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Audi A6

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  • All great cars--no gotchas. When I got my 99GS400 it was a WOW. The AUDI only had the 2.8 then, the old Q was floundering, the BMW was still small and the LS400 too expensive.

    Now, I want something different. I can swing the LS430, but I'm bugged that a $58K vehicle is still $10,000 shy of being loaded. On Christmas Eve, I'm leaning to the 4.2. They want $1700, before negotiating, to paint it in S6 Atlas Gray.

    We'll see what shakes out this weekend.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,577
    ...are great ones and you probably can't go wrong. What do you mean by "loaded" and what's the Lexus lacking? The Audis disadvantages include its lovely but getting dated, interior and exterior. I believe it's due for a freshening in the next year or two. Also, mechanically Audis don't quite measure up to the Lexus (I've had three Audis and on my fifth Lexus). The Lexus' fit and finish can't be beat and its recently updated with the 2001 and identical 2002; however, the LS430's styling isn't universally loved. The Q and Audis suffer from relatively low resale values. The Audi is perhaps the most fun to drive, along with the 5-series BMW which is due soon for its redo. Ahhh...yours is quite a dilemma!
  • First of all, you have to sort your priorities and figure out what you want the car to do for you: guarantee your driving pleasure, assure you of its high resale or trade-in value in the long run, provide you with comfort in its ease or economy of maintenance or operation, satisfy your need for utmost reliability, make you proud of its advanced technology, unique style and/or functional utility which no one else has, simply supply you with convenient transportation for short trips, etc. IOW, whatever makes you happy.

    When you have set your primary goals, check out the cars and see if anyone works to your satisfaction, according to your criteria. Decision should be relatively simple. Good luck. BTW, it won't be necessarily easy, but mine was: Audi 2.7T 6M. Drive safely, and enjoy yourself. Mario
  • Not REAL issues. I'd be an idiot not to think any of the cars are great. Here's how they stack up:
    Q45--Pros: Not a lot on the road. Most features for the price. Everything conceivable for $60K MSRP. Largest interior--stereo on par with MLevinson. 18" wheels--out of the mold interior design.
    Cons--exterior styling unusual. Trunk disproportionately small. Needs to be in sport mode all the time. Identity crisis.
    LS430-Pros: Fit/finish/exterior color choices/size/trunk/reliability/Levinson package/image.
    Cons--at $59K, only options are MLEVINSON pckg and 17inch wheels. At this price, I'm still not getting ten grand in options. Lexus in Illinois not willing to deal liberally. OK exterior styling.Ugly wheels.
    A6 4.2
    Pros--most car, fully loaded for $57000 (including special color). Quattro/driveability/maintenance included
    Cons--reliability? conservative interior styling/modest sound system

    Since I'm leasing, residual value means something. BMW is subsidizing big time--THESE three are not. Styling will hold. LS is in 2nd model year, Infiniti in year 1 and Audi has 2-3 years left in the cycle.
  • Thinking about a 2002 2.7t with 6-speed manual. My one concern is gas mileage - I won't buy it if its lousy. Can anybody give me an idea of how the 2.7 performs in this aspect under gentle driving conditions? I'd appreciate it!
  • My 2001 4.2 now with 20,000 miles on it, returned 25mpg between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati yesterday (average speed 66 mph).

    I filled the tank, reset all the computer modes and took off. About 4 hours later with speeds as high at 90mph -- the computer said 25.4 mpg and 66 mph. Used half a tank (the 4.2 has a bigger tank than a 2.7T -- at least in 2001 model).

    While I hardly consider these Audis "economy cars" -- I also believe you can get good milage from them if you drive "steady as she goes." But the heck of it is, they are so much fun to push, you can really suck the gas.

    If you can control your urge to surge -- I think you will not find the A6 2.7 or 4.2 is a gas hog!

    Slurp slurp.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Most 2.7T's don't get great gas mileage. My 2.7T gets around 18mpg around town and 22-24 on the highway, per the trip computer. Average around 20mpg. Those who've done the arithmetic using the odometer and gas pump refill amount, say the trip computer may be a little optimistic. With all due respect, even if the difference between the best and worst mileage of cars you're considering is 5mpg, what's the additional annual cost? How does that compare to the total cost of ownership?
  • Timcar is right on the money (again). On a recent trip to Atlantic City (2.7T, w/6-speed) I averaged 22.2 mpg. This included the trip down in occasional heavy rain, a few local miles in and around AC, and the trip back. Also included the usual stops and lots of toll booths! Average highway speed was 70+.

    I bought the car in February and have averaged 20.3 mpg over almost 11,000 miles. This includes a mix of highway travel and frequent trips of about 20 miles over New England two lane roads - average speed in the 30s. Numbers are based on recorded miles and gas purchases from my notebook.
  • The readings from the in-car computer are as I reported them, and there were only two people and two shelties (small dogs, that is) in the car. We did NOT stop even once in four hours and there was very little wind on the Interstates we took (I70 W and I71 S.)

    The car, even at highway speeds is capable of such milage, was my point.

    I assure you all that my "normal" milage is -- depending on two things: #1 how much in town driving and #2 how much "urge" I ask for from the car -- between 17 and 22 mpg. Typical mpg is generally around 20+ -- and I consider that good for a relatively heavy car with a 300HP 4.2L V8.

    The 1.8T engine is, IMO, very miserly -- but is not available in an A6 -- I have no clue as to the milage of the 3.0 V6.
  • I usually trust the EPA estimates, because of a few things: I assume they know what they are doing and there's really no other "objective yardstick" around, and their disclaimer that your consumption may be higher or lower, depending on your driving habits, the weather, road condition, etc. etc. That IMHO tell you that the numbers are the product of wishful thinking, at best, with some reasonable basis. Do I care about those statistics? Nope, not one bit. I just like to drive and as long as the car gives a reasonable mileage, I'm OK. I'm having too much fun to care. Enjoy the ride - life's too short to worry about the small things.
  • today was a mixed bag.
    1) i called 3 Lexus dealers (Very Competitive Chicago market). I asked about an extended test drive--without a sales guy breathing down my throat. i've got a license and, I probably know more about their merchandise than they do. They ALL said no!! They'd make a sales associate available for about an hour! My long-term driving won't involve a sales associate.

    2) I tried the same with Audi. This was with 2 dealers where I had established a dialogue. One hasn't returned my two calls (six hours) and the other said his 4.2 hadn't been PDI'd yet. Isn't that done at the port nowadays?

    3) I walked into an Infiniti dealer cold and they're giving me the car (Q45-premium pck) from Saturday through Monday. This may be a by-product of real slow movement, but they were professional, attentive and polite.

    Also--Lexus is booking a 52% residual for 36 months. Infiniti is at 57%. As the lessee, I could care less about who's liberal or conservative--the Infiniti brings in a lower number.

    If dealers treat prospective customers with such disinterest, what will they do post-sale, when I need service?

    Very discouraging--and surprising.
  • I concur with Tim, Mark and Kirby on mileage. The 2.7t will return good results with steady state driving, i. e. highway. A significant amount of city driving will put one in the teens. However, Tim's point about incremental differences is quite valid; the impact is almost negligible. More to the point, any Audi will assuage the concerns of the most environmentally green viewpoints, especially when compared to the nauseating economy of the average SUV.

    Perhaps a more relevant statistic is "range". With a fuel capacity exceeding eighteen (18) gallons, four hundred (400) miles between stops is quite feasible. However, since I am good for barely three (3) hours, I have not yet tested this theory.
  • Today, well late today 6:00PM EST, Cincinnati had an ice storm -- and virtually the entire road system was stopped. I cannot recall ever having seen a 6 lane interstate at a complete standstill in both directions.

    I took a back road -- much less traffic I thought. I was correct on the traffic -- but did not anticipate that I would just sit there watching four or five cars spinning their wheels, unable to move over the very slightest of inclines. No salt trucks in sight, cars fishtailing and those that could move making U turns to avoid the afforementioned inclines.

    Well, my ABS pulsed and my ESP light HAD flashed a couple of times but I had no reason to believe that I could not move even though I knew I had to have long stopping distantces.

    So, I pulled left and passed all of them -- the sight was an Audi A6 'walking' briskly up the hill passing four cars with their wheels spinning. And, remember the A6 4.2 w/sport has 255 x 40 x 17" tires (in my case Yoko AVS db's -- but not snow tires).

    As I passed them, they were checking out the car as if to say "how is he doing that?"

    Quattro to the rescue -- I am now even more impressed with this technology. The icy conditions were the worst I have ever had the "pleasure" to drive upon.

    Thank goodness I made it home unscathed.
  • Your story is probably just another testimonial of why to go with an Audi over the rest. Glad to hear you were able to make it home with no problems and no one broad-siding you. Season's Greetings from a "Cold" (47 degrees - low) South Florida.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    As Pete goes through his selection process, I've thought back to my own impressions of the new Q45. I thought the first generation Q was pretty impressive for it's time, had seen the new Q on the road, and wanted to check it out. Cars with 345hp get my interest.

    Though I only sat in it, I was underwhelmed. Seven or eight months in my beautiful vanilla/royal 2.7T interior had jaded me. Despite press to the contrary, the materials looked and felt more plasticky and far inferior compared to those in my A6 interior. And I found the interior aesthetic too much like something from a video game. The ergonomics of an A6 interior are very good. Those in the Q were gimmicky and less intuitive. Though I'll take others word for it; the interior of the Q didn't feel any larger than my A6's.

    As I said, I didn't drive it, but it's surprising that most road test results show its performance and handling as underachieving. When I first started driving the 2.7T, I was impressed by its solid and substantial feeling compared to the Japanese cars I'd been driving, including a Legend. (And the A6 sure isn't a light-weight.) Having lived with this now for almost a year, I think this difference alone would make going back to Japanese cars somewhat difficult.

    The Lexus division of Toyota has fine cars. But to my eye, they're all afflicted with frumpiness, inside and out. This is particularly severe on the new LS430. But that's just my opinion.

    Still when you compare the all-weather capability, beauty, value and driving pleasure of the A6 to the other candidates, it is for me no contest. The only areas where Lexus and Infiniti are on average clearly superior are dealer service and residuals. This is because both brands focused on these aspects from the ground up and have maintained them.

    So, as usual, it's a matter of priorities and personal preference
  • As we both really enjoy our A6's -- I guess this is like talking to the converted, but here goes:

    As much as I love Audi's, I think they are indeed very vulnerable -- or at least potentially so. Here is my "concern" -- when I read about all the cars that are shopped and discussed on this board, I remain generally confused. For example, I find it impossible to compare a BMW 5 series OF ANY pedigree to any (theoretically comparable) A6 quattro. The key differentiator, IMO, is quattro. If you want to look at a BMW 5xx car, I do not have any problems -- but I just can't get how an Audi 2.7T with a sport package and a couple of option packages can be compared to the 530 (where the A6 resides in price). I have driven these cars, virtually back to back -- and the ONLY conditions where the BMW brings a smile to my face is on a bright, sunny and DRY pavement day. And, even then, the 2.7T is a "more spirited" performer. Comparing a 530 to an A6 3.0 quattro might be "more fair" but that darn price thing gets in the way and the 530 just seems soooo expensive (when compared to the A6 3.0 quattro).

    OK, enough background.

    The concern comes in when you think -- "what if BMW would offer AWD on the 5 series?" There is, I admit it, a certain "cache" to a BMW that currently Audi does not enjoy (in the US, at least). If the BMW could equal the performance of the Audi quattro (which it currently cannot) wouldn't BMW begin to nibble at Audi's lunch (in the US, that is)? I know several people who have gone into an Audi dealer "kicking and screaming" for a test drive -- i.e., they were certain the BMW would be better -- only to drive away in a new Audi.

    So, you see, if Audi's competitors start making cars that would truly compete, Audi might be in trouble, IMO.

    That is my issue.

    P.S. Comparing the A6 quattro to the AWD Jaguar, Volvo and Mercedes -- now that makes sense. But, what Toyota or Lexus or, Infinity or Acura is a reasonable comparison vehicle, if one ever drives in a spirited fashion on not absolutely perfect pavement?
  • noshonosho Posts: 119
    I have a 2000 2.7T manual with 33K miles. I do mostly highway driving (70% highway / 30% city) and have a "lifetime" average of 24.9MPG. Highway is typically 29MPG. "Exuberant" driving is generally limited to the highway entrance ramps.
  • All is set for the drive off. Tomorrow (for an overnighter, it's the A6 4.2. It will probbaly be an 01 vintage--I know the updates and they shouldn't impact the drive. Saturday, I have a run of the mill test drive in the LS430 and then pick up the Q through Monday AM. By Monday,I should be relatively comfortable picking a new ride.
  • I am confident that the A6 4.2 will be your new car if you are comparing it to an LS430 and a Q45 (based on "all around performance.") But my question is, why not compare these two (the LS and the Q) to a Mercedes or a BMW or even -- egad -- a Seville STS?. Jaguar would also offer a competitive car, IMO, too.

    I appear to be a chorus of 1 (or perhaps 2, including Tim) but I can't even conceive that the quattro feature alone will not convey enough:

    1. benefits over the LS and Q,
    2. reasons to believe the benefits are real, and
    3. product differentiation -- the A6 4.2 is so different, that is,

    to render the comparison "fair" other than financially speaking. In other words you are, IMO, comparing a fine wine to a fine Scotch whiskey. They are both beverages to be sure, but they are not, generally speaking, comparable. Why not compare the LS and Q to a Mercedes (either E and/or S class) with a 4.3 engine or compare the LS and Q to a BMW 7 series.

    Again, from a performance standpoint -- perhaps not sheer luxury -- the A6 4.2 is incomparable (to the LS and Q). Note that I didn't say I thought the Audi was superior (for you). I just say that the Audi will "run rings around" the cars you have chosen to compare it to.
  • I did look at 430-4 Matic. Outside of an extremely ugly exterior and stark interior, MB exponentially gouges you on packages. I'd be at $64K plus appples to apples. I also looked at the 540i--too small, gas guzzler tax, but a high,high residual, therefore a good lease rate. But it's in its final style year. The 7 series, being brand new will be at $70K and no deals. It would probably take three years to learn to operate it anyway. STS? No.

    My final three will all lease between $825-$850/mo for 36/39 with taxes paid up front(horrible tax penalty in Illinois). They're all v8's which touch or exceed 300HP. My last two cars were the Q(95) and GS400(99) and both were dependable. The Q was a winter pig, but I didn't put snows on them. The GS with Blizzak WS50's has been a capable winter performer.

    I would have considered the A6 in 99, but it only had the 2.8 at the time. There are more similarities between the LS and Q. From a "sporting" perspective, I've eliminated all but the 4.2.. From a saloon ride, I've eliminated all but the LS. As a compromise candidate, the Q rounds out the group. I'll get snow tires with my choice, even if it's the 4.2.
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