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Audi A6

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,244
    You're my kinda guy. Pay cash and drive it for 6+ years.

    That's exactly what I'm in the process of doing with my current vehicle. If the Audi long-term reliability reputation were better, I might be doing it today in a 2.7 A6, or if they'd bring the diesels to the U.S. . . However, I'm only a bit over five years into my current vehicle and expect/hope to get 2-3 more years out of it.

    Point being. . .keep us posted. If you drive less than 15K miles/year, you have the ability to be covered by a warranty the whole time. I generally blow through the mileage limits, so actually require a vehicle that doesn't break.

    Love Audis. Hate trips to the dealer, even if they're "under warranty." My time is worth something -- quite a bit more as I age.
  • . . .for 6 years or 100,000 miles.

    And, glad to have helped.

    And, to each his/her own on the auto vs stick.

    You must know by now that I also have a tiptronic in my new A6.

    My allroad is missed, you will certainly enjoy yours.

    Someday, someone will explain why paying cash for something that depreciates as rapidly as a car will make sense.

    Congratulations.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    Mark,

    If you have a boat load of cash and can't be bothered with those "pesky" payments, then it makes sense!

    Too much "opportunity cost" associated with paying cash for me.
  • jonwardjonward Posts: 8
    Thanks for the information folks. I'll go with the 17-inch probably. Incidentally, I was not looking for a "sofa" type ride. We live in the middle of nowhere VA with lots of windy, 2-lane roads. Currently have an 2002 S430 and have to keep the adjustable air suspension in the middle position. Set for a soft ride it literally made me car sick. Can't wait to leave that 2-ton albatross to get back in an Audi.

    Anybody remember the 5000 S? That was a CAR. And thanks to 60 Minutes reports was available used for a song.

    Test drove the Audi, BMW 530 and Infiniti M. The Bimmer had the best ride, I think. The Infiniti had the best navigation pkg. So I bought the A6.
  • Yes definately. I have an 05 A6 with 17 in wheels and it rides horrible on bumpy roads or any road with expansion joints. I would trade my 17in wheels for 16's in a New York minute
  • jjw6414jjw6414 Posts: 6
    I have a 2 month old A6 3.2 V6 with the sport package and everything else. Really do like the car. However, I recently moved to a new area with some very bumpy roads on my usual route to work.. I love the handling with the sport suspension, but the ride is very bumpy. I am not much of a car guy and could use some advice on how to smooth out the ride a bit in my new surroundings. Other than swapping the summer UHP tires for some all season tires, any advice.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,579
    Have you made sure your tires aren't over inflated?
  • jjw1965jjw1965 Posts: 1
    Yes. They were a bit overinflated when I brought it home, but fixed that. Do allweather tires make a big difference? If so, UHP tires or grand touring? any ideas.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    All season tires can actually make your car ride harder because of the stiffer sidewalls. Summer tires have a softer compound rubber to make them sticker to the road, but you may have problems in the peak winter months with snow and such. But summer tires can wear out in very qucikly and can get rather noisy as well.

    Tires differ greatly from brand to brand, and one all season tire may ride better than the other. I've seen Michelin, Pirelli, and Continental tires on the new 05 A6.

    The sport suspension with the 18 inch rims is going to give you the hardest ride setup on the new A6. I think the best combination of ride and looks is going with the 18's and regular suspension. The 17 inch wheels don't look good on the A6, and the 18's make a huge differnce in stying and really set the car off.

    But for those of you who live in the land of potholes, you may have to make a different choice.
  • Advice: (-) minus zero your tire size and go to a tire noted for its ride characteristics. This data and subjective reviews, too, can be found at tirerack.com.

    Minus sizing will have to be determined, by you, to be of merit. Perhaps simply going with grand touring tires of the same size will be sufficient to improve the ride.

    Of course, the sport suspension package is a "system" -- and this system does rely on the tires, wheels, springs, sway bars and struts working in cooperation with each other. The springs on the sport package model are less soft than the non sport and the car is slightly lower, the swaybars are probably about 20% thicker which controls body lean at the expense of some ride softness.

    I would certainly ask someone who has NO interest in selling you a set of tires, for instance, what their advice on this matter would be.

    BTW, minus zero sizing would probably allow you to go from a 40 series tire to a 45 series tire (which may also have some winter benefits due to the fact that it should be more narrow, too.)

    I went with the 18" tires and "no season" tires -- thus far, however, I have pretty much enjoyed all aspects of the A6 3.2, but I have not pushed it handling wise to the point where I might appreciate the summer only performance tires.

    UHP all seasons are, too, pretty stiff on the sidewalls, since they attempt to perform more like a summer tire than an HP all season tire.
  • jjw6414jjw6414 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advice markcincinnatti. I had read up a little over the weekend and had come to a similar conclusion on the minus sizing. I live in Dallas and drive downtown (bad roads) or on the tollway (good roads). Love the tollway with this car, hate the inner city roads. I drove both the sport and nonsport with 18 inch tires and went with the sport because I was tired of "soft" cars. However, I would probably make a different choice if I had the mulligan. Only have 800 miles on the car as I took three weeks of vacation right after I bought it, and the dealer has promised to make it as palatable as possible if I switch. Not sure what I will do, probably just drive it for a couple of years and then rethink. Probably will re-tire if I keep it.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    You could always put the regular springs back in the A6. Springs aren't that expensive, and it's a whole lot cheaper than trading in or switching cars.

    You would probobly have to do another 4 wheel aligment, and it might cost you $500-600 bucks or so with labor.
  • At that price, I think I would seriously consider HP Grand Touring tires, instead of mucking around with the springs (you would still have the lower jounce struts and thicker anti sway bars leftover) -- just a thought.
  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Posts: 55
    Marks made the rhetorical (I think) remark "Someday, someone will explain why paying cash for something that depreciates as rapidly as a car will make sense."

    I'm not sure if this is someday, but personally I don't understand Mark's logic. It seems to me that when you acquire (buy or lease) a car, you must pay for the use you'll have from the car, which includes mileage, wear and tear, etc. It then becomes a financing decision as to whether you pay for it up front or over time, buy or lease, etc. I believe that the financing arm's of car companies make money, so why does it necessarily not make sense to pay cash and avoid paying them?

    I'm sure you've seen all the articles as have I about all the people who are "upside down" on cars. I can't see how that makes much sense. To me it actually makes more sense to borrow money for things that hold value or appreciate, otherwise you're left with debt and no asset.
  • jjw6414jjw6414 Posts: 6
    Follow-up. Knocked off work early and went back to the dealership and drove cars over the same bumpy course the local mercedes guy used to show off the E350, which rides really well. Drove my A6 with sport suspension and 18 inch pilot sport summer tires. versus an identical A6 with standard suspension, 18 inch wheels and pilot all season tires. I am keeping my A6. The ride is firmer but I cannot give up the handling and stability of the sport suspension. Sure, you feel more of the small stuff but fly over some railroad tracks going 50 or so and the sport suspension recovers immediately versus the standard setup. Both these cars are firm, but I think the handling outweighs the slightly rougher ride. I also noticed that the S-line A6s (with sport suspension) are all shod with Continental all-season tires as is the A6 4.2 with the adaptive air suspension. I think those tires are a better fit for the setup. I do think some of my dissatisfaction lies with the tires and I am headed for a different set. Reviews of the pilot sport summer tires all praise the handling but the ride is rougher than other options. The best A6 I have driven is the 4.2 with the adaptive suspension, but in my mind there is not enough there to warrant the 8-10K difference in price. For >62K i am probably looking at a different class of cars.

    Great experience with the dealer today. Willing to go the extra mile (even on the finances) to make sure I got the car I want. Might be back soon for a Q7 for the wife.

    Thanks to all for the good advice.
  • My point was to paraphrase my accountant who says, "buy what appreciates, rent (or lease) what depreciates."

    Although I can also add, one reason perhaps NOT to pay cash is "opportunity cost" of money or even the "peace of mind" that accrues to one with more liquidity.

    Of course my accountant also claims that most folks grow up to buy a car (on time payments) and rent an apartment which gets them no equity and often minus equity.

    The deals on leases, at this juncture, available make them difficult to pass up.

    Perhaps if I could acquire a two year old car off lease with about 50% of its original factory warranty (and also be CPO'd), that would would be the most financially sagacious "acquisition" method.

    Buying a new car in cash -- seems to ME -- like burning twenty dollar bills to light a cigar (and I don't even smoke.)

    To each his/her own.

    One of the folks I work with just bought a new Ford F150 4 door "all lux" pickup truck ($44,000 MSRP). He got it for $33,000 (employee pricing, etc etc etc.)

    We played a little bit of a speculative game -- after 4 years, if history is a good guide, the truck will have retained a larger % of its MSRP than most cars, after 6 years even more and after 10 years, "fugettaboudit."

    Not only is this Ford pickup truck more luxurious than most cars these days, it seems to have been a bargain. I rode in the thing and it is "library quiet" has a great sound system, has power everything and a [thirsty] V8 engine. It does not (at least I hope not) handle like any Audi. But, it seems more car like than it has a "right" to.

    I am not thinking of going to the pick-em-up side of life (at least not yet.) But, if I HAD to live with this vehicle (gasoline prices would bother me, somewhat) I would not feel like I would be out of place in a suit driving it (even here in Cincinnati.)

    Maybe, "rent what depreciates, buy what appreciates and buy trucks" makes the most sense.

    I'm not quite ready for that -- yet!
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    Its the finance charge vs. Opportunity cost.

    Assume you can average 8% on 50k for 6 years Thats 79,000K Sure the stock/bond market fluctuates, but lets bring that to its historical level of 10% Thats $107,000.

    Naturally the finance cost is going to bring it down, but remember your paying off a loan, so the amount borrowed decreases.

    What really determines is the ability to make payments? Lets assume this person is not retired. Can he/she afford to make monthly payments? Does this person need to grow his/her net worth?

    Example. It takes 53 months compounding at 8% making $800 permonth savings into an account to reach $50,000. That same 50k if left to compound at 8% (use cash flow to pay $800 monthly payments) would grow to $71,000. Subtract the interest on the car, and thats the opportunity cost! Id rather have a growing lump sum! But thats my preference. I always have the ability to pay off this loan with the lump sum if I need too! This gives me options with my money. (depending on liquidity).

    Same can be said for real estate, or anyother LONG TERM investment. One of my stocks pays over 4% dividend and has a nice growth record in the 15 y;ears I have owned it. If that 4% about pays my interest, then I still have the growth.

    ALso, if your income rises, paymentst becomes a smaller %.

    If I have substantial net worth, very little income from compensation (retired) and a good bit in bonds for income, then perhaps paying cash makes sense. And of course there are many other situations also where it make sense.

    It depends on your goals, net worth, liquidity factors, and preferences! There is no right or wrong. Nobody has to spend 50k or more on a car!
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Your argument is good, but I still have issue with renting a car (leasing) and having no equity when all is said and done. The 36 or 48 month lease expires and you are left with nothing except the money you've paid to rent the vehicle at a premium with interest. Granted, the individual who buys the vehicle outright still loses equity, but at least there is still something there at the end....just my way of seeing things... Its the same thing as renting an apartment vs. buying a house but on a smaller scale.

    I agree that if one were to invest the money of purchase into a good stock ETF, then you'd probably win the entire game, but most people who lease don't consider it this way and don't have the lump sum of cash on hand which they then invest. Thus, there is not investment to offset the interest loss by renting.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    I lease the A6...because after 3 years, I won't have to worry about engine problems because of older age of car. I also depreciate the miles for work ( a percentage of them, not all miles). I think unless you are going to keep a car for 6 plus years, then it doesn't make sense to purchase. Most people today don't keep a car more than 6 years (in this country...in Europe, they drive them until they die). You get the extra benefit of owning the car after 5 years of payments ( I used 60 months financing to keep payment on purchase closer to lease payment...although it's still more expensive payment) for one additional year if you trade it in in after the 6th year. I think in mose cases it's a wash...because you are putting a bigger down payment down when you purchase (thus the money you're getting back after you sell). And, some cars aren't worth that much anyway after 6 years and 80K plus miles. If you put very few miles on your car a year, this changes some benefits in favor of buying. I think the bottom line is that most people lease instead of purchase because it enables them to get a much nicer car for less money per month. If I put nothing down on a lease and $15K down on a purchase, and car is worth the same $15K at lease end ( which is a big MAYBE), and payments are less for leasing, then wheres the benefit to the purchase?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,244
    That 8% on $50K for six years is nice work, if you can get it.

    Here's a scenario for you: Pull $35K out of a collection of stock mutual funds in January of '00 & move it to a money market (can't remember, but 4 - 4.5%). In May, after the market is well along on its slide to oblivion (that lasted 3, count em, years), pay cash for a car, which would have cost more to finance then than money markets (let alone anything else) were paying.

    Three years after purchase, comparing what the car was worth to what the investments would have been, plus the cost of financing, yielded an interesting, and rather different result than your well thought out (generic & optimistic) scenario.

    Granted, mostly luck, but it worked for me. The next time (on my wife's vehicle, which was a truck, by the way), we dollar cost averaged what amounted to a cash purchase, over ~20 months.

    If you want a new vehicle (or need one because the warranty on an inherently unreliable & expensive one runs out), leasing makes lots of sense, particularly if the manufacturer is "participating" to move the iron.

    If you keep cars a long time and drive them 15 - 20K mi/year in the meantime. . .not so much.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    YEs, most people don't have the dicipline to keep equity on hand. Thats the point.

    Leasing vs. buying, its a matter of where you want the equity. Likewise, why buy somting that depreciates when you can have your equity in somthing that does not? Stock markets don't go up every year, but very few cars actually appreciate!

    INvesting long term. I do this for a living, And as I said, to each his own!

    I manage portfolios, employ 3rd party managers for my clinets, and manage an ETF portfolio. In the long run, and I have been doing this for 20 years, it works.

    Not every year mind you, and in the current environment, its more comforting to do what every one else is doing. My smartest clients are selling real estate and buying stocks. Why? Cuz you buy low and sell high. Is the stockmarket low? Don't know, but after 5 lack luster years and a real estate market thats kinda high, it might make sense.

    Nobody gets in on the bottom, or out at the top on a regular basis. But if you come close, your doing well. good luck
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    I preface with "to each his own".

    There are so many variables to each scenario that warrant what is right and what is wrong. As long as you have a long term plan and the dicipline to do it, then it works.

    The benchmark of success is achieving your goals! There are many many roads to take!

    IF you sold equity funds in Jan '00 that was a smart/lucky move! If we can all sell 3 months before a cyclical peak we can all pay cash for our audis, and drive them on our private islands!
  • "Its the same thing as renting an apartment vs. buying a house but on a smaller scale."

    I was at least understanding your argument until I read this sentence above. The premise -- and this has stuck with me since I got my very first leased car in 1977, a 1978 Audi 5000 -- is to buy what appreciates and "rent" what depreciates. Generally speaking buying a house is an investment in an appreciating asset while buying a car -- unless you can get zero percent interest (and even then somewhat dubious) -- is virtually always something that depreciates (and often in the first 2 - 4 years MOST rapidly.)

    If you have $50K lump sum of cash and give it to Audi of America, for example, at the end of the 4 years you do have some equity, probably about $20,000 worth at wholesale (and retail may or may not be better if you try to sell it for retail yourself.) Of course, I may be totally wrong to think that an Audi will be worth 40% of its MSRP after 48 months -- I hope it is more, but I wouldn't count on it -- the more expensive it is, indeed, I would think the smaller the residual in dollars (i.e., a $45K A6 vs an optioned up one for $54K would probably yield a steeper depreciation for the $54K version.)

    I do not have any criticism of anyone's desire or ability to pay cash (in one lump) -- but cars (and unfortunately Audis in particular) seem to lose their value soooo quickly it is "breathtaking."

    My Audi dealer has a $128,000 A8L W12 on the showroom floor. It is my "belief" that the person who "acquires" this car will keep it less than 3 years -- dibs, dibs -- for when it comes back in it will probably end up being sold for a number than begins with a "5" -- the depreciation will be that steep.

    But, I've been wrong before.

    Cars (with few exceptions) are the opposite of Real Estate, buy what grows, rent (and expense) what shrinks -- my CPA owns his own building and leases Volvos.

    Hopefully he is as sharp a guy as I think he is.

    Then again, my bank does NOT own its own building. . . .

    High finance? :confuse:
  • tommytgtommytg Posts: 15
    Hello, I'm considering purchasing an A6 (among other options), and i like the fact that there seem to be plenty of slightly used '05's available at some significant discounts with very little miles (though I wonder if i should be concerned about this).

    Now, if i find one that has all the goodies that i want, except for Nav, can I add the stock system afterwards, and if so, what would it cost? Also wondering if I could possibly do this with the voice recognition package.

    I've test driven the Audi, as well as the M and 530. I think the M is a better overall value, but I must admit that I'm drawn to Audi's styling much more. With RL's now going out fully loaded (as they offer no options) in the $42k range brand new, that's probably the best option, but the car is so bland that I can't bring myself to spend the dough on what looks like an overgrown Accord.

    I do really like the A6, and quattro is certainly an advantage. Call it nitpicking, but one thing that did bother me about the A6 i test drove (3.2) was the manually controlled tilt/telescoping steering. Really? In a $50k car? Not a big deal, but for some reason bugged me.

    Sorry to get off my own topic, but if anyone has thoughts on the Nav, much appreciated, as this is a must for me. Thanks.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    but be prepared to wait. The installation kit/wiring is different from the factory install and I think they are on a huge backorder. It won't be cheap either. Call a dealer and get a quote.

    -Paul
  • The stack of $100 bills has to be THIS high to do this. So, yes, it can be done, but it will cost more than the price of the built in one at full MSRP would have cost in the first place and MAY have some issues since it was not included when the car was born in the first place.

    I would try to find the dealer principal's own car, if possible. Usually it has all the toys -- and often it is a cream puff since it may be fairly low milage.

    The dealer's wife had a fully loaded A6 4.2 and it was let go with about 5 or 6 thousand miles on it, for a "song" whatever that means.

    Don't count on the after the fact Nav unless you have patience and money and, BTW, money. :shades:
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Your looking at about 2 grand to have Retro Navigation installed in the parts department on the 2005 A6. The disc from Navteq will run you about $200 as well. It all depends on how much mark-up the parts department was to make off you. If you bought a car from the same dealer, they might do it for close to cost and cut you a deal on installation.

    $1500 was a pretty good deal on the navigation from the factory. Audi raised in to $1800 on the 2006 models.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    the cost would include the DVD... and if you ask nicely, you will get the new DVD that just came out (5.02 I believe)... but again, the parts backorder is rather long. The NavTeq 'installation kit' is on national backorder from the manufacturer... NOT from Audi. Be prepared to wait. :)

    You don't want to ask how I know.

    -Paul
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Mark,

    The adage of buying what appreciates and renting what depreciates is not always correct. There are so many variables involved in that simple statement that come into play. One could argue that buying what depreciates makes more sense as you are more likely to get fair market value for the auto at the end of your use, as opposed to renting, when the financing agency will make darn sure they don't get stuck with the short end of the straw and will thus calculate the numbers to guarantee that.

    My reference to renting vs. buying a home had to do with the time one would live in the place. It is generally best to rent if one would only live in an area for a few years, and better to buy if living 5 or more years as you obtain more equity in the property...likewise with autos, if planning on getting a new car every 3 years, then definitely rent, but if holding it longer, then consider buying.

    I think there are pros and cons to either way of looking at the equation...
  • I do not disagree with anything you have said.

    There is only one thing -- this is generally a car forum, not a graduate level (MBA) course in finance.

    Generalizations and platitudes are certainly NOT the basis for any of us to take actions. Even if I were capable of more detailed analysis and argument, it would still have to be couched with "your circumstances will determine if this approach is appropriate for your circumstances."

    I fully and freely offer the phrase "buy. . . .rent. . . ." and hereby advise that it is a generalization and, frankly, a platitude.

    Here's another one: "waste not, want not. . ."

    Who could argue with that?

    "A stitch in time, saves, nine. . ."

    Drive it like you live.

    :shades:
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