Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM
You are in the Audi A6
What is this discussion about?
Audi A6, Sedan
#6339 of 6921 Re: Numbers 3.2 [markcincinnati]
Jun 02, 2006 (6:36 pm)
I agree very much with the sentiment of your posting. At one time I was comparing the ML 350 and Lexus RX 350. I had told the Mercedes salesperson that I was planning to rent an ML 350 for a day from a local upscale rental outfit, to see how I felt about it when I took it through my normal day of city (with lots of hills), highway (ranging from crawling to 75/80 mph, depending on how the traffic is moving), and parking (where smaller turning radius starts to get noticed by people driving many different cars -- and the M35x has the smallest of all the cars in the class we are discussing). He commented: "Please, then, do the same thing with the RX 350, because you'll have worn the "test-drive experience" off the ML 350. I think his comment was well-put and applies here. During the shopping and test-driving, I substitute looking at numbers and pushing cars to their thrill-edge, neither of which is a good sampling of everything that will please and bother in everyday driving.
I didn't so much care that another car might "beat me off the line". On the other hand, I believe I would always notice the momentary delay I got when I drove the A6 V6 in regular automatic (there was less delay in Sport Mode). That not just horsepower (although I'm not sure what it is -- maybe the rear axle ratio) because my 2004 BMW 325i doesn't hesitate on take-off. Once that's over, there's nothing about the A6 that I didn't like. It's irrelevant to me if a 2007 Altima in the next lane will take off faster than I do next year.
But then, I, like a couple of the Edmunds reviewers, thought the sound from the M35 exhaust, during rapid acceleration, might grate on me after a while.
I like the fact that the M35 offers regular buttons for the audio system and the cooling/heating system.
The Audi -- I like just sitting in it and looking it over my shoulder when I walked away, but am afraid it might be a beautiful mistress who makes things complicated and gives me trouble.
#6340 of 6921 Rear brakes......
Jun 02, 2006 (8:05 pm)
Visit to dealer this afternoon proved fruitless. They said they balanced one tire. I asked "werent you suppose to do it the first time?".
Rotors have to get managers approaval as they are not worn out enough. I snapped, they warp, you fix? What is the problem?
45k on the car.
Are they begging me to go elsewhere? Duh? When I bring it in , in 5k, they still gotta fix the vibration if they want to resell the thing.
Then there was that pretty dark green A6 all prepped to be delivered just staring at me in the holding area.
And I remembered why I love these cars. Darn pretty things that drive great.
#6341 of 6921 PC Magazine's Techno-rating of Audi A6
Jun 05, 2006 (9:43 am)
Overall 4.0 (out of 5)
Fun Factor 4.5
"Some day every car will have a cockpit controller. Today, Audi's A6 luxury sports sedan leads the way with its integrated MultiMedia Interface (MMI). How does it work? You select a function such as Nav, CD, or AM/FM via one of eight buttons, then you navigate screens via the knob. In addition to the 7-inch screen in the console, a smaller LCD in the gauge cluster provides key navigation, phone, and entertainment information. Bluetooth is standard, and the Bose audio system plays MP3s and WMAs."
#6342 of 6921 PC Magazine's Techno-rating of Infiniti M35/45
Jun 05, 2006 (9:45 am)
Overall 4.5 (out of 5)
Fun Factor 5.0
"Check off just two options on the order form for the Infiniti M45—the Technology and Journey packages—and you'll be driving the most technologically advanced car you can get for under $100,000, our Digital Drive winner for luxury automobiles."
#6343 of 6921 Re: PC Magazine's Techno-rating of Infiniti M35/45 [sfcharlie]
Jun 05, 2006 (12:21 pm)
One thing missing -- the experience driving the cars.
The Audi, despite its slight shortcoming in the Digital realm, is the most rewarding behind the wheel by a small margin.
Indeed, these are THE two cars that would get my vote (with my money) -- I would, typically, purchase the one with the best deal, I consider them THAT close to each other.
If you hated the style of one vs the other, well, that my sway the outcome moreso than it did for me, but -- but -- both of these cars have much to recommend them and they are far more similar than dissimilar with respect to the "overall" package if you equate, roughly, their looks.
The Audi's interior gets the nod, IMHO. The Audis transmission gets the nod. The M has a bit more grunt and is, as noted, feature rich.
Both handle well, but the Audi needs the sports suspension to overcome its nose heaviness.
Tit for tat as they say -- for me it turned on the "deal du jour" -- when they were $200 per month apart (in favor of the M) it was a no brainer. Once the Audi got to within $50 of the Infiniti, the balance swayed back to the Audi, so to speak.
It turned out that the Audi was actually $35 less than the M and included the maintenance. Both cars were similarly equipped. The Audi had front and rear heated seats, the Infiniti cooled and heated front seats.
The M had a rear view camera, the A6 had parktronic. The voice commands of the M were a bit more flexible and richer. The Audi got better gas mileage, the M was a bit more spirited off the line.
The ride was a bit softer in the M, the Audi out cornered the Infiniti but had a bit more road feel in exchange.
The list of gives and gets is about as long as you could ask for.
I had read that Acura had the A6 in its sights when Honda produced the RL -- however, the Infiniti seemed more like it was gunning for Audi than an outright assault on BMW as has been written elsewhere. Now, I can't figure out what the market Acura was aiming for with the RL. Their steeply declining sales -- apparently rooting them in last place (even lower than the A6's sales) -- seems to attest to some ambiguity in the marketplace (either from the customer set to them or vice versa.)
#6344 of 6921 acura decontent
Jun 05, 2006 (1:51 pm)
The RL will get less expensive versions of the RL. In otherwords "less tech"!
The M has such versions and it drives sales.
#6345 of 6921 Re: PC Magazine's Techno-rating of Infiniti M35/45 [markcincinnati]
Jun 05, 2006 (8:44 pm)
PC Magazine's Techno-rating of Infiniti M35/45
Overall 4.5 (out of 5)
Fun Factor 5.0
and Audi A6
Fun Factor 4.5
Mark … I couldn't agree more … I've spent more time stuck at a fork in the decision-road, with the M35x and the Audi A6, than during any previous car-buying episode. Part of that has to do with there being a few events that are postponing the choice and part is that I enjoy the immersion in car-lovers-world that accompanies the deciding.
I wouldn't be swayed much by a comparison such as that in PC Mag, but thought it interesting to add to our discussion, nonetheless. I find the Audi very seductive. Every time I sit in one, it feels right for the interior of this category of car, and almost every comparison I've read agrees with that subjective impression of mine. The M interior is luxurious and delightful to look at … but (I say this even though I'm leaning toward buying it) the experience reminds me a bit of stays in wonderfully plush hotel rooms -- I'm wowed and get a kick out of the visual sensations, but after a while I want to go home.
Today, on a trip to Seattle (the sun actually came out in the afternoon) I saw an "Audi" magazine from the UK at a news stand. I flipped it open and there was a letter to the editor from an American reader, emphasizing the need for Audi to put on a full court press to improve its reliability and dealer service reputation. That does get to me. It's not that I feel the day is ruined if I have to drop off a car I really enjoy at the service department for a fix, but there must be something to the widespread belief that one will not have a good experience there and that one will go there more often with an Audi than with an Infiniti (and that one will be treated well at Infiniti whenever that does become necessary). Yet, I cannot find actual Audi owners among my friends, who have had such poor-reliability and mediocre-service experiences.
I am actually befuddled by the failure of Audi to score better in car mag comparisons. These are, I have always assumed, driving lovers. I won't have the opportunity to drive the car for a week or two, the way they do, so I do rely somewhat on their reported experiences. I am surprised that they so rarely end up getting as excited about the A6 as the M35, or that they don't make more of the Infiniti having the worst mpg of any car in the class. If the 10% better mpg expected from the new Audi V8 proves true, The Audi 350hp V8 would be getting better mpg than the M35x V6. If there's an S-Line V8 Audi A6, it's hard to imagine a better drive-around-a-sharply twisting road (or just turning a corner) or that the Infiniti could produce a more pleasant highway ride.
#6346 of 6921 Editors time behind the wheel
Jun 06, 2006 (4:13 am)
Most of the cars tested by the editors are NOT long term tests. It is possible to read reviews of cars where the editors lament the short time they have with the cars or the fact that the cars they are testing are part of a test group of cars making the rounds from C&D to MT to Automobile.
Speaking of Automobile, they did proclaim the A6 their winna and champeen. And the list of accolades bestowed upon the A6 is long and mostly impressive.
I knew that when I plunked down my $ deposit on an M35x with journey, technology and rear deck lid spoiler.
The Audi, comparably equipped was about $200 more on a lease.
I continued to return to the Infiniti dealer to test drive the M35x -- I even bought a couple of DVD-Audio disks to try the sound system in the M out to its fullest.
I cannot support any negative reliability or dealership experience. I am aware that it can and does happen though. I assume the same can be said for Infiniti, but I can't prove it.
Here in our big town, we have two Audi dealers, two BMW dealers, two Mercedes dealers -- but only one Infiniti dealer.
The Infiniti dealership is owned by the same group that owns one of the Audi dealerships.
They are not known for being crappy or outstanding. They have been reliable and of good to very good quality.
Further, they have been helpful to me in a couple of dicey circumstances where they could have gone by the book and charged me for something and they went to bat for me.
I would expect no less from the Infiniti dealer.
I have had by last count 28 Audis, we have had (my wife and I) 2 BMW's (we currently have an '05 X3) and 2 VW's -- we had our most serious trouble ever with one of the Audis: a 1994 model 90S. The engine died within the first 60 days. Completely taken care of, of course, and no charge and no lingering after effects.
My current Audi is a pretty well all optioned 05 3.2 -- I did not get the sport suspension but did get the upgraded 18" wheel option.
Only the lack of the sport suspension ($250 at the time) do I count as an "error" (on my part.)
The OEM tires, too, are an issue, but this is much further down the uh oh scale, given, too, that Audi like other European mfgrs does not offer UHP all season rubber, only HP A/S or UHP summer only.
Get the one YOU like -- not the one someone else tells you is the safe choice.
This advice is, of course, free. . .be guided accordingly.
#6347 of 6921 Fork in road: Audi A6 vs M35x
Jun 07, 2006 (9:10 am)
Talking about it here might help resolve existenial dliemma (also posted on M forum to see what it catalyzes there) .... Mark … Although I'm not in marketing, about 25 years ago I read a book titled "Positioning". It became a small-time classic and was reissued in a 25th anniversary edition. The basic premise (not radical, just presented with lots of interesting examples) is that a major variable in the success-equation of any product is how well it manages to position itself -- in the collective consciousness of consumers -- among its competitors. Classic examples are "Kleenex" being used by us as a symbol for any product in its class, or hearing someone say they are doing some "Xeroxing" while standing in front of another brand name copier. BMW has been a champ at positioning itself. The inline six engine, constantly refined over the years, has become an engineering icon. The 3-series was hailed by Automobile magazine as "the best compact sport sedan in the world, a car that continues to get better and better with each evolution, when it would be so easy to, ahem, screw it up? In the process of not screwing it up, BMW has produced a car that is the gold standard for its class, something that all other automakers feel they have to measure up to. Yet, no matter how hard they try, they always come up short." Audi would have to had done that with, perhaps, Quattro, but that would have required their doing what Automobile described BMW as having done (whether everyone agrees that BMW did exactly what that magazine says it did is less critical, in what I'm saying, than that it's a virtual universal belief). My experience test-driving an A6 S-Line was unique. Nothing else (and I currently drive a 3-series) drives exactly that way and, if you like driving, the way it drives is not simply different but the best in certain ways. Whatever it would take to fill in the blank I left with the phrase "in certain ways," Audi marketing hasn't done it well-enough. I've only been considering "luxury" cars for about three years, so I've had to develop my own inner landscape of the category and its subcategories. I could, I suppose, rely on nothing but test-driving to develop such an internal "map" of what's what among luxury cars, but it's typical for me to also read and discuss, in the process of getting my bearings with something new. Here's a piece of research data that tallies with my own experience. When Consumer Reports asked its huge sample of car owners if they would buy their current car again, not one BMW made the cut where at least 80% of owners said they would definitely buy or lease the same car again. The Audi A6 did make the cut (80% exactly), as did the M35/45 (92%) and the Audi S4 (81%). Whatever that is, BMW (with our collective cooperation) retains its desirability, at least in the very important sense that led me, when I went to buy my first luxury car in 2004, to think something like "I've got to have one of those 3-series cars once in my life." This probably reflects inflated expectations (for any car) or an over-investment in driving-excitement as one life-pleasure, etc, but whatever, I'm probably among a subgroup (maybe, size-wise, an important one) that might not buy a car based on "I liked test-driving that one best." I'll probably buy a mental representation of a car and then I'll be (very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, unsatisfied, very unsatisfied) with what actually happens (day to day driving, longer trips, getting things in and out of the trunk, radio, NAV, hands-free phone, mileage) compared to that mental representation. Whatever doesn't let Audi capitalize on the fact that people who actually drive them everyday would buy another one, they need to change that. I like both the M35x and the Audi A6 (V8, maybe) S-Line. Viscerally, I like the Audi experience. In terms of the cars-in-my-mind, I lean toward the M35x. Probably, I'm never 100% aware of all the influences that have led me to buy one car over another, but right now, as best I can read myself, the Audi interior feels right, I actually like the MMI, I believe my Treo (soon to be 700p model from Verizon or Cingular) will work more easily with it than M, I hear niggling noise complaints online from M owners, I worry that sound-tuned exhaust in M would wear thin, Audi tires seem more practical, and I like going with the sales underdog (Audi down, M up, right now), and too many people don't even recognize what the M is yet (also get a bad feeling from fact that Nissan can't hone engine to give better mpg). As for the M35x, there are all those "one of the best cars ever" reviews, there was the like-a-shot-off-the-line experience, there are buttons for the radio and climate controls, the rear seats recline (mostly a wow factor for passengers, but, what can I say, I'll like hearing it) -- but don't fold down (that will annoy me), the curvy front where the fenders are stylistically separated from the hood (like on the Mini Cooper), there's the predicted reliability (I expect Audi engine to sputter one morning, even here in the SF Bay Area's mild climate -- as a Passat I owned did a few times and as some online and in reviews have reported -- you know there will never be a BMW review that says the test car engine idled rough on start-up), and the Infiniti's service is highly rated and the local place has been among the top 5 in the country (while I hated the service dept at the nearest VW/Audi dealer when I had the Passat) and Audi is phasing out the Audi Advantage. I go back and forth about liking/not liking the more luxurious (as in fancy hotel room) interior of the M, compared with the (I'm in a driver's car feel of the A6).
#6348 of 6921 Re: Fork in road: Audi A6 vs M35x [sfcharlie]
Jun 07, 2006 (10:26 am)
Then, are you going with the A6 3.2 S-Line or the M35X?