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Audi A6



  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    In contrast to USA Today, The Washington Times article, also out today, finds the A6 to be superior to its competitors.

    Kind of funny how so many mags/newspapers have such diametrically opposite opinions about this car. I guess it polarizes people...either you love it or hate it.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    I found both articles to be useful. The Times article seemed to be more of an Audi brochure, less comparison, less point of reference.

    Accuracy? Neither one has that market cornered.

    There were no excuses made at all by Healey. I do not know if he is highly respected or thought to be a hack -- I find him to be one of a "thousand" points of light.
  • The USA Today writer starts off in an angry, frustarted tone due to his difficulty changing the time on the dashboard clock (not sure why changing the time during a test drive is such a priority, but he was determined to make a point). He continues his MMI critique for 6 or 7 paragraphs. He also announces early on that the car is ugly - both front and back.

    The MMI takes a little time to learn how to use, but not much more than Infinit's version (I was able to use both within a short period of time on test drives - not as big a deal as some writers claim).

    The A6 does adapt quickly to your driving style, and the engine becomes more responsive and smoother (within weeks). I saw this also with the allroad 2.7T. After 50,000 miles that car felt faster and drove more smoothly as time went on.

    The A6 is not perfect, but the article was overly negative in tone.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    Being a long term Audi fan and owner, I do agree the article certainly could be seen to be negative -- I don't know if it was overly negative. But I accept that interpretation is quite possible.

    There are several (many) very positive write ups about the new Audi -- yet there are not many positive (in the final analysis) comparison write ups. Healey may have an axe to grind with Audi, he may be so totally biased his opinions should be taken with a grain. I have no clue about his biases -- he does state his opinions. He does put his comments in context.

    I read the stand alone review of the new A6 4.2 AND the subsequent comparison review in Car and Driver. I had to reread the stand alone review after I read the comparison review -- I thought they must've had their head up their nose, as I thought they were in wild contradiction to one another.

    Yet, when I reread the stand alone (apparently positive) review of the A6, I saw the "seeds" sown for its "not top 3" ranking in the subsequent comparison review.

    Healey's "stand alone" article differs from some write ups in that he does offer up comparative remarks -- he had previously tested other "same class" cars and was able to discuss this in his article. Perhaps he should NOT have done this since this was not a comparison review (ostensibly).

    I didn't focus, I hardly remembered in fact, on the MMI comments -- in fact I don't even agree with all the criticisms about such systems. Indeed, it blows me away that if you never tried one of these systems yourself and only were led by what you read, that you would think you can't even turn the radio volume up and down without multiple "windows like" iterative steps.

    Yes, the Audi isn't perfect, but it has won so many accolades (this current car) so much recognition and has been so celebrated -- it is refreshing to read someone's opinion (and that is what it is) who is not simply regurgitating the company's press release.

    From my point of view, I wish I would have seriously considered the 2004 Audi A6 S-Line or 4.2, for I am coming to the conclusion that the outgoing model still has much to recommend, much to say for itself.

    The A6 3.2 is becoming, for me, a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes."

    Healey, to his credit, sees the "underwear." I wish I had this prescience.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    That's pretty over-reactive, considering that the A6 was voted World Car of the Year this year, otherwise known as the best car in the world right now. I don't understand what's so ugly about it- sounds too opinionized for a serious newspaper. I think it's pretty drop-dead for a midsize sedan, thinking about the style of its peers compared to it. No comparison. The Audi is a very pretty car in my young eyes, and it's not perfect, but it's the closest to perfect an Audi A6 or its predecessors have been. It undoubtably beats the BMW 5 Series in every comparison test, except one from the British Car magazine that was testing diesels: The Jaguar S-Type 3.0D, the Audi A6 3.0 TDI quattro, and the BMW 530d. Of course, like always in that magazine, the Jaguar won plainly because it's British, and the Audi came in last because they like BMWs better. Geez, we're not that boastful about American cars, and yet, they think theirs are the best in the world. The only thing innovative about Jaguar is its dated styling. The XK is sort of getting long in the tooth, too. I think the only truly cool British manufacturer is Aston Martin, but Bentley is getting cool under Volkswagen's rule, too. Anyway, the A6 lost, and that was the only comparison test it ever came in last in, in its short life so far.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    You do remember, though, that in Automobile Magazine, the results were like this in a midsize, V8, luxury-saloon comparison test:

    #1: Audi A6 4.2 quattro
    #2: Lexus GS 430
    #3: Mercedes-Benz E-500
    #4: Jaguar S-Type 4.2
    #5: Infiniti M45
    #6: Cadillac STS V8 RWD
    #7: BMW 545i
    #8: Acura RL SH-AWD

    I may be over protective of Audi, but I'm just showing what's there. The two car comparisons are very alike, with the exception of having a 530i and E-350 in a group of V8 sedans (Why?), and, of course, the outcome. I wasn't surprised by the Infiniti's leadership there- it is an impeccable sedan. I think that, overall, though, the Automobile comparison is better, in the way it looks, the cars they used, and the sensible outcome they had. I might put the 545i in front of the STS, though.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    Style is always subjective to whom it pleases.

    Mark, a fully pimped out 2004 4.2 vs. New 3.5 M? interesting!

    I recall your original discontent was lack of manual tranny?

    July is still so far away, too bad you jumped the gun! So many months, so many things can happen.

    A few years back I wrote an offer on a post it note for a certain Mercedes and told the salesmen to stick it on his moniter, and the other (copy provided) for his sales manager. If they get to the end of the month and want to move a unit they should consider my offer. It was for one of the most common model configuration so I knew they would always have it in stock.

    At month two they called me and said if I could consumate the transaction in 24 hrs I should come down, pick out a car, and pay by check, its a done deal. I had a client in my office at the time and he questioned what I was doing. I told him my deal and we called and asked if they could duplicate it! They were thrilled to move two units to make the month. Gotta be patient and understand the market. Supply and demand.

    Now will I be able to do the same with a request for "Oyster gray with Ameretto leather??
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    My discontent was and remains no manual. However, unlike my wife, I will settle for the auto. What other choice did I have? The Audi 3.2 and 4.2 and the previous 2.7T S-Line and 4.2 were all auto only. The new A4 3.2, at that moment, auto only. The new BMW 5 "X" not out, probably well over $54K, etc etc etc. The STS, with sport and AWD $63K?

    The 300C AWD auto. Merecedes "4Matic" automatic, only.

    I am one guy, and I can't vote for something that isn't on the ballot. And, a write in for a manual isn't possible. I didn't want us to have 2 X3's either.

    The new BMW 330xi might have been ok, but so might have been the S4.

    I wanted the size of the A6, or "M." I would've taken an A6 3.2 for the same money or a little more than I paid for the M35x -- no choice.
  • wbreaux1wbreaux1 Posts: 55
    "The two car comparisons are very alike, with the exception of having a 530i and E-350 in a group of V8 sedans (Why?)" I think the plain answer to that, as I believe was described in the article, was price. I'm looking for a new car in this sort of segment, was sort of sold on an A8, which I believe to be one of the world's great cars, but am rethinking because of price. I had my E320 in the shop at Mercedes the other day and walked through the lot. I think they've increased prices across the board (it seems like the SLs, Ss, and E's were increased several thousand $s since I looked last). I can't believe the premium they are charging for the Mercedes name. An E500, with nav / nice wheels / sunroof, was almost $65k list! For an equivalent A6 4.2, they are asking about $10k more, for a car that arguably is not any better (or as good??).

    I sometimes think an E500 or 545 would be a good car to have, and they are nice, but when I look at the price, comparably equipped they're getting real close to a SWB A8, which is much more car. So I can see why the review put a limit to prices by including 6 cylinder cars from Mercedes and BMW.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    I remember a 420Sel sticker was $58,000 in 1989!

    THink how much more $58,000 buys now!

    I have a problem with going over $50,000. Its a glass ceiling that makes not sense, but its just number I don't want to cross!
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I agree, bargamon1.

    It does sound silly, but I also didn't want to go much over the $50K limit. That's why I went with the 3.2 A6 instead of the 4.2 (also the fact that I could get it 4 months earlier may have played a role as my old car was literally falling apart...).

    My feeling is that if you're going to go beyond $50K, then there are so many other possibilities. For leasing, you can get up to $70K cars at times for rates not much more than these on a monthly basis... And if you're going to spend $58 or $60K, why not look into the A8, 7 series, or S-class? Or go for that eclectic sporty dream car you've always wanted (such as a Porsche)...
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I forgot about that- of course! The BMW and Mercedes are too expensive!

    I really don't love Mercedes, but they're not just charging extra for the name. Besides for Chrysler, DaimlerChrysler is having financial problems right now, though not as big as GM's. The Smart is having huge trouble- production of the 'upcoming' SUV is frozen, and there were rumors about Mercedes shutting Smart down, and never bringing it to America. They will bring it to America (eventually), after they get a jump-start in Europe. The only Smart that's doing damage to their sales is the Fourfour, which has had dwindling sales since day one, and they're basically losing money.

    I don't know what's wrong with the BMW- the A6 is much better-equipped, but the BMW (545) is about $5K more. Maybe Volkswagen just has the liberty to lower prices, because the Audi line of cars is having record sales right now. Like, how China is now the world's biggest car feed, Audi was one of the first and biggest demands there. Cadillac was, too, but the STS V8 AWD still starts at $13K more than an A6 4.2 quattro, and still when AWD is standard on the A6. Makes you think- why doesn't everyone buy an Audi? Because Japan's still there. I own two Audis, a Lexus, and a Honda, and I can see why many Americans love Japanese cars.

    Japan is the leader in innovative technology, sleek style, and class-leading prices. I don't know how they do it, but damn, it's a winning formula!

    Cars: 2005 Audi S4 Cabriolet, 2004 Lexus RX330, 2003 Honda Civic Coupe EX, 1998 Audi A4 1.8T.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Because you can't buy a new A8, S-Class, or 7 Series for $58-60K! And, the only Porsche you could buy for that money is maybe a fully-loaded Boxster S or the upcoming Cayman coupe. The Porsche 911 Carrera starts at about $72,000, and the Carrera S starts at $78,000!

    Of course, if you got a full load on an A6 4.2, you'd have a pretty nice A6! They cost about that much fully loaded, while the A6 3.2 goes for about $53K fully loaded. You could also buy a semi-nice E 500 or 545 with that money.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I'd agree with you about value, but you're not really getting the luxury you'd get with an A6 in an Infiniti- the materials aren't nearly as top-notch as an A6, which is a world leader (seriously). And, you have to remember, that among German luxury cars, Audi is the value leader. You'd be spending about $15K more on a BMW and $20K more on the Mercedes to that comparably equipped Infiniti. But, I admire the M Series- definitely one of the best from Japan. The GS 300 AWD may be a little better overall, for the money, but you're getting more performance with the Infiniti. Good choice ;) !
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,069
    I do not have any argument with your conclusions and historically I would have found your comments pertaining to Audi as "the value leader" to be dead on. Moreover, I often found that the Audi was the leader regardless of price.

    I have used this true example but it does serve to paint the picture, then and now:

    I purchased (leased) my second Audi A6 4.2 (a 2001) in December 2000. My friend leased his BMW 530 also a 2001 at about the same time, perhaps in January.

    Both cars were close to $50,000 at MSRP. My Audi was a few hundred dollars more than his BMW.

    He had a 6 cylinder engine, I had an 8, a very sweeeet sounding V8. He could've had a stick shift, but got the auto instead (both of these auto transmissions are, IMHO, annoying on good days "tip lag, step lag" whatever you want to call it, they both had it). I had a real back seat, he, not so much. He had a real full screen nav system, I had nav-lite (both worked fine, though).

    And, I had AWD he had RWD and was forced to use his Jeep on days when there was "weather." I didn't need to have a backup vehicle.

    My car, at that moment, was so far and away a better value AND, I'll argue, a better car for essentially identical money (at MSRP). The Audi lease deal also favored it over the BMW.

    I traded my 2001 A6 4.2 in on a fully optioned (except no auto trans) 2003 allroad in 2002. It was $49K.

    As I neared the end of this lease, I began shopping for a new A6 (3.2, I assumed as I am convinced US gasoline --premium -- will soon be $3.00 per gallon and I thought the 3.2 FSI would be "more economical").

    I priced, for the heck of it, several cars from several manufacturers. The car I wanted despite it less than impressive power was the new A6 3.2. Configured as I wanted it it was just under $53K. I configured a similar BMW 5 series and similarly equipped the BMW was $57K. Yet, the mo pay apples to apples was about $120 less for a car that was nearly $4K more.

    Audi may be the value leader at MSRP, but the more steep depreciation makes Audis, apparently -- now -- more expensive than their rivals. Even if I were to pay cash, the depreciation would hit the "asset" and make the Audi more expensive since it would decline in value sooner.

    Audi, in one new model switchover, went from the value leader, the CLEAR value leader, to "not so much."

    As I have said, I would have paid slightly more for a new A6 3.2 -- more than the new Infiniti M35X (about as close to Infiniti's version of the A6 as one can imagine); but the Inifiniti at $50,240 was almost $3K less than the Audi and was over $150 less on the monthly lease -- additionally, the Infiniti had more power and higher content. The "perfect storm" of events made this first ever leap from Audi to a Japanese brand happen.

    To this day, I would take the Audi as I had configured it for "about even" money if such a thing were possible. I like and am that loyal to Audi. I just can't, however, see the A6 as being a value (at this time) in this new group of cars from all over the world. So, in my eyes, the Audi went from being the leader in content, performance and value (for about 20 - 25 years) to being a member of the pack of Luxury Performance Sedans, a wonderful car, better in some ways than the one it replaced (and lower in performance by a large measure, but higher in every other regard) but at a significant cost increase that when compared with the new crop of AWD sedans from all over the world was no longer the value leader either.

    Hope springs eternal -- I'll see what shakes out over the next 36 months when, once again, I'll be in the market.

    I just might end up regretting not getting the new A6 -- time will tell.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531

    You took my words too literal. My point was that once one has passed the $50K barrier, it doesn't seem too much to bump from the upper 50's or low 60's into the 70's...etc... Honestly, what would the lease rates be between a $60K maxed out 5 series vs. a $72K S-class...not that big of a jump IMO...

    I personally love the C6 A6 and wouldn't change my mind, but had to agree that I also have a $50K barrier. That's partly why I went with the 3.2 instead of the 4.2. Could afford it, but didn't feel it was worth getting into the higher 50's for little payback personally...
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Don't consider this written in stone, but a bit of inside info on the 2006 A6:

    Audi will simplify it's packages and make it easier for customers and dealers alike.

    ----- A Technology Package will be offered that will bundle Navigation, Voice Activation, Parktronic, and Advanced Key all together. The DVD Nav will still be offered as a stand alone option as well.

    ----- S Line packages will be available on the 3.2 V6 models

    ----- The Premium package will include the memory seats, dimming mirror, info display & seat storage trays. No need to order a convience package anymore. Also, every car should have heated front seats as a part of the base package, so no need to order cold weather unless you need rear heated seat as well.

    No word on pricing, yet. Very good changes, IMO. Apparently, Audi is paying attention to customers and dealers alike and taking a page from the Japanese luxury brands that are cutting down on too many indiviual options.
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 216
    Nice car but I like my Audi better. The gear ratio is weird on the M35. Downshift from 4th to 3rd to slow the car and the tach jumps up 1500 rpm's. There is very little power steering boost when stationary. The seats have Infiniti stitched on them - very tacky. The engine makes a lot of noise in regular street driving. The A6 makes less noise and gets louder when you push it, the M35 always makes noise. Transmission not as smooth as A6, also noisy. Torque going uphill not as good as A6. Feels less roomy than A6. Trunk not as deep. Nav map display not as nice looking but does have "birds eye" view (graphics look like your flying in overhead).

    Flip side: Nice toys. Backup camera - which BTW would be nice if it worked while you are in drive, you can see cars behind in your blind spots. Rear DVD screen option. Rear seats recline!!! Nice handling - when driving the car feels very balanced. Nice suspension - better than A6 on rough road and potholes - feels more isolated and less noise on those potholes and rough roads. Good visibility out of windshield and you can see the front fenders, Audi rounds them out. Audi A-pillars sometimes get in the way; there are times I have to peek around them when making turns. I didn't notice the pillars in the M35. I didn't have time to play with the other toys, but the options are there and will keep you entertained.

    Overall: The car does not have the sophisticated feel that the A6 has. The engine and trannie are not as sophisticated and not as smooth. Noise levels from engine and trannie much louder. The interior is nice but A6 feels richer - A6's interior is more appealing to the eye. It's weird even though the specs say it's faster, the A6 3.2 felt just as fast and sometimes even faster and stronger than the M35. The A6 has a more solid and heavier feel. It is somewhat better built and higher quality materials are used for the amenities.

    I'm glad I drove it. I have to say that driving the M35 was fun, but the A6 is more fun. The A6 is the better car for me.
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