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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.