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 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?
May 03, 2004 (10:22 am)
I have not seen one up close and personal -- the first pics made me feel as you have said.
However, both Car and Drive and Car Magazine virtually are drooling over the new A6. C & D, BTW, did think the new 5 series BMW had a less than compelling interior, FWIW.
I have driven several of the BMW's -- not the new 545i. I was very impressed with the 740i Performance Package equipped version and, frankly was pretty impressed with the 330xi (although I wish it had a stick) -- see my comments re test drives over on the A4 board here on Edmunds. We are currently thinking the A4 1.8T quattro 6spd manual with the Ultra Sport package is the one to beat -- especially for the money. It would, based on OUR biases, blow the IS300 away -- but perhaps not in 0-100kph times. But, here in Cincinnapolis, we have "weather" -- not usually heavy winters, understand, as we are just about as far south as possible (for OHIO) -- but we have lots of slushy, icky, icy, hard packed snow and lots of rain in April and May.
The quattros we have been enjoying for almost twenty years now, totally change the equation for us.
A rear wheel drive IS300 or BMW 330 would be helpless about 5 months of the year here. So, despite some impressive numbers, the IS300 and RWD 330 are strickly low performance. For, if you can't go, your performance is low (you can quote me, it is so poetic, don't you think?)
Anyway, the quattro system and Audis in particular aren't perfect, I will not debate that they are -- they aren't. But, based on our criteria and our 4 trips to the Holy Land (Ingolstadt) for the Audi Driving School experiences, we are "hard core" quattro/AWD bigots.
Audis intent within the next cycle to change from 50 50 torque split to 40 60 (rear bias) just makes the entire Audi experience all the more sweet. The FSI engine, too, looks like a winner -- and, my only issue is no stick in the new A6's--but, I wouldn't have that choice anywhere else (that I know of) except BMW and when I configure a BMW and a "like" A6, I, like my wife, keep coming back to the question: "where is the $10,000 upcharge for the BMW hidden?"
Indeed, you can configure a 530i and an Audi A6 4.2 sport for about the same money -- as nice as the 530 is, it will be RWD and as nice as the 3.0 enigine is, well the 4.2 in the Audi is sooooo sweeeeet sounding.
Now, I know not the $ differential in the upcoming 530xi and the A6 3.2 quattro with 6spd tip (the BMW presumably by special order will have the availability of a 6spd manual) -- but if history repeats itself, the BMW will again, comparably equipped be about $10,000 more or will be able to be $$$ compared more appropriately with the A6 4.2 Q for 2005. I know this will raise the ire of the BMW lovers, but, for the money (with the criteria WE desire) BMW simply stands for Beauty, Money and Wealth. At age 50, I am looking to compromise a little bit and keep some of that wealth in MY pocket, not BMW's.
So, odd as this may seem, the Audi is a value proposition and, as far as I am concerned, especially with the test reports of the new A6 being so well, gushingly positive, vis a vis BMW, not much,if any, of a performance trade off either.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I may totally change my mind and go with a Chrysler 300C AWD after I drive both of them. But, ya know what? I gotta at least try the new Cadillac V8 STS AWD too -- as long as we're in this $40K to 50K range.
Drive it like you live!
May 03, 2004 (3:54 pm)
I liked driving older BMW's as well. The old 540i is a very nice car. The new one isn't. The absolutely ruined the steering feel. Its somewhat like what happened with the '01 330, when BMW increased the power steering boost to make it "easier", and all the enthusiasts cried foul, except 100x worse. Its not just overboosted. There's like no feel at all. It behaves at the limit like my XKR, just with less body roll. There's absolutely no indication of where the limit actually is, just all of a sudden, the rear end breaks loose and starts sliding. As C&D said about the new 6 (which uses the same new steering system) the "ultimate driving simulator".
May 04, 2004 (12:10 pm)
Since you mentioned the Chrysler 300C, in the June 04' Automobile Magazine, Jamie Kitman says "It is, I'm thinking, the best American road car there's ever been, a Hemi powered highway star that starts at a wildly competitive $32,995. It's a wake-up call to luxury brands the world over..."
The same issue has VW in the news section stating that "VW's glory days are over; as sales stagnate and profits tumble, the companies future product plans become all the more crucial." They show the new Concept C showcar, which is supposed to be close to the next generation Passat.
I have a Passat, and I like the car very much, It's one of the most enjoyable cars to drive that I've owned. I just don't like having to spend so much time in the shop, even though the work is all under warrantee. I'm convinced that VW/Audi would dominate the market if their quality was as good as their product designs.
I'm surprised the G35 AWD sedan hasn't been included in this discussion, since it's every bit a competitor in this class. The only shortcoming is the interior, which is a common complaint with all Nissan automobiles.
May 04, 2004 (8:58 pm)
Thats kept me out of a G35. Supposedly its getting a rework for the '05 model year, but Nissan has been mum about it.
#4382 of 6921 Re: Speculation and some facts. . . [markcincinnati #103]
May 14, 2004 (1:13 pm)
Re; Audi 2005 bodystyle...Sooooo...disappointed..the front grill is awful looking. What happen?...
#4383 of 6921 Re: Speculation and some facts. . . [bellaisalabdog #129]
May 15, 2004 (10:39 am)
I luv it, I'll have yours! (Monty Python, Spam, Spam, Spam)
Seriously, eye of the beholder. I think the new BMW's look like Pontiacs -- I don't care for them at all. The Audis, to me, keep looking better and better all the time.
You can't always get what you want.
May 16, 2004 (11:21 pm)
Persionally Im not a fan of the giant A6\A8 6.0 grill. It does look better than the 5\7 series though.