Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#1692 of 10338 Re: I can not relate.... [audirules]
Apr 19, 2005 (12:44 pm)
My experience with Audis may not be as deep or as broad as yours, I suspect however, my experience qualifies me to make a comment -- perhaps even some explanation, not a defense exactly but at least a remark.
The Japanese cars, based on my limited experience with THEM, from the standpoint of a customer who leases -- are relatively speaking "bargains." Many posts here (some of them mine) wax long and loud on the TOC (total ownership cost proposition) that seemed to creep into the latest generation of Audi cars -- the Audis are (or were for the first 3 months of 2005 and the last couple months of 2004) way more expensive than the "crowd" they are usually compared with.
For this post, I will not cite chapter and verse (you're welcome) the configurations of A6's and A4's that I ran, vetted on Audis web site and with my long term (sold me 27 Audis since 1977) dealer. I ran similar "build and price" configurations for some Audi competitors both from Europe and Japan -- Audi was the most expensive when contented equally (as much as possible) and when priced equally (content not equal).
Indeed a $57,000+ BMW cost about $120 a month LESS than a $53,000 Audi and a $53,000 BMW was close to $200 a month LESS than the Audi.
I test drove an Acura (TL), 3 BMW's, 3 Infinitis, 4 Mercedes, 1 Lexus, 3 Cadillacs, a Jeep Grand with a Hemi even, 2 or 3 Volvos and went through the Cincinnati Auto Show with a fine tooth comb. I have driven the A6 3.2 and 4.2, the 2004 & 5 S4, the 2005 1.8T/3.0 A4 and 2005.5 A4 2.0T and 3.2. We have been through the Audi factory in Ingolstadt 6 times and through the Audi driving school in Seefeld, Austria 4 times, I am a member in good standing of the Audi Car Club (nee Quattro Club).
My wife and I packed a lunch on more than one weekend and "made the day of it" (testdriving that is). The Audis in many ways, after so many Audis since 1977, were often our "I wish" cars (as in I wish they didn't cost so much more than the BMW or the Infiniti, because the Audi competition, after these 25 years of quattro, has gotten damn good).
Our "romance" with Audi was so strong that we decided to pay [a little bit] more for a lesser Audi on at least two occasions -- but not $100 a month more for a less expensive, lower content car.
We ended up spending just under $97,000 on a new BMW X3 3.0 ($46,000+) -- being built as I type this and $50,360 on a new Infiniti M35X (also being built as I type this).
The comparable (in price or from our perspective driving) cars from Audi were $44K for an Audi A4 3.2 (similar to the BMW, that is) and $53K for an Audi A6 3.2 -- the actual acquisition costs (36 month leases) were several hundred dollars more (for the Audis had we gone with them) in combination.
We test drove these cars often back to back over the exact same test circuit -- they were VERY similar. The M is in some ways even tighter than the A6 (with the sport package on the A6), the M is certainly more powerful and quicker. The A6 has, in my mind, a nicer interior -- but not THAT much nicer. And so on and on we kept finding that we would have -- out of loyalty, not logic -- paid slightly more for a lower performing and lesser contented car (the Audi). But such an option was NOT available to us.
The best deals of all would have been the BMW X3 3.0 and a BMW 530i (which would have been another $6,000 over the M's MSRP).
We agonized (even though car shopping can be fun -- if done right it IS work) over this decision for almost 6 months. This time period gave us the opportunity to test these cars in parts of the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. We were not constrained by our need to "get a car this weekend" -- heck we had over 10 months to go on our leases when we started this process.
And, we were 99.999% certain that NOTHING could pull us away from Audi.
The emotional pull of our history with Audi was actually exceeded by the combination of our obsessive test drives and research and finally the "value proposition."
A lot of folks here do not think as highly of Audis as you and I apparently do -- this does not make them or us correct (I can't believe I'm saying this). I invite and urge anyone who is looking at the ~$50K Premium Performance "suspects" (and there are about 7 or 8 serious contenders) to take some very serious test drives, read the reviews, pull the TOC data and "pay your money."
Virtually none of these 7 or 8 cars (with the exception of Jaguar and Volvo, perhaps) are clunkers -- they (from what my butt can tell) have become more alike with the newest iterations than different. The Audi has become more luxurious (and more pricey and lower in performance than the outgoing generation for MORE MONEY!), the Lexus more (well, at little) performance oriented, Infiniti seems to be on the way to finding its voice as the sportiest Japanese Premium Performance offering and Acura (IMHO) is a value leader in the Performance Lux group (assuming you like every do dad STANDARD). BMW remains somewhat of the "car" the other's aspire to be and Mercedes still seems to exude "big bucks" quality (despite reports to the contrary). Jag is in serious need of an injection of something (money perhaps?) and will someone please put Saab out of its misery? Volvo could muddle along or could be the dark horse -- right now I'm kinda in the muddle along camp of believers.
Audi used to rule -- that I grant. Audi is "a" leader of the pack -- it is unfortunately for those of us "fans of the brand" (I have THE underwear) no longer "the" leader of the pack.
Check these cars out for yourself -- if you remain convinced the Audi is superior, you'll get no push back from me. Perhaps a little envy and the knowledge that next time (3 years) I'll give Audi yet another chance to win my business back.
Now what is this about the thickness of the leather, again? I've been reading 1,000's of posts and I don't see much of anything about the fit, finish and durability of Japanese Prem/Perf car seats! 'Splain it to me.
Apr 19, 2005 (12:46 pm)
Big news from Lexus---major changes in the winds for the soon to be called LS 460, including a long-wheelbase version and a hybrid version. The vehicle hits the market in fall 2006 as a replacement for the current LS 430.
The hybrid version of the LS 460 will be fitted with a gasoline-electric powertrain with a V8 engine, said to be the first by any automaker. The hybrid sedan will be called the LS 600hL, which refers to the equivalent power of a 6.0-liter engine when the V8 gas engine is mated to an electric motor.
Apr 19, 2005 (12:54 pm)
Wow. Now if they fire the current stylists and get someone who isn't given the orders to copy someone else. . .then they'll have cachet.
#1696 of 10338 Re: audirules [jrock65]
Apr 19, 2005 (1:41 pm)
The wood through the rest of the car is a paper thin slice that is bendable like paper and glued to plastic. This cuts the price down from shapeing solid blocks of wood. The trim dash is aluminium, but not the steering wheel. Infiniti says "aluminium through out the car" not "all the metallic pieces are aluminium". Most of the metal looking items are indeed plastic (Example door handles).
You may think sales of the A6 are down by looking at the number of sales...truth is that, with only two factorys putting out all thier cars, Audi's are a limited product. Dealerships average a 48hr turn around on the A6's hitting the lots. And the v8 version has a 5 month waiting list as we speak...I know, I ordered one!
#1697 of 10338 Re: Lexus LS [cstiles]
Apr 19, 2005 (1:44 pm)
Do the LWB and hybrid versions hit the market at the same time as the base 460?
#1698 of 10338 Re: I can not relate.... [audirules]
Apr 19, 2005 (2:01 pm)
"Sheet metal is thicker that a HUMMER."
I'm in Iraq and the Hummers around me can stop an RPG, shrapnel from an IED or plain old bullets. Unfortunately sometimes they fail and I go to work but you get the point. When was the last time you tries that with an A6.
Obviously being a wise a__ here and you probably are talking about the rebodied Tahoe (IMO crap!) but you make some statements which are nothing more than opinions. Did you look at the reliability records for the Audi product line? It's not stellar. My local European Car Specialist said to stay clear of any Audi that is more than 5 years old because the minor things start to go bad and it will nickel and dime you to death.
Audis are nice cars and they would make a really nice lease vehicle but buying them for the long haul seems perilous especially for a family car.
We all see cars differently and I really like the GS300/430 or the M35/M45 more for their reliability and value along with the performance. The Audi is not even on the screen for me. BMW is better. Mercedes is off the screen too.
All my opinion though.
#1699 of 10338 Re: audirules [audirules]
Apr 19, 2005 (2:02 pm)
My dealership sells about 50 cars per month -- they are an exclusive Audi only dealership. There are two in Cincinnati, both stand alones. I do not know how the other dealership is doing. The Dayton Ohio dealership (1) sells 10 Audis a month.
The dealer that I have been buying from through my current 2 Audis (both 2003's) claims to have 30 A6's on hand and more in port and even more on a boat.
The number of A8s they have is probably 4 or 5 considering that there are 2 on the showroom floor (one L one short). I have no clue as to their inventory in total. Well they do have one A3. Anyway, I would hardly say the A6's are flying out the door with a 48 hour turn around. But we are in just exiting recession Ohio.
Audis generally have a 3+ month wait -- I have ordered most of my 27 Audi cars over the years (one took over a year, our first TT and my 1997 A8, ordered in 1996 took over 5 months, so that does not seem all that out of line considering the thought was 90% 3.2's and 10% 4.2's were estimated for 2005.)
Unfortunately the main limiting factor is not simply supply it is also demand. I believe the only "segment" car that the A6 outsells is the Acura RL (and around here at least the Jaguar -- any Jaguar). The BMW 5 is still whipping Audi's butt sales wise.
Cincinnati is an Audi town (Zinzinnati) and a BMW town -- according to my dealer, also my long term friend, BMW outsells Audis by 3 to 1 here. I dunno if that is nationwide, but that is his local evaluation of the market.
Out of curiosity how did you come to be such an "Audi Rules" kind of person -- it is refreshing for a change to not have to feel that I need to rush to defend Audi from every angle.
#1700 of 10338 Re: I can not relate.... [commofficer]
Apr 19, 2005 (2:12 pm)
With all the love and money I have put into Audis, I can indeed confirm, that Audis are BREATHTAKINGLY expensive to keep outside of the "Audi Advantage" -- indeed mere mortals cannot afford to repair them without the kind assistance of the Audi implied warranty -- this kind assistance has become more rare, since Audi is supporting VW these days.
I have a 2.7T in my allroad -- when I read and learn about the cost of a turbo failure, it is, to repeat: BREATHTAKING.
Audis are great driving cars, wonderful fit and finish but thus far in their US history they can never be accused of long term reliability. This is in the process of change -- but even my dealer who, like me, bleeds little Audi rings, says the 2005 A6's have had many minor first year glitches and says (in private to me) for MY money, Mark, I would get a leftover A6 4.2 sport (MY 2004). He also believes the new A4, however, to be better than the B6's -- and the allroads, judging by mine, are darn near bullet proof (not literally of course).
Audi does not equal reliability, it does however equal performance, fun, and safety.
Hey, "my girlfriend just broke up with me but there's a cold quart of milk and a fresh package of Chip's Ahoy on the table. . .two outta three ain't bad." -- John Pousette-Dart
#1701 of 10338 Re: Lexus LS [cstiles]
Apr 19, 2005 (2:57 pm)
Can you give us the details on where you heard or saw this news? Too many rumors out there for someone to suddenly say these are the changes.