31st Aug 2014, 04:37

I own a Corolla and an Audi. I am from NZ as well.

Corolla 294k - no usage of oil or water, no smoke or leaks. Service was always done by me every 10-12k.

The Audi we have is nicer to drive no doubt, but problems after problems. As someone said, maybe they are more designed for colder countries, but NZ is not a hot country either. Reliability here on Audi in general is extremely poor. Mine is a A4 B6 series; transmission fixed twice and now needs replacement. Uses oil every 5k; about 1.5 litres. Has done 103k, which I don't consider particularly high, and previously had one owner prior to me, who provided a full service history on sale.

Maybe I bought lemon, but many of my mates owning A3s or A4s go thru lots of unexpected repairs. There are loads of small things (mostly electrical), but it doesn't bother me as long as it doesn't take away full confidence of it being safe transport. Nice cars only when they drive, but repairs are too much to deal with. I like the design, so I'm still keeping it as weekend car. Next time, if I have to get a euro car, I'll get a BMW, but as alternative if reliability is my top priority, then I will get a Lexus.

31st Aug 2014, 11:26

Yes, that is true. On some VW group cars, they actually electronically limit the revs and speed the car will do for the first few thousand miles for that reason alone, to make sure it breaks in properly, even though VW themselves admit it isn't needed as much in modern cars. Engines are better built and are much more durable than they have ever been. The things which are still temperamental on them are electronics, and trust me, in Europe, your Accords, Avensis and Mazda 6s have their fair share of problems, with cracking metal on the Toyotas, DPF filters on Mazdas letting in oil, and automatic boxes being very fragile on Hondas, not to mention the amount of recalls now infamous with Japanese cars.

31st Aug 2014, 19:43

Hi - the owner of the Corolla and Audi - is the B4 the 2001-2006 model? Is it a FWD or a quattro? Reason I asked - having had a few Audis, I decided on a BMW this time because I did not trust the "Multitronic" CVT gearbox on the FWD models. The older 4 and 5-speed automatics were easier to service, cheaper to overhaul if needed, and reasonably robust. A friend's had her 1998 A4 2.4i Japanese import automatic now for nearly 7 years, bought used with 104Ks, and she's had a problem with a computer, but nothing ever mechanical. It's a pity manual Audis are almost impossible to get as used cars.

1st Sep 2014, 20:00

Hi there, am the owner of a Corolla and Audi, and also as of yesterday, a BMW 325i 2008 E90. We plan to sell the Audi now.

Regarding my Audi - it's a 2004 2.0 FSI front wheel drive. The CVT is extremely poorly made. I wouldn't probably buy another one anytime soon. But if you're thinking of buying BMW - just go for it. Get a low ks with full service history if you're buying second hand, but BMW has much better reputation, and to be honest I am really enjoying this :)

1st Sep 2014, 21:43

Yes, I see your point mate. I guess the build can be either for hot or cold countries, and can't serve both. I work in oil and gas, so have travelled across the world and worked in many odd locations, and in most places Japanese cars have been simple to fix and more durable. The other thing is that they are simple, so people understand the process behind it without much background - especially for third world country mechanics.

But in Europe I have noticed a lot more euro cars and never knew the reason. I just thought mechanics are more used to euro cars, hence they are perhaps cheaper to fix, but now I can see how they are reliable too, which in this part of the world simply isn't true.

2nd Sep 2014, 20:45

I read the book "The Toyota Way," more about management than cars, which gave me a good insight into why as a general rule Toyotas tend to be reliable, in any environment. "Simple" isn't quite the word for Japanese cars, because they have also been forced into complications by legislative safety and emissions requirements. Toyota's approach is very conservative. They don't just change the design of a part at the last minute, they think of problems that might arise with how a part is made, and they drill down to why a part failed in the first place to make sure it never, ever happens again (at a supplier level).

They aren't innovative per se, nor does the number of committee approval hurdles result in terribly exciting cars to look at or drive. Neither does it create a car whose doors will still thunk solid shut after 10 years. But their cars serve well to the end of their useful life (even if it is limited by worn-out suspension or drivetrain parts or chassis rust). Mercedes used to make cars like that - with a body that holds for 20 years as a taxi.

But if you live in a country where the odd problem isn't a security hazard, and a problem isn't critical or debilitating to fix, there's more to life than just driving an appliance. Handling in challenging terrain is vital in many countries, seat comfort and support in intercontinental driving, quietness and ride on coarse road paving, or a mix of any of them at the same time, also play a part.

Cars are a compromise. Sometimes you must give up the "fun" for cars that will never break down; at times you can live with a few quirks once in a while for the intangibles that serve you every single day. That's why many non-Japanese makers are still alive today - and selling very well. People aren't often that stupid. They make their decisions based on their circumstances - and preferences.

2nd Sep 2014, 21:22

I would steer away from BMW personally. My dad has had 2 E90s and an E39 5 Series, and all but the 5 Series gave him problems. Mainly the interior parts; they are very cheaply made. The cars are not as well made nor as well finished as Audi. Audi have discontinued the CVT, and you'll find a lot on the used market up to 10 years old with the DSG automatic gearbox, which is faster, easier to maintain, and much more reliable.

4th Sep 2014, 10:38

Agree on the 5 Series. Very unreliable. The 3 Series is the Corolla of BMW. The auto box can be problematic if not serviced. Although Audi discontinued CVT, but they still continue making rubbish gearboxes. The maximum failure in cars I have seen throughout my life is Alfa Romeo, Rover, Audi and a few Peugeots. Stay away from all of them.

25th Sep 2014, 07:26

Yes, this review is probably biased, and looking at it, the owner has only owned the car a couple of months. So he really can't say anything about reliability after owning the car for that short a time.

Also claiming this is a fast car? Really? A 100 HP car with auto? I've driven the 1.9 TDI, both in the Golf and the Passat, with and without auto, both the 100 and 130 HP versions, and fast isn't quite what I'm thinking about with 0-60MPH figures in the 12 second region for the auto. The 130 HP version is of course faster. The quality of these cars are at best uneven, and Audis can be very expensive to keep on the road. Comparing it with a Toyota Corolla is exaggerated, and the running costs are nowhere near Corollas.

7th Jan 2015, 10:58

There is no perfect car. They all have their problems. I have had less than impressive experiences with Japanese cars. I am in no doubt they are good quality reliable vehicles, but they work less well in Europe, where people want more refinement, and Japanese cars are never any less expensive to run than German cars. They are not as fuel efficient, they cannot build diesel engines, they all seem to blow up, and they are producing petrol and hybrid engines with fuel economy euro cars had 7 years ago. They are expensive for what they are.

Most people in that sort of market for a car would get a Vauxhall/Opel or Ford. Those who are looking to spend a bit more for more quality get Volkswagens. They are good cars, but it also depends on how you look after them. I have had my Audi for nearly a year now, and nothing other than a battery to replace has ever gone wrong with the car. Japanese cars were more attractive 15 to 20 years ago, because they were cheaper to buy and repair, but because of a strong Yenn and weak Euro and Pound, they are less competitive.

Volkswagen group cars reach starship mileages. Seeing cars for sale with 150,000 miles plus on a 6 year old Golf is common sight; they are still sellable/usable.