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06-06-2012, 11:09 AM #1Beartooth Jong
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Audi's Quattro vs Subaru's Symmetrical AWD - Yes, ANOTHER pointless face off
Yes, here we go again. I've used the search function and couldn't quite find a thread addressing this specifically. Utterly sick of my SUV after only a year with it, I'm thinking into the future as to what my next (well-used) car may be. The 4wd in my ride is absolutely unstoppable, but it sucks to drive the other half of the year. I've heard great things about Audi's Quattro (fwd bias?), and of course we all know Subaru has a fantastic reputation for it's Symmetrical AWD (rwd bias?) What I'm not really sure of, though, is how these different systems work. Are they two completely difference mechanical systems?
The Audi fanboys always bash Subaru, and vice-verse. Leaving an awd jong like me to be confused. I've watched countless videos that compare Subaru awd to Honda, Toyota, etc, with the Subaru being the clear winner. I've seen Audi videos that compare quattro to Mercedes 4matic and bmw x-drive. What I have yet to see is a true apples to apples comparison of a Subaru to an equivalently outfitted Audi. I mean both with a stick, both with the same tires, etc.
Have any of you experienced both side to side, with exactly the same parameters? I'm sure in reality they're both fantastic, but fanboydom aside, is one truly ANY better than the other? I'm not talking about interior quality, looks, or bells and whistles. I'm looking purely at the snow driving capability.
To further confuse me, I've read on these forums that even not all Subaru awd system's are alike, with the ones coming with a manual trans being different than the ones coming with an auto. Same goes for the Quattro and how it's changed over the years, and depending on the model. Sheesh.
EDIT: While we're at it, let's throw any REAL competitors in the mix here. BMW's X-Drive? Any good compared to Subaru/Audi?
06-06-2012, 11:18 AM #2
Subaru AT have 60:40 front and rear bias. Subaru MT have 50:50 bias.
can't speak to audi....sure to be nother epic thread tho!
Last edited by milton; 06-06-2012 at 11:33 AM.
06-06-2012, 11:20 AM #3
This is a good explanation of 4WD vs AWD systems. Its splitting hairs with the different AWD systems after that and IMO the kind of tires you slap on will dictate which is the better AWD system.
06-06-2012, 11:31 AM #4
Not much to choose between Subaru, Audi and BMW systems in my experience of each.
Which company makes a vehicle that you'd prefer is far more important question... especially given the awful product that Subaru currently shits out, compard to the great cars it made until recently.
Its splitting hairs with the different AWD systems
Last edited by PNWbrit; 06-06-2012 at 11:47 AM.
06-06-2012, 11:39 AM #5
I've driven both and other (Toyota, Nissan, Honda) AWDs quite a bit. Subie and Audi AWD are much better than the others on ice and slick snow. Between Subie and Audi AWD, it's a tossup, i.e., both are great. But I am conscious about purchase price, reliability and repair costs, hence Subie wins hands down. If you've got money to burn, plan to buy new and plan to trade before 100K miles, Audi is a sweet ride. If you want to leave more money in the bank and/or plan to own the car past 100K miles, get the Subie.
Disagree with Brit re Subie's current crop, at least re 2012 Subie Impreza, which is a great car. GF Anita has one, which I drive a bunch. Fantastic car, exceeding expectations. Real world MPG: 35mpg highway, 30+mpg mixed (mostly city), 32mpg ski trips with a ski box on the top. Handles great. Big rear leg room. No reason to get the Legacy/Outback, which are awful ugly -- agree with Brit about that.
06-06-2012, 11:55 AM #6
Find a nice used AMC Eagle.¡Órale, vato!
06-06-2012, 11:59 AM #7
I had a late 90s outback and currently have an Audi TT. Both cars had blizzaks in the winter. I think the outback was better in the snow. The outback had more ground clearance and may have been heavier.
I'm thinking about replacing the Audi with an Impreza (maybe a WRX).
Big Steve: Does GF Anita have the Auto or Manual Impreza?
06-06-2012, 12:02 PM #8
Brit, which new subies do to refer to? I haven't test driven anything yet but a 2012 Impreza with manual transmission is high on my list. The old beater Legacy is getting pretty tired and rusty.
06-06-2012, 12:04 PM #9
My Imprezza hate is deep rooted in their decision to get rid of the 2nd gen mini-wagon concept for the (near useless to me) hatchback of last two models.
I'd suggest a late model last generation legacy or outback wagon.
PM me about a dealer contact if you're buying locally.
06-06-2012, 12:05 PM #10Merde De Glace
06-06-2012, 12:10 PM #11
06-06-2012, 12:34 PM #12
Buster, a few Audi owners get lucky. The third party compiled repair records, e.g., Consumer Reports, are what they are. That Audi parts and service cost significantly more is beyond debate.
Brit, I hereya. "Soulless" is an apt adjective for the prior generation Impreza and current Legacy/Outback. Try a 2012 Impreza if you get a chance.
Last edited by Big Steve; 06-06-2012 at 01:10 PM.
06-06-2012, 01:01 PM #13
06-06-2012, 01:05 PM #14
I loved my Audi. Def would get another. Subie makes a good Awd. I just don't like their cars. The interior is shitty and cheap. I also think the cars are cheaply built. My Audi was solid and heavy. Prob why it was so great in the snow. See which one you like better. It's all a matter of preference and what the piggy bank can afford.
Fixing audis, ESP older ones can be $$$. Obviously japanese cars are easier/cheaper to fix.
06-06-2012, 01:11 PM #15
06-06-2012, 01:13 PM #16
My dad has a 2010 (?) Impreza, what a pile. It drives like shit. 98 Legacy Brighton wagon, 02 Outback, 06 Legacy wagon, 06 Outback even, drive soo much better. We're a Subie family if you haven't guessed by now.
Interesting info on the increased rear torque with manuals, one more reason not to get a slushbox.
Oh, and tires, tires, tires, tires. Get studs, they're sweeeeet. I had (still have) a shitty 2000 Hyundai Accent, slapped ContiIceContacts on it, instantly unstoppable beast of a car. The only time I got stuck, while driving a shitty mountain road every day to the hill this winter, was by getting high sided on heavy snow. Locked diff even, and I probably would've had it.
06-06-2012, 01:16 PM #17
See above. It was a brain fart.
2010 Impreza was POS. 2012 Impreza is a completely different car from the ground up.
06-06-2012, 01:16 PM #18
It would be nice if this didn't degrade into the usual, tired repartee regarding these marques, especially since the OPQ didn't address cost.
I've really liked my audis and ridden and driven around in a lot of Subies over the years. Subies are lighter and I really like the weight of the audis in snow but I think the traction and handling differences are moot.Merde De Glace
06-06-2012, 01:51 PM #19Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
i had a 2000 A6 and currently have a 2010 subaru wrx sti. In the STI you can lock the center differential, which gives you a lot more traction in the snow. Had the same tires (Michelin X ice) on my Audi, and traction on snow was a lot worse. If one wheel wa on ice, all the other 3 would spin helplessly. This is the problem with a viscous coupling center differential.
Older audus I had (original 82 Quattro and a 94 a6 s did have center, front and rear differentials and were unstoppable.
I think only the Subaru STi has the center locker, not the other models.some adventures around the world:
06-06-2012, 02:15 PM #20
Have an 08 WRX, had an 06 Audi A6. The A6 tranny was slipping at 11K, nothing was covered unless I wanted 10k oil changes. Went in and it was 125$ for oil change, 175$ for synthetic. Audi is expensive.
My subie has gotten 7000 miles this last year, oil and wipers, $100. Drove to Wyoming from socal and got 23.7 with box, over passes, up ski hills, never got stuck with all seasons and turbo is fun. I am fine with hatchback design. yeah its less comfortable and not leather, but I got nav, heated seats, cruise and saved 20k. Plus gas is better.
Oh, the AWD is very similar, but I do not get tourge steer like in the Audi. I vote subie all the way......
Used with 20-30k miles and save a ton. Just avoid any mods.......I need to go to Utah.
Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?
20 days skiing in 2009/2010 (15 Powder days)
18 days skiing in 2010/2011 (15 Powder days)
16 days skiing in 2011/2012 (2 cat days and 11 Powder day's)
18 days skiing in 2012/2013 (12 powder day's)
06-06-2012, 02:23 PM #21
06-06-2012, 02:46 PM #22Beartooth Jong
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
Lol. I had a feeling this could turn into the usual audi vs subaru poo show. I'm not concerned with cost or reliability, as I'd be buying an older one with cash, with the complete intention and understanding that I'd be fixing it, whether it be head gaskets on the Subaru or air suspension parts for an Audi. I don't care. From what I've seen a used Audi can be had for WAY cheaper than a Subaru. So if I gotta drop a few grand into an Audi to get it going, but saved a few grand over a used Subaru, it doesn't make any difference to me in the end.
So casting the reliability issues, or initial costs, or overall maintenance aside, I'd like to talk strictly about the AWD systems in either car. I guess I should also make the point that I only want a car with a stick. Cool that a stick gives you the 50/50 split in the Subie!
I also completely get that it's all about the tires. I have winter tires for my current ride, and it's amazing in snow/ice. What I'm asking is with a manual transmission, and with the SAME tires, is one ANY better than the other. Sounds like they're both pretty unstoppable, really. As we all know, awd systems are NOT created equally, as many of the comparison videos will show you. Have 3 wheels slipping but one gripping up hill? The Subaru does outstanding in that department. Too many competitor's awd just transfer the power to the wheels with the least resistance, which doesn't do a lot of good if you want to get uphill on ice.
06-06-2012, 02:48 PM #23
I'm with Buster on all points. My '98 A4 avant is still great, and the '03 Allroad was great till we traded for the Golf R, (maintenance type repairs). In some ways the '98 was better in the snow, because the TPS or whatever it's called in the newer cars, (the thing that applies brake), needs to be turned off on steep snowy climbs, or the brakes work against you. That same device is cool driving out of ski resorts, though.
I'll add that my '07 328xit and my '11 328xit have very good AWD sysytems that are equal or better, (opinion here), than the Audi or Subie, (I drove a new Outback recently). I prefer the slight rear bias now. You can turn off all nanny devices easily, too. Remember I said prefer.
I'm comparing all with Hankook studded snows, BTW, except the new Subaru, and I took that into account.
Last edited by plugboots; 06-06-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: op's later post"I think next week I'll be able to send some more money as I may have extra work. My friend Patty promised me a blow job"
06-06-2012, 02:54 PM #24
Your options as to which brand or model you can or can't get with a stick are/may not be equal?
The negligible difference between their AWD systems is not a deal breaker. Get the car you want. Or just the best deal on any you can find locally.
If you really want some specific advice, which models are you comparing against each other that give this $2k difference? You mention air suspension parts which = Allroad, there really isn't a comparable Suby model to that car.
06-06-2012, 02:59 PM #25