Last post on Dec 26, 2012 at 7:05 AM
You are in the Audi A6
What is this discussion about?
Audi A6, Sedan
#852 of 6920 Best Performance Sedans?
Feb 21, 2001 (1:03 pm)
BMW's are great cars, fun cars, overpriced cars and some of their cars are the "best performance sedans." When compared at a price point to Audis the BMWs just can't cope, however. And, for the 2000 model year more than one enthusiast's publication gave the nod to the S4 over the competing Bimmer, and the A6 over the competing 5 series. In fact the A4 quattro and the BMW comparable (if there is such a thing) 3 series have traded 1st and 2nd ratings time and again since the beginning of the mid 90's. At this point the most recent test put the A4 back in 1st place. In Germany, Audi edged past BMW in sales -- I think in 1998 or 1999.
The new 2002 A4 ups the ante again!
The "prestige" that is BMW is far greater in the US than elsewhere.
For the money, I just can't see (and neither can more than a few journalists) a BMW beating an Audi -- now if you crank the BMW's price up quite a bit, you can out accelerate and sometimes out handle an Audi -- on a perfect road, especially a perfectly dry road. The Audi seems to live in the real world, where it rains and snows and freezes a lot more competently.
Now, Audi better be looking over its corporate shoulder as we now have BMW and Mercedes apparently ready to "get serious" about AWD -- but at least at this moment in time the Audi, in its understated way only loses the prestige contest, not the performance or safety contest (again, especially at the same price point).
#853 of 6920 What am I missing about BMWs ?
Feb 21, 2001 (3:36 pm)
OK I've never driven one for a long period so my experience is only test drives but I'm a relatively savvy driver who has driven on similar test drives just about every car in this class ( just as I did the more mid-priced sports sedans when I got the 626 V6 ) and I frankly don't see the reality behind the "ultimate driving machine". Now I'm definitely not saying they are junk. They are fine cars. However they are to me no more fun to drive than comparable Audis or Saabs etc. They have nicely made but spartan and uninspired interiors, no great reliability record, and in the 5 series at least offer nothing at all to compete with Audi's safety features.
I can take the same corner at the same speed in an A62.7T as a 530i. The Audi if anything feels slightly more responsive across the powerband. Top speed I never did and never would get close to so it matters not. Acceleration if any different would have to be stopwatch tested because you can't feel it. Add to that cheaper cost, quattro and much nicer interiors and it's no big decision at all for me.
I don't want to get in a piddling match with BMW guys because frankly it's all down to taste anyway but I wonder what specific objective advantages the BMW has.
Feb 21, 2001 (6:46 pm)
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to start a flame. I agree with you--I would rather own an Audi A6. However, I can think of 1 objective advantage for the BMW: 1. Speed/Acceleration: the 540 is simply faster than any A6; the M5 more so. Also-while they may be biased--every professional review I have ever read says their steering is superior. On a subjective level, I do think the BMW feels more "solid".
As far as styling, I think both companies are very good. I much prefer the A6 over the 5 series, the 3 series over the A4 (though not by much) and the 7 series over the A8 (though I suspect the A8 is a better car overall). Interiors? No contest there: Audi!
Is Audi a better car for the money? Yes. Also, I personally don't like the BMW "image".
#855 of 6920 Love Mazdas, Love Audis, Love Both of 'em
Feb 21, 2001 (7:00 pm)
I'm another person who has been in love with Mazdas and now falling in love with Audis. I currently drive a 2000 Mazda Millenia S, my eight Mazda in 15 years. I was going to get an A6 2.7T before I got my Millenia, but I just can't afford it a year ago. Now I'm going to replace my wife's '95 BMW 325is with an A6 Avant, new or used. So moimeme is pretty accurate when he said that people who like Mazdas would also like Audis. Both are unique cars, not a me too kind of car like Benz's, BMWs, Hondas, Acuras or Toyotas. Can't wait to see the new 2002 A4 Avant.
Feb 22, 2001 (7:46 am)
I have to come out of lurking long enough to say my amazement at the number of Mazda friends here. In fact, I'm currently looking for someone to buy my beloved, babied Miata so that I can buy the A6 I've wanted since '98.
It would be great if Audi/Miata could merge, but ... Ford has there nose stuck into Mazda and may be watering down the brand even as we speak.
Zoom-zoom. There should be an equivalent in Audi-speak.
#857 of 6920 Well if Mazda built a better top end car...
Feb 22, 2001 (8:19 am)
Maybe all us zoomers wouldn't have to convert. Not dissing the Millenia here - it's a nice vehicle and the Miller engine is some ungodly advanced engineering. However it's smaller inside than the 626, its interior is not competitive in the near luxury class, the power in the S version is decent but accompanied with engine and road noise that doesn't bear up either. Of course you can pick one up for about $15K less than a decent A6 in these days of deep discounting ( I see ads every week for fully loaded S's at $25K ) which makes it a great value but I wonder what Mazda could do if they put their minds to building a $40K car themselves. At one time the Millenia was going to be the entry level sedan in a high end different marque Mazda was going to spin off like Lexus and Acura. Amati I think it was supposed to be.
I wish they hadn't run out of cash and marketing ideas before they designed the higher ranges for that line.
Oh well. Audi's there to pick up the individualistic drivers who can afford to move up a bracket, and I suppose Volkswagen and even Saab pick up some of the slack too.
Maybe we should do a survey in the Mazda threads. Sort of a "if you decided to move up beyond Mazda's current range which make would you most likely consider ?". I wonder how high Audi would score unprompted ? Pretty high I guess. Both my wife and I before we met and of course after were Mazda folks and she agrees after driving all the comparables that the A6 is somehow different and more fun that the Lexus and MB and BMW and Acura that we also drove amongst others.
In reverse and since this is an Audi thread what about some hints on the other side. If you could no longer afford Audi cars ( or before you could ) where would you look at going in the mid level ranges ? To be fair we should perhaps exclude VW as a choice. How many of you - honestly - would have thought of Mazda or how many of you owned one before ?
Feb 22, 2001 (8:52 am)
I drove a Mercedes 430 (S class), a BMW 540 and an Audi A6 4.2 -- practically back to back to back. All three had V8's; all had comparable amenities (the Mercedes had the most -- and cost the most by a factor of 5 figures to the left of the decimal point) -- the Audi cost the least, the BMW a few thousand more than the Audi and the Mercedes almost $16,000 more than the Audi.
The most luxurious was the Merc, close second, Audi then BMW. The most "isolated" feel (which I initially thought was a solid feeling) was the Merc -- frankly the Audi and BMW were more solid -- but conversly less isolated (less wind, road, engine, body noises in the Merc). Audi and BMW handled more like "sporty cars." The Merc had an "air suspension" that was tight enough but the car didn't seem to want to be pushed in the turns -- perception was "understeer."
Transmissions -- all "adaptive" 5spd Autos -- Audi and BMW manumatics that invited manual shifting. Merc could be, but didn't seem to be laid out for manumatic shifting -- but all three transmission left to their own devices were great. Again, the Merc was the smoothest (most isolated feeling, again).
The 540 and the A6 had "sport packages." The BMW felt stiffer in the ride with no apparent advantage over the Audi (on the same "twists.") The BMW right off the line was solid, the Audi had a fraction of a second hesitation from rest -- but then pulled aggressively. We can stop talking about the Merc here, for the most part.
For the difference, I could see no advantage to the BMW for the price premium -- although perhaps the BMW would be a couple of tenths of a second QUICKER. I am totally without clue which car would be faster (probably the Merc based on the way it "felt."). I took all the cars to triple digit speeds on a relatively deserted part of an Interstate highway. They all were competent -- the Merc was the quietest, followed by the Audi.
Under hard acceleration, the Audi made the "most fun" sounds, the BMW second -- and then the isolated Merc. It started to snow -- lightly on this test drive day -- and the Audi was virtually unphased except that its ESP light came on (as did the Mercs). The BMW felt like it had vertigo -- it would make me want to take public transportation on any days with weather based on this experience -- it certainly has its Traction and Pitch and Yaw assists, but it is just not competent (in this circumstance).
The back seat in the Merc was large, the Audi ample and the BMW inadequate for an almost $60,000 car (it seemed barely bigger than an A4's back seat which I also have little use for).
The fit and finish -- the Audi and the Merc were exquisite. The salesperson at the Merc dealer kept showing me welds and braces and counter braces and cross members and all kinds of stuff that makes me convinced that the Merc is very well built. But the Audi gave nothing away in its interior -- it was beautiful. The BMW was black on black on black -- it looked plasticy and not as well put together as either of the other two.
The Merc had the best Navigation system the, best radio/stereo went to the BMW with a button on the transmission tunnel that had a musical note on it that caused incredible bass. The Audi Bose system was great -- but didn't have the "guts" of the BMW system. The Merc was OK too in this regard. I could live with any of them, but would prefer the BMW's.
The seats (front) were Recaro like sport seats in the Audi and Barco Lounger type in the Merc, the BMW had sprot seats too but they were the least comfortable of the three. The back seats in the Audi were faux-buckets and I thought they are the best back seat ever in any car (of course the Merc had more room, but the second class seats were -- well, second class.
The wheels and tires were similar -- which is to say large and low profile. The Audi had 40 series/profile tire -- the lowest of the bunch. But it still rode better than the BMW. Makes me think the suspension is more compliant or that the body on the Audi is stiffer.
In a straight line, on dry pavement, accelerating hard with the radio playing a tune with a good bass track -- the BMW brought a quick smile. Quicker than with the other two. But once the speed had passed 35mph, the thrill was pretty much over. The Audi also brought a smile, a split second slower but it lasted to higher speeds and continued through handling, braking, slick road competencies, etc., well beyond the smile-times of the other two fine cars. Each car is in a class of its own -- the BMW is closer in "class" if not in price to the Merc -- both are RWD and solid cars. The Audi is less money than the other two, close in virtually every aspect -- but with ESP, Quattro, Sport Suspension and that "Q" factor -- is cut from different cloth. For my money a cloth I prefer.
This is in no way meant to dis the BMW or the Merc. The Audi has the edge until the next generation of BMW's which should include AWD versions across the board. And for the price, the Merc frankly has to stand in a class separate from the other two.
#859 of 6920 Audi - the car, the Audi people
Feb 22, 2001 (7:15 pm)
After 14 days of ownswership of an A6, 2.8Q, I have mixed emotions. Almost 3 days in the shop out of 14 days is excessive. I believe that Audi should be doing a better job of selecting proper tires and assure that the wheel balancing is properly done. The Continental tires just don't make it! The rear seat heater is useless, unless one drives in warmer states. The issue of plastic rattle is "not well known" according to Audi, however my car has one. Overall, if the dealer and Audi finally get their act together, this will be a fine automobile.
John Fedak, Canada
#860 of 6920 Quattro
Feb 23, 2001 (8:45 am)
With the snow on the east coast, my wife got to utilize the quattro on my A6. One question. She said that she felt a vibration/grinding when she was driving thru the snow. Once she hit the plowed streets, it went away. I've never driven a car equipped w/ quattro. Is this normal?
Feb 23, 2001 (11:34 am)
You didn't mention if the car has ESP -- all A6's have ABS standard, 2.7T and 4.2 models have ESP standard -- but all A6's have the OPTION of ESP.
This noise you noticed could be the ESP/ABS system working in concert to keep the car from oversteering or correct its understeering. Also if she "over accelerated" the A6 in slick conditions, the ESP will kick in to limit wheel spin (kind of like a super traction control system).
You can tell if it has ESP -- there will be a button on the dashboard that says "ESP."