Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM
You are in the Audi A6
What is this discussion about?
Audi A6, Sedan
May 01, 2004 (6:04 am)
. . .I suspect that fans of Audi will not be influenced by the reliability scores of other brands.
We all, I presume, want our cars to be more reliable.
I hope it is possible for Audi to improve reliability and not lose drivabiliy.
However, if they become as reliable as a Lexus apparently is, and simultaneously lose their "fun to drive factor" -- I would think there would be a lot of people voting with their dollars and going elsewhere to spend their $30 to $90K.
I've been wrong before, and will be again.
The magic -- heretofore -- has been that Audis were engaging driving machines.
I suspect that if Audi has a tough time over the next few years that it will have more to do with other car companies catching up with Audi in terms of content, features, drivability, AWD, etc. -- I suspect most folks don't buy Audis because of a reliability ranking -- for, as you accurately point out, they have not set the world on fire in this regard -- ever.
Indeed, the entire European car community is coming under intense criticism for their quality -- yet March 2004, was Audis most successful ever sales period, with 82,000 cars sold -- 2,000 more than their previous record.
This, considering that the A6 line is fundamentally the same thing that was showcased in 1997.
Imagine, the potential, is the way I would say it.
Reliability for many folks on a scale of 1 to 10 is in the bottom 5 (at this price range anyway).
However, the Europeans should not overlook the steady success and improvements made by the Asian and Japanese mfgs. I cannot and will not make any statements against Lexus (for example). I would be happy to have one -- if it were free.
This is, obviously, not rational -- not logical and not supported by the FOR (frequency of repair) stats often cited here about [Audi and other} European cars. I can only suggest that it is "the joy of driving" that gets me every time -- to each his / her own.
Great press -- ephemeral as it most certainly is for Audi -- will change only a very few opinions.
It is kinda like politics in the sense that all the negative stuff one side says about the other, rarely changes the true believer's minds.
Color me impressed by Audi -- also, full disclosure -- color me worried that Audi will soon be (in my mind) more or less an also ran as the number of Premium cars switching to higher performance engines and AWD keeps on growing like topsy.
#4369 of 6921 Audi and VW reliability
May 01, 2004 (7:45 pm)
Note to the Lexus and other guys ... please close your ears.
I have heard that there is a worldwide conspiracy to make the world 'think' that these cars stink, so that those of us that are 'brave' can buy them and just enjoy the he*l out of them all the while snickering while our friends in the 'reliably boring' lexus and acura and others believe they have a reliable car.
Everyone, you can open your ears again.
ps --- I have a 2002 Audi A6 2.7T - fast, fun, and into the shop for that horribly free 10K checkup.
#4370 of 6921 mark, dpedersen
May 01, 2004 (8:27 pm)
I understand that Lexus cars arent for you. However, Lexus is changing their tune. Have you driven an IS300? I'm surprised you brought up Acura though. This isnt 1995. The '04 Acura TL will absolutely wax any VW or Audi product on a track. Have you driven one? Its FAST, fun, AND reliable. The '05 RL, especially the rumored 4.0L Hybrid version, looks like it aims to take that one step further. You didnt mention Infiniti either. Their relability is almost as good as Lexus and Acura, and yet, the 280hp G35 Coupe is a blast to drive. Ditto for the FX45, which will absolutely destroy a Toureg. And the ML55 AMG. And the X5. You'd need a Cayenne Turbo to beat it. The '05 RL and M45 should make the folks at Audi very worried.
Let me know if your still enjoying the hell out of your A6 when it hits 75K, and how free that maintanence still is.
May 02, 2004 (10:09 am)
Let's be careful not to turn this into the Audi/VW vs. Lexus thread.
#4372 of 6921 lexusguy
May 02, 2004 (8:57 pm)
The Touareg isn't exactly playing the same game as the FX45 either. Similarly the Touareg will kill the FX45 where interior quality and ride comfort is concerned. It is also slightly more useful in the "utility" part of the SUV theme.
May 02, 2004 (9:07 pm)
Granted. The point I was trying to make is that the Japanese can match the Germans on peformance if they want to, however, based on Asian sales growth and European sales decline, they seem to understand that most of the NA market is less concerned about that.
May 02, 2004 (10:07 pm)
True to a degree, but sales declines are happening for different reasons depending the Euro brand in question. VW's problem is old product mainly...and then of course I'm sure all the negative reliability press hasn't help either.
May 03, 2004 (7:15 am)
. . .I personally don't mind the comparison talk on this thread -- specifically since our fellow contributor lexusguy continues to take the high-road and is attempting to appeal to our left-brain side.
As an admitted left-brain person, I also believe that most of us, regardless of our brain orientation, buy "at the moment in time of the purchase" based on a right brain "push."
Having said this, I read somewhere -- as if that makes it so -- that 75% of the buying decisions (for a car) are made prior to actually making the transaction. Perhaps another way to say that is that one is 75% certain of the purchase prior to actually doing the deal.
I suspect, therefore, that the fact that I actually did test drive an IS300 and found it simply "OK" will, as noted in a prior post, not shock anyone and will also not change anyone's mind. I would, however, take an IS300 if it were given to me -- to further clarify my position on this particular car -- I would not really be terribly interested in keeping the car, however.
I am an all-wheel-drive bigot. There, I said it.
I understand about all the fine AWD brands that are rushing to be where Audi has been for over 20 years now. I also agree that Audi has done such a poor job marketing AWD to the broader potential customer base, that most people think of Subaru and probably even Jaguar before they think of Audi. Even those cute angels flying next to the wheels of the BMW X5 would probably evoke more of a "recognition" response favorable to BMW's AWD prowess. Heck, I even remember the wet tongue on a frozen pole [sic] campaign that BMW put forth to adverstise their 3"x" series cars.
Coming soon, of course the BMW 5 AWD and as noted by lexusguy, I think, more AWD Lexus offerings as well as the afforementioned Acura RL for 2005. While this is not a comparo thread, if you'll follow this train of thought for a moment, it will, ultimately come full circle back to Audi's 2005 A6.
The Speed Channel was just "a-gushing" over the new Chrysler 300C this weekend as they presented their 30 minute drool drive of this new car (they did the same thing, FWIW, with the Audi RS 6 and S4 -- this is not a criticism of the Speed channel by any means). The car was literally meant to "apparently" suggest to the driver and on-lookers that this new beast could be comfortable [being compared] with the Audi A8 and the BMW 7. It was also said that the car would seem to have the "presence" to be assumed a $45,000+ vehicle (which, according to the 2005 pre-order guides, is about where the new A6 for 2005 will be, pre-discount).
Now, hold on just a minute? Is this statement meant to praise the Chrysler or dis the Audi and the BMW? I hope it is the former -- but the point is: this got my attention and does make me at least want to test drive one of these cars (in AWD flavor of course -- fourth quarter 2004).
Now comes the new STS Cadillac with a Northstar V8 and AWD and Magnaride, bla bla bla. Then the Volvo S60 Type R -- and the list goes on. The target seems to be either the price point of the Audi or at least an attempt to imitate (just look at the press releases) "German" mid to large Premium Sports sedans. The Chrylser is said, inaccruately by DC salespeople, to be a Mercedes E class. The truth of the matter is that the suspension and 5spd auto and ESP are the first beneficiaries of the marriage between MB and Chryco -- one may argue that the 300C has improved upon the E-class mechanicals. One may, I won't -- for the time being at least.
OK, so the point of all this is the car companies of the world smell opportunity in imitating the RWD prowess of BMW and Mercedes (hardly ever -- thus far -- do the companies messages claim to emulate anything from the Pacific side) and the AWD prowess (and fit and finsh) of Audis.
As a fan, a long term fan, of Audi, I have expressed my concern that Audi (in the US at least) could be facing some difficulties when "all the premium brands" can claim "me too" when it comes to AWD. That, like it or not, was THE differentiating feature of Audi.
The only way to compete in this battle is to keep everything that was "Audiness" (that is good) and acquire everything that is (BMW and/or Mercedes) that it good. I suspect, although I cannot find it written anywhere, that acquiring the legendary reliability of some Premium Japanese brands would also be at least a goal.
As I noted before, I seriously doubt that Audi would find itself with a flood of Lexus converts even if it "magically" was perceived to be in the same class -- with respect to reliability. According to Audi and Audi dealers reliability generally does not even enter into the purhcase decision. The reason is simple: 100% of all issues with Audis are covered for 4 years or 50,000 miles. A siginificant majority of Audis are leased for 39 or fewer months. Other than gasoline, plates and perhaps tires (especially if your new Audi came with UHP summer tires) -- this is virtually a cost-free transaction beyond gasoline, insurance and the monthly lease payment. The potential ability for the car to be virtually trouble free for 150,000 just doesn't enter into the decision since most folks who get one of these cars (Premium near-lux or lux class) don't keep them that long.
What will make the decision, once again, is "the driving experience" and probably several right brained influencers.
Now, there are two "expert" sources that are claiming the new 2005 A6 really is a "contender" -- the current Car and Driver and a glowing test report with the headline "Move Over BMW and Mercedes!" in the May issue of Car Magazine. This latter test report, is by Georg Kacher, who, over the years, I have come to regard as one of Audi's most critical Automotive journalists. Several of his articles and mentions of the RS 6 even, have often concluded with the sentiment "nice try" or "close but no cigar." Often, when he writes comparison reports, Audis come in second or third. Rarely have they come in first place.
This time, Kacher, exclaims that the new A6 "drives well enough to barge in to 5-series and E-class terriory." Strong praise from a journalist who, as mentioned, has made a career (IMO) out of picking every one of Audis nits.
Once again, none of this will, probably, influence those who favor the Japanese Premium offerings from -- well you know, Lexus, Infinity, Acura -- and I assume this new Audi will be only ever so slightly improved in the reliability dept (one can only hope).
But it probably won't matter -- the Audi A6 (current flavor) is "the safest" of the top 25 safe cars and is a bargain to boot. The fact that the current S-Line A6 2.7T is an able bodied performer against the 5 series both when price is not considered and when it is, tells an important story since the current A6 is from 1997 and the new BMW, well, is NEW.
#4376 of 6921 Comparisons. . .conclusion. . .
May 03, 2004 (7:30 am)
Finally, statistics and liars, we all know about them -- so here is a statistic (and I am NOT accusing anyone of being the latter, BTW): March 2004 was Audi's best sales month ever -- they sold 82,000 cars (2,000 more than at any other time). And, this with an arguably old product line (excluding the A8, of course).
Lexusguy is probably right now figuring out how to get into a new for 2005 A6 -- NOT!
May 03, 2004 (9:40 am)
Hahaha. Very good points overall. When friends ask me for recommendations, the first question out of my mouth is always "how long do you want to have it around?". For people that dont hang on to their cars more than 48 months, I often recommend M-B first, as with the industries strongest residual, combined with free scheduled maintanence, leasing a new Benz could almost be considered economical. Scheduled maintanence on Lexus cars is NOT free. Only the first visit. However, since I keep my cars to 150K or more, they make good sense to me.
Believe it or not, I actually plan to take out an '05 A6 for a spin as soon as I get a chance. While I havent bought a German brand since '90, being such a car nut, I have to see what their new cars can do, hence I've already driven a 545i, (which I really didnt like) and an '04 E55 several times (which I love). A sedan that can run with a Z06 is my kind of car. By the way mark, what do you think of the interior of the new A6? I have to admit from the pictures I've seen, I found it to be a BMW style cold, teutonic look. Actually to my eyes, it looks blatantly ripped from the new 5. I always thought the interior of the previous cars was one of the best in any German car, though the new A8 is better. What happened with the new A6?