Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM
You are in the Audi A6
What is this discussion about?
Audi A6, Sedan
#5695 of 6921 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 3)
Jul 20, 2005 (10:36 am)
My “admiration” and appreciation for the 3.2 engine continues to grow with every passing mile. Yet, coming on the heels experience with 3 Audi V8’s and the spirited 2.7T V6, the 3.2 can basically be described as “adequate” insofar as urge (a.k.a., torque.) To achieve just a subtle amount of additional quickness, Audi should resort to lowering the final drive ratio by about 3% (if they asked me, which they haven’t.) Perhaps a mile (or two) of fuel economy would be sacrificed, but the efficiency of the FSI technology is such that, it would seem to be both a small sacrifice and worthwhile for the added zoom such a change would impart.
Of course, the new 2.0T (also an FSI engine) proves this engine type (i.e., FSI) is perhaps the most turbo friendly engine ever. The mind boggles at the transformation that even small bi-turbo impellers would induce in the 3.2. But, a 3.2T would certainly have at least 300 HP and also a like amount of torque (from sub 2,000 RPM’s) and could possibly make the 4.2 engine the answer to a question that would be quickly forgotten. From a marketing perspective, well, that just wouldn’t do.
Despite some lack of “urgency” that the new A6’s girth gives this 255 HP V6, all is not lost. The 3.2 makes mostly pleasing sounds (almost as sweet as the 4.2), sips gas on the freeway and is able to provide effortless high speed cruising. Its slight lethargy to 60 mph is, in the overall scheme of things, just that – slight. I predict this engine has a great future ahead of it. Better quality fuel and improved (but not forced) induction will certainly follow in the upcoming years. Such a breath of fresh air, coupled with a DSG or quattro-capable CVT, in an upcoming A6 3.2 will certainly allow Audi to proclaim, “Problem solved.” The power to weight penalty is reflected in the final grade, below.
The transmission is less impressive, however. Formerly known as “Tip Lag,” this transmission seems to be plagued with, um, er, gee, uh, “indecisiveness” – which is, after all, a common trait of all modern “smart” automatics or so it seems. All current, premium-car-class, 5, 6 and now 7 speed automatics are hell-bent to be in a higher, therefore more economical, gear. This is laudable.
However, when the driver needs or wants to react quickly (to squirt through a traffic issue or just plain wants to get out of the way), these smart transmissions attempt to discern if the driver really, really, really is calling for so much extra urge that a downshift might be called for. This half-second delay to ponder the meaning of life often causes the hapless driver to press even further on the accelerator pedal. Then, since this pedal is actually connected to a computer, the transmission receives the instruction to downshift violently 1, 2 or sometimes 3 gears – causing a great deal of fuss and strum as the car leaps forward after the slight “decision” lag. Audis new 6 speed Tiptronic, thankfully has a secondary program that mostly eliminates this tendency. Keeping the lever in the “S” rather than the “D” detent retards the rapid and relentless tendency to shift up, up, up. Seldom in “S” mode will the transmission be in a gear substantially below the 3.2’s fairly broad torque band.
But, for the ultimate in lag-free motoring, a full manumatic mode is offered, and this time the transmission stays in first gear until you tell it to up-shift or when you reach the engine’s red-line. I’ve said it before, it is quite possible that those not used to driving a stick shift will even notice the issues suggested in these remarks.
Dear Audi, please offer the DSG transmission in the A6, sooner rather than later.
Thanks to what must be completely new and improved brakes, the A6, when commanded to slow or stop, does exactly what you would expect it slows or stops without further ado. Gone are noises, shudders and that certain confidence draining spongy feeling of many of the A6 braking systems out since 1998. These are great brakes.
Engine/Transmission/Brakes grade: B+/B-/A
#5696 of 6921 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 4)
Jul 20, 2005 (10:37 am)
Suspension: Ride Quality and Handling
Although the 2005 A6 is virtually the same length as its immediate predecessor, Audis engineers stretched the wheelbase over 3 inches and worked engineering magic on the suspension. This translates into a larger and more comfortable interior – both at rest and at full cry. Wind and road noise too are further quieted in the C6 A6 thus adding to the luxury quotient. As I recall the new A6 touts a significantly stiffer chassis than the C5 generation. This too contributes to an improved ride quality and also improves the “SQ” (sportiness quotient) of the A6 even without the optional sport suspension (which at $250 – above the cost of the “mandatory” 18” wheel option – seems like a no-brainer.)
Does the A6 impress as a “sports sedan” against the formidable competition from the likes of Infiniti, BMW and perhaps the Cadillac STS (if equipped with the optional sport suspension and Magna-ride)? My “unfair” answer is yes.
Two weeks ago I was given the opportunity to “test” a Cadillac CTS and STS, a BMW 530i and a Lexus ES 330 on a closed track with a professional race car driver as my co-pilot. Afterwards, while the cones were still set up, I was able to “simulate” the acceleration, cornering and braking exercises in my very own A6.
I noted on previous posts that the STS and the CTS were “ringers” in that they were equipped with optional wheels and, in the instance of the STS, the sport suspension, while the BMW and Lexus were forced to fend for themselves with smaller tires and standard suspensions.
The new A6 was more of a sporty sedan than the winner of the day – the STS. Indeed, the 2005 A6 3.2 on the optional 18” wheels and tires felt more competent than even the BMW 530 on its smaller wheels and tires, standard suspension and non-servotronic steering. Servotronic is standard on the Audi.
Although I have test driven the A6 3.2 and 4.2 with the optional sport package, I do not have enough seat time to make any really experienced based observations. Suffice it to say, that the new A6 with the standard suspension and 18” wheel package is luxurious and sporty. I would, based on a gut feel, order the sport suspension package (or S-Line) if I were given a mulligan. Any slight decrease in ride quality would, I’m certain, be offset by even greater tossability.
Audis are, generally speaking, nose heavy; the new A6 is no exception. However, Audis suspension engineers have done an even better than their usual great job of making the best out of a less than optimal F/R weight balance. Although the A6’s tendencies to understeer remain, gone – almost – is that snow plow feel that could be relatively easily induced in the C5 version. The suspension engineers have outdone themselves. With slightly better F/R weight distribution, Audi could stand more than a fighting chance against the 2006 BMW 530xi. Not having driven the new BMW, I’ll stop there and wonder if that is hubris or perhaps wishful thinking on my part.
Suspension: Ride Quality and Handling grade: A/A-
I had narrowed my choice for a new LPS car to the Audi and the new Infiniti M35X. Perhaps I have driven the Infiniti 50 or 60 miles in test drives. As noted, I have now some 2,000 miles on the Audi. How quickly the mind and body forgets. I had so wanted to be able to make an even remotely valid comparison of the two cars. Not gonna happen. I can only conclude that I am confident I would have been delighted with the Infiniti and I am with certainty delighted with the Audi.
None of my comments should suggest I disagree with the several comparison tests wherein the Infiniti bettered all the LPS contestants. Nor should my comments be taken as shameless agreement with the editors of Automobile magazine – they who declared (in a similar comparison of LPS sedans) the Audi as victor.
I am very pleased, actually, as noted I am delighted with the Audi A6 3.2. I can now comfortably recommend this car to be on your legitimate short list if you are looking for a premium sport-luxury sedan in the $50,000+ neighborhood.
Note1: The only option I find to be overpriced is the advanced key ($750); I do like it, but I wouldn’t get it again if it cost more than $350.
Note2: Presently Audi seems to be offering attractive lease deals on this car. Let’s hope this behavior sticks.
2005 A6 3.2: Cambridge Green Pearl, Amaretto Leather
Premium Leather/comfort seats
18” 7 spoke wheels A/S 245 x 40 x 18 tires
Jul 20, 2005 (10:57 am)
I have the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires on my current (other) sedan. I agree that they are grippy, but I have come to hate unidirectional tires because they cannot be rotated like a conventional tire. After about 10,000 miles, they have become quite noisy and are, frankly, getting REALLY lousy grip in the rain right now. I have about 35,000 on them right now and I'm sure they are due for replacement sooner rather than later.
I agree with your comments about the vehicle so far, otherwise. Though I like our 17" wheels (we got the optional 9 spoke wheels). I wanted the 18's. But I got my DVD nav.
Jul 20, 2005 (11:36 am)
With my own money as replacements, I would probably go with the Yokohama DB2's. But more than 25K out of these tires is impossible.
I had the Pilot A/S's on my allroad -- at 19,000 miles the noise was so great they had to go.
#5699 of 6921 Re: 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 1) [markcincinnati]
Jul 20, 2005 (3:26 pm)
My car has Michelin Pilot HXMXM4's...is it just what part of the country you're in determining which tires they give you? I happen to like Michelin's the best as they seem to last longer than other brands I've had. Also, a really great improvement is one that nobody mentioned yet.
On my 02' A6 3.0 w/ CVT, if I opened the sunroof with all four windows up, at about 40 MPH it would make that noise like a loud air noise in the car unless you opened up at least one window or if you went up to 50 MPH. With the new car, it has a better built in wind deflector and no noise from 0 to at least 90 MPH.
#5700 of 6921 Re: 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 1) [bondguy1]
Jul 20, 2005 (5:43 pm)
I have no issue with the offering of Summer only vs All season tires.
This time, Audi has chosen to "dumb down" the tires if you order the A/S version.
Although I am far from a tire expert (or any expert for that matter), the tirerack categorizes tires at all levels. For consideration for a sport lux sedan, like Audi, the offerings are HP, UHP and Max Performance. As far back as I can remember, Audis always came with either UHP or Max Performance tires, usually under 50 series. The new A6 18" wheels are shod with 40 series tires (short sidewalls) but the HP rating generally means the sidewalls aren't as stiff as those in the UHP and Max Performance tires.
Had Audi opted for something like the W rated Yokohama DB2's, improved performance would likely come along for the [quiet] ride afforded by these UHP A/S tires.
Even Continental offers other, more agressive performance tires in the UHP A/S line that would fit this application.
The Pilot HXMXM4's (as I recall) are also HP A/S tires, NOT UHP.
The primary attribute these HP tires offer the customer is somewhat longer treadwear. Perhaps that is sufficient justification for this somewhat contradictory choice.
#5701 of 6921 Re: 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 1) [markcincinnati]
Jul 20, 2005 (8:55 pm)
Good Lord, Mark! Do you have a secretary that types that for you? I'd have carpal tunnel by the second entry....
Anyway, I think you were too generous with the nav grade. I feel it's pretty poor both is quantity of data (not all of the US is actually in it) as well as quality of data (others have posted that it doesn't have as many points of interest and can't find places by phone number, etc... that the other LPS's have).
#5702 of 6921 Re: 2000 Miles On the Road. . .and I’m gonna make it home tonight. . .(part 1) [liferules]
Jul 21, 2005 (4:03 am)
In terms of streets and roads, etc, living where we live, there are few issues. My wife has a new BMW with NAV, and it too is comparable.
I have not had the experience or pleasure of living with an Acura, Infiniti or Lexus GPS factory system.
I did think the Infiniti presentation system was superioir to the Audis.
Each and every year, I have noticed a reduction of available "attractions" in the databases. My 2001 system had more restaurants, for example, than my 2003 system.
My wife's system knows where our house is, the Audis knows the general area, our friend's Lexus is hopelessly undermapped.
The best presentation I have seen is with the Infiniti M's Bird's eye view capability. The easier to use system (easier than the Audi, at least) is Acura's (in the TL which I assume is similar to the RL's).
Since this is all subjective, I had to grade the thing based on having ONLY Audi and BMW systems to compare to. I do not claim this is objective, I only made a personal comparative statement and grade based on my narrow experience.
I would, however, think that having gone through so many systems since 2000, that our experiences are not entirely invalid.
Like I said, erudite banter (and debate)!
Jul 24, 2005 (1:28 pm)
I have narrowed my obsession to the A6 and the X3.
The A6 cuz I am enthusiastic about the new lease offer.
The X3 need to upgrade the interior. Its nice, but not "audi" nice.
Crossed off the M35 and the FX35. Reason, it does not have that German MOJO!
Just looking at the M35 tells me its missing. It tries to hard to attract with the glitter of lights and wiz bang goodies. You are very kind to it.
#5704 of 6921 Re: Mojo [bargamon1]
Jul 24, 2005 (2:23 pm)
I couldn't agree with you more. Just took the A6 on a 120 mile trip to Marco Island Florida today. Cruising Alligator Alley at 90+MPH the whole way, I averaged with cruise control on and including tapping the brakes every once in awhile averaged 24.8 MPG...pretty incredible I think. Also, I didn't realize until this weekend but one thing I love about the NAV is that you can program it for fastest to your destination or shortest distance to your destination. I know the Lexus had this feature years ago when I drove one. This car really does rock and just broke 3,000 miles. Cruising at about 95 MPH seemed effortless and not loud at all. Felt like we were doing 40 MPH. And, the automatic wipers are great too with their speed sensitive setting.