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If you could afford both as a first car, which would you buy?

  • Audi A3 E-tron (2014-15)

    Votes: 6 85.7%
  • New Audi A4

    Votes: 1 14.3%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was hoping I could get some advice. I am in my late twenties and recently passed my driving this year. Seen some good deals in the used car market for the Audi A3 E-tron as well as the new A4 B9. Both cars are usually not what people have in mind as a first car but I beg to differ.

I am very big on tech and carbon economics and so the e-tron(2014-15) ticks the boxes for being a hybrid with low CO2 figures and has got a decent amount on tech on board.

The new A4 while allot bigger is actually very easy to drive and the tech is simply class leading. I have seen several nicely spec A4s with all the fancy new toys like the virtual cockpit and audi's safety features.

My question is assuming this was your first car and you would be spending the same amount of money, with the experience you have with your current A3 e-tron, which car would you pick?
 

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Personally, I wouldn't go with an automatic for my first car. Assuming you got your license in a manual, good to make yourself really get used to dealing with a manual if you intend to be able to drive one in the future.

I'd go with a cheap, small car that isn't too powerful but you are not going to loose too much money on if you scrape it against a post, dent a bumper etc. Also keeps the insurance costs low until you've had chance to build up no-claims bonus.

All cars are luxury items. I'd go with a cheap second hand VW Polo BlueMotion or something. As long as you have a bluetooth kit in it and somewhere to dock your phone that's plenty of tech (especially as you'll have plenty of money left to be able to keep upgrading to the latest phone).

But I'm a boring old man with a fancy A3 eTron so treat by advice as a grumpy old "get off my lawn" comment from someone born in the 70's :) My first car was a Citreon Saxo. I was very glad to get my second car :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Personally, I wouldn't go with an automatic for my first car. Assuming you got your license in a manual, good to make yourself really get used to dealing with a manual if you intend to be able to drive one in the future.
Did pass with manual transmission and initially was quite keen on getting one but after 3 test drives in automatic, decided to take the long term view.

The no tax, no congestion charge and cheap run is another big attraction for the e-Tron as I am self employed. Plus I will get 2 free service and discount on scratch and dent insurance. Main insurance is also pretty affordable. Just shy 1k.

I really like both cars, but my fear with the e-tron comes from some of the problems people have complained about in this forum. i.e. a reverse problem will cause streams of cold sweat.

P.S. I can be quite boring for my age:)
 

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I drove a 3-door 1.0 Nissan Micra for 15 years before buying the etron, never had an accident or any major problems with the car. After having a family we decided a slightly bigger car would be safer, comfortable and more convenient.

Within 1 month of ownership, someone hit the back end and I've also been left with a scratch on the door from a supermarket trolley (even though I try to park away from other cars) :(

I'm a pretty light user with just under 5k miles on the clock with 75% being emission free but drive into central London once or twice a week for work/childcare.

I'm glad I went for the e-tron as it suited my needs but can see myself needing something bigger in the years to come. An A4 e-tron would be perfect and hopefully the technology will have moved some way along by then, but we'll just have to wait and see.

My only qualms with the car is the "low" EV range. Most of the time it suits me but in the winter months can cut the range by 25-50%. My range anxiety is more orientated from the point of view that I should be using EV and not the ICE. If I could back and make another choice I might have just said "sod it" let's go for a Tesla but I'd also be £40k poorer which my frugal mind tells me that is another car in 5-10 years.

Like other members have said, my advice would be to go for a cheaper used manual for a few years and have fun driving around without worrying too much about the EV business and come back in then when the market is more developed. Maybe by then Audi will start making a pure EV car.
 

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My first car was a Ford Prefect, followed by an A35 and a Console Classic. All of these were while I was at college and I learnt two things. 1) Small and nippy was the most fun to drive, 2) Bigger is more comfort (and bench seats with column change was exceptionally good for dating).

Later in life my most fun cars were Ford Capri and latterly several Toyota Celicas. These were before and after children.

Both of these were capable of long journeys in comfort, but were a bit to big for nippyness fun, although they were better than the bigger cars I had when I needed them for a growing family.

As I retire I have gone for the A3 etron. This combines comfort for long journeys and (surprisingly) nippyness. I am really enjoying it.

I have never strained my finances for a car (although from about 1987 through 2005 I had company cars)

Of course we can't choose for you, you have to ask yourself why you want a car (be honest with yourself - one of my early company cars was an Audi 80, bought solely for its show off value, I then made the mistake of replacing it with the next model sight unseen, when the boot size was horrible)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the great advice so far. I have always put off the idea of a car partly because it took so damn long to pass, living in London and travelling abroad quite frequently for work, it just didn't seem logical. I am now settled, take a number of jobs in central that sometimes require me to carry my kit plus I will be dating quite allot over the next coming months. So, I swore to never drive a banger and thankfully I have built some financial stability to be able to afford such luxuries now.

I am glad to hear the e-Tron can be nippy because it's still my first choice. I also find it comfortable and although it has a smaller boot space, I find it adequate for my needs. The A4 came into the mix after comparing the numbers + maintenance and depreciation value over 3 years. It's a bigger ride with allot of cool features that excites my vanity.

I have decided to go with the e-tron because it's the most practical for me, more in-line with where the industry is heading and I believe 2 years from now, people especially those living in London will be choosing a hybrid or electric more seeing as the new mayor has already begun pushing for a greener city with additional levies in low emission zones.
 

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I concur with everyone's opinons and the few years of driving a cheaper car will definitely have some benefits.
The e-tron is a great car and I truly love mine. In a few years the technology will be improved and you'll be a position to drive a better PHEV/BEV. Save up for that.
 
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