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Question for those coming/came from an Audi..


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Well, I am currently checkin out The Turbo AWD sporty sedan market for a car to replace my 2000 Stg2 S4. I am curious to hear from those that came from an Audi (or VW) how the transition was for you. What helped pull you from the V.A.G. car to the Subie, and what if anything do you now miss or "regret" from not being in the VW/Audi. Having owned a 2000 Legacy prior to the S4, there was a very noticeable difference in interior detail and fit and finish, however after a recent trip to the Subie Dealer it appears to be now Really close in comparison. (from my 2000 to the new 2007 Subies)


Appreciate any insight.



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(Note: long post ahead...)


I had a 2000 S4 with 109k miles on the clock, and went stage 2 at around 30-40k miles. I have had the car for 6 years and have loved it. Recently it had been giving me periodic issues, which annoyed me--a lot. But when it ran right, it was (is, as i haven't sold it yet) a wonderful car.


I choose the Subaru (a 06 spec b in my case) for a few reason (not in a particular order). 1) I think it is a fantastic looking car. 2) Turbo makes for easy modding as does the general market and the general strength of the car (ie it takes mods well). 3) Better gas mileage. (I know and understand the "if you can afford a $50k sports car, don't bitch about bad gas mileage," but I still say if you can *also* get better gas mileage, it is a good thing.) 4) While I could afford a new S4 or the 335, I felt a $30k car with ~$5k in mods (described below) was very competitive with Audi or Beemer. Certainly with my 6 year old S4 and still a pretty good comparison with the new one. 5) I like having a car that doesn't come with some of the psycological "baggage" of the Audi. Don't get me wrong I love the S4 for what it is, and not what it may or may not say about me. But the Subaru is more "quiet" about it's owner. Make sense?


The first few weeks with the Subbie were hard, as it took a while to redefine myself away from the S4. I knew the S4 so well, that everything about the Subbie felt... off. Not bad, just different. E.g. I couldn't get the position of the subby's seat to feel like the S4's. The shifter felt foreign. My hand didn't float as naturally to the stereo and A/C as it did on the S4. And the instrument clusters electrolum didn't look as nice to me as the red in the S4 (while they look better, this is one of the few things that I still like much more in the Audi).


So on the interior, I have come to like the Subby more, and feel it fits me well. And its slightly larger. But I feel the S4 was tighter and more fitting (but then again, maybe it was just smaller). I give a slight edge to the S4, but I do like the Subaru too. Understand how subjective this statement may be.


The S4 feels more solid, like when you close the door. Whether its because it is German, or because it was/ is a more expensive car, or because it weighs ~400 pounds more I can't say. But is it $20k better...? And, I have been pleasantly surprised with how quiet the car is at highway speeds.


And in performance, that weight difference is noticable. The Legacy just feels lighter, and turns in to a curve easier. And that I *do* like. I have a rear sway bar on the Subaru and STI pinks are going in soon. On the Audi I had had stock, H&R streets c/o and currently a Shine Racing Service Bilstein Shock/ spring set-up. The stock Spec B feels quite good, though I have done limited aggressive drives in the twisties.


As far as speed, quickness, etc, I say the edge goes to the Legacy. Mine, now, is stage 2. The engine sounds great, though I am still running stock CBE, so the exhaust is... sterile. It was certainly cheaper to go stg 2 with the Subaru (head nod to Peter at PL-tek) than with the S4. But the TBE on the Audi (AWE DP and Milltek CBE sounded great and didn't ellicit too much attention).


I spent a lot of time on Audiworld.com and got a great deal of usefull info from it, though I have found a similar amount of helpful views and respectful opinions here.


I have also done some audio mods on both cars. The Audi got MB Quarts, two trunk amps and a 10" JL Audio sub. The MBQs stayed while the remaining parts went to the Subaru, along with Focals. They sound very good, much better than stock LGT and better (to me) than the Audi. But that isn't really car related.


So all in all? I really do love the Subaru. It gives serious performance, and feels slightly more willing "to go" than the S4. It has grown on me, and will continue to do so. It doesn't feel as solid as the S4 (A less tactful way of saying this could be that it feels cheaper, but I think that is overly harsh), but it does costs less (than a current S4 replacement). ~$20k is a lot of left over change.


Let me know if you have any questions.




p.s. with respect to heightsgtltd comment, I felt like the few S4 owners didn't give me the kind of insight I was looking for when I was in Ben's shoes. There were a lot of A4 owners, but that's a different beast. There were some S4 owners (stock or just chipped--also very different), but if they were stg 2 I don't recall any overly detailed comparisons. Granted, my searches could have been lacking too...

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I came from a B6 S4 and prior to that, a 96 S6. Frustrated by constant (and expensive) reliability issues, and with the horrible gas mileage of the 4.2 V8, it was time for change (abandoning Audi/VW after 27 years of loyalty).


I'm about 2.5 years and 55,000km into my 05 MT LGT wagon. Straight from stock, it was OK, but after a few simple mods (better tires, JDM rear sway, Hella horn, Retained Accessory Power, Access Port stage 1, OEM sub, hood dampers) I've got a pretty close approximation of what my S4 felt like. With lots of cash in my pocket, with much better gas mileage, and with much more stealth -- important to me when I leave the car at a trailhead and come back after a few days of hiking....it's still there, undamaged.


I also find the LGT more nimble in corners (it's a lot lighter), even so I don't feel as safe in it when on a very fast straight stretch...just a bit more wobbly.

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I second Deepwoods comments. coming from two 01 A4's. (01.5 A4 sedan 1.8t stg III, 01 A4 1.8t Avant) the Subie does feel cheaper in some of its fit and finish. little things like auto up windows, retained power, better climate control, guage and information displays, fit and finish overall, smoother vehicle, and even better name recognition (as a high end vehicle). and better mileage than my stgII LGT

both did have their reliability and quality issues. repairs were expensive, mods were expensive. I love german cars, and almost bought anotherone, but figured it was time to try something new, especially since i got an 05 for cheaper than it's audi equivalent.

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Thanks so much for the informative post Deepwoods, and thank you nomores4 and trac for your input. As mentioned by deepwoods I could not find a definite "yes I am glad" or "man I wish I wouldnt have" type of comparisons on features/power/handling of a Stg2 S4 versus a legacy GT (or spec B) I appreciate more comments from other S4 owners and/or heavily modded A4 owners. I had posed a hypothetical question on the Audiworld B5 S4 forum regarding if they had to replace the S4 with another AWD sport sedan which would they go with. Having been heavily weighing a LGT for the pst year it was refreshing to see a few respond to look at a LGT as well. So am graciously accepting any further input from ones who have MADE the jump and how they feel about the jump.

As for heightsgtltd, I did do some searching, and after a bit of time found a thread from past VAG owners (mostly A4 and jetta however) PLUS, for some reason the search function is about as good as Audiworlds in some respects.

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I had a 00' A4 2.8, it was nice, alot lower to the ground than my subie, but stuff would break constantly an there were only 50k on the car, after 6 months the awd transfer case was going out so audi said it would of costed over 3500$ to fix the thing so I said F it and I got a subaru. Audis are really nice just cant afford the repairs, espacially for a teenager (18 at the time) an now at 24 I still couldnt afford to fix it. THe A4 was my grandpas at the time, he had passed away and left almost everything he owned to my dad who then gave me the car, I was pysced to get the car but the thing was too much for me $$ wise, insurance, oil changes, and regular maintence. So in 2004 I got my GT and I will always trust the japs. the Germans make great cars just not great in the U.S., but thats my $0.02
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