27th May 2009, 14:26

What is it with how North American cars are used that they seem to be riddled with so many problems compared to other users in the rest of the world? Certainly the Audi reviews from within North America are consistently unfavourable, so it is certainly not a figment of someone's imagination, and the documentation of the exact problems and mileages certainly reflect owners who are not stupid. Could it be weather extremes?

I was about to suggest that North American cars are always the highest-spec'd and therefore most complicated cars compared to more basic models with smaller engines elsewhere, but overseas also has the same engines and transmissions, and yet have less problems.

Audis are nowhere near as reliable as Japanese cars, but after having 5 second hand Audis, my experience can't be just sheer luck not having anywhere near the problems encountered by North American owners.

29th Jan 2011, 09:40

European cars are lower quality than Japanese and North American vehicles. In Europe, you might drive 20,000 km in 3 years or more, while in NA you could do that in less than a year. So they might seem more reliable in Europe, but really they don't get used the same as they do here.

The German cars are way overpriced in North America, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes (taxicabs in Europe) and VW. Volkswagen is a Chevy in Germany, a luxury car here.

Stick with North American or Japanese.

29th Jan 2011, 14:37

I did the May 2009 comment, I'm in NZ and drive 15-20,000 km/year, and that's low because I live within 10km of work. Many others live in suburbs, twice or thrice the distance from work. Those in rural areas easily drive 25-35K/year.

As we are able to get used RHD imports from Japan, you see many European cars such as '88 BMWs still running, tattered (many owned by younger people who will spend on drug-dealer alloy wheels, but wouldn't know when to change the fuel filter). Jappers are known to have clocked-back odometers, so we don't depend on them. But Japanese import Euros are basic - just like Europe, their models start out with the least complicated engines and equipment. I guess that helps us with repairs and diagnostics. Mechanics here don't charge like a wounded bull either, just because you drive a European car.

I've now got a BMW 316ti 1.8 manual; I'd have gone for another Audi, but do not have faith in the CVT automatic gearbox (manual Audis are now extremely rare here).