Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM
You are in the Audi A6
What is this discussion about?
Audi A6, Sedan
Apr 10, 2002 (4:53 am)
I share your view, markcinicinnat, that it is legitimate to use this board to discuss things we don't like about the Audi. My guess is that someone in Audi USA marketing reads this board to capture feedback for future design decisions.
I have read all the major car magazines for years, and I've noticed that certain manufacturers (almost always Honda, often Japanese, and very occasionally American) frequently make product changes based on observations made in the car press. I owned a 1998 Corvette which, among other problems, had chronic brake warpage. The car magazines said next to nothing about it, since the problem tended to develop under prolonged usage rather than in one-day test runs. But the Edmunds board was deluged with discussion about the Corvette brakes. Within two months, Car & Driver reported that Corvette was planning to upgrade the brakes in the next-generation Corvette because of customer complaints. Maybe these complaints came through dealers or warranty repair data . . . but maybe this board contributed. I have a 2000 Jaguar S-Type that has had transmission problems, despite a transmission replacement. Again, the Edmunds discussion board reported widespread problems with shift delays, ragged shifts, and so forth. Guess what? The S-Type now offers a ZF transmission option for those who don't like the Ford design. I also note that the 2002 Audi A6 is upgrading its front brakes. Once again, little mention of brake problems was raised in the car magazines, but this discussion board certainly had its share of complaints about A6 brake warpage.
This board is a form of car press and, as with the car magazines, it captures the voice of people who tend to be car enthusiasts rather than average customers. I think the manufacturers listen -- perhaps eventually to act.
I really like the Audi product. Otherwise I wouldn't be buying one. But that doesn't mean that we should not use this discussion board to lobby for continued refinement of the cars. That's one of the upsides to capitalism. Manufacturers eventually listen to the customer or pay the price.
#2598 of 6921 2 Questions for the Panel
Apr 10, 2002 (8:48 pm)
I'm new to this board so please humor me a little. I'm starting to get into the market for a new car and have driven the A6 3.0 CVT and 2.7T auto. They were both mighty fine, but I would lean towards the turbo. Presently, I drive a '99 GS400. I've also tried the MB C32, E320, and E430. The E430 was also a great car, but 1. I can't see myself in a MB and 2. A brand new E Series comes out in August which is suppose to be much better. Yesterday I drove a BMW 530 & 540i. I was hoping I'd be happy with the 530 and it was a fine ride, but once I drove the 540i - that was the one to get if I were to get one. The Infiniti G35 & future M45 also are interesting, but the A6 2.7T just seems like a lot of car for the money.
In 1985 I bought a new Audi 5000S and it was a beautiful car, but if I wouldn't have had an Extended Warranty, I'd still be paying off the repair bills. Consumer Reports shows the A6 to have a bad repair history and it sounds like folks on this site have had their share of problems.
Are they still a high maintenance vehicle?
timcar mentioned the little Nav system screen. What is that all about? I haven't seen a demo, but I have the full color screen in my GS and once you have Nav., you don't want to be without it, especially in Chicago. I'm just wondering if it does a satisfactory job?
Here's a bonus question. The Audi, BMW, and MB all require multiple disks (6) for their Nav systems. You swap disks as you drive through regions of the country. My '99 GS400 and '00 Honda Odyssey only require 1 disk for the entire country. Why do you suppose the Germans make you have multiple disks?
Thanks for the opinions.
#2599 of 6921 to Buddybrad--went through this dilemma in the winter.
Apr 11, 2002 (6:08 am)
I live in the Chicago area. I have a 99GS400 w/nav. I drove all the cars you drove. Next month, my 2002 A6 4.2 will be delivered. It has all of the options. Audi's nav is not map-graphic. Arrows and street ID's come through an info center screen directly in front of your face, mid dash. There is voice assistance. While I enjoyed the Lexus Nav, the fingerprint smudging drives me crazy.
The Audi, IMO, has the best blend of Lexus luxury and BMW driveability. I prefer the V8 over the turbo--BUT get the 2.7 over the 3.0CVT. If you're staying in Chicago, get quattro AND snow tires. Audi has the BEST interiors. Audi, like BMW and MB included maintenance at no charge (4/50). The BMW 5's have a lot less room and the MB E series can option you over $60,000. The 3.2 V6 is a dog compared to Audi engines. Both the MB and BMW series you're looking at are being replaced for 2003.
I belive you'll find that Audi, BMW and MB will not be as trouble-free as your Lexus. I believe that the A6 is a vastly superior and exhilirating driving experience compared to my GS400.
#2600 of 6921 A6 vs. MB, BMW & Lexus
Apr 11, 2002 (6:51 am)
Thanks for crediting me with the remark regarding Nav, but I think I just commented on Mark's observations. I don't have the Nav, and I think Pete explained it well. Guess after 20+ years in sales, I take stubborn pride in reading maps, and remembering routes. A few more years and I'm sure I'll give in. Audi's Nav DOES sound more primitive than Lexus' & others, but I think I'd still prefer it's simplicity and having the display directly in front of me anyway.
Brad, I think you and Pete have already sorted out the most significant differences between the various makes and models. The 540 is a heck of car, but without quattro, and at a heck of price. I think you'll find an A6 to be much more of driver's car than your GS, as good as the GS is. Even though I've got a 2.7T, I'd urge you to drive a 4.2 also. It has a wonderful V8 and better looks with a presence that other A6's just don't have. If you're looking for comparable handling with the BMW, I urge you to try the sport package. It's not too firm, and gives you even better control.
As to reliability, (knock-on-wood) my 2.7T with about 19K has only needed paid for maintenance and an auxiliary cooling fan under warranty. There have been some specific A6's that have been problematic, but that's been true of all manufacturers, including BMW, MB and to a lesser extent, even Lexus. CR has knocked the A6. But to put this problem in it's true perspective, I'm sitting here with CR's 2002 Buying Guide. The last model year reported on is 2000. They report on 14 "Reliability Areas." In 10 of those the 2000 A6 has the best possible rating, with less than 2% of those surveyed reporting problems. In the remaining four, it was between 2% and 5% who reported a problem. And remember these problems can be as trivial as a piece of trim coming loose. These aren't bad odds, even if you accept CR's methodology, which I think is suspect.
Anecdotal reports suggest that early model year A6's were more problematic, and each year of production they've become less so. 2000 model year 2.7T's seemed to have more problems, and '01 far fewer. It's likely the '02's will be the most reliable A6's ever made. All high-end German cars can be very expensive to maintain out of warranty. If you're planning on driving much beyond the 50K limit, I'd suggest investigating a good long-term warranty.
Apr 11, 2002 (8:48 am)
I have two Audis in my garage -- both have the Audi factory Sat Nav "lite" (as I call it).
First, I must tell you that I have driven with the Hertz Neverlost system, I have test driven a Mercedes S class with the navagation system (a 2001 model) and one of my close friends has a 2001 BMW 740i with the navagation system.
I prefer my friends BMW system to all of them.
They all will get you from point a to point b with almost uncanny accuracy.
The Audi and the Mercedes systems are in every way bu one identical -- the Mercedes has a 16 x 9 color screen with a "moving map" and some other things that I would prefer having. However, the voice commands and arrows on the Mecedes were similar to the Audi's. And, in spite of my carping, the Audi system does the job and with annual map updates has been impressive.
My issue is that it doesn't fit in a $54K car -- the smallish, monochrome screen with arrows (but no map function) just seems out of place at this price class.
But again, make no mistake -- the Audi system works very well -- to me however it would be like a Rolex with a plastic Swatch watch band -- they don't "go together" (IMHO).
I wouldn't be without mine -- and I do hope the Germans go to the DVD system; who knows why they don't use that system currently (my friend's BMW is the same way -- 6 CD's for the country).
#2602 of 6921 Concerning Tim's comments #2564
Apr 11, 2002 (9:09 am)
I agree with Tim virtually across the board -- while I have had nits to pick with my 2001 A6 4.2 with sport package (actually with every package) -- only one area has been a nuisance -- the brakes (and not from a stopping or safety point of view). I will not elaborate on my problems except to say that I have been very well treated by Audi of America and my local dealer.
Moreover, the brakes on the 2002's were changed -- I like to think it is because of the Internet and places like Edmunds and audiworld.com.
I cannot "put down" any of the cars mentioned in the recent posts that people are test driving.
I would gladly take a BMW 540i -- but with my own money I will buy Audi's for several reasons -- and these reasons make it difficult FOR ME to compare the BMW 540 with the A6 4.2 for example. Here goes:
content for money (value)
I do believe the 540i will -- in a straight line under "perfect" conditions out drag the A6 (the performance numbers available from the mfg's bear this out.)
I, for one, rarely have perfect driving conditions -- and I suspect a 540i (under said perfect conditions) will also "out corner" my A6 4.2.
But as one Car and Driver (or other car magazine) writer said, the Audi is greater than the sum of its individual specifications -- it may be out accelerated or out "g forced" in a corner, but overall the Audi performs at or above its "peer group."
There is no denying a manual transmission 540i is awesome. But, here in Cincinnapolis USA, wait a day, the weather changes, the pot holes are born, live and die -- and the Audi keeps up with (and often passes) der Bimmers and Mercs.
When, not if, Audi brings its cars closer to a 50 -50 weight distribution and increases the power and torque and applies active handling technologies to their cars, there will be no explanations or summarizations like the one above needed.
Oh, that's right, they've already done that it is called an RS6 -- 0 - 62mph in 4.9 seconds and active suspension technology. Can't wait for the trickle down to the rest of the line.
Anyway the other Germans and some of the Japanese offer some mighty fine cars -- for me, however, they just can't be (currently) compared to the Audi's with quattro and the other "stuff" discussed on this forum.
To steal a phrase, Audi quattro -- nothing else even comes close.
Apr 11, 2002 (9:32 am)
One of the car mag's (I cannot remember which one) recently did one of their regular "shoot-outs" between 5 sport sedans. As much as they usually rave over the BMW (and justifiably so, based on the ones I've driven), the Audi A6 4.2 and the BMW 540i came out almost in a dead heat on handling. The conclusion was something like "the BMW nosed out the Audi today, but on a different day it could have gone the other way. They were just that close." Pretty damned good for the Audi, given the BMW beats it on most objective measures that affect handling in the twisties (curb weight, weight distribution, torque).
#2604 of 6921 Audi vs. BMW
Apr 11, 2002 (10:11 am)
If it's same one I'm thinking of, about 6 months ago, they rated it BMW540i, A6 4.2 and GS430 as 1/2/3. Surprisingly, it was a 2001 A6 with 20k miles vs a 2002 540i.Apparently Audi couldn't come up with a 2002 and Lexus couldn't find a GS with the sport package.
Apr 11, 2002 (10:44 am)
CAR magazine gave the 540i the nod by a nose, Motor Trend gave the honors to the Audi.
And so it goes. Car and Driver put the 2.7T and 4.2 on their 10 best list.
They are close -- but that sweet BMW engine is oh so nice. Sometimes I wish Audi and the BMW (4.2 A6 and 540i manual) would "breed" -- their offspring, it would seem would be unbeatable -- but again perhaps that is just what they (Audi) had in mind with the RS6.
#2606 of 6921 Questions for the Panel
Apr 11, 2002 (2:02 pm)
buddybrad - I, too, looked at the cars on your list. I actually started looking at a Volvo. I've been very happy with the Audi (2.7T, 6 speed). I really did want a manual so that limited the field. I would have been happy with an automatic if any one of the cars in this class were even marginally better than Audi. For practical purposes performance is a wash where I live - lots of two lane country roads - and once on the highway it's tough to get away with much over 75 or 80 mph. Still, for me anyway, the excitement of driving this car exceeds that of others in this class. Every chance I get I push it as hard as I dare.
In addition the interior is very comfortable - I like the elbow room and passenger space over the BMW. I think Audi has a nicer interior than BMW and most of the others, too. Bottom line is I'm very pleased with the car. I've made several road trips and have begun to do some local travel as well. All the way around - a pleasure to drive and own.