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Audi A6

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  • Flying or running "naked" means driving without the comfort, safety and "cover" of the factory warranty.

     

    Running naked in any European car is risky, unless you literally could make a decision to walk away from a car, park it on the side of the road, abandon it and buy another.

     

    One little hiccup in an Audi -- say a problem with a 2.7T turbo, can rapidly run way above $10,000.

     

    This is not an Audi phenom, either.

     

    Just don't run naked is the best advice.
  • kscctsksccts Posts: 140
    Oh, please. Risk is in the eye of the beholder. Modern cars are UNBELIEVABLY reliable, domestic and foreign. One certainly pays a hefty premium to always have a "new" car with warranty.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,592
    My sentiments exactly. My Audi A4 performed well past the 120K mark and I didn't have to take the big depreciation hit that comes from buying or leasing them new.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,236
    that some cars are much less risky in the "naked" mode than others.

     

    European brands are in the "more risky" category, based on what I've researched.

     

    In the past, the argument was that if one wanted a spirited vehicle (as opposed to an Asian appliance), it was necessary to put up with this.

     

    Now, with the M and other Asian (forgive me, I've heard that Asian is no longer PC -- I'm not sure what this week's substitute is) offerings, I'm thinking that it's going to be uphill sledding for Audi, BMW & Merc.

     

    Of course, time will tell.

     

    Besides which, most lease and only a few actually buy and hold. Very different P/L considerations.
  • I fundamentally agree. The cost, however, of a 100,000 mile warranty (from the factory) is about $1,200. One relatively minor repair burns through that easily.

     

    And, despite my hope that European cars are UNBELIEVABLY reliable, the statistics generally don't support European reliability. If you believe USA Today, they reported (in 2004) that European cars have taken a step backward in the reliability category. I hate to even think that way, but it is also supported anecdotally, too.

     

    The Japaense (or Asian or whatever the geography today is to be called) brands -- even those built in NA -- conversely keep raising the reliability bar.

     

    Thus far, speaking as a person who bleeds four little intertwined rings, Audis are breathtakingly expensive to maintain and repair.

     

    Now, having said that, BMW's seem even moreso. Our one BMW gave birth to the notion of the one hundred dollar oil change (but they always washed the car -- woo woo).

     

    The Audi and BMW "advantage" has made these cars no more reliable or better built (although I think the cars just keep getting better all the time, but what do I know?) -- all that these programs have done is make the cars "feel" less expensive to own.

     

    Perception is reality in that case.

     

    And, as much as I know it is very possible to find the lemon Lexus, Acura or Infiniti cars (you can read about them all over the web) it is also less likely to happen based both on anecdotes AND FOR (frequency of repair) data.

     

    The trade off between GREAT driving cars and reliable cars is receding -- as noted by the test of the new M35 and the A6 in MT magazine -- but there are still some of us that believe it will eventually be possible to have both exceptional reliability and "no boring cars."

     

    I haven't yet driven either the M35 or the RL, but unless this is a huge propaganda effort, it certainly seems that the Germans had better look over their shoulder to see the Japanese blinking their left turn signal -- "move over?"

     

    Gulp.

     

    Having said this, I would also want to keep a warranty in force for my Japanese car (if I ever acquire one).
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I have to agree with Mark. It is well established that the Japanese cars as a whole are more reliable than the Audi's (and Germans as a whole). It is also notable, however, that the difference between the most reliable cars and least reliable cars is narrowing. Overall, autos are getting built better. That being said, I reiterate what I've said on previous occasions... to go "commando" on a $50+ thousand car is foolish IMO. Its not that expensive for the insurance of a catastrophic repair bill.
  • kscctsksccts Posts: 140
    No, foolish is buying a $50+ thousand car to begin with! LOL! If one can TRULY afford a $50,000 car, then you should be able to risk the small likelihood that you will have an expensive repair. Besides, why does the price of the car make a difference? Is it any different to go "commando" on a $30,000 car vs an $80,000 car?
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I would have to say yes, it does make a difference about the price of the car. One would hope the difference in price of the cars (30K vs 80K for instance) would be that the more expensive car has more features, electronic gadgets, etc... These features are usually 1) expensive and 2) cutting edge, thus more likely to have problems. Granted, fixing a radiator leak in either car should cost the same, but it is the extras on the more expensive cars that make them more enjoyable to ride in or drive and it is those features that would be more likely to have problems rather than the standard "featureless car".

     

    I have heard too many stories on these forums of cars breaking down and repair bills easily being over $2k. The cost of one big repair would easily pay for the extended warranty. Whether it is fair or not, the more expensive cars are also more expensive to repair.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    If I am leasing, say a 42 months one, I am looking at it ending at 50k. If the warranty were to go out at 36 and I have a big repair, it kinda stinks knowing I am handing in the car in a year or less. COuld be just a month before. Do you think its cool to drop 6 grand on a turbo, or rebuild an airsuspension just days before the lease ends? IF I own the car its a different story!
  • . . .appears to have been brought to the NA market somewhat haphazardly. Here are my observations in no particular order.

     

    The inevitable tease about the new car happened, I'm fine with that.

     

    The US availability date becomes known, but when the date finally arrives there are damn few cars available and the lease rates (and I am told that the majority are leased) are off the chart nuts and the only way to even come close to a "reasonable" payment is to extend the term to 42 months.

     

    Some folks start shopping the A6 lease rates against "competitive" cars -- the Audi seems expensive and for the first time in my long tenure as an Audi customer, there is REAL competition from all over the globe.

     

    Way too little inventory.

     

    I have seen ONE A6/C6 on the highway here in Cincinnati (and we have two dealerships, both of them dedicated to Audi only). My dealership says that sales of "new cars" (not just C6's) for November and December rose from 30 to 50 cars per month (my dealer moved to a "better" location in October).

     

    There is ONE "stripped down" A6 C6 on the showroom floor and it is beige on beige -- not bad looking, but not eye catching: and stripped??? Who placed that order?

     

    Some hype was built up long before there were any cars. Then when the car somewhat becomes available, there is little press. Now the first comparison test has come out (granted it is in Motor Trend, but for some people that is a GOOD thing) and the Audi 3.2 does not acquit itself well at all (4th place out of 6 cars).

     

    The mostly pretty good review in Car and Driver was of a $60,000 A6/C6 4.2 and the review busted the Audi for being too harsh, hard, firm, stiff and other unflattering words to describe a new Premium Sport Sedan. And, the C6 doesn't make C&D's ten best list (but the previous A6 2.7T & 4.2 did!)

     

    Audi, last year, started marketing an S-Line 2.7T with 265 HP and 280 lb/ft torque (at about 200 RPM) and apparently brought the 3.2 to market as the "heir apparent" (read replacement) to the 2.7T throne -- yet the performance by most of the stats used to promote a car's engine were POORER than the car it replaced. I have no quarrel with the HP and torque of the C6 3.2, but the 0-100kph performance actually went backwards from a less expensive 2.7T S-Line equipped model (you could just see someone looking at a $49,500 A6 2.7T S-Line and a $50,250 A6 3.2 and the lease payment differences were in the $100's of dollars.)

     

    Yea, yea, the A6's sales for 2004 here in the US were down, so the lease deals were, for many folks, almost "unbelievable" for the S-Line 2.7T A6 -- I get that, too, the new car made some people delay getting their new car until the C6 was available. But the price differences (thinking again of the monthly lease payments) were HUGE -- way way way too far apart considering that there were plenty of 2.7T S-Lines that were "just south of $50,000" sitting on the showroom and on the lots.

     

    Then the S-Line on the C6 becomes available but ONLY on a hard to come by 4.2? I remember when the Ultra Sport came out and could be had on the A4 1.8T quattros, they almost literally "flew off the floor!"

     

    An S-Line 3.2 (much the same as there was a 2.7T S-Line, but no C5 4.2 S-Line) should have been first or simultaneous with the 4.2 S-Line -- and for pity's sake do WHATEVER it would take to get the 3.2 to have a sub 7 second 0-100kph time (a slightly shorter final drive ratio would get it down a couple of tenths of a second and overdriving 6th a smidge more would have somewhat offset the fuel economy hit.)

     

    Then (and you -- Audi AG and AoA -- know this is coming) a new Acura RL comes out with AWD (or SH-AWD, as they call it) and a 300 HP V6 with "all the toys" that can be had on an Audi A6 (and some that can't), but essentially lists for ~10% less, "apples to apples" (but not really since to get the Acura at a price of 90%, it has to be compared to a loaded C6 3.2, not to the V8 which makes the Audi's price appear to be even more bloated.)

     

    And, where are the TV ad's? -- other than on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel?

     

    Maybe my BMW loving friend is right, who claims Audis appeal (and are marketed) to the left brain, even though most cars are purchased (so he says) by the right brain (the new A6 ad is based on an algorithm for Pete's sake.) He thinks, and I largely agree, that Audis TV presence, er, sucks, on a good day. Check out the Acura RL and most of the BMW ads -- which, by the way you don't have to hunt for. My wife sure remembers the four little angles flying next to the X5 in the commercials, if you get my drift.

     

    Dr. Piech (the father of quattro, don't you know?) said, some twenty-five years ago: "all premium sporting cars -- sedans, coupes, roadsters, two, four and more seaters will EVENTUALLY offer AWD (and he gave all the reasons we here on Edmunds town-hall know and love) across their entire lines. When they do, Audi will have to further move the product along to retain and capitalize upon its ability to no longer differentiate itself by virtue of quattro." (sic)

     

    What I think that means is that for almost 25 years, regardless of strong arguments that CAN or COULD be made to the contrary, Audis were able to be easily differentiated by Quattro and the Audi "value proposition." From 1984, through 2003 perhaps, Audi brought products out that were virtually peerless and for the price were downright bargains. Check the lease calculators for a new BMW 5 series and a new A6 (both with 6 cylinder engines.)

     

    And, yes I know and can articulate the arguments from the BMW, Mercedes and overall the RWD crowd about the superiority of RWD, yadda yadda yadda. I am not here to start or participate in an argument on that subject.

     

    The facts -- the MARKETING facts -- were (past tense) that Audis across the board quattro availability was a segment leading or at least segment differentiating feature. This differentiation is (present tense), like a huge ice sculpture out in above freezing weather(and this year some other car companies came out with some blow torches); it is melting, what with the near universal availability of Mercedes AWD's, and the steady march into AWD availability of the BMW product line. Ditto Acura (coming soon across the line) and ditto Infiniti, Lexus, Volvo, VW and although not in the same class, Subaru and even Porsche (coming at the all driven wheels are better for "this that and THE OTHER thing" from these manufacturer's various vantage points.)

     

    I write this as from the perspective of a long long long time fan (heck, a maven) of the brand. Certainly NOT AoA's best customer -- but, I'll wager we're in the top quartile of their best customers (27+ Audis since 1978 must at least have earned my wife and me the status of "honorable mention," i.e.)

     

    I am frustrated with the roll out of the new products, the lack of "the whole package" approach (read on for an analogy.)

     

    I don't know or care if you are a Democrat, Republic
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,592
    Audi has found itself in a different market to which they must quickly adjust. Interestingly AFAIK the A8 and A/S4 still rank as bargains in their respective classes but the A6, Audi's "bread and butter" car for so long is presently in a poor competitive position.

     

    I wonder if Audi ahould speed up the transition to DSG gearboxes as a means of differentiating their product line. If you have tried the DSG you'll know it ads much to the sporting character of the car while retaing the ease of a TC-based AT.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • . . .my original rant was truncated, no wonder it doesn't end on a full sentence: Here goes. . .

     

    "I am frustrated with the roll out of the new products, the lack of "the whole package" approach (read on for an analogy.)"

     

    The point:

     

    I don't know or care if you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or Agnostic -- but if I were Audi, I think I'd want the Republican Marketing Machine to "run my new car introduction campaign."

     

    I heard, Jerry Springer (who as you may know used to be the Mayor of Cincinnati and was the unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate some years ago, before he became "Jerry Springer") on a Sunday talk show answer the question why John Kerry lost with the following: "A. he had a bad campaign and B. he was not the best candidate."

     

    Audi is currently like John Kerry -- the campaign (of course now in hindsight) was not as good as the competition and the product, despite what you may think about the competition is not perceived to be as good.

     

    Audi needs to get some cars on the street -- which would be cheaper than "fixing what is wrong (according to some editors and some customers even) with them" (power, handling, perceived ride quality, etc.)

     

    Two things LEAP to mind: get aggressive with the lease programs and put some ads on the shows on TV that have the demographic (the VIEWING AUDIENCE) to whom they are hoping to sell their cars.

     

    What do you think?

     

    I'll tell ya, what I think, the Infiniti M35 AWD should make Audi's four rings go all aquiver!
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    And…don’t forget Audi’s own cousin.

     

    A new Passat with 280hp, AWD, 6 Speed auto (for now), TOTALLY loaded (with options it seems from the Phaeton) for a price under 40K; which seems to be the size of the pre 2005 A6.

     

    I did expect, not sure why, that he new 3.2 A6 would have ranked first (or a close second).
  • Mark,

     

    I have read that Audi have changed upper management, particualarly the marketing department. If audi sales in the US are onluy 10% world wide, perhaps it was more important to get the other 90% going first.

     

    There is opportunity here! Yes, and the cars are not here yet. Why offer discounts and lease deals on cars that don't yet exist?

     

    You are not the typical shopper by a long shot. YOu are far more sophisticated and I respect your views, but they are very oriented to your situation and your frustration. I agree, the A6 launch has not been smooth, and them streamlining the engine choice has taken out choices, but might eventually lead to greater profits.

     

    I think you should call the owner of your dealership, and tell him that you want to stay in the family, but the current offerings and price structure seems out of line, and is there any short term solution that might work for both of you.

     

    Either put you in a S4 at cost. Or, lease you a car for a year (maybe yours) with a full warranty. Then either the A6 you desire comes available, or a 3.2 Manual A4.

     

    Or, go lease a G35 sport with a manual for a lot less money and have fun! Or one of those funky awd super golfs with all the bells and whistles and save money!
  • Certainly there is more than a germ of truth that some of my statements stem from my (and my wife's) personal frustrations regarding the roll out of the new A6 and the upcoming A4. However, I am far from unique in this frustration. Here on edmunds and on several other town-halls across the Internet, many folks are having a "whine" or two.

     

    One thing I notice about Audi owners -- they develop fierce loyalty. With that comes the desire to make the brand (perhaps for altruistic perhaps for selfish reasons) better.

     

    I read that BMW sells 5 times as many cars in the US as does Audi (I have not confirmed this). I cannot for the life of me understand how this could be so -- historically. Yet, posters here on edmunds have "wanted" a new A6 but were just unwilling to pay over $100 more per month than a MORE EXPENSIVE BMW 5 series can be had for.

     

    I assume Audi monitors the chat rooms and "whine and cheese" blogs all over.

     

    My concerns are not that Audi does not or cannot or has not built superior products -- I believe they have and do for the most part. I also believe that until recently they have enjoyed little competition and they have -- until now -- also been the "bargain" in the Premium German car market.

     

    Now that they have cars that are being praised (rather than disdained) they should -- IMO -- be as aggressive as possible to attempt to gain market share.

     

    The new RL, M, BMW's and others from all over the globe are, in some ways, imitating Audi. The heck of it is, they are getting away with implying that "they are original thinkers."

     

    It burns me up to hear someone talk about their AWD BMW or Mercedes and when I inform them that Audis Quattros have been around for 25 years -- they seem surprised, as if to say, "I didn't know Audi made AWD cars, too!"

     

    Arrrrrrghhh!

     

    End of another vent, er, rant.
  • There are lots of germs of truth. And I won't argue with an attorney!

     

    I think Audi has been the premier stepchild and those whom don't know of "quattro" are simply gonna buy Mercedes and BMW because they are good cars, and have cache value on the nameplate.

     

    Audi's have been great bargains, but the resale values is always been the telltale sign, and so it remains.

     

    Regards to your situation, I think you have covered all reasonale points and if it comes down to you wanting the A6, its a matter of price. As far as a manual, thats a different story. As far as getting a good deal on a awd acura, I don't know the priceing. The BMW, Infiniti and Lexus are not yet available. Even when so, you might do that well on pricing (lease residual/rates) on a new hot model for some time. I guess its just what can you run out and get tomorrow, which is a BMW, but not awd.

     

    THe 4matic mercedes is and has always been too overpriced.

     

    I don't know what your answer should be, but it might just be a bad case of timing as to when your lease is up, and what is available.

     

    As you know, leasing the "hot" car has never been a bargain.

     

    The problem with audi might very well being addressed and could change at teh flip of a switch.

     

    Good luck, and hope you find what your looking for!
  • Mark, I am one of those owners who was waiting, WAITING for the new A6 to come out. I owned an '00 A8, leased an '01 A6, and was salivating at the thoughts and prospects of the C6. Since I've had bad experiences with first model year cars, I was leasing this time around and had budgeted (I thought) accordingly.

     

    I expected to pay more than my '01 2.7. Figured the MSRP would live about 5-6k above my '01, and knew the incentives wouldn't be as great- at least intially.

     

    But......$800+/month for a 50k car? My ideal car was, I believe, $50,020. I could get $1500 off sticker, and was still looking at the high 7's before tax.

     

    I now drive a 530i. I don't have quattro, which stinks, but I have snows and can live with that fact at a full $150+/month less of a payment.

     

    All things being equal, I'd be driving the A6. In fact, not even equal- I'd probably have paid another $30-40 per month to do so. But a 60% residual and a 3% finance charge on my BMW lease just blew the A6 out of the water.
  • To expand on previous posts, I wanted to give my impressions on the C6 to my 530i.

     

    Interior-wise, the edge is clearly Audi. The BMW is nice, solid, and upscale. The Audi, IMO, is class-leading. Borderline opulent.

     

    Ride-wise, I didn't see the stiffness that people are complaining about. Granted, I maybe drove the A6 3.2 for a total of one and a half hours over the course of three test drives, but I felt it stiffer than the previous model but still quite comfortable. Not a harsh stiffness- more of a road feel. Handling was very good, and I drove it one time in some slushy weather. BMW ride is fabulous- but side by side I really couldn't tell you which I prefer. In the winter, probably Audi, since I have dedicated snows on the BMW that provides a bit harsher ride than an Audi with all seasons- or even performance snows like the Blizzak LM.

     

    Toy-wise? Both have the current stuff- bluetooth, nav, etc. A relative has the keyless entry on the Acura and hates it- so I don't really see much of an advantage there. I like the Nav on the BMW a bit more than the Audi Nav on my brother's '04 A8 (which should be comparable to the C6's). Also, I like the I-drive and don't love MMI. BMW dumbed down the I-drive from the initial 7 series debacle, and the MMI seems a little more cumbersome to me. I have the voice activation, however, which allows me to circumvent almost every function.

     

    All in all, I really like both cars. If I lived in the South, I'd probably opt for the BMW. In the Northeast, as a buyer, probably the Audi. Leasee? BMW, hands down, which is where I am.

     

    I would like to add that I've been an "audi guy" for about 6 years- never thought I'd be driving something else. The new A4 will be in a class alone with the new 3-series, but again from what I've heard they will lose the lease battle. My dealer says $500+ for the 3.2 model nicely equipped....wow.
  • monet5monet5 Posts: 32
    In case anyone is interested RIM has released an update for the Blackberry 7100t. Its the 4.0 operating system and finally the 7100t and the Audi Bluetooth and operate together. Previously with 3.8 operating system the 2 devises "paired", but no functionality beyond that. Now with 4.0 they pair, calls can be generated and received through the MMI and every time you return to the car the devises auto pair up.

     

    The only downside is that the Blackberry's address/phone book doesn't download to the MMI like some other phones.

     

    Other Blackberry devices also have the 4.0 OS so if you have been having problems check with your carrier (Tmobile, AT&T, etc..) to see is the upgrade is out.
  • when it comes down to leasing, it really comes down to how much are you willing to pay a month and what is the most you will get for that $$$. If I were buying a car for x amount, then I buy whatever I like for that amount.

     

    If a similar equiped vehicle leases for $150 less a month, then that is the way to go. A case in point is , I just leased a Lexus ES330 for my wife with a $500 total out of pocket and my payment is $390 a month with 15k/year for 3 years (Camry prices here!). She had her heart set on a similar priced TL. When I told her that Acura wanted $490 for the same monthly payment and similar equiped car, she said NO WAY!!!!!! Granted, if buying was the intention, we probably would have gotten the TL for the same amount of money as the Lexus.

     

    I like Audis, but because of the high price when new and the steep depreciation in the first few years, I opted to buy an 1.5 year old for 25K, It still has 2.5 years left of warranty/30K miles and I will not take a big hit if I decide to sell it in the next few years. Maybe in two years, I will be able to buy a used 2005 C6 for 25-28K. Considering these vehicles include all the services and warranties, it might not be hard to find one in mint condition. But when it comes to leasing, it is all about what is the most I can get for my $$$$
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