Gav's Audi Quattro page
Well I admit I have become a bit of an Audi Quattro fan. Not the original 1980's boxy shape coupé, I don't own one of those (yet :-). My cars are the slightly newer derivatives. It started back in September 1995, when Fiona was looking to change her car. After weeks of searching and not having found anything that she really liked, I happened to notice a newspaper ad for a 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 20V with full main dealer service history and 50000 miles on the clock. Of course I had to go have a look. I bought the car a few days later, Fiona inherited my BMW 318i, and the rest is history :-).
My 90Q20V served me well until July 2005, when having returned from holiday it would not start in the airport car park. There followed many months of garages who - (how can I put this politely?) - didn't know what they were doing - messing around with it. To cut a very long story a little bit shorter, as I first wrote this page not far off a year later, I was only just able to say that the car was pretty much back to normal. This generally unpleasant experience did have its plus points though, before this time I didn't really work much at the car myself. Since then I have come up a very steep learning curve and while I certainly wouldn't call myself an expert, I have gained a level of knowledge and experience which will enable me to do most basic maintenance & servicing in the future.
During the months with my primary mode of transport imprisoned in garages, I lost patience and started hunting for its replacement. For a month I watched a very nice 2000 A4 2.8 Quattro on the Autotrader website. The car had done 44000 miles, had a full main dealer service history and was described as being in immaculate condition. It hadn't sold despite having been advertised for several weeks and the seller had dropped the asking price by £1000. There was only one catch - the car was in England! Finally a mixture of interest and frustration led me to make the inevitable enquiry. The seller was very helpful and the car sounded great. Suffice to say, one cheap flight later the car was mine. I drove it home the same day (nothing like a 500-mile drive to get acquainted with my new purchase). In addition, I saved another £550 off the asking price. And that was one of the most important reasons for making the trip - back home lesser A4 models from the same year were selling for more than the original asking price of the car I bought. In fact, even after adding on the cost of the flight, plus petrol and ferry to get it home, I still saved money. In what was a buyer's market I paid over £1000 less than the lowest online valuation I did on the car.
Eventually I got my old 90Q20V back in January 2006, but it was a lengthy struggle even after that to get it back to normal. It was worth it though. After all the time and money spent on it, I decided to keep it. After all, classic insurance worked out cheap and easy, with just road tax to pay after that.
So why Audi?
I guess I have always liked the German prestige brands, I had a BMW before my first Audi. But my two Audis have IMHO been much better cars. Here is what I like about Audis:
- Quality build. Nothing worse than squeaks and rattles to spoil the driving experience. Both my BMW and my two Audis have been excellent in this respect.
- Robust engines and mechanics. I was worried at first about reports of massive bills for repairs on Quattro models, however I have had no such problems so far (I trust this will continue). My BMW became a little smoky as early as 70000 miles, however my 90Q20V has not so far exhibited such problems. Many owners have 200000+ miles on these cars with no major problems.
- Galvanised bodyshell. My BMW had some corrosion problems even before I sold it at 10 years old. My 90Q20V is now a lot older than that and the only corrosion worth talking about has been due to badly fitted (not by me) front mudflaps. This has been repaired.
- Four wheel drive on Quattro models. This is surely one of the things Audi is famous for. I mean everyone's heard of the Audi Quattro and most recall the rally success they had with the original Quattro in the 1980's. Of course there were 4WD vehicles before that, but in a coupé? in an executive sedan? Rare indeed....
- Reliability. Now these days we have come so far that 'unreliability' seems to mean 'any occurrence which involves money having to be spent on the car'. Well I'm sorry I don't see it that way. 'Unreliability' to me means the car leaving me stranded or refusing to get me somewhere that I need to be (and it was 2005 before my 90Q20V did that to me, after nearly 10 years of ownership). Let's face it, cars always have and always will need maintenance. Some of this will be scheduled and some will not. Get over it.
So why Quattro?
- Better road holding and handling in the wet, snow or ice. Just put the boot down and leave the 2WD crowd behind.....
- None of that horrible FWD wheelspin when moving off quickly, especially in the higher performance models.
- No tail-happy handling like RWD cars (Fiona managed a 180° in the BMW during a light snow shower many years ago).
OK so that's why I own these cars. If you're still interested after all that you can have a look at my cars: