dealer and the problems on his 1.8t. i'm sure he's on here somewhere
- 1.8t does not have power seats or leather, but so does the WRX. that said, audi's leatherette is excellent. you cannot, however, get the sport seat in leatherette. only avail in cloth or leather (2.8)
- the bose system, aka blose system, is not favored by some of the audi crowd. some loved it though. listen to it first if you want to option for it. it does add rear door speakers, which may save some trouble when you're upgrading the stereo system
- rather heavy car, as such, straight line performance is not its forte

hope this helps. if not, go ahead and post on the A4 forum there. for the '97 owner who traded in for the 2.5RS, maybe try the texas forum here. he made a page describing the event.

now, my little biased opinion- if i have the dough, i'd get the A4. the WRX is great, but the A4 is much more all round, imo. that said, you cannot go wrong with either car. choose the one that suits your lifestyle as well as your driving needs.

phew, that was long winded

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: -S- ]
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Old 06-13-2001, 06:38 PM   #8
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-S-:
Thanks for the info...I've been on the AudiWorld website but the only info they have on the 2002 A4 is the German spec, which may or may not be the same when brought to the US. I guess the only thing to do is wait and see what's so new about the 2002 A4 Avant. My eyes are still on the Rex though, but I don't want my wife telling me "Can this car be alittle more comfy??"
Cause if it does happen that way, the trunk will be very big for her to move around
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Old 06-13-2001, 09:13 PM   #9
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Excellent post -S-.

One more thing - I don't know when you want to get this car, but as I understand it, the new Avant will not be here until next Spring at the soonest. This may have changed, but that's what I was told about a month ago from the Audi dealership. That was before it was officially announced, though, so it could be sooner, who knows. But at least you KNOW it's coming eventually! Try waiting for the STi WRX!

Sorry, had to vent!

WRX-less Dan whose wife has a new A4 Avant
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Old 06-14-2001, 03:31 AM   #10
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One other thing that may or may not be important to you is besides the 4 year/50K mile bumper to bumper warranty, the Audi also has a 12 year/unlimited body corrosion warranty.
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Old 06-14-2001, 05:06 AM   #11
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With the Audi, you'll need that 4/50 warranty, especially with the 1.8T engine.

You'll likely need it weekly.
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Old 06-14-2001, 05:49 AM   #12
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BigElm, if I remember correctly, you're a fairly tall dude (like myself-6'5") and I've sat in the current gen A4, S4, A4 Avant and Allroad and I can tell you, it is a T I G H T fit for me, legroom is minimal and headroom is a little too close for comfort! Perhaps opting out for the sunroof may gain an inch or so, but I doubt that would help. As for the new gen, I know they are supposed to be larger on the inside, so perhaps this issue may be resolved. But nonetheless, for me it came down to $$. For 24K, I have a little wagon w/AWD, and turbo performance that will beat an A4 Avant every time! Sure, it doesn't have leather or a sunroof, but I also didn't spend 30K either! Oh yeah, and I fit in it! One more thing, when I was deciding the only comparison I was making to the WRX wagon was the new S4 Avant, not the A4, so figure approx. 43K for that puppy (and the WRX is just as fast - snicker snicker)

P.S. Spend another 2K on the WRX for either CobbTuning's upcoming performance package, or Prodrive's PP, and then you'll really smoke the Audi's, and your wallet will still have some green in it.
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Old 06-14-2001, 05:54 AM   #13
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If you want luxury and all that, get the Audi. But there's really no realistic comparison of the two cars that can be made. They exist in completely different price points, and are about different things.

The WRX is all business, except for the 6-disc changer in the dash. The car comes ready to boogie, the spartan cockpit puts nothing in your way. It's the first car where, when I'm all elbows and knees, flying around some set of corners, I don't inadverdently bump anything. Someone at Subaru was really thinking about this car.

The Audi strikes a balance of business and pleasure. Surfaces and trim are nicer, but for the added tariff, they should be. I can't add much to what S has already posted, except that even an S4 wasn't as ultimately satisfying to drive as a WRX.

Yes, it was really nice being coddled for that half-hour or so, but long term, I couldn't live with the heavy sort of numbness present in these cars. I don't know if the new spec will address that, or not.

Kevin
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Old 06-14-2001, 06:49 AM   #14
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Hey guys, thanks for you input; it is appreciated. My concern at this point is comfort. Yep, I'm 6'5" @ 210 and legroom is a concern. The new 2002 A4 Avant is supposed to have more room front and rear as well as head, hip and elbow. It's a matter of waiting...but to be honest, if it's going to run close to $30k, then forget it. I won't be able to afford it now, not with the near future plans my wife and I have. So maybe I'm just in dilema thinking it won't be that expensive. What's your take on the 2001 A4 Avant price tag...I've seen online for about $27k MSRP. Is there a chance to get them or the 2002's close to invoice like the Subies??? I hate this...I had my mind set on the Rex Wagon, but now I have to consider everything else. Not so much for me but the comfort for my wife and near future family.
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Old 06-14-2001, 06:53 AM   #15
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Let me also add...I don't want a MP5 or anything like that...though comfort is a concern, I definitely need my performance. I will not give that up for anything that is not comparable to the Rex...just my take....
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:07 AM   #16
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I've ridden in A4s, Legacy's and sat in a new Imprezza, if folks are complaining that the A4 w/ its longer wheelbase, broader shoulder room and similar if not more ample legroom is tight, wouldn't the WRX be just as bad if not worse? I guess what I'm saying is, if you really are looking for comfort & value, perhaps a 4Motion Passat Avant would be more suitable than a WRX. More power than the Legacy, better build quality & luxury. But I don't know about taking a Passat to a track or anything- you're best off checking the Passat forum under www.vwvortex.com

I think the new A4 will closer in size to the current Passat, but both the current and future A4 should be roomier, more comfortable than WRX, just not as much fun. I think Subie kept the WRX at a 99" wheelbase for WRC reasons, but generally the trend in compacts is towards longer wheelbases which improve legroom and also simulate a smoother, big car ride. But that sacrifices sportiness.

I doubt you can go wrong w/ either car, but since they're so different, its really a matter of what you want- luxury or raw sportiness? I'm sure if you read the audi/vw forum, you'll find that a great deal of sportiness can be worked back into the A4 platform, but that'll cost ya.
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:07 AM   #17
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Before I bought my WRX, I looked at the S4. As many have said, it's much more luxurious than the WRX, and the 6 speed is great. It also seemed a bit faster, but not much. For me, the deciding factors came down to headroom, I'm only 6'1" and I had to put the power seat all the way down. Second, there is no room in back. I have to haul my kids sometimes, and it had even less room (with the seat back to fit me) than the WRX. Finally, cost. I just couldn't see spending that much money for cool red-lit guages and leather.

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Old 06-14-2001, 07:11 AM   #18
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I just realized that at 5'8", I never pay attention to headroom, sorry. I guess there's an advantage to the WRX having no sunroof- the VW/Audis have to have a lower headliner to accomodate that stuff.

I think the S4 might offer significantly more low end grunt, "no replacement for displacement...".
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:27 AM   #19
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BigElm - go test drive an A4 Avant and then a WRX wagon and you'll have your answer. Or, if you can wait, go test drive the new gen A4 Avant when it comes out. Maybe I'm just overly broad and long, but when I sat in those Audis, I felt seriously cramped. I OWN a WRX wagon and have over 6100 fun filled miles on it, and no cramp issues at all! Plus, if this helps, I took two friends for a ride in it and we ALL fit (we are all over 6'2" and all over 220lbs)... You should just go for a drive in both, or at least sit in both for a while and you'll have your decision after that (my opinion of course)...
I guess I should state that if you plan to have more than one or two kids, get something bigger because the WRX won't cut it in that dept...
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Old 06-14-2001, 07:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
With the Audi, you'll need that 4/50 warranty, especially with the 1.8T engine.
Isn't Audi know for their below average reliability? That's something very important to consider.
As for the price, try finding one for that 27k MSRP. I work a few blocks from an Audi dealer and I've never seen an Audi under 30k there. A former co-worker bought an A4 sedan and was disappointed in the price.

Also if you're not looking to buy soon, wait to see what kind of goodies the Legacy will get. We WILL be seeing a more performance oriented Legacy, I'm just not sure when.

Dennis
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Old 06-14-2001, 08:05 AM   #21
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Thanks again for your input guys...
Well for now, I'm just thinking about one kid....when the second one comes, who knows what I'll be driving... Probably a Kia...
But seriously though...If the Audi A4 Avant will be popular and in high demand, chances maybe slim to get a dealer to work on the invoice or MSRP, right?
Now if the Legacy B4 comes over here....I'll get it hands down. I know the Legacy has alittle more room and regardless if it doesn't come, but like you say Dennis, better performance...it would definitely be taken into consideration. Anybody know if Audi dealers are as negotiable as Subie dealers?...at least the Subie dealers that do...
The 2002 Avant is nice and has alot of things coming (supposely) but I have a feeling it's going to really hurt my wallet...but I know nothing about Audi's and their price tags except for what I read online and the fellow members here.....But everyone is mentioning S4...forget that, it is a nice car but not worth what Audi is asking for them...So that's been "out" of my mind!!!
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Old 06-14-2001, 09:17 AM   #22
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I think if you're willing to call around the country you can likely find someone that will give you a good deal, but it would likely be an order, not one on their lot (i.e. add a few months). Also, at 5'10", even I can't see the top of the instrument cluster (turn signal indicators, much of the tach and speedometer), unless the seat is all the way down. Which I never do, cause it's not my car. I don't feel cramped, though. As far as reliability ... keeping my fingers crossed. She's had one funny thing happen when driving all out - the speedometer went wiggy for a second. Similar thing happened on the Outback, though, except it (speed sensor) just went dead. All cars have issues. Keep in mind, though, that the new Avant will be a NEW model. There will be some issues, though the 1.8T engine is the same.

Just wait for the B4.
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Old 06-14-2001, 10:02 AM   #23
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I just have to laugh at some of the replies that you get to these kinds of questions.
A couple of things are obvious.

1) The Audi and the Subaru are two very different cars, each having their own good and not so good points.
2) You can't expect to get unbiased answers to your question here.

From my firsthand experiences, Audis are great cars. I haven't had my WRX long enough to be able to say the same for it yet.

I would suggest that you ask the same question in the Audi forums so that you have balanced information with which to make your decision.
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Old 06-14-2001, 11:32 AM   #24
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I know they are totally different vehicles and comparisons shouldn't be done, but based on specs and body similarities (length and purpose of vehicle), these comparisons are made to have MORE of an understanding on the reputation and reliability of the vehicles. Understand, I'm not new to the enthusiastic motorworld, but just like everyone, you lack knowledge of certain cars or car makers and come here for advice and feedback from those who know or have experienced them. Like I said in my first post....no biased opinions, just facts. Notice, not once did I mention Auto-X...I don't plan to but AWD is safety first, comfort and performance as well.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-14-2001, 11:46 AM   #25
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If reliability is an issue, then the Subaru is the car. I worked close to the Audi shop and would be in the dealer every other week, if not every week. If the car was not 'down', then I was waiting on parts.

Now that the dealer has moved, I don't want to have to bother with making special trips to get my A4 square.

At just over 15k miles in about 6 months, I have had only one issue with the car and most everything is resolved during scheduled oil changes.

Both cars are fun to drive.

But if you buy the Avant-- I hope you live near the dealer.
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