I've been shopping cars for a while now, and finally made a decision. I've been looking at $50K cars like the Audi A6 and the Infiniti M35x. And I've been all over the map, thinking about an Acura MDX and even the upcoming 2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4. At $80K, the Porsche was getting a little silly. But I've wanted one since I was about 14 years old. Maybe the next car.
Well, I went and drove the 2008 Audi A6 on Thursday, then drove the 2008 Honda Accord on Friday. I couldn't figure out why I should pay more than double the payment to get a car that really seems about the same as the Honda.
I ended up with the 4-cylinder Accord EX-L. It's about as loaded as you can get it, except I didn't get the Navigation system. I'm a man. I know where I'm going. :-) Okay, seriously, my iPhone has Google Maps built in with fake GPS (which works pretty good), and I'll soon have the new iPhone with real GPS. I don't need Navigation.
So I was comparing my new car with my old car, a 2002 Audi A4 Avant (wagon). My old car listed around $30K and I got it for $27.5K. I got my new Honda for a price around $25K (leasing makes that complicated, but that's a good ballpark). So 6 years later and I still paid less. So much for inflation, as you'll see in my comparison.
My Audi is rated for 170 horsepower. The Honda is rated for 190 hp. The Audi has a manual transmission. Automatic would have added another $1200. The Accord came with a 5-speed automatic. I tried the stick but didn't like it as much. The stick is much better in the Audi. I can't see why anyone would need the V6 in either one.
Audi was rated for 21 mpg city, 29 highway. The EPA standards are tougher now, so it would be a little worse. Honda is rated 21/31.
My A4 came with pleather - a fake leather that is one of the best fake leathers I've ever seen or felt. Everyone thinks it's real leather. The Honda has real leather.
Both have 6-disc in-dash CD changers. Honda came with XM satellite radio included, with three free months. I like that. Both have power windows, locks, seats, and heated seats and a moonroof. I think the Honda has a better quality stereo too.
There are really two big differences. First, the Audi has all-wheel-drive - excellent in the winter. The Honda is only Front drive. The other big difference is size. The Honda has a huge interior. It's bigger outside too, but there's just so much more room in the back seat. It's not even close. The Honda has a big trunk, though as a wagon my A4 Avant definitely holds more in the back. The small back seat in my Audi was the big motivator. With the car seat in place, there's just not enough room for our 3-year-old. Tight for our older daughter too.
On the whole, I am paying less money for more car. So much for inflation. I'm really impressed by what Honda has put together. We'll see how I feel over time.