Choosing a German estate: A4, 3-series or C-class?

Hbriz

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So you want a German estate? Get an MX-5! XJR! :tease:
FTFY :p

My opinion would go with the C-class. I've always liked Merc estates. But do check out the Insignia, they do look like a well sorted product. And they've got the best bootlid. :lol:
 

otispunkmeyer

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320D Touring for sure. 177bhp lots of torque, and probably the best 4-pot diesel engine going at the moment.

second choice would be the A4 Avant, manual gearbox and if you can find one with the 170bhp version of VAG's 2.0 CR TDI engine.

Mercedes is last because you aren't 73 years old.

So you want a German estate? Get an MX-5! :tease:



Seriously though, don't get a Merc. You're too young for that.


PS: Obligatory Skoda plug: Considered Octavia estates? Should get lots more kit/newer car for less money.

Skoda you say?

Octavia is a good car, but the real winner is the Superb Mark II. Though its more on a par, size wize, with the A6 and thus a bit unwieldy it did get Top Gear magazines luxury car of the year award and you can get it with the same 170bhp CR TDI engine and can probably afford to get one with a DSG box.

3er is a good choice- the 318d is the same motor as the 320 and 323, IIRC. A simple chip will remedy any lack in power. E90 interiors are not the best compared the A4s, but the A4s as mentioned by others, is a bit small. I can't really comment on the Mercs, but the W204 doesn't exactly have a very striking interior.
I'm not so sure on this

Yes the engines are all 2-liter 4-pots, but I think their differences extend beyond a simple re-mapping. In the 1-Series at least, I thought it was the case that the original 118d (122bhp as apposed to the newer x18d having 143bhp) used different, less powerful injectors than the 120d. People did of course manage to re-map them to similar power outputs as the 120d at the time (167bhp, newer x20d has 177bhp) but at what detriment to the economy, I don't know.

The x23d is different again. At least in the 123d I heard this engine actually uses a sequential turbo system to make some good power, but without the low RPM lag from the bigger turbo used to get more boost. Whether this is the case in the 3-Series, I don't know, but I cant imagine they are different.
 
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Dr_Grip

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Because it deprecates faster than Irish government bonds, the Citroen C6 might even be in your price range.
 

leviathan

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Many opinions, I see :) Thank you guys for contributing to the thread, I really appreciate it.

I've found an interesting offer on a 1 year old 320d Touring with very low mileage, already booked a test drive. What makes it even more interesting (I think) is that it's an xDrive. Has anybody any experiences with the system? I know the Audi Quattro is quite brilliant, and I would take an A4 Quattro with a DSG in a heartbeat, if any were in my price range. But I haven't heard that much about xDrive.

Octavia is a good car, but the real winner is the Superb Mark II. Though its more on a par, size wize, with the A6 and thus a bit unwieldy it did get Top Gear magazines luxury car of the year award and you can get it with the same 170bhp CR TDI engine and can probably afford to get one with a DSG box.
For the same reason I have doubts about the Octavia, I'm not sure about the Superb. It will depreciate very fast, and chances I'll find one with needed kit are slim. Also, one of the reasons I'm "stepping down" from the A6 is that it's actually rather huge, the midrange size I'm targeting now should be more comfortable to drive in a city, while still being big enough for stuff.

Because it deprecates faster than Irish government bonds, the Citroen C6 might even be in your price range.
Um... thanks, but no thanks. It's a nice car in its own right, but not really my sort of thing. It's just as huge as the A6, and nowhere as practical as the estates.
 

Dr_Grip

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Looking at your avatar, have you considered a Scirocco TDI?
 

leviathan

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Looking at your avatar, have you considered a Scirocco TDI?
That was about a year ago, I wanted a smaller car :) Things have changed a bit since then. I still like the Scirocco, but it wouldn't be much of a wise choice.
 

ahpadt

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If you're 21, do you really need that much space?

(Dr_Grip and I had the same brainwave, but he was first :p)
 

leviathan

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If you're 21, do you really need that much space?
I play drums in a band, the kit needs to be moved around - that's probably the main justification, but there are other fairly regularly occuring situations where more space just is better :)
 

AiR

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C6? Is he the president of France? A C5 Tourer though, that's the french car of choice.


Sleeeek.
 

otispunkmeyer

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Volvo V50?

These look pretty sweet with the big wheels, Xenon HID headlamps and the sporty body kit. Its not the most practical load lugger in respect to Volvo's heritage but it must be a match for the cars you are looking at. Interior quality is quite nice too, though coming from Audi you will pretty much be downgrading no matter where you go in that regard.

I personally love the Swedish minimalism they have going on with the Volvo's. You'll be able to get it with fords 2.0liter diesels which match the standard engines in the other cars (VAG's 2.0 CR TDI 140 and the version of the diesel BMW put in the 318d) and I think you can spec the car with fords version of the DSG. However finding one with that spec would be difficult I imagine, Ford's Powershift gearbox hasn't had the uptake of the DSG, and they don't come with paddle shifters either, which is bizarre.

It will also make you look like a 73 year old pensioner, like the Merc.
 

Pry

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I've found an interesting offer on a 1 year old 320d Touring with very low mileage, already booked a test drive. What makes it even more interesting (I think) is that it's an xDrive. Has anybody any experiences with the system? I know the Audi Quattro is quite brilliant, and I would take an A4 Quattro with a DSG in a heartbeat, if any were in my price range. But I haven't heard that much about xDrive.
You won't spot any difference between quattro (with torsen differential), xDrive or 4matic, at least I don't. They are all very good compared to haldex (used in A3 and TT) and other cheaper stuff.
The xDrive makes the steering feel worse but it provides some stability. On slippery conditions it's great if you want to keep going but not good for the power sliding stuff.

In my opinion the Merc and BMW are the best to drive because of the RWD. BMW is a little sportier and Merc is comfier. I would buy either of those. Probably the BMW. Oh look, I have.
 

leviathan

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OK, so I've driven the BMW yesterday. Drives very nicely, as I was expecting. Rather comfortable as well. But I disliked the interior usability a lot. The iDrive is incomprehensible (and I'm a CS student, for crying out loud), Audi's MMI and Merc's COMAND are much more intuitive to control, and in general many controls tend to be slightly more complicated than they have to be. Barely any room for stowing stuff, none at all in the back. GPS only shows arrows, no map view - on a color screen in a 2009 car, wtf? Also, no bluetooth in this one car. So it seems I'm not buying the 320d xDrive after all... Merc test-drive up next, tomorrow, from what I've seen so far it seems to be the best option.
 

mpicco

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I play drums in a band, the kit needs to be moved around - that's probably the main justification, but there are other fairly regularly occuring situations where more space just is better :)
You mean you expect to score a lot with groupies on the back of the car and you require collapsible back seats turned into a bed?
 

Pry

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OK, so I've driven the BMW yesterday. Drives very nicely, as I was expecting. Rather comfortable as well. But I disliked the interior usability a lot. The iDrive is incomprehensible (and I'm a CS student, for crying out loud), Audi's MMI and Merc's COMAND are much more intuitive to control, and in general many controls tend to be slightly more complicated than they have to be. Barely any room for stowing stuff, none at all in the back. GPS only shows arrows, no map view - on a color screen in a 2009 car, wtf? Also, no bluetooth in this one car. So it seems I'm not buying the 320d xDrive after all... Merc test-drive up next, tomorrow, from what I've seen so far it seems to be the best option.
Was it the older CCC iDrive or the newer CIC with quick shortcut buttons? Sounds like a serious user error because all GPS equipped E91's have map view.
My car has the older CCC and while it's a little confusing to use at first you'll get used to it. I think the radio interface is the best in the business and they made it worse in the CIC. Now it's like in Audi's so you have to move the selector on a channel and press to select it when it's selected automatically on the CCC.
The Merc is good but I couldn't find a way to save your favorite channels like you can with the BMW.

C class has less legroom in the back than 3 series.
 
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mpicco

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I just have to say, and agree with some people here... A 21 year old driving a C class is just wrong, it's such a booooring old man's car. Every retired pensioner who decided to enjoy their saved money here has a C class.
 

Dr_Grip

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I play drums in a band, the kit needs to be moved around - that's probably the main justification, but there are other fairly regularly occuring situations where more space just is better :)
Some friends of mine are one half of a four-man hard rock band - they routinely get all four band members and all their equipment into a Mk IV Golf and a Lupo.
 
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