With a little one on the way, we were looking for a replacement for our 2011 Audi A4. My job is corporate but I like to renovate in my spare time, so needed something attractive but capable, for lugging timber, concrete et cetera.
One of the main gripes I had with the A4 was the increasing lack of visibility on the road, due to the ever growing number of SUVs.
I was contemplating joining the herd, but after driving many popular SUVs as hire cars, I found them to be average in terms of handling. They all seem to carry a price premium for the extra height. Nonetheless I shortlisted the Audi Q5 and Land Rover Disco Sport.
My first stop was the local Audi dealer. This potentially was my third purchase from them. My budget was up to $80k, but once I discovered it was made in Mexico, it was ruled out. If I’m paying money for a premium vehicle, I want it made by people paid well working in the country of origin. The arrogant nature of the dealer didn’t help either.
I then checked out the Land Rover Discovery Sport. I was within $2000 of buying the vehicle but the dealer wouldn’t budge, so I walked.
On the way home, while waiting for the call from the Land Rover dealer that never came, I dropped in to the VW dealer. Parked out the front was the VW Passat Alltrack. It is a very good looking wagon to my eyes, with a little increased road height allowing visibility through the back of most SUVs. And it didn’t compromise handling.
In my opinion the interior fit and finish was superior to Land Rover and not that far off Audi. It also came fully packed with all the fruit for a price that was $30,000 less than I was prepared to spend. It has heated leather seats with memory function, Apple CarPlay, climate control both front and rear and everything else I needed.
I optioned roof racks, a tow bar, rubber boot mat and extended the warranty to four years, for below the list price. The dealer was helpful and keen on helping get the deal across the line.
Around 12,000km and six months of ownership later, I am very happy with the car. It is enjoyable to drive and fully capable for what I need.
I have driven it from Melbourne to the Barossa with no issues whatsoever, easily overtaking vehicles safely. Once the turbo gets working, it has plenty of power. Road noise is minimal.
I have towed a few times now, without issue.
Daily driving is to the city from 17km out, with an average fuel use of 8.1L/100km.
The only criticism I have is a touch of turbo lag from the lights, but that aside it has been a great vehicle.
MORE: Everything Volkswagen