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@zoeyjordan Snow tires? My parents have an Audi A8 AWD in #Tahoe. Awesome ride.
2011 Audi A8 4.2 2011 Audi A8 4.2 Quattro Sedan 4D (with extra set of snow tires and rims)
Yeah, but good luck finding snow tires. “@CorcoranNYC: Audi A8. Now thats a beautiful car.”
This is the perfect day to ask me this as we just got our first snowfall of the year. It was not a storm we got about 10cm over a full day of light snow. It's about 4″ for the Americans. I drive an AWD vehicle and I equip it with high quality winter tires. My commute is about 7km and it involves going through 2 roundabouts. It takes me about 15min regardless of weather, traffic is the only variable. Average speed in good weather is about 50kph. This morning, my commute took about 25min. Average speed was about 30kph. I spent about 5min stuck in traffic that wasn't moving because someone in a Ford Focus thought they could get up a 2* grade with all season tires and the traffic behind him was too timid to pass. I witnessed the new Audi A8 in front of me panic break through the first roundabout because 20kph was too fast for his all seasons to grip the road and he started an uncontrolled slide into the curb. The second roundabout (2 lane) I managed to brake in time to avoid the Toyota Corolla that slid from the inside lane into the outside lane (right into the space I would have occupied had I not braked). This was in conditions that I call “light winter weather”. All three of those drivers thought that all season was either enough for the season or at least for today. All of them created hazards for every single other driver that came near them. That isn't even counting all the other idiots that were driving at 1/2 speed because there was a light snow. My car on the other hand was able to easily accelerate to 60/80 kph in sections. Smoothly and easily decelerate and stop (even in emergency braking to avoid the corolla) and navigate my turns. I did slip a couple times going through slush piles etc. I expect those slips and plan for it. I slow down for the turns and slippery bits then accelerate away after. I can do this because my tires actually provide alot of grip in the snow and the little bits I don't grip I'm ready for. If your weather is going to stay below 7*C for the winter, get winter tires. If it won't, do everyone a favor and either take transit or telecommute on those snowy days.
It doesn’t make me hate it, but I do sometimes regret not asking for something AWD. My car, (under the tarp) is a RWD 328i which isn’t very good in the snow. I practically can’t take it out in anything over 6 inches because it slips and slides, despite having snow tires. What’s odd about this is that prior to be getting this car, I drove a Dodge Charger R/T which was also rwd and it didn’t give me much problem in the snow, however I assume the 3 Series’ low ground clearance is a big factor here. My sister’s Audi A8 (covered in snow) was a beast in the snow. That car got through multiple blizzards with minimal issue. If I absolutely have to go out in the snow, my vehicle of choice is my parents X5 or Grand Cherokee but my car stays home and under its cover.
Oh boy. You asked for it, here it comes. Looong answer These Cars Are Utterly Superior. You may be saying to yourself - “Why buy an Audi when I can buy a BMW that drifts?” Or “Why buy an Audi when I can buy a Mercedes and look excessively rich?” I’ll tell you why, using my 2001 A8L as an example. Power An Audi is superior in the way of power, my 18 year old car comes equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.2L V8. It produced 310 horse power off the factory and I don’t doubt it still produces close to that today. 0–60 takes 6.5 seconds. In a full sized luxury sedan with extra foot room in the back, that’s pretty impressive. It can accomplish that run with the power, but also it’s build. Which brings us to Construction The entire frame on my Audi is aluminum, they even had a special name for it; “Audi Space Frame”. This obviously cuts a lot of weight from the build while significantly curbing corrosion. Regardless of the light metal though, the car feels extremely solid and robust. Nothing feels like it’s going to fall apart, the build quality is very, very high. Both inside and out. Inside you get high quality materials, and the wood varnish is gorgeous even today. The leather has faded slightly but is still soft and has a good broken in feel. Lastly, the metallic grey paint still shines like new. Nothing has broken, with the exception of the bumper…that will come in a later section. All this amazing assembly sure makes for a great Driving Experience To drive an Audi, especially an old one, is a rather humbling experience. It feels large and refined, like a good large luxury sedan should, but it stays tight in the corners and once you get on the gas, she wants to go. The braking is the same story, with good tires and ABS the stopping is quick and controllable. The throttle is in such a way that it’s position matches the power you get. At 20% throttle, you only get 20% power. Unlike newer cars I’ve drivin. In these cars when you put down the throttle even just a little, the engine roars to life and promises to take you up to highways speed with just a little input. The problem with these cars is after 60, they begin to taper off, and all that power you seemed to have under your foot just doesn’t seem to exist anymore, no matter how hard you press. Different story on the Audi. It carries through 60, through 100…and it just keeps going. If you want power, it will produce power. A little tidbit some people don’t know about these cars is if you really want to go balls to the wall you push extra hard on the pedal and you’ll feel a little click. This is the equivalent of “sports mode” on most vehicles, the transmission will downshift to the lowest gear possible and the engine will run at higher RPMs for a longer time. Audi calls it “Maximum Acceleration”, and it is a blast. The steering isn’t terribly sharp, it takes a bit to get her around but this is good doing 80 on a freeway. You can ease the wheel about and she’ll follow…through some pretty tight corners if you want her to. The gist here is you can drive it very smoothly but if you feel like being sporty it allows you to be that way. Of course no Audi would be complete without The All Wheel Drive I really feel likes this is Audi’s claim to fame. The Quattro AWD system has racing heratage, and it shows. This car becomes a snowplow in the winter. It can easily tackle icy hills, snowy highways, and unplowed roads and parking lots. Some of the things I’ve taken on in this car I wouldent beable to do in our Chevy with all wheel drive, or even a pickup with full time 4WD. That said. I’ve taken it too far, I’ve gotten stuck 3 times in this car. 2 times, it was an issue of ground clearance. Can’t drive through hard snow that exceeds your ground clearance by a few inches, just can’t. The third time was my fault, and I’m still kicking myself for being such an idiot. Long story short, I unintentionally drove her into a ditch. In the end though, Audi’s AWD is all it’s cracked up to be and more. So I guess finally we’ll discuss The Problems Since I’ve owned this car, I’ve done small maintenance to keep her in the best shape possible. So the thing with the bumper, it got into pretty rough shape after pulling the car from the ditch(snow packed behind it a ripped it off essentially)…oops. It is costly though, much more costly than your japenesse tuna can….but then again you aren’t driving around a tuna can. That is the thing to keep in mind with German cars, people complain about the cost to repair…it’s because you’re driving a machine that’s designed to operate at high speeds on the Autobahn while keeping its passengers as comfortable and safe as possible. And it just feels that way. The Gist Alright I’ll be the first to admit I’m biased towards Audi…a lot :D I’ve never owned a bimmer or merc, so I can’t say how they are to own, but I have driven them. If you want something really sporty, get a BMW, if you want something really comfortable, get a Benz. If you want the perfect mixture of both in a car that is really well built? Get an Audi. Thanks for reading!! *Apologies if there’s any spelling/grammar errors. Too tired to proofread tonight, just wanted to write about my car :) *Update- Wow!!! Past 11,000 views on this answer! I’m pretty happy because I’m a brand new writer on here :D Glad you guys are enjoying it! :) *Update#2 - Alright so overnight this answer managed to almost triple its views and quadruple its upvotes…thank you guys!!! With that there some more comments, and I’d like to address some of those :) More costs Someone asked how much it costs to repair and how much it cost me to buy. I bought the vehicle 2 years ago for $5000USD, after a quick trip on google that’s about £3824 pounds for you guys on the other side of the pond. You can get them for cheaper here though(U.S.), I’ve found them out of state. Repairs, eh. The bumper is eight hundred dollars to fix. I prefer not to spend that. The damage is hardly noticeable. I just had a shop redo the front CV axle - three hundred. So yeah lol, it’s expensive. Similar to the gas mileage, that’s just the truth of owning a big luxury car. The gas mileage This seems important to a lot of you…and I’m gonna honest, you can’t expect glorious gas mileage from an old V8. I knew this while buying the car, so it comes as no surprise to spend more than usual on gas. I’m grabbing this info from the onboard computer so I don’t know it’s accuracy but I average about 24mpg(on the highway with cruise) and about 15mpg in town. BMW/PORSCHE/MERCEDES Don’t get me wrong. These are fantastic cars! I feel like I’d be very happy driving any of them. In my opinion, European cars just feel more refined and sturdy. The Audi is my fit though…you know the feeling when you get into a car and you just know that’s the one? It’s a great feeling. In fairness I’ve only ever drivin the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C-class. I imagine the higher trim levels come with more technology, and more power. Ive never drivin a Porsche….but I REALLY want too. I love the way they look. Revisiting Build Quality Many people are mentioning that Audi’s aren’t built like they were when mine was rolled out. Which makes total sense. I’ve never drivin a “New” Audi so I guess I don’t quite have an opinion :) They look gorgeous though. To the person with the Supercharged A6….damn. I’m jealous. That sounds like a sweet car! Some more pictures…because I love these cars that much A 2015 A6…nice Audi’s rendition of the A8 when they came out with ASF. I personally love the silver…I didn’t at first The badge on the bottom of my front door pillars…cool :D Thanks for reading the update! Glad I found some like minded car people on here! Cheers! *I upvoted your guys’ comments, 1 because you’re awesome, and 2 I want the question comments to see the new content :)
Depends on how much snow. For deep stuff a truck or SUV with front and rear or center locking differentials, electronic or manual, as long as they lock. On ice DO NOT lock your differentials if they are manual, you will have unpredictable handling. Also trucks and SUVs suck on any kind of ice because they have a high moment of inertia. On ice AWD cars reign Supreme. Use tall but NARROW studded and siped snow tires because they put more force on a smaller area and you won't slide around as much. If you live in a severe snow area or you are a back country nut, a winch, shovel(s), chains, sleeping bags, water, and food. I've been known to keep a 4 season Climber tent in the toolbox as well. Spent a few nights in a snow bank growing up in Montana, so you learn it's best to always be prepared. In addition to credential my wife and I also lived in Montana from 2012-2015. On icy roads and moderate snow best I've found were my A8 Quattro and my WRX STI. Both easily capable of 100+ MPH on glare ice and 75+ in snow/slush with nice siped, studded snows. Overall I'd have to give the edge to the Audi for sheer grip on crap roads, the comfort doesn't hurt either, I viscerally miss that car. The STI was another thing to itself. I miss it too, but my kidneys and back certainly do not, that car was insane. Dyno with upgrades was 386whp (450shp) and it would take a 15mph hairpin at 90mph without chirping the tires. However in the ride department you might as well be in the Flintstone mobile. Seriously, every thing on the road more than 1/8″ high WILL be felt. Not a middle aged daily driver, to be sure, but made for some epic Canonball Runs in my twenties. :-) Deep snow and I'm in my truck with lockers and a winch just in case. All vehicles have emergency kits.
I’ll preface by mentioning that I’ve driven nearly 2 million kilometers in a variety of American, Japanese, British, French, German and Swedish cars. My father was a mechanic. My brother was service manager for both Toyota and VW dealerships. I’ve had VW cars and vans and still own the last VW truck sold in North America (bought new in Oct. ‘92), we’ve had 2 A6 wagons, 1 A6 twin-turbo sedan with 6-speed manual, I’m driving an A4 Quattro Avant now, and I’ve also owned Mercedes S-Class, and I have a ’93 300SEC Cabrio (the last year that they were hand-built by Karmann, with global production less than 1,000 units). If you are talking about Audis built in the last 20 years, the answer is YES they are reliable — provided that you perform the maintenance needed. If you have a turbo engine, such as the 1.8t or 2.0t (or TDI) then you must spend the $$$ for the approved oil. If you think you are saving $$$ by using normal oil, you will find that the oil is cooked as it goes through the glowing-hot turbo and turns into goo, and you will discover VW/Audi’s infamous “sludge problem”. The sludge problem is not a vehicle problem. It is an owner problem. Putting in cheap oil will not save money. Our 1998 A6 wagon (that was the old style, the sedans changed in ‘98, but wagons weren’t updated till ‘99) was purchased with > 200,000 MILES on it. My 2000 A6 2.7t had 170,000 miles on it. My wife’s second A6 wagon, a 2001, came from Utah with 168,000 miles on it. And the 2006 A4 was bought in Vancouver BC with 117,000 kms (due for a timing belt) and rattling like a diesel because it had no oil-pressure due to sludge, because the idiot dealer that bought it at the auction did a quick $29 oil-change on it. (the 2.0t takes oil that is normally CAD$17/litre but it comes on sale at Canadian Tire a few times a year for half that price). The cars are supremely reliable and parts are dirt-cheap online. But they CAN be expensive to fix if something breaks, and they are heavy so things will wear faster than a Japanese tin-can, so I’ll provide some advice for those looking at buying a European car in general, and Audi specifically: SERVICE: Take the car to the dealer while it is under warranty. But once the warranty is over, stay away from the dealer. They are too expensive. Find “the local guy” for your make of car (there’s at least one, in nearly every place) where people lineup to get their car serviced. THIS APPLIES TO EVERY BRAND OF CAR! (not including exotics) AVOID: the 1990s to mid 2000s V6 engines due to the high cost of timing belt replacements. Avoid the V8 due to the high cost of everything!! The 4-cyl. turbo engines, and the later V6 with the timing chain are your preferred engine. (and any version of the TDI diesel is great too, but I’m in Canada, where those are rare). GET THE QUATTRO! That means that you get a “Real transmission” too. There are Front-wheel-drive A4 models with a CVT transmission. Most have no problem, but some fail, and they aren’t something you can fix in your back yard and will be expensive. Personally, I would avoid the CVT. (I’d go for a manual, but my wife wants an A/T even though she’s owned 5-speed cars too). Plus, you’ll get more $$$ at re-sale if the car has AWD. At least anywhere that gets snow, or has dirt roads. IF you buy a high-mileage car with Auto trans, go get the tranny fluid changed, just as a preventive maintenance thing. If you’re getting the engine oil changed, then the tranny fluid change is probably well under $100 and its cheap insurance. (I’ve done this with VW, Audi, Ford, Volvo, etc. cars. I’ve never had an A/T fail. I’m not sure it helps, but it makes me feel better knowing that my car’s transmission with 200,000 miles on it has new fluid) CHECK the FRONT SUSPENSION on A4, A6, A8 if over 150,000 miles. These are heavy cars. Like the BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-Class and S-class, the front suspension will wear faster than that of a Civic or Mazda 3 or even Golf, Jetta, A3, Beetle, etc. and the A4 and larger has (had) a “virtual link” front suspension with 4 control arms on each side, each with an inboard bushing and out-board ball-joint (yes, 8 ball-joints in the front, versus a typical American or Japanese car with 2). However, due to their popularity, there are many suppliers offering replacement parts. You don’t change the ball-joint and bushing, you just swap out the entire arm. Miele “10-piece kits” with 8 control arms and 2 tie-rods (the steering linkage) can be found online under US$500. Labour is a couple hours per side. So budget $1000 to replace the front suspension/steering components when you’re getting closer to 200,000 miles (320,000 kms). And that service requires a wheel alignment too. BTW: This is what a 2001 A6 Quattro Avant with 185,000 miles look like after spending $1k to replace the front suspension, plus $700 for an Eibach Sport Suspension kit (springs and shocks) and $520 for 17″ S6 wheels with Falken Ziex tires. My wife’s 2nd A6 in Regina Saskatchewan on our annual cross-Canada (Vancouver to Ontario) road-trip, which we completed in 2 days (cruise control @ 140 kmph across the prairies). Yes, I was stopped by the RCMP, but only once, and the constable spent over 10 minutes asking questions about the car before letting us go without a ticket :) CHECK THE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE BEFORE BUYING. The used car lots around here have lots of Audis with around 115,000 to 120,000 kms. That’s when they are due for a timing belt ($1,500 for 4-cyl, but $3,500 for older V6), DSG fluid change, differential fluid change, radiator flush, brake-fluid flush …. around CAD$3,500 in service for the 4-cyl turbo engines! The owner sees that quotation from the service department, and says “how much is it worth as a trade-in?”. The cars get traded, and rather than do the expensive maintenance, the dealer sends them to the auction, and they land in a used-car dealership. But THE CAR NEEDING MAINTENANCE COULD BE THE BEST DEAL. If you do one thing: get the dealer to have the timing belt changed at a VW or Audi dealership, and include the receipt for the work (for warranty purposes) before you buy. Example: in 2016 I found a mint 1-owner 2006 (first year of new body, so looks “newer”) A4 2.0t Quattro Avant that’s NOT Silver on Black with all the power-memory-seats, front/rear heated seats, automatic lights and wipers, etc., but 117,000 kms. I got the VIN and checked Audi, and they had no record of the timing belt being changed (VW/Audi are on one database, so I can get a VIN for a car in Florida and check the service records for free at any Audi dealership in Canada for example … they will also print out wiring diagrams and stuff for you for free too, so you don’t need to buy manuals … important if you are importing US cars and need to modify lights to DRL). Similar cars were around $14k at other dealers. This dealer had dropped their asking price down to $12k. I bought the car for $10,500 with taxes IN, and the timing belt replaced by the VW dealer a few blocks away (the Passat and GTI had the same 2.0t engine). If I back out the taxes (12%) and $1,500 timing belt change (with new oil and filter) then the car cost me $7,875 … and now its good for another 117,000 kms. I did have to deal with the sludge. Online, VW owners in the US are spending US$1200 to have the dealer clean out the engine and install a new oil pickup. My German mechanic, Verner, (he was a BMW mechanic in Germany before immigrating to Canada) removed the oil-pan and cleaned everything out, cleaned the original oil pickup, re-installed with sealant to prevent leaks, filled it with the best synthetic oil, plus the optional Audi hi-volume oil filter for under CAD$650 including taxes. That fall, we drove the car to San Francisco, and then down the coast to San Luis Obispo just for a fun road-trip. It now has > 150,000 kms and has only had oil-changes and new tires. SUMMARY: Buying a 5 to 10 year old Audi, I get a car with 100,000 kms on it for 20% of the cost of a new one (an A4 Allroad with options like our A4 is CAD$55,000) including an investment in maintenance. Brakes are cheaper than Japanese cars and last longer. The exhaust systems will last 500,000 miles. You have to replace tires, wipers, and batteries regardless of the car, and the costs are pretty much the same. I would drive from Vancouver to Key West in this car with no hesitation (and I’ve driven that in the past, via Cape Breton Island going south, and via San Diego coming home). And I know that if I get in an accident, my chances of survival are much higher than in a common American or Japanese car. Meanwhile, I get to enjoy a superbly comfortable car with good handling, a good audio system, AWD for those rare days when we have snow, fantastic climate control, the insanely fast window defrosting typical of German (and also Volvo) cars for less than my friends buying a new Altima or Camry or Accord. Oil changes definitely cost more, but that applies to ALL turbo engines, including the new Hondas, etc. YES Audis are reliable. And they last a long time. If you don’t screw up on the maintenance.