Estate Cars - BMW 3 Series Touring or an A4 Avant?

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by Forastero, Jan 14, 2010.

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  1. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    Anybody have any experience of either of these cars? Need to get shot of the A3 as it's just so bloody uncomfortable on long journeys - 12hrs+. Plenty quick enough (3.2 V6) and with the Quattro I have excellent piece of mind but with one hound and my wife, it just doesn't work anymore.

    Having driven a RR Sport I would have one of those tomorrow but they have a questionable image and even with a 13% mil discount they are still hideously expensive so I think not. I would buy an RS4 Avant if they still made them but I want to keep the car for 4-6 years and even the newest RS4 will still be about 2.5 yrs old. I really don't fancy hanging onto a high-performance car for that long as it could be properly expensive if it goes VOR. Q5 is overpriced and I think they look slightly shit anyway so it's back to estate cars.

    BMWs seem to get really good write ups but some can't get on with the run-flats and actual space is quite limited but they have a bewildering choice of engines for just about every requirement. The 335d and the 335i look seriously tempting and BMW will offer discounts and preferential interest rates for mil pers.

    Audis have Quattro which I like. I also prefer the styling and there is also a bit more space but their S Line suspension is an absolute bloody nightmare and I just can't live with it anymore.

    So. I need an estate to carry dog(s), preferably German, plenty of wallop under the right foot (I likes to drive fast innit) and comfortable enough to endure a 2500 mile round trip to Europe. I'm leaning towards the Beemer largely because of the comfort thing and the amazing choice of engines but I've been in Audis for the past 6 years and actually do quite like them.

    Anybody have either of these cars?

    PS. Haven't driven either yet but planning to over the next couple of weeks.
  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    If you want a saloon get the bimmer, if you want an esate get the A4. The A4 is designed first as an estate as they sell 84% in that version - 3 series sell 92% as saloons...
    I have 260k trouble free kms on my A4 quattro V6 diesel and will be swapping it for a new one this year - the same.
  3. have an audi 53 plate 1.9TDi 130hp A4 avant auto. A little smaller inside than a VW Passat.

    A little juicy, my old mk4 golf 90hp 1.9 Tdi had better fuel consumption.

    Just had it MOT'd with advisory and rear anti roll bar bushes(?) need replacing. fairly planted on the road and quick - but i don't drive quick anymore. Boot space ok. Comfortable.

    Lots of gadgets but looking a little dated in the cab. Whats your budget?

    Try a VW??
  4. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    VWs I think look slightly dull in comparison to Audis/BMs so I've steered away from those. I don't thnk there's much in it between the two when it comes to longevity providing they're looked after of course so I guess it comes down to individual choice eventually. It still needs to be swift and sharp though!
  5. Have you considered A6 Avant? Very Spacious,very nice to drive. I do appreciate finances are involved in decision making though.
  6. Audis and VW's all from the same stable, IMHO.

    You haven't mentioned your budget. As mentioned earlier an A6 is very roomy and a price tag aswell.
  7. You might find either an A4 Avant would be the way forward for you (I've got mine and I (and my golden retriever) love it). Alternatively, if you don't mind getting one a bit older you might try an A6 Avant allroad?
  8. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    Budget is around 40k and I'll be financing it rather than cold, hard cash. Lot of dosh I know but I intend to keep the car for 4-6 years. Funnily enough, I looked at an A6 but didn't think much more of it as I had an old shape one for several years and didn't really want another one. They are massive and more than capable and look quite smart too. Also brilliant on motorways. Might go and have another beak now I think about it..
  9. Longlenny

    Longlenny War Hero Book Reviewer

    I looked at both of the cars you are thinking of, and I bought........... A Merc. Absolutely stunning, I bought an Avantgard spec with paddle change auto gearbox. Don't dial Mercedes out of the equasion.
  10. I had 3 Series saloons when I was doing 30k miles a year, then things changed and SWMBO chose an A4 Avant, which I found more comfortable for long runs and quite spacious. When that finished its contract she chose an A6, which is like the A4 but bigger (gosh! Really?) and even more comfortable. We got a good deal on one of the last of the previous models (new), about a year ago, and I would thoroughly recommend it.
  11. Tend to agree with Longlenny. I have had Merc, BMW but now have Freelander 2. BMW was fantastic as a drivers car but overall I prefer the Merc (Auto gearbox was fantastic). I do not see the Audi in the same comfort class. I now have the Freelander 2 which is superb, spacious, comfortable and well specced (And I use the 4x4 capability reasonable often) but it lacks the pace of the other 2. I am no longer in Germany, but still in Europe, so the high speed (100mph plus) cruise is not an issue.
  12. HAve a look at the reliability index

    Audi is in the bottom 10.
    VW and BMW reasonably high up, but looking for a german stylee estate in the top 10, gives you only Skoda.

    For a pokey Skoda estate, look at the Octatvia Petrol 4x4.

    If you are looking to shift it in 5-6 years, it keeps its resale value better than most other cars.

    Unfortunately, boring and reliable seem to come hand in hand. However a difference in brand name premium of around £10-15K does take a bit of the sting out of driving a Skoda!
  13. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    Quote from my wife (bearing in mind she's Croatian) when I mentioned a nice shiny new Merc: 'We're not getting a Merdcedes, we're not Bosnians!'

    I do like the new C Class and it's revamped styling, I was never that keen on the old model. Apparently the V6 diesel is a peach of a motor when mated with the automatic gearbox but convincing my good lady is proving problematic. I might just throw her in one and see what happens.

    How long do you chaps generally keep your cars for? I used to chop and change every two years or so (used not new) but as stated above will keep a new one for at least four years with extended warranties, etc.
  14. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Mine will be 8 years in Oct. I bought new with 18% discount, I do 35k (kms) per year and the plan was always to chop it in at 280k which I will hit this summer. It will have cost me 30k in depreciation (Euros) plus running costs at that point. Only ever changed tires and brakes - original battery, exhaust, clutch - the lot. Dealer servicing gives me Audi Euro breakdown cover.
    Repairs/breakdowns: one shagged wiper contoller - Euro 60 and a fan belt roller.
    Only annoying thing is not being able to change bulbs in the front lights, (just parking lights, I have xenon).
    Looked at A6's, good choice if you like pies and need the elbow room, or carry big folks in the back - not much extra load space in comparison to the increased size over an A4, plus lower performance and economy.
    I will go for an A4 3.0D quattro - there are some great deals in Germany on high end used cars right now as the arse has fallen out of the market, so I may consider a year old one if I cannot bag a decent discount.

    I had a Bimmer 325 petrol before, also did 250k in it, but had quite a lot of repairs along the way.