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  • Mwerks and Fourtitude have rejoined VWVortex. For more info, see this thread.

Should I keep the A6, or trade it for the ES300h?

  • Tempt the gods, and see if the Audi can get to 200K miles

  • ES300h. MPG, reliable, comfortable

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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings and salutations. I currently have a 11 Audi A6 3.0T. It's a nice car, and has been reliable but on average I drive about 2K miles a month, so lately I've been thinking about getting a more fuel efficient car. It's also at 170K miles and going up accordingly.

The car that I'm considering to replace it is a 2013-2014 ES300H. Main reason is MPG, reliability, and quiet/comfortable. I should be able to get one that has ~100-120K miles for around 13K.

If I sell the Audi for about 7K and buy the ES300h for 13K is it worth it financially to save about $1500 a year on gas. It'll also potentially be more reliable, comfortable, and quiet. On the negative side, it may have more depreciation, hybrid battery may need replacing in the future $$ (i've heard they're fairly solid though).

Do you guys have any insight on the ES300h?
 

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How much will it cost you to register the new car? How much will your insurance change cost? If this is purely a financial play, you should be considering those as part of your bottom line calculations.

I would stick with the Audi on the basis that this is the devil you know.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the battery. They seem to last quite a long time, as in well over 10 years and a couple hundred thousand miles. It'll take you 4 years to make up the cost, though I imagine that'll be less in reality. Is that worth it? It's what, 20mpg (premium) vs. 40mpg (regular)? Pretty big difference there. I'd guess the A6 is nicer to drive, but I get wanting something simpler/newer/probably more reliable. I'd also bet the depreciation won't be too bad. It's a hybrid Lexus. They retain value pretty well, especially compared to an older Audi.

As far as the ES300h is concerned, they seem nice enough. We have what I assume is a pretty similar 2.5-based hybrid powertrain setup in our Rav4. It's a slick powertrain, and the eCVT is great.
 

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My dad has an ES Hybrid (2017 to be exact, same body)...he gets 33-34 MPG when he drives it, but he bought the car as he approached retirement, and now he drives it only as needed and not commuting as he used to. At this point, I would probably wait for prices to come down a little more on the ES; it seems that your A6 isn't kaput yet, I would stick with it for a little longer. Definitely, a Camry Hybrid wouldn't be a bad alternative as well that can be had for a little less.
 

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Yeah, the mileage on that ES is high if you're going to be piling on 24K/year just for work. Financially it's not a great move - without insurance, etc. mentioned above, just the fuel estimates (which are really just that) will take you 4 years to earn back and you'll be left with another 200K-mile vehicle that will make your eye wander again.

The decision to get an ES is going to be a subjective one - are you wanting more road comfort/isolation? Are you in a position where you're SOL if your car breaks down? Is service easier (either DIY, indy, or dealer) for you with the ES? Those factors will probably play more into the decision to move over to the ES over keeping the Audi. Yeah, it has 170K on it now, but if well maintained, it will keep serving you well until you start letting things get out of hand.
 

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Get the ES if you like it, not because it has good MPG.

If your objective is to save money, buying a more expensive car usually doesn't pencil out. Unless the Audi is on the verge of imploding, I'd just keep it and run it into the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for chiming in, good questions! To answer some of the questions

This move is 75/25 as far as financial vs upgrade. In terms of MPG, the Lexus is rated at nearly double and it uses regular fuel. The Audi is also going to get to the point that it needs a suspension refresh. Also I'm betting maintenance/parts is simpler on the Lexus than the Audi. If I do keep the Audi, I'm leaning to just do oil changes/brakes/tires but anything beyond that I'll just defer and drive to the ground. Another point is, the Audi is in decent condition at the moment and I could sell it for a decent value vs waiting for something to happen (check engine light/blown suspension) and then try to sell it where the value would just tank.

So for those of you that mentioned the Camry, I actually considered the camry/avalon/prius hybrid as well. The Camry and ES300h are similar in price on the used market, maybe 1-2K premium for the Lexus and to me it's worth it for the extra NVH, although I'm sure the Camry is decently quiet. The 2013+ ES is actually based off of the Avalon instead of the Camry, so I looked at those as well but they're actually about the same price. Lastly the Prius, I'd only want a current gen 16+ and a high end trim level 3 or 4 Touring, so that pushes the price to 15K which is more than I want to spend. Also I imagine not as comfortable as the Lexus.

Seems like it's pretty even on keeping vs selling. Decisions decisions...
 

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2021 RS6 Avant, 2019 Audi eTron, 2010 A6 Avant, 2002 Chevy 2500, 1988 16v Scircco
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I would keep the A6. 3 liters have been proven to be stout and should have no problem going into the upper 100k miles.


But I am the audi fanboi so take that for what its worth.
 

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I'm more optimistic about you doing your vehicle change right now, then some others seem to be.

If you keep the Audi 4 more years, it will be at 270k miles. In the meantime likely will need work that cannot be deferred. AND you will have spent that $6k more in fuel.

So 4 years from now you will need to replace an even older Audi with 270k miles... meaning less resale money and likely having spent $6-10k in fuel & repairs.

Now it's all just a guess since even a Toyota can blow up 1 mile after you buy it.

But to me, this doesn't sound like a bad swap.

Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk
 

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The ES will be a very reliable car if the owners and state you purchase it from fall towards the good side. That said, as a diesel owner, I cannot step away without suggesting a '12-15 Passat TDI. They are such a steal at $8-10k with under 70k on the odometer. And I have not heard about any reliability issues with them. While you are not getting a higher mpg rating on par with the ES, you are spending considerably less over the sale price of your A6. Most TDI owners report 36-38 combined, 690 miles on a full tank.

There are also chip tuning options if you ever want to open up a great range of power for when you want to step on it, while still maintain oem gas ratings when you drive to save. This is the duality of diesels that I love as an enthusiast plus the fact that they are 300k mile cars without breaking a sweat.

Here is a good example of a fully loaded SEL with 72K on the odo for 9K. While other countries continue to sell the diesel variant, VWoA stopped and the prices fell significantly with cars that have absolutely nothing wrong with them. They were also built in a new factory here in Tennessee and have very good build in terms of quiet/comfort/ride.

 

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The ES will be a very reliable car if the owners and state you purchase it from fall towards the good side. That said, as a diesel owner, I cannot step away without suggesting a '12-15 Passat TDI. They are such a steal at $8-10k with under 70k on the odometer. And I have not heard about any reliability issues with them. While you are not getting a higher mpg rating on par with the ES, you are spending considerably less over the sale price of your A6. Most TDI owners report 36-38 combined, 690 miles on a full tank.

There are also chip tuning options if you ever want to open up a great range of power for when you want to step on it, while still maintain oem gas ratings when you drive to save. This is the duality of diesels that I love as an enthusiast plus the fact that they are 300k mile cars without breaking a sweat.

Here is a good example of a fully loaded SEL with 72K on the odo for 9K. While other countries continue to sell the diesel variant, VWoA stopped and the prices fell significantly with cars that have absolutely nothing wrong with them. They were also built in a new factory here in Tennessee and have very good build in terms of quiet/comfort/ride.

For someone who seems mostly worried about reliability and costs, I would lean away from suggesting a VW TDI. Not that I think they are inherently unreliable or anything, but after dieselgate changes, we don't truly know how reliable these will be over the long term and lots of miles.

And I say this as VW lover who has owned 5 TDI's...

For others I would definitely suggest the Toyota/Lexus Hybrid over a VW TDI, even if I personally would choose the Passat TDI over the es300h.
 

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I've driven all of the Toyota/Lexus hybrids you're considering. In those years, there isn't a huge difference in NVH between the ES and Camry. Lexus tried to make that generation more "sporty," failing at that as well as deteriorating the ride quality. Same goes for the Avalon.

A loaded Camry XLE Hybrid in that generation is a really, really nice car. Not exciting, but just nice. It also avoids the annoying Lexus mouse-controlled infotainment system.

Given your goals, it makes sense to move away from the Audi. I LOVE that generation of the A6, but the cost savings of the hybrid are hard to ignore.
 

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This is nearly a zero-sum game. The ES has minimal upside, and that upside is not guaranteed. I have to ask, have you looked at the CT200h? Not sure what the differences in drivetrain are, but my fiance's is a 2012 we bought 2 years ago with ~48K miles on it. I think the dealer was asking around $18-$20K for it, seems like you can get those with much lower miles for around the same price. Good car, great around town, I've been DD'in while my M4 is being repaired and the fiance works from home. It's at least chuckable in that FWD hatchback kind of way, I think if I put decent tires on it instead of the eco friendly things its spec'd for it would probably be kinda fun in corners. Also has a sport mode that turns the dash red, kind of comical. I joke with my fiance I can just drive around with the pedal pinned...can't even do that on the highway with my car. Two totally different worlds, but I'll be honest, for a quick run to the nearby grocery store, I prefer her car. It's just an easy vehicle. I think of it as a real life/life size/grown-up golf cart if that makes any sense? /endrambling
 

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For someone who seems mostly worried about reliability and costs, I would lean away from suggesting a VW TDI. Not that I think they are inherently unreliable or anything, but after dieselgate changes, we don't truly know how reliable these will be over the long term and lots of miles.
as far as reliability goes on the post-dieselgate-tdis... i dont know if there are any more out there, but the "fixed" cars came with a re-upped warranty.

we grabbed a 1 owner tdi sel last spring, just before covid, for $9000. in really good shape with around 85k miles on it. it has another several years and 40k miles or something of warranty on it as a result of being from a vw dealer, post fix.

im not sure how many of those are out there anymore. i fully intent for ours to turn into a pumpkin though before that warranty expires. i had a '13 tdi wagon i bought new back in the day, and definitely dont want to deal with a cp3 pump car, especially now with the slap dash vw fix, out of warranty. the passat has been a great car so far though.
plastic fantastic interior but huge, comfortable enough, and what other car comes with a warranty with that kind of highway mileage for <$10k
 

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For someone who seems mostly worried about reliability and costs, I would lean away from suggesting a VW TDI. Not that I think they are inherently unreliable or anything, but after dieselgate changes, we don't truly know how reliable these will be over the long term and lots of miles.

And I say this as VW lover who has owned 5 TDI's...

For others I would definitely suggest the Toyota/Lexus Hybrid over a VW TDI, even if I personally would choose the Passat TDI over the es300h.
With that logic any car manufactured during the same timeframe has the probability of becoming a headache. He is a current VAG owner and that is why I figured the idea can be debatable. Then there are the specifics with the Passat models vs. other diesel variants in VW's lineup...

Many VW repairs ranged from EGR replacement to catalytic converters being switched. For the Passat models through '14 which used Adblue diesel exhaust fluid and selective catalytic aftertreatment, all VW had done to them to "fix" and meet emissions was an ECU reprogramming. That is it.
 
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