The 2013 Audi allroad and why new cars aren’t for everyone
I’ll start off by saying that I love the new 2013 Audi A4 allroad. I was fortunate enough to win an Audi sponsored photo contest in January that awarded me with a trip on Audi’s dime to drive the all new allroad. The rules to the contest were simple. 1. Own an allroad, 2. Photograph aforementioned allroad doing something awesome. Given that I am an allroad owner and a photographer this seemed like a great fit. There were 9 other winners and their +1s at the event. I was very impressed with the new allroad and we even got to drive an R8 while we were there. This trip, however, was more about the group of 20 (10 winners and our +1s) than it was about the new car.
Lesson #1: Allroad owners are
a cult, crazy, delusional passionate.
So we now have 20 passionate allroad owners staying at one hotel in beautiful Park City, Utah. The snow is coming down and the roads are primed for quattro (Audi’s all-wheel-drive system). Our introductions quickly turn to more passionate discussion about our current allroads. Mostly about how to fix them and what repairs we had already done, but I’ll leave that to my upcoming 2001-2005 Audi allroad review. What I was hearing one thing from this group amidst horror stories of blown turbos and seeping CV joints. Everyone was worried that the new allroad wouldn’t be as good as their current one. This seemed a little off given that many of their cars were pushing 10 years old.
Lesson #2: New cars aren’t always better than the one they are replacing
Every ad you have probably ever seen for a new car wants you to think it is literally the only thing that exists in the world. There is no other competition (unless it is obviously better than it) and that you shouldn’t be concerned about the price because, hey, they will just loan you the money. Getting back to our allroad example, there are quite a few things to weigh in order to determine which car is better. The new allroad is smaller inside, has less ground clearance and less power. The flip side of that is that it gets better gas mileage, doesn’t have air suspension to break, and is faster off the line thanks to a new transmission and some crazy torque from the 2.0T. Water muddy enough for you? Now factor in that a new allroad will most likely be north of $40k and you can get a great used one for $7k-$20k depending on year, condition, and miles.
The Point: Yeah, I know I claimed to have one.
For 1/4 to 1/2 the price of a new car you can get a very capable used car. My 2005 example was $22k and I opted for the $3k extended warranty. I have essentially insured myself that I will have a great and reliable car for at least 3 years (length of the warranty). My 2005 has navigation, a 6 disc CD changer, plenty of ground clearance, and a 4.2 V8. My point here is to not discount how great a used car can be. The gadgets and features of a new car may be enticing but 6 months from now when you are stuck with paying another $20k for those gadgets you may change your tune. You are also pretty much stuck with that new car because it lost $10k in value just by driving it off the lot.
Who’s right for a new car?
- Oil barons
- Lottery winners
- People without a mortgage, kids, and student loans
- People making over $200k per year
Who’s right for a used car?
- Everyone else