Sunday, May 24, 2015

Audi, round one

I started the car search today with two test drives.   I stopped off at Audi of Tyson's Corner.   Amusingly, the moment I parked, a salesman swooped in on me.   I told him I had never looked at Audi before, so wanted to look at some cars, noting the A3, A4, S3 and S5 as ones to start with.  

He led me around the lot, and frankly wasn't that great - he pointed me at specific (used) cars on the lot, walking me around, but ultimately not answering my questions well.  The 2013 S5 he showed me - but I didn't drive - was closest to what I might like.  After a stop inside at the computer to look at stock, when I started asking about leases, he finally took me to the new car sales people - and I realized he was a used sales person, and couldn't do the new ones.   (A frustrating note - I wanted to see cars, and he was fixated on price, using high end ones to discover my limits.   I didn't like him much)

Thankfully, my new sales person was much better.   After a bit of discussion, we got to a bit of a comparison - I would compare an A5 and a S3.

I drove the A5 first.    After a briefing on the tech, I took it out for a spin.   It did feel tight in driving it, with good acceleration.   The accelerator felt like it had between 3 and 4 speeds.   The dash was impressive - felt like a hi tech car should.   It's notable that the roof doesn't open, just pops up.

Next, the S3.   Very similar tech, but the dash is totally different.   A pop up display, and circular vents made it look rather like a classic Mustang interior with a screen bolted in.   This sucker took off - I could tell the engine had that 70+ more horsepower, and the options for controls (comfort versus dynamic) made the steering and control a lot different.  

Comparable prices.   My ideal lease payment is $400/month with 10k in miles, and I suspect I can get the S3 in this.  It was Memorial Day, and so they were looking to make a deal, but knew we were a bit off.   Super kudos to my sales guy, AJ Pinnamraju, who was not high pressure here.   We discussed what I wanted, my timeline, the fact I wanted to compare, and while he distinctly tried to get something going, was very reasonable about the process and next steps.   He clearly redeemed the first guy, and the dealership.

S3 preferred on these, and it feels better and cooler and more tech than the Acura TLX I drove back in January.   The A5 is nice, but not nearly as much fun.  

Both have nice tech packages - I'm amused by Audi Connect, which apparently makes the car a hot spot.   Apparently it's 4G LTE - powered by AT&T.   I wonder if I can use my T-Mobile plan.   Worth understanding more here.  Streaming music this way is super cool.   I love the idea of streaming from my car rather than my iPhone.   

Pending my schedule, BMW next.

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