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Audi A6

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  • jhutchinsjhutchins Posts: 15
    I went through the same process, and was torn between the M35x and the A6 (after having also driven the RL). Like you, I was very impressed with the look and feel of the interior of the Infiniti (purely subjective, of course), although in retrospect, I believe the ergonomics of the A6 is superior. I also was impressed with the handling and mid-range acceleration of the M. In the end, it was primarily the exterior looks of the cars that led me to purchase the A6, and also some degree of brand loyalty, since I am upgrading from an A4 that I have driven for years. (Also, I could get the A6 well below MSRP, but not the M). I thought the exterior of the A6, controversial as it may be, was really sharp, and much more distinctive than the Infiniti's exterior, which seemed too bland.

    By the way, in the years that I have had the A4, it was regularly improved in following model years - that is the nature of the beast. It never prevented me from enjoying the car I had. I would get whichever car makes you happier now, and not worry too much about the extent to which next years models will be even better. You can't go wrong with either of these two cars.

    I also agree the average demographic for the a6 (and any $50K car) is way, way above 23. I am well into my thirties, and if I didn't have to deal with baby seats, I would be shopping for an S4, not an A6.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Audi is re-engineering quattro for 2006, making the A6 faster and giving it more power in the rear (an area where the M currently has the edge with it's "intelligent awd".) I know that if I get the Audi now, in 12 months I'll be kicking myself when the faster, more agile models hit the streets.

    Has this been confirmed? I know they've done just that for the new RS4, but for the A6 just one year after intro? Anywhere to read about this? I haven't seen anything about, other than about the new RS4 on Germancarfans.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "OTOH, the first car company that figures out how to do this will absolutely blow everyone else away. Many choices. Pick what you like. It'll be delivered in six weeks (or days, likely). Solid reliability & good service are givens. Which part of the world do we think will do this first? Europe? America? Asia? It sounds like a "duh" question to me, but I may be missing something."

    No you didn't miss a thing. That was deep. I don't think there will ever be one car to please all or do everything perfectly. Arguably back when it was a Mercedes, then as "sport" become more popular a BMW, but they have both dropped a ball or two, reliability and styling/ergonomics respectively.

    What’s interesting about the two main cars being discussed here, the M35 and of course the A6, both have very unattractive upper center consoles. Car and Driver called the M's an "ATM" dashboard, they hit the nail right on the head there imo. Sitting in the M those nav buttons are constantly in your peripheral vision, too much so. The A6 has a beautiful overall interior design, understated and elegant, but that portion of the dash where the center vents and climate controls are looks like something out of an old GM car. From what I've seen of both the M and A6 these are the only things I don't like about either of them. Well the M's rear lights are little bit of an acquired taste, but not a big deal.

    I think these "discussions" as you put it will go on forever I think.

    M
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    You are absolutely right my friend, I was fed some bad info...apologies to all.

    The re-tooled quattro will only be on the RS4 for 2006...no such plans for the '06 A6. Sorry again.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    jhutchins: Speaking of the S4, WHAT A MACHINE!

    Went to both Audi and Infiniti today...again. Wanted to compare the M35x to the A6 3.2, this time testing the Audi first. I wanted to check out the sport seats at Audi, but the only A6 with sport seats (a must-have imo) was the 4.2, so I said why not. Sport seats were great, V8 was better, whetted my appetite for speed so....

    ...I ask the salesman about the S4 and he tells me that the only one he's got is stick. I told him that I'm definitely not buying another stick (NY traffic will KILL your enthusiasm for it) but he asks me if I want to drive it anyway. How could I say no?

    The S4 is FAAASSTT and I knew just what route to take. 5th gear is 100% illegal and exhilarating, 6th is just plain dangerous!

    Needless to say, the dark horse contender for my next purchase has arrived. Though I won't be considering the clutch...I'll have to try out the paddles...they've got the S4s with the new bodies in port. Have to go back in 2 weeks. Can't wait.

    On a side note: also went over to Infiniti (literally next door to Audi) to check out the M35x (though, now that my sense of speed was completely warped, I don't know if that was a good idea!) They had it with black/rosewood interior. Still nice, but didn't strike me like it did the first time I checked it out, so I'm STILL undecided on A6 vs M35x.

    jhutchins: Would you say that the footspace on the A6 is a bit cramped on the passenger side? Not the legroom but the footspace? Also: what is your biggest complaint/gripe/pet peeve about your A6? Any feedback, positive/negative/whatever is greatly appreciated. Top 3 pros and cons or something. THANKS!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "You are absolutely right my friend, I was fed some bad info...apologies to all.

    No biggie, I just wanted to read more about it since the info on the RS4 has been scarce so far. I too have read about them changing Quattro for all Audis I just didn't know when. I suspect it will be sooner than later with all the awd competition out there now.

    I too spent some time looking at the newest Audis today, though dealerships here are closed on Sunday, but you wouldn't know it by all the people milling around. I was so taken by the new A6 in White. The new nose does look good on the A4 too. The dealer here has a lot of 2004 A6s left though, all of them red-tagged to move now.

    M
  • jhutchinsjhutchins Posts: 15
    Sorry, richcream, the 3.2 I bought (night blue w/ amaretto interior, fully loaded) won't be in until the second week of April. So, I can't give you the first-hand real-life ownership impressions for about a month.

    The M35x I drove was also the black/rosewood interior, which I liked the best of the combinations I saw. Like I mentioned earlier, I think the interior of the M makes a great first impression, but that after living with it for a while, the novelty would wear off and some of the poor ergonomics would start to irritate. The Audi, on the other hand, which is not as sharp-looking in the interior, still has really high quality materials, and seems laid out better. In other words, I expect that my appreciation for the interior of the A6 will increase over time through use.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    merc1:
    UPDATE: (Ward's Auto) -
    "Marc Trahan, Audi of America Inc. director-product management and quality, tells Ward’s the ’05 S4, a 340-hp, 4.2L V-8 equipped variant of the A4 that is a rung lower than the 420-hp RS4, will be the only U.S.-specification Audi to boast the new-generation quattro system until mid-2006, when all ’07 quattro-equipped Audis will be fitted with the new rear-biased architecture."

    So I guess '07 is the model year that ALL quattro's will have the new 60/40 rear/front distribution. Guess that means the '07 A6's with the 60/40 split will be available in a year eh? Hope that helps.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep, thanks. I hadn't checked Wards. Should be interesting to see what the magazines think about this switch.

    M
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    I went to both Audi and Infiniti last night (my second homes) to check out what the cars look like at night, inside and out. I had the salesmen tool 'em both around their lots just to get a look at what the lighting and silhouettes looked like.

    Impressions:
    Infiniti Exterior at night: "WOW"
    Infiniti Interior at night: "owww"

    The Infiniti looks GREAT on the outside. I was relieved to find that it makes a great impression, very aggressive, menacing headlights, and looks absolutely nothing like it's Nissan brethren (Maxima and Altima).

    On the inside however, I was a little dismayed to find that the by-day white console buttons and Infiniti trademark clock actually glow yellow/orange when the lights come on. These, coupled with the overly bright, white-blue nav display can only be described as garish. (Infiniti found a way to incorporate the yellow from the sport models into the interior of the toned down non-sports...but only at night!)

    Audi Interior at night: "WOW"
    Audi Exterior at night: "eh"

    The A6's interior looks good during the day, but is outstanding at night. There is no contest here vs the M35. The soft blue and white backgrounds in the driver's dash instruments are sharply accented by an aggressive but controlled iridescent red outlines. The red, which can only be described as 'perfect', accents all of the center consol controls. The nav screen, with black background and yellow and white lettering, blends in to the rest of the presentation and never distracts. Compared to the blinding nav screen in the M35, it is a pleasure to look at.
    The soft purple-white lights in all four footwells can be controlled through the MMI system and only add to an interior that can only be described as 5-Star. Pardon the corny punnery, but the difference between the A6 interior in daylight vs. the cabin at night, is, well....night and day. As is the difference between the M35 interior day vs. night, only the Infiniti cabin looks much better in daylight.

    The exterior of the A6 is nice, but nowhere near as defined as that of the M35. It is, much like the interior during the day, understated and classy, taking little chances. It is, eh.

    Where has all of this tire kicking, light switching, test driving, seat adjusting, and review reading brought me? Nowhere. I am just as torn between the two, if not moreso, now that I have been able to check out the very worst and best that each has to offer. Argh.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    At lunch today, my co workers asked me which car I would get TODAY if forced to do so. I said, I regret to inform you -- the Infiniti M35x would get my $ vote.

    However, if the Audi Financial ship turns around, I would accept the lower horsepower performance of the Audi and take it, because despite my other comments and concersn, I still think it (the A6) oozes class.

    And, good as the Infiniti is, there is still that psychological sense that no Japanese car -- yet -- has quite cracked the code on "feel behind the wheel."

    The Infiniti seems to be the closest Japanese car yet in that quest for the Holy Grail.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    So it sounds like you prefer the A6 and your choice is strictly monetary...
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    Nope, not strictly monetary. The two cars at MSRP are very close to each other. The Audi's lease program, frankly, ticks me off.

    The value proposition -- which is not simply the money -- is THE issue.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    In what aspect(s) do you feel that the consumer is getting more "value" from the M35x vs. the A6 3.2, assuming a purchase?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    If by purchase you mean buying it in cash -- then I need to clarify. If I "believed in" purchasing in cash, perhaps my sentiments would be different.

    My issue is -- I do not see the value in a significantly higher monthly payment on a lease. It is either an indication of poor resale (the residual is low) or of a non-competitive money factor.

    In a world called "virtually equal" insofar as this aspect would be concerned the Audi would still get my $ vote. Indeed even in a world where the Audi was more expensive (to a point) it would get my $ vote.

    Maybe Audi has spoiled me. Maybe they have changed and I have remained the same.

    A friend of mine bought a 2000 or 2001 BMW 5 with the 6 cylinder engine, no navigation system and premium, sport and several other options that cranked the MSRP to $49,999 and change. At that time, I think BMW may not have had "free maintenance."

    I let him drive my Audi A6 4.2 sport which did have navi and several other packages which increased its cost to ~ $50,750. One day, he asked if he could drive my "innie" (he kidded me and always put "outties" down -- get it "outtie" and "innie" -- oh brother.)

    He hit the entrance ramp to one of the Interstates here in River City and floored my 300HP Audi and the thing "leapt forward" as if it had been poked with a cattle prod. He stopped calling it an "innie" right then and there.

    He asked me how much it cost, when I told him and he figured out that my AWD V8 Audi cost virtually the same (at MSRP) as his RWD 6 cylinder Bimmer, he asked me how Audi could sell cars with this much goodness and power for this much money.

    In this particular Epiphany, he came to realize that to achieve (and surpass) this kind of performance would require the 5 series with the V8, which would have shot its price up, based on how it was optioned out, by some $6,000 to $10,000 -- and when it "weathered" here is SW Ohio, my friend drove his Jeep or called me to pick him up, as his RWD Bimmer was virtually useless when the coefficient of friction dropped during our mostly moderate winters.

    Starting in 1977 with my first Audi 5000, I would, as each time my wife or I came ready to move on to a new car, read up on the competition. Rarely, very rarely, was I moved to test drive a competitive brand (competitive either in "content" or msrp, i.e.)

    As I told the reporter from Business Week, it has only been in the VERY recent past (perhaps 6 months) that I began to consider something other than an Audi product might tempt me (or my wife).

    Audis products, in my fairly extensive experience, have improved -- that is, each Audi we have acquired since 1977 has been a step forward in at least several different aspects: quality, reliability for certain (despite some folks howls to the contrary, all our Audis did move forward in this regard), features, functions, content, competence, performance, power, styling even -- in every way, every Audi we have owned since that first 1978 model Audi 5000 and that first 1979 Audi [silver] FOX GTI, had/has been "better" than the one it replaced.

    Moreover, every Audi "seemed" insofar as this analysis can ever approach being "objective" a better value than anything that it could reasonably be compared with.

    When my friend got that BMW 5 (I mentioned above) and I my Audi A6, and he called me when we had but a trace of snow on the ground because his car was "slip slidin' away" and I knew that our cars cost about the same at MSRP, and mine had a V8, AWD and a lower monthly lease payment -- I thought Audi would ultimately (eventually) be "the leading" German import -- for if you drove and priced Audis and BMW's (for instance) the Audi virtually always gave you so much more for your money in every way (performance, warranty, power, features, content) AND came with quattro -- well, I assumed that it was but a matter of time. . . .

    Dr. Piech, the so-called "father of quattro" proclaimed that "eventually all premium sporting sedans (and other cars too) would offer AWD."

    The man was a profit, and for at least 15 years I thought he must've been smokin' something 'cause no serious car company, thus far, ever seemed to take AWD seriously. Sure, in 1988, BMW dabbled a bit with the 325ix and even Mercedes came out with their overly complicated (at the time) 4Matic, but Audi had moved to offer AWD across the entire product line as early as 1984 (of course so much of the engineering and content "greatness" was overshadowed by "unintended acceleration.")

    Now, today, "the foot is in the other shoe." Dr. Piech's "prophecy" is coming true -- like, now, like, all-at-once. Yet Audi with 25 years of leadership is moving (in my mind) from leader of the pack to "member" (front-runner, but member) of the pack. And, the heck of it is -- simultaneously there is no discernable marketing campaign to promote Audis history, heritage and engineering leadership -- juxtaposed with either an insane or inane "get them on the street" tactic (or strategy?) of pricing them slightly lower at MSRP but "beyond the tolerance of reasonable" lease prices when all the competition is coming out with -- finally -- truly competitive cars. Many with AWD, most with content equal to Audis and with market perceptions that, unfortunately, rate them equal to or higher than Audi's current rank in the pecking order of Premium cars.

    Hence my frustration, hence my "value proposition" concerns.

    Now, today, if my friend were to drive up in his new 530 BMW it would cost over $3,000 more than my new A6 3.2 at MSRP and be over $100 per month less on a lease. Despite my fondness for AWD, this discrepancy strikes me as either arrogant or just plain dumb.

    In May, if the new 5 series AWD Bimmer is similarly priced (plus the added ~$2K for AWD) and the price is about the same as the A6 3.2, I can only assume that some folks will not even consider the Audi, because it will have lost an extremely valuable piece of market differentiation and has not capitalized on "all the goodness and goodwill" created over the past 25 years.

    More's the pity. More's the pity.

    Besides, the M35x is VERY COMPETITIVE, both in content/performance and MSRP -- I can see its attraction was the point I was trying to make with my colleagues at lunch.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    Mark: I bought a bmw 530 in 2001. I was comparing it to the Audi A6 2.7t at the time. The A8 was not a comparable price to the 530. My car has the sport, premium, etc...Also, I do get the free maintenance. It has 49,000 miles now with not one problem, except the cupholders. But, in 2001 I was going to get the Audi, but in several months from then, Audi was getting a facelift which I would want. Bottom line, I would have had to wait about 7 months out. At that time, the bmw definitely had a better driving experience, but the Audi was more luxurious inside and bigger, which I liked. Anyhow, the bmw has been great and we'll keep it forever. I am now considering the A6 because of its size and comfort. Although, in 2001, my friend bought the A6 and continually had it in the shop for oil consumption problems. Just recently turned it in early. Seems it was a lemon, though.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    I had both a 2000 A6 4.2 and a 2001 A6 4.2 sport.

    My comparison was with my sport suspension equipped A6 V8. The price comparison, NOT the model designation was the basis of my story. I was not and if I did, did not mean to suggest that an Audi A8 was comparably priced with a 530 Bimmer.

    The common assumption was that there were 3 models of the Audi A6 and three of the BMW 5 series and that they were marketed in the US to compete with each other.

    On paper, these three cars from their respective companies were, in terms of power, low, medium and high, although the 2.7T was quicker and faster than the middle BMW.

    The price, however made a match between the middle BMW and the top Audi a more likely comparison.

    When one could acquire a V8 sport equipped A6 OR a BMW 6 cylinder also sport equipped for approximate money (and the lease even more favored the Audi) the Audi could "beat" the BMW in many ways.

    This was the basis for the value prop I have been on about (that I am concerned Audi has either lost or forgotten).

    If I somehow suggested that I was comparing an A8 to the 530, I misspoke. I was comparing the Audi 4.2 to the 530i based on the closeness of their MSRP's at the time.

    However, in point of fact, the 2.7T version was more capable in many respects based on its high torque and horsepower. At that time, the Audi 2.7T & 4.2 A6's were on C&D's 10 Best.

    The current, new A6, IMHO should have made the cut this year -- but alas it did not grace C&D's top 10.

    Danger Will Robinson, Danger!
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    Mark: I'm sorry. I meant to say an A6 4.2, not an A8. In my area, I couldn't get a 4.2 for the same price as the 530, which I paid MSRP for back in 2001. I'm sure you were able to get a better deal than I. Again, the 2.7t was the car I wanted, but time was a factor. I've been happy with the 530 but am currently looking at the new A6. It's beautiful, and in my area, they aren't around every corner like the bmw.
  • nofeernofeer Posts: 380
    can you change this yourself? can you get these at a auto parts store or have to get them from the dealer (mine is 70 miles away) are there inserts or do replace the whole blade??? how much, and is it hard to do

    thanks :)
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Is it just me, or does the upcoming Passat dangerously resemble the A6? If you squint, you can even see VW's version of the single frame grille. Dimensions are relatively close, and typically the two brands share DNA under the skin, anyway. 4-Motion is allegedly a less advanced version of Quattro, but are the systems truly that different?

    VW is also developing a new 3.6 liter, 280-hp V6 for the Passat's debut in early 2006. If I'm a new A6 owner with the 3.1 liter 255-hp motor, I would not be a happy camper when I learn about the better endowed VW, or if Audi decides to offer the bigger engine a year later.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,669
    Actually they don't share much...at all.

    The Passat now shares the new Golf/Jetta platform, and much of the content (suspension/steering, hvac, etc).

    I would suspect the A6 has a more refined drive...but it's just speculation.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    I believe the Passat gets a stronger V6 because it won't be offered with the V8. Then again, they may offer the W8 again which rules out my theory on the V6.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,088
    The Passat W8 is gone.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Then there you have it. The new Passat gets a stronger V6 because it doesn't get the 8.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    And the A6 gets stuck with the paltry 3.2 (by comparison) for how long?
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Considering that it's been sort of revamped for this model, it will be a while.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    That is unfortunate. I guess Audi feels 7.9 to 60mph is sufficient.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    For 99.9% of driving situations, that is sufficient. I suppose their stance is if you want faster, ante up for the 4.2; and even that isn't as fast as I would like. But it sure sounds and feels good when you nail it! I suppose they reserve the hardcore speed for the S/RS vehicles.

    They have good power, they just need a serious diet.
  • jhutchinsjhutchins Posts: 15
    I may be crazy, but I thought the April, 2005 Road & Track issue that reviewed the 3.2 A6 (in a very good, but not glowing review) listed 0-60 in 7.0 seconds. I don't have the issue in front of me, though.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    Or I could save $6K, get the M35x, and get to 60 in the same 6.3 seconds that it takes for the 4.2

    I think the A6 is a great car, inside and out. But 'feel' is just as important as anything else. I've driven both the 3.2 and 4.2, and the 3.2 'feels' rather sluggish IMO. So much so in comparison with the M, that I'm not even considering it any longer.

    I'm waiting for the Audi dealer to get the new-body S4 in before I sign off on the M35x, should be in the last week of the month. I want to see how the non-stick S4 drives and then it's decision time. S4's looking good.
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