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Old 11.04.2011, 11:34
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Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Hi guys (and girls),

Time will come to change my car as I'm living here since 1 year already and I will have to return my car to my country (no possibility to register it here, it's a leased vehicle).
I've searched the market meanwhile and the last 3 finalists are:

Golf R (3-5 doors,only with DSG)
BMW 3 series coupe E92 (autom. 218 HP ->) 325/330/335 (diesel/petrol)
Audi A5 (autom. 211 HP ->)

My budget is oprox. 60.000 CHF - selling price. I would choose a leasing as I don't have that much cash. Therefore, I think this amount would be more or less 700-1000 CHF/month for a 48 months contract.

Now I hope you can all give me a piece of advice from what your experience is related to this cars (hopefully there are owners on this forum).

Here are my pros and cons:

Golf R:
+ at 60.000 I can buy a new car or a full options one with really low mileage
+ AWD
+ DSG which is great
+ low taxes
+ possibility to choose between 3-5 doors versions
- Interior is not great, too much plastic
- 2.0 l engine which may be a little small (even though it has 270 HP) if we compare it with the old V6 3.2 Golf R32.

BMW 3 series E92:
+ great interior
+ it's a BMW
+ great 6 cylinder engines
+ great handling (I've been driving only the 320 limo)
- at this price I can only buy a SH one (maybe with more than 30-40 TH km)
- It's quite an old model, next year new 3 series generation will come out

Audi A5:
+ nice exterior
+ nice interior also
+ prices similar with BMW 2009 on-> (but for the same amount I can go for a well equipped A5)
- at this price I can only buy a SH one (maybe with more than 30-40 TH km) at the specs I'm looking for.
- I heard they have some reliability issues (hope it's not true) when it comes to turbo or water pump.


Waiting for your opinion/advice/experiences.
What would you choose out of this? why? and what do you know about taxation for SH vehicles? (full insurance/casco)
It's really a difficult decision having in mind the similar price/features, etc.

Many thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11.04.2011, 17:37
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Depends what you want really, looks or raw power. I would personally go for the R: although "only" 270bhp, can be just chipped to 330bhp. With that you'll be winking at BMW and A5 drivers as you fly by...but maybe not in Switzerland
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Old 12.04.2011, 09:00
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Depends what you want really, looks or raw power. I would personally go for the R: although "only" 270bhp, can be just chipped to 330bhp. With that you'll be winking at BMW and A5 drivers as you fly by...but maybe not in Switzerland
Even considering that it is a turbo - a 60bhp gain on that engine with just a chip - you are in cloud cuckoo land. At 270 the engine is running quite well. There might be a bit more to give with the existing intercooler and injectors but I doubt it will be 60bhp - and even if it did - it won't be very driveable!

The Golf is the class (in terms of size and image) below the E92 and A5. The A5 as never done it for me - although that doesn't mean you won't like the styling.

For that price though you should look at the 135i Coupe (although the short wheelbase does compromise its handling) and the 335i Coupe
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:21
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Even considering that it is a turbo - a 60bhp gain on that engine with just a chip - you are in cloud cuckoo land. At 270 the engine is running quite well. There might be a bit more to give with the existing intercooler and injectors but I doubt it will be 60bhp - and even if it did - it won't be very driveable!

The Golf is the class (in terms of size and image) below the E92 and A5. The A5 as never done it for me - although that doesn't mean you won't like the styling.

For that price though you should look at the 135i Coupe (although the short wheelbase does compromise its handling) and the 335i Coupe
Take a look at the APR and GIAC software for the S3 and you'll see that +60bhp is quite a reality, with stock hardware. Also, I know Revo chipped K04 cars (not only S3s but also some 2.0T with swapped K04) that have about the same output with just a fuel pump as additional hardware mod.

About driveability I don't see the arguments, can you elaborate a bit?
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:26
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

I'm a bit out of touch with the golf's now, but didn't the dsg boxies have 'issues'? have these been solved yet?

being a lease car you arn't allowed to chip it, you'd also invalidate your warante and you would also have to tell the insurance company, or come crash time you'll be in some serious bother.
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:29
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Don't like any of those, why not go for a BMW 130?

Faster than any of those 3 with 0-100 in 6.1 it's even faster than the Golf R32 in a straight line.
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:40
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Don't like any of those, why not go for a BMW 130?

Faster than any of those 3 with 0-100 in 6.1 it's even faster than the Golf R32 in a straight line.
Or the Audi A5 3.2 V6 FSi Quattro which is in the price range that you are thinking of and it has 261bhp. There is the 4.2 but that is above budget.
The 3L TDI is also an option.

I nearly purchased the A5 Cab recently but ended up going for a two seater. I am biased as I have owned many different Audi's and have never regretted owning any of them.

Have you been out in any of them yet?
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:44
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Is there any point in suggesting a Maserati 3200 GT. Thinking about the depreciation cost of the cars your looking at, compared to performance thrill. In any case its got to be acceleration and handling as speed limits etc make it impossible to do too much in this country. I had two 3200 s and although the first had reliability issues (it was chassis no 112) the second was really good. Performance is excellent and handling is....thrilling (probably brighten up Ouchboys day anyway)- you will get a twin turbo for around chf30/35 and leave you some spare cash for some cosmetics -just thinking laterally
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:47
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Is there any point in suggesting a Maserati 3200 GT. Thinking about the depreciation cost of the cars your looking at, compared to performance thrill. In any case its got to be acceleration and handling as speed limits etc make it impossible to do too much in this country. I had two 3200 s and although the first had reliability issues (it was chassis no 112) the second was really good. Performance is excellent and handling is....thrilling (probably brighten up Ouchboys day anyway)- you will get a twin turbo for around chf30/35 and leave you some spare cash for some cosmetics -just thinking laterally
Oooh. I looked at the 4.2? recently. Boomerang rear lights..yummy.
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:54
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

The Audi is pretty, the other two are ugly. Oh, and please don't chip a modern car, the programming is that way for a reason.
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Old 12.04.2011, 10:59
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

I think the Golf is a bit odd in your list: If you are looking for a hot hatch, you should compare it to a S3 rather than the A5. (they just released a brand new RS3 with 340 hp... but that's slightly over your budget as you cannot get it used yet.). I have driven the A5 before and loved it - but that was a fully loaded 3.0 TDI... which is probably out of the budget as well. I think that for the average usage a lower powered diesel actually outperforms small turbo petrol engines - it really doesn't matter what output you have at 6500 rpm if you are driving in a Swiss city... and torque of the large Diesel at low speeds was very impressive. So in the real life in Switzerland, you are probably even faster in it...
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Old 12.04.2011, 11:29
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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I think that for the average usage a lower powered diesel actually outperforms small turbo petrol engines - it really doesn't matter what output you have at 6500 rpm if you are driving in a Swiss city... and torque of the large Diesel at low speeds was very impressive. So in the real life in Switzerland, you are probably even faster in it...
Not sure I fully agree with that. There is no doubt that modern diesels off stonkingly good performance - thanks to the muscular mid-range. But petrols (with turbos) off the same, over a broader rev-range.

My 530xd is a brutally effective tool (from 2000-4000rpm) - it will pull from 1200rpm - and rev to 4600rpm - but it isn't at its most effective. The Alpina is brutal from 3000rpm to 7000rpm - and will pull from 1000rpm to 7500rpm. NM per KG the Alpina nudges ahead!

Turbocharged petrol units with diesel-esque torque plateaus are beginning to offer more linear driving experiences - especially combined with more than 4 cylinders. The smaller capacity units still experience a greater lag - diesels in particular.

If you are buying a car to enjoy driving then the 130-335 range (130-135-330-335) will tick the boxes. If you are cruising then the 3.0 diesels are the way to go. The proof is in the car highlighted above - 3.0 diesel for daily work. 3.4 petrol for fun.
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Old 12.04.2011, 11:53
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Go with the BMW, thats the great thing about Europe, here you can afford buying german cars !
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Old 12.04.2011, 11:58
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Go with the BMW, thats the great thing about Europe, here you can afford buying german cars !
Huh? So why am I jealously looking at the far lower US prices for the same - for them imported - cars...?
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Old 12.04.2011, 12:11
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

Just to throw a curve ball in to the equation.... I'm running a REVO remapped Audi TT Quattro Sport at 320bhp and weighs 1200kg... very quick at 5 sec to 62mph and very drivable for everyday driving. I'm not sure if the released the limited edition QS in CH but if you can get your hands on one then they are great little cars.

Yes it is a TT but I have never had one single 'hairdresser' remark from anyone that has seen it... and thats in the UK!

If you want newer how about a TTS? Same reliability as the golf, great looks, much quicker, but admit it is a little small.... do you need a car to be practical?
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Old 12.04.2011, 12:33
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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..... weighs 1200kg
Ofcourse it does

Considering the EU kerbweight is 1590kg that is a big weight saving. At that level I'll assume you are running a cut down loom, plastic windows all round, removed the sound deadening, lightweight exhaust, wheels etc.

The M3 runs 1280kg (including driver) - representing 235kg drop against EU kerbweight - and that is setup as a race-car.
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Old 12.04.2011, 12:47
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

LOL, that is my bad. It doesn't weight that at all, closer to the 1300 more like... slip of the finger. But no, plastic windows are absent... but pretty shaved down weight wise. Ken you know your stuff!
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Old 12.04.2011, 13:01
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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Ken you know your stuff!
is everyones friend

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Yes it is a TT but I have never had one single 'hairdresser' remark from anyone that has seen it... and thats in the UK!
And you shouldn't.... if it's the new version. I nearly opted for one of those recently
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Old 12.04.2011, 14:09
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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For that price though you should look at the 135i Coupe (although the short wheelbase does compromise its handling) and the 335i Coupe
The 135 was my initial choice. It reminds me of the old E30 coupe (btw I used to have such a toy, the engine last for more 350 TH km). The only problem is that I don't like that much the front of the car (the facelift looks better though) and the small space on the backseat.

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being a lease car you arn't allowed to chip it, you'd also invalidate your warante and you would also have to tell the insurance company, or come crash time you'll be in some serious bother.
I'm aware that you cannot bring modifications to a leased vehicle, that's basically the reason why I'm looking for plenty of power so I will not be in the position to get bored after a couple of years.

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Don't like any of those, why not go for a BMW 130?
Faster than any of those 3 with 0-100 in 6.1 it's even faster than the Golf R32 in a straight line.
Golf R with DSG does it in 5.7

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Or the Audi A5 3.2 V6 FSi Quattro which is in the price range that you are thinking of and it has 261bhp. There is the 4.2 but that is above budget.
The 3L TDI is also an option.

Have you been out in any of them yet?
I was in Ingolstadt in summer of 2007 at the Audi Centrum when I first had a ride in the new A5 but I never had the opportunity to drive it. I think it was the 3.0 diesel and I was really impressed. I knew at that moment that it will be one of my options

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The Audi is pretty, the other two are ugly. Oh, and please don't chip a modern car, the programming is that way for a reason.
No worries. I'm not quite into this chip tuning...Even though to be honest I considered also the EVO and new Impreza STI sedan...On these ones you can go for a power box. But I have no intentions to chip a leased vehicle.

[QUOTE=Treverus;1166725]I think the Golf is a bit odd in your list: If you are looking for a hot hatch, you should compare it to a S3 rather than the A5. QUOTE]

The Golf is the remaining competitor in the 'hot hatch' area. I checked the Megane RS but I hated the sh$$y interior and the plastics all over. Materials in Golf are better. The S3 would be an option but I don't like to think that I can have the same car with a VW badge and on top double exhaust pipes on the center of the spoiler.

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Go with the BMW, thats the great thing about Europe, here you can afford buying german cars !


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If you want newer how about a TTS? Same reliability as the golf, great looks, much quicker, but admit it is a little small.... do you need a car to be practical?
To conclude, the reason my list looks like that is that I've been thinking and thinking...and in fact if I'm going to lease a vehicle for 3-4 years, I need a bit of practicality...The Golf comes with a 5 doors version. The Audi A5 has plenty of space on the backseat and a huge trunk. The BMW can also fit 2 ppl on the backseat and some luggage....while the TT has only 2 seats My gf has a Volvo C30 and we always have problems when having some luggage and some friends to join us.

Currently I'm driving a Renault Megane 2, nothing special, but I got used with the size of the car and I don't know if I can manage something smaller to fit my needs (maybe the Golf R in 5 doors version)
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Old 12.04.2011, 14:15
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Re: Advice on buying (new) car: Golf R vs BMW 3 series vs Audi A5

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LOL, that is my bad. It doesn't weight that at all, closer to the 1300 more like... slip of the finger. But no, plastic windows are absent... but pretty shaved down weight wise. Ken you know your stuff!
You'd be amazed at how much you have to remove to lose 200kg from a car. 200kg from a standard car with no fancy components isn't going to happen. If you are running standard windows and trim you are not at 1300kg.

A road legal loom weighs around 4-5kg including a fuse box - a full one for a car like the TT will be around 20kg.

I'd like to know why you think you have your TT so low!!

Adi - the 130 coupe is actually OK in the back. You'll get 2 medium sized adults in. My biggest complaint with the car is not the front looks - but the short wheelbase. Pitched down a back round it is far from stable when it hits a mid-corner undulation. Furthermore it is arguably the most understeery modern BMW.

A 330 M-Sport pack coupe is fantastic.

At 60-70k you'll just be able to get into an Alpina B3
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