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Which AWD Used Car to buy: A4 vs BMW3 vs Subaru vs ...

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Which AWD Used Car to buy: A4 vs BMW3 vs Subaru vs ...

So here is the situation, the wifey has given me the green light to find a fun car to drive for the next 2 years, before we start the family and need the SUV.

ONLY keeping the vehicle for 2 years.

My wants are:
- AWD
- Sedan 4door
- sun roof
- Manual
- Minimal Maintenance
- Slow to little depreciation (I'd like to have less than $5K depreciation, for when i sell it after 2 years or less)

So far the contestants are:

2011 BMW 328i xdrive , manual, fully loaded with NAV, 40K clicks, asking $32K (extended warranty til 2017)

2007 BMW 335i xdrive, automatic, premium pkg, no NAV, 50K clicks, asking $25K - only auto trans im considering because of the low mileage

2010 Subaru WRX, manual, sports and limited sedans, 70K clicks , price range $23-25K

2010 Audi A4 , manual, 100K clicks, asking $25K


Questions:
- what do you think i should offer for prices posted?
- which of the vehicles above would meet my "wants" ?
- which would be the most fun to drive?
- known issues for any of the cars?
- which would be the easiest to sell after?
- Did I MISS any other vehicles that fit my requirements ?


I did try to look into Mercedes but AWD only comes in Automatic, same goes for the Infiniti G's

Appreciate the help and comments, looking to pull the trigger on something next week.
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68 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 26, 2004
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WRX hatchback

Ticks all the boxes and is practical
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I just got a 2015 wrx. Cars a ton of fun. Can be had for $29,990 Msrp.

There's no hatchback for the latest gen.
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[OP]
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Aug 23, 2005
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Doesnt work for me

At $30K for a new WRX sounds great but, after taxes it'll be $33K , how much would i get back in 24months?

i'm looking to off load it after 18-24months, so i don't wanna lose that much (Max $5K ?)
The leasing new options works out to $500 a month = $12K over 24 months

I've been told cars typically will depreciate the most in the first 4 years.
aquariaguy wrote: I just got a 2015 wrx. Cars a ton of fun. Can be had for $29,990 Msrp.

There's no hatchback for the latest gen.
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Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
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Buy used WRX or WRX STi or EvoX and call it a day. No point thinking about it too hard. It also depend on your budget.

You want to buy a new WRX just to drive two years and take the biggest depreciation? Make no sense. Better to buy a used one, say 2009-2010 model and call it a day.
[OP]
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spike1128 wrote: Buy used WRX or WRX STi or EvoX and call it a day. No point thinking about it too hard. It also depend on your budget.

You want to buy a new WRX just to drive two years and take the biggest depreciation? Make no sense. Better to buy a used one, say 2009-2010 model and call it a day.
no i dont want to take that hit, hence the options i had in the original post. my strife with second hand is maintenance and warranty. the 2011 bmw still has CPO warranty til 2017.

aquariaguy: what did you pay, if i may ask, on the 2015 wrx??
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Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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The BMW. The old 3.0 is fairly reliable. Anotehr two years warranty doesn't hurt.

The 335i is probably the old n54 variant with pump issues.

WRXes tend be in the hands of ricers who abuse them.

The a4 has a lot of mileage and is probably burning oil already.
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deeewreck wrote: no i dont want to take that hit, hence the options i had in the original post. my strife with second hand is maintenance and warranty. the 2011 bmw still has CPO warranty til 2017.

aquariaguy: what did you pay, if i may ask on the wrx???
Be careful with CPO from bmw. Most of the time its a joke as they will cover only specific error codes (list of codes available at stealerships)
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[OP]
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mr_raider wrote: The BMW. The old 3.0 is fairly reliable. Anotehr two years warranty doesn't hurt.

The 335i is probably the old n54 variant with pump issues.

WRXes tend be in the hands of ricers who abuse them.

The a4 has a lot of mileage and is probably burning oil already.


Yes its the N54 engine. Yes im guessing HPFP issue, but i'm buying from a dealer, so i would ask for it to be replaced.

WRX is "lady driven" so the ad claims
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Nov 27, 2005
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Thornhill
deeewreck wrote: So here is the situation, the wifey has given me the green light to find a fun car to drive for the next 2 years, before we start the family and need the SUV.

ONLY keeping the vehicle for 2 years.

My wants are:
- AWD
- Sedan 4door
- sun roof
- Manual
- Minimal Maintenance
- Slow to little depreciation (I'd like to have less than $5K depreciation, for when i sell it after 2 years or less)

So far the contestants are:
....
Leasebusters is the only way you're going to guarantee close to 5k depreciation for a new-ish fun car over the course of 18mths.
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Jan 15, 2006
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atLANtic wrote: Be careful with CPO from bmw. Most of the time its a joke as they will cover only specific error codes (list of codes available at stealerships)
Nope. It is my understanding that CPO is now like in the states, bumper to bumper. I believe this changed a couple years back.
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EP32k2 wrote: Nope. It is my understanding that CPO is now like in the states, bumper to bumper. I believe this changed a couple years back.
You can believe it until you deal with it. But don't ask me how I know
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May 12, 2012
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I won't go for the Subaru for one reason: depreciation. Those things do fall a little faster than their German counterparts since the Subie is not really known for good 2nd hand value, especially the performance/sporty models. Besides, their interior is not very good (econobox roots) and their 4WD systems in manual form is a very old (but tried and true) viscous center with open front and rear in WRXs. The Audi and BMW's systems are a bit more focused on driving dynamics and have clutch packs in the center. Realistically, it's a choice between the 3 liter NA straight 6 BMW and the 2 liter turbo straight 4 Audi (aka the GTI engine).
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Dec 25, 2006
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garyhudson wrote: I won't go for the Subaru for one reason: depreciation. Those things do fall a little faster than their German counterparts since the Subie is not really known for good 2nd hand value, especially the performance/sporty models. Besides, their interior is not very good (econobox roots) and their 4WD systems in manual form is a very old (but tried and true) viscous center with open front and rear in WRXs. The Audi and BMW's systems are a bit more focused on driving dynamics and have clutch packs in the center. Realistically, it's a choice between the 3 liter NA straight 6 BMW and the 2 liter turbo straight 4 Audi (aka the GTI engine).
Subaru depreciation higher than the german counterparts? I'd really like to see your proof of that, sir.
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Dec 25, 2006
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I have it - I suggest you look/research before you speak....and .com is U.S. of course, not Canada

The BEST resale on autotrader for a 2011 328ix is $32k (from my search new was $44k)

The middle resale(NOT the best) for a 2011 WRX(because we really DO need to compare same year) is 26-27k.(new 32.5k)


Hmmm...who has the larger $$ and % depreciation?
[OP]
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Aug 23, 2005
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Brian99 wrote: Leasebusters is the only way you're going to guarantee close to 5k depreciation for a new-ish fun car over the course of 18mths.
checked leasebuster , most of the stuff available on there for subaru, bmw's and audi's will cost me $600-$700 a month taking someones lease over. multiply that by 18 months comes out WAY over my budget for depreciation.
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[OP]
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Aug 23, 2005
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EP32k2 wrote: Nope. It is my understanding that CPO is now like in the states, bumper to bumper. I believe this changed a couple years back.
I was told by the dealership its bumper to bumper now.
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[OP]
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I went and test drove the 2007 335xi , 2011 328xi, and 2013 328xi just for comparing.

Even though its AUTO, and older the 335xi is nice and keeps going when you push it.
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Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
As far as an torque converter tranny goes it is quite responsive. I would STEER CLEAR of the first year 335's though. That HPFP/wastegate/turbo is nothing but a headache. If you must buy a 335i find out if carbon cleaning has ever been done.

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