Last post on Mar 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM
You are in the Audi A4
What is this discussion about?
Audi A4, Sedan
#1106 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [edwardsf]
Dec 02, 2005 (6:48 am)
The "devil is in the details" or "idle hands are the devil's phone-booth" or other pithy prose.
You are right, I do rail (mostly against) about automatic transmissions. Simultaneously, I have a 6 month old 2005 A6 3.2 -- only comes with a 6 speed automatic.
My wife was able once again to "beat the reaper" by going with a 2005 BMW X3 3.0 with the 6sp manual. I have owned, since 1997's MY an Audi A8, A6 2.8, A6 4.2, A6 4.2 sport, allroad 6spd and my current A6.
I went with the allroad overwhelmingly for the reason it was a full-size AWD car that could be had with a manual transmission. The automatics through that car were not all that much fun for the reason dubbed "tip" lag.
N.B. - This lag was not merely an Audi trait.
I grew to learn to compensate for the auto-trans in my second V8 equipped A6 (a 2001.) And, whenever my Audi was at the dealer for service, I was often provided with an Audi "loaner" car -- generally the loaner was a current MY A4 1.8T automatic with Premium Package.
Simultaneously, three of my co workers purchased A4's -- all with the 170HP 1.8T and all with manual transmissions.
This group of co workers had all attended the Audi Germany/Austria winter driving school together at least once -- we were "into" cars, more specifically into Audis.
From time to time my dealer principal would ask me if I would like to drive "the new S4 or S6," and a few times my loaner cars were S4's and once or twice even a current model year A8.
After nearly 30 cars since 1977 between my wife, my company cars and my own daily driver, I have had the ability to either extensively own, drive or have access to many Audis, two BMW's (not including the loaner BMW's) and two VW Passat's and one Jetta.
Over and over again, I would chat with my dealer with whom I had become great friends and he would tell me "as each year passed" the percentage of autos vs manuals that were sold. For years the manual transmission version sold well over 50% (often over 75%) of the total number of cars sold at his dealership (some 500 Audi cars annually, and a smaller number of Porsches.)
As each automatic came out it did improve over the previous generation at least somewhat. But to this day, when driving the auto vs the stick of a given Audi, the stick feels tighter, easier to control and it provides greater small of the back pressure under earnest acceleration. And, to this day, the number of people who will consider a stick continues to (apparently) decrease.
Yet, other than reasons such as the one you cite for not being able to comfortably drive a stick, most people that I have interacted with on this subject decry the lack of an available manual (from Audi.)
BMW outsells Audi by what? 3 to 1 in the US? And BMW's most popular models offer either stick or auto.
Driving these cars from Audi and BMW back to back with the same engine and both transmissions is almost a Jeckyl and Hyde experience -- the A4 1.8T in a B6 with the SLine option package and the 6spd manual "almost" made me wonder why there was a 3.0 V6, it was so good.
And, my wife's 1.8T TT 225HP made me wonder what the A4 would have been like with such an engine. Of course, as I recall, the new 2.0T has about the same torque as the old HP 1.8T even though it has less horsepower.
The differences between a previous generation A4 with the stick and the current gen with the auto did indeed make me wonder what all the fuss was about with respect to the new 2.0T, it just seemed the transmission made the new A4 less spirited than the previous gen when equipped as I outlined.
The new A4 2.0T with the manual would be my choice over the 3.2 with the auto. This is entirely personal and in no way should suggest the auto version (for whatever reason) is inferior. However, the auto version of the 2.0T and the 3.2 are "less eager" than their manual counterparts.
It is your money and your reasons even if they would be "because" are good enough for me.
I lament the loss of choice is another theme you should be picking up here.
As of 10,000 miles, I have mellowed (for good reason) on my opinion of the A6 3.2's tiptronic.
I had been able to tolerate and mostly not miss the manual version by running my A6 in "S" mode (delayed upshifts and quicker downshifts and the engine almost always seems to be in its torque sweet spot) largely because it would actually shift to first gear without fully coming to a stop -- thereby almost eliminating tip lag (in "S" mode.)
From time to time I pull the lever back into "D" and until very recently, it always reminded me that I wish I had gone all the way to "S" -- but, at 10,000 miles even in "D" the transmission seems to have learned (mostly) to not demonstrate lag. In "S" mode the transmission does, now, a fair impression of mind reading.
Net: this means that I am less unimpressed by the 6spd tip than I used to be -- and, to underscore the point, I think I am moving the transmission into a class I would call "adequate."
No other previous 5 spd tip could match this current version's abilities to remain in gear as if I had a row my own and shift up AND down in a fair imitation of a stick.
I am, however, convinced that with a stick shift, my A6 would be about a 1/2 second quicker in "real world" conditions -- this would still make the manual a big draw.
I just wish we had the choice, is a theme, perhaps THE theme I would like you to take away.
It is possible, although unlikely, that given a choice I would still choose the auto. Given what I know about the number of folks who actually agree with me with respect to manual transmissions (i.e., I am a screaming voice in the wilderness), I know manuals are probably a dying breed.
But I also know that Audi has the excellent DSG manual-auto and BMW has a very good SMG manual-auto in the wings.
I guess I would probably like to be offered, if we must go clutchless, such transmissions in the future.
And, just because I find the 2.0T A4 auto (quattro) less inspiring in no way means I would think your car, thusly equipped, would be any less than a great choice and a great car.
Someone or hopefully many "someone's" has/have to carry the torch for manual transmissions.
If I could just get folks to test drive both versions, I could die a happy man (not that I am planning on dying any time soon.)
#1107 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [markcincinnati]
Dec 02, 2005 (6:28 pm)
Hey Mark...Enjoy your posts!!
Question for you. I've never been lucky enough to afford an Audi....But like you before I die, I sure would like to buy one.Been thinking maybe I might be able to get a Certified A4 Q (The new 2.0 version)or an A3....
Anyway...I'm told by so many people that they can be very trouble some...and the closest dealer is about 1.3 hrs away..should I go for it anyway???
Thanks for your input.
#1108 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [donthegreek]
Dec 02, 2005 (9:46 pm)
My experience is that Audis are very well built -- however, Audis and BMW's and Mercedes are breathtakingly expensive to repair out of the warranty period.
A new Audi lease is today a subvented transaction and, IMHO, less money when the risk is factored in, than a used one.
Of course this is a cause for celebration because used ones have really come down in price to compete with new ones and the beat goes on.
A new 2006 A4 with a couple of options can be had for really low payments for 24 months these days.
And, unless you NEED a back seat, the A3 2.0T is a screaming bargain and is everything the A4 is excluding the back seat (which is cramped.)
My current A6 is a great car, I do enjoy it.
I rarely have more than one person in the car besides myself.
It is, frankly, wasteful under these conditions, much as I love it.
An A4 Sline with the nav system would be both prudent AND a hell of a lot of fun.
Not that I regret the A6 mind you.
When I win the lottery, the S8 would be my present to myself -- talk about wasteful.
Examine the used vs new -- if you go used, make certain it is a CPO'd car.
#1109 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [markcincinnati]
Dec 03, 2005 (9:32 am)
"And, unless you NEED a back seat, the A3 2.0T is a screaming bargain and is everything the A4 is excluding the back seat (which is cramped.)"
Hmmm, interesting. I'm currently shopping both of these cars (A4 2.0T and A3 2.0T), and my experience is just the reverse. I'm a tall 5' 8" (or is that a short 5' 9"), and when I adjust the driver's seat to that perfect sweet spot for the clutch engagement and then climb into the back seat, I find that I am more comfortable and have more leg room in the A3. True the A4 has a little more width and headroom (barely in both cases), but the difference in leg room seems significant enough to trump both of the A4's rear seat advantages. Could it be that the A3 is actually bigger back there and that is why Audi has never published the measurements for the rear seat passengers?
FWIW, with the front seat all of the way to the rear stops, there is no question that the A4 has more leg room, but in my mind at least, that is not a valid comparison.
#1110 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [markcincinnati]
Dec 03, 2005 (2:05 pm)
I had to join Edmunds to reply to Marks anti-auto (mostly) post.
The A4 B7 is the *only* car I've ever driven (in 35 years) that had an auto I could live with. I liked it enough that I bought a 2006 w/tiptronic.
What I hated about all the others was the lack of lockup, or the small throttle amounts that took the auto out of lockup. I hated that they all downshifted too soon with added throttle. That there was no instant acceleration when the throttle was pressed a bit more. That they all over-revved the engine before upshifting, at small throttle openings.
The B7 is the first auto to shift like I do in a manual-it goes into lockup right away, then upshifts as low as 1800 rpm. This gives great mileage-up to 29.7 mp(US)g in combined city/mostly country 2-lane back-and-forth-to-work.
If I want to, tiptronic mode lets me select the gear manually. The downshifts are quicker and smoother than I can usually manage (even double-clutching), and the TBW blips the rpm to match engine speed to road speed.
The only criticism of tip mode is that upshifts take 1/2 second to initiate under some circumstances.
I, too, dislike that D mode stays in second gear unless the car comes to a *complete* stop. In aggressive urban driving, that takes alot of accel away. But I know that Audi did that so all those 'average' drivers out there didn't get caught by the turbo coming on boost. Tip mode takes care of that, though.
There's something like 1/3 second difference in 0-60 mph with stick, but I wonder if doing a 'brake stand' eliminates that. It sure lets the turbo build up boost, and the car launches away from stops quite hard.
#1111 of 1366 S-Line, Sport Package, & audiusa.com
Dec 04, 2005 (8:02 pm)
I tried to "build my own" A4 2.0T on the Audi website. Which wheels are standard? Which wheels come with the Sport Package? Do you have to choose a specific color for the S-Line package?
#1112 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [skid0]
Dec 04, 2005 (8:30 pm)
The 6spd tip in my 2005 A6 3.2 is the best auto I have ever driven and/or owned. It is still NOT quite up to the control, fun and performance of a 6spd manual.
Yet, I find myself able to defend it a bit more easily every day. It is almost able to read my mind -- especially in S mode.
My current Audi is NOT a turbo -- but my experience previously is that the 5spd tips were not all that compatible with the turo engines, even though the automatic seemed to mask the turbo lag (which in Audis is minimal) -- but the Audi 5spd tip really demonstrated tip lag more than any lag that was associated with the engine.
Man, my three Audi 4.2 V8 equipped cars "coulda, woulda, shoulda" been even better had they not been inflicted with their lag ridden transmissions (even though I learned to adapt to their 'adaptations' fairly handily.)
I think overall we are not in violent agreement, but we are not that far off either.
I rarely use tip mode, opting instead to mostly enjoy "S" mode's ability to ape [mostly] my intentions if not exactly my actions. I actually thought today that the "S" mode might even be able to better my intentions.
Then that thought passed.
#1113 of 1366 Test Drive
Dec 05, 2005 (10:10 am)
Well test drove an A4 2.0T CVT yesterday. Has plenty of acceleration for me. I was getting up to 80 without even trying and would have had to weave in the freeway to go higher. Break pedal seemed really sensitive. Slightest pressure made the car stop pretty hard. If I applied the same kind of pressure as in my car, the thing would have screeched hard and left skid marks.
A couple of things which make me hesitant about the car itself. Feels a bit cramped, with the headliner just above my head. Back seat, my knees aren't against the front seat like the Lexus IS is suppose to be (I'm 5-8 to 5-9) but again, feels a bit clausterphobic with the walls and ceiling right around you.
It's not noisy but on the freeway, hear more road noise than my folks' Lexus ES. Also the interior had hard dash plastics and the leather is thick, compared to the softer leather in the Lexus. Maybe it lasts longer that way and maybe that means firmer seat support.
No aux port for the iPod and the center console storage is kind of shallow. One thing I forgot to check for is whether it has a storage compartment for sunglasses. I know it sounds trivial but for the kind of money we're talking about, the more conveniences the better.
Probably would not have looked at the car except for the lease deal. Prefer to buy but the legendary German repair costs and reliability problems make me stay away from buying a German car. May still lease but will have to test drive others.
#1114 of 1366 Re: 2006 A4, S Line [markcincinnati]
Dec 05, 2005 (8:41 pm)
By 'tip lag', do you mean lag before down/up shifting? With my previous Eagle Talon, and my current Subaru Outback, I couldn't down/up shift any quicker. The one exception is that tip mode sometimes delays upshifts (very infuriating the 1-3% of the time it happens).
I've read about throttle-by-wire lag, but never experienced that at all.
As far as turbo lag, the Talon had it. In comparison, there's none in the A4. And there's triple the torque at 2000 rpm compared to either the Talon or Outback. Engine and tranny perf is SO much better in the A4 than any of my previous cars that I just cannot complain about them.
(The steering and brake response aren't what I like, tho...)
I don't like 'S' mode, the engine just revs too much for me to resist upshifting . I'm really liking tip mode. If the car had paddles, I'd probably use tip 100% of the time. ('course, that'd ruin the gas mileage. I had started driving quite agressively before I put the A4 away for the winter!)
What do you think of the ESP? My last drive in the A4 was in 1 inch of snow. Since I'd been riding cycles and racing with the local car club in long-ago winters, I really like power sliding. When I turned off ESP, I nearly lost control. Was no fun at all... sigh. The Subie's LSD makes power slides real easy...
#1115 of 1366 headroom
Dec 06, 2005 (2:18 pm)
To the 5'9 guy to said the headliner was "near his head", I am 6'4 and I have plenty of headroom.. at least 3 inches to spare. Try adjusting the seats down.