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Audi A6

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  • My 626 V6 ( avoid the 4 ) will be replaced in a couple of months with either an allroad or a 4.2 A6 but my 99 Miata 10AE 6sp is going nowhere. I can't speak to Audis over the long term but nothing I test drove in the class of the A6, including the A6 was as fun as the Miata. Of course that's all the Miata is good for. No practical virtue of size, comfort, utility, safety or even speed. It's essentially a toy car but it is more fun to drive than anything I've come across period. That includes some cars costing over twice as much.

    The V6 626 is to me far more entertaining and fun to drive than its competition - Accord, Camry etc 6s which is why I bought the thing even with its depressing resale value over much more saleable rivals. Mazda really does have a penchant for producing fine driving cars in their class and is a massively underestimated marque. Obviously it's not in the same class as the A6 in refinement or power or safety and isn't intended to be at $20K or so. Also worth mentioning is that Mazda marketing savvy is laughable and they have been unable to craft an image in the marketplace no matter what they try. I got 180,000 out of my last 626. 10yr old hard driven Miata with 150K plus on original clutches, gaskets and pumps are common. Again their driveability shines above their competitors - not just my opinion either - but who the hell thinks of MAzda first when they want to look at fun affordable cars with great reliability ? Me and the guy above and that's about it !

    However comparing the Audis as I did several times to Lexus ES and GS, to MB E Class and to BMW 5 series I can honestly say it was more enjoyable than any of them.

    ....Now if it had a ragtop and could turn and hold a curve like the Miata we'd be on to something - including lapses in the laws of physics.
  • Try the TT -- I have never driven the Mazda, so this is not a poke -- but my wife had a 2000 180HP TT quattro and loved it so much she upgraded to the 225HP 2001 TT w/ESP.

    She says the car is fun, safe and with the hatchback almost stationwagon like without looking it. Holds golf clubs, groceries and a bunch of other stuff -- and it is FUN.

    Can't speak to reliablilty -- has 11,000 miles on it, and DID require a new set of tires, but they were really HP tires and therefore were kind of expected to only be good for 10 -15K miles.

    Love this forum!
  • A 3100-3500lb FWD or quattro roadster is not really a comparison vehicle to a 2200lb RWD Miata.

    TT's look cool as hell and are undoubtedly fun, but the Miatae are not as much of a compromise. Other than maybe some power accessories the Mazda has absolutely nothing that does not maximize handling and driving enjoyment - from a 50-50 weight distribution so niggly that they put the battery in the trunk ( there is room in the front ) to a suspension set up that means you can drive over a quarter and tell which side up it is.
    This also means they are pretty much suicidal in the snow and have all the luxury of a park bench. However just watch people cover their eyes when they see you take a sharp exit ramp at 80mph then gape when you don't even touch the brakes all the way around. Now that's fun !

    Not knocking TTs. I'd definitely take one if I had to have one year-round car and wanted a convertible. Roomier trunk by 20% or so. 4" more shoulder room ( I'm about 260 ). More HP although not really faster because of the weight. But $10K more and 1000lbs heavier and not set up to take the corners the same way.

    Miatae really compete more with S2000's and MR-2s than TTs, which are aimed at a more affluent and more luxury inclined market.
  • Actually, my 626 slipped in a few dollars over $30K, but it's an awful lot o' playfulness in that car, compared to the $53K for my loaded A6 4.2.

    It's not a Miata going around the curves, but it does surprisingly well. I wonder what the skidpad is on this car? Hmmm... The 626 is remarkably well-balanced too. I was surprised to find out it's a FWD, 'cause it sure doesn't feel like it, and it's almost impossible for me to push the tail into an uncomfortable position. I think it would flip over first, it's so stable.

    It's definitely a much better car than Honda/Toyota, even Lexus. As I said before, this car has great road feel. I didn't buy a 540i because, as the sales guy was saying "doesn't it feel like a car should" and I thought...cheap looking plastic, uncomfortable seats, one little strip of wood-grained plastic as an accent. Then, I tossed it around a curve that I always take at 70 in my 626. At 45, the 540i started sliding...almost had to change my underwear. I mean it wasn't that tight a curve! When I test drove my A6, I took the same curve at 75 and it didn't burp. That clinched the deal. Quattro works!
  • I grew up driving Mazdas, but have grown into loving Audis. These two cars are in totally different classes, so comparisons between them are pointless. The 626 is comparable to a Camry or an Accord. I do think the 626 is the much better drivers car of the bunch. Moimeme, if you really like the 626 so much, congratulations on extending the lease. It is a good driving car, and super reliable on top of that. Keep on zooming.
  • 1. It seems to be almost universal that folks who enjoy Mazda's convert to Audi-philes. Very few seem to go to BMW's, Lexi, Toyota, American cars. A good number of Volvo and Saab purchasers too.

    2. Just think...the fun, reliability and road feel of a Mazda PLUS the elegance and further attention to detail of an Audi. Combine the two and BMW simply wouldn't compete. The resulting car series would be remarkable. Also, Mazda has a large-scale, halfway decent service network.

    Maybe we should start a petition...
  • pmvipmvi Posts: 63
    That actually makes sense to me. Audi represents a well engineered and styled German car without the snobby or wannabe image (my opinion only) of BMW's. Mazda's have always been a little different than other Japanese cars.

    BMW will always be BMW though. They still have the more prestigous image, and the best performance sedans.
  • BMW's are great cars, fun cars, overpriced cars and some of their cars are the "best performance sedans." When compared at a price point to Audis the BMWs just can't cope, however. And, for the 2000 model year more than one enthusiast's publication gave the nod to the S4 over the competing Bimmer, and the A6 over the competing 5 series. In fact the A4 quattro and the BMW comparable (if there is such a thing) 3 series have traded 1st and 2nd ratings time and again since the beginning of the mid 90's. At this point the most recent test put the A4 back in 1st place. In Germany, Audi edged past BMW in sales -- I think in 1998 or 1999.
    The new 2002 A4 ups the ante again!

    The "prestige" that is BMW is far greater in the US than elsewhere.

    For the money, I just can't see (and neither can more than a few journalists) a BMW beating an Audi -- now if you crank the BMW's price up quite a bit, you can out accelerate and sometimes out handle an Audi -- on a perfect road, especially a perfectly dry road. The Audi seems to live in the real world, where it rains and snows and freezes a lot more competently.

    Now, Audi better be looking over its corporate shoulder as we now have BMW and Mercedes apparently ready to "get serious" about AWD -- but at least at this moment in time the Audi, in its understated way only loses the prestige contest, not the performance or safety contest (again, especially at the same price point).
  • OK I've never driven one for a long period so my experience is only test drives but I'm a relatively savvy driver who has driven on similar test drives just about every car in this class ( just as I did the more mid-priced sports sedans when I got the 626 V6 ) and I frankly don't see the reality behind the "ultimate driving machine". Now I'm definitely not saying they are junk. They are fine cars. However they are to me no more fun to drive than comparable Audis or Saabs etc. They have nicely made but spartan and uninspired interiors, no great reliability record, and in the 5 series at least offer nothing at all to compete with Audi's safety features.

    I can take the same corner at the same speed in an A62.7T as a 530i. The Audi if anything feels slightly more responsive across the powerband. Top speed I never did and never would get close to so it matters not. Acceleration if any different would have to be stopwatch tested because you can't feel it. Add to that cheaper cost, quattro and much nicer interiors and it's no big decision at all for me.

    I don't want to get in a piddling match with BMW guys because frankly it's all down to taste anyway but I wonder what specific objective advantages the BMW has.
  • pmvipmvi Posts: 63
    Sorry guys, I didn't mean to start a flame. I agree with you--I would rather own an Audi A6. However, I can think of 1 objective advantage for the BMW: 1. Speed/Acceleration: the 540 is simply faster than any A6; the M5 more so. Also-while they may be biased--every professional review I have ever read says their steering is superior. On a subjective level, I do think the BMW feels more "solid".

    As far as styling, I think both companies are very good. I much prefer the A6 over the 5 series, the 3 series over the A4 (though not by much) and the 7 series over the A8 (though I suspect the A8 is a better car overall). Interiors? No contest there: Audi!

    Is Audi a better car for the money? Yes. Also, I personally don't like the BMW "image".
  • I'm another person who has been in love with Mazdas and now falling in love with Audis. I currently drive a 2000 Mazda Millenia S, my eight Mazda in 15 years. I was going to get an A6 2.7T before I got my Millenia, but I just can't afford it a year ago. Now I'm going to replace my wife's '95 BMW 325is with an A6 Avant, new or used. So moimeme is pretty accurate when he said that people who like Mazdas would also like Audis. Both are unique cars, not a me too kind of car like Benz's, BMWs, Hondas, Acuras or Toyotas. Can't wait to see the new 2002 A4 Avant.

    cheers
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I have to come out of lurking long enough to say my amazement at the number of Mazda friends here. In fact, I'm currently looking for someone to buy my beloved, babied Miata so that I can buy the A6 I've wanted since '98.

    It would be great if Audi/Miata could merge, but ... Ford has there nose stuck into Mazda and may be watering down the brand even as we speak.

    Zoom-zoom. There should be an equivalent in Audi-speak.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • Maybe all us zoomers wouldn't have to convert. Not dissing the Millenia here - it's a nice vehicle and the Miller engine is some ungodly advanced engineering. However it's smaller inside than the 626, its interior is not competitive in the near luxury class, the power in the S version is decent but accompanied with engine and road noise that doesn't bear up either. Of course you can pick one up for about $15K less than a decent A6 in these days of deep discounting ( I see ads every week for fully loaded S's at $25K ) which makes it a great value but I wonder what Mazda could do if they put their minds to building a $40K car themselves. At one time the Millenia was going to be the entry level sedan in a high end different marque Mazda was going to spin off like Lexus and Acura. Amati I think it was supposed to be.

    I wish they hadn't run out of cash and marketing ideas before they designed the higher ranges for that line.

    Oh well. Audi's there to pick up the individualistic drivers who can afford to move up a bracket, and I suppose Volkswagen and even Saab pick up some of the slack too.

    Maybe we should do a survey in the Mazda threads. Sort of a "if you decided to move up beyond Mazda's current range which make would you most likely consider ?". I wonder how high Audi would score unprompted ? Pretty high I guess. Both my wife and I before we met and of course after were Mazda folks and she agrees after driving all the comparables that the A6 is somehow different and more fun that the Lexus and MB and BMW and Acura that we also drove amongst others.

    In reverse and since this is an Audi thread what about some hints on the other side. If you could no longer afford Audi cars ( or before you could ) where would you look at going in the mid level ranges ? To be fair we should perhaps exclude VW as a choice. How many of you - honestly - would have thought of Mazda or how many of you owned one before ?
  • I drove a Mercedes 430 (S class), a BMW 540 and an Audi A6 4.2 -- practically back to back to back. All three had V8's; all had comparable amenities (the Mercedes had the most -- and cost the most by a factor of 5 figures to the left of the decimal point) -- the Audi cost the least, the BMW a few thousand more than the Audi and the Mercedes almost $16,000 more than the Audi.

    The most luxurious was the Merc, close second, Audi then BMW. The most "isolated" feel (which I initially thought was a solid feeling) was the Merc -- frankly the Audi and BMW were more solid -- but conversly less isolated (less wind, road, engine, body noises in the Merc). Audi and BMW handled more like "sporty cars." The Merc had an "air suspension" that was tight enough but the car didn't seem to want to be pushed in the turns -- perception was "understeer."

    Transmissions -- all "adaptive" 5spd Autos -- Audi and BMW manumatics that invited manual shifting. Merc could be, but didn't seem to be laid out for manumatic shifting -- but all three transmission left to their own devices were great. Again, the Merc was the smoothest (most isolated feeling, again).

    The 540 and the A6 had "sport packages." The BMW felt stiffer in the ride with no apparent advantage over the Audi (on the same "twists.") The BMW right off the line was solid, the Audi had a fraction of a second hesitation from rest -- but then pulled aggressively. We can stop talking about the Merc here, for the most part.

    For the difference, I could see no advantage to the BMW for the price premium -- although perhaps the BMW would be a couple of tenths of a second QUICKER. I am totally without clue which car would be faster (probably the Merc based on the way it "felt."). I took all the cars to triple digit speeds on a relatively deserted part of an Interstate highway. They all were competent -- the Merc was the quietest, followed by the Audi.

    Under hard acceleration, the Audi made the "most fun" sounds, the BMW second -- and then the isolated Merc. It started to snow -- lightly on this test drive day -- and the Audi was virtually unphased except that its ESP light came on (as did the Mercs). The BMW felt like it had vertigo -- it would make me want to take public transportation on any days with weather based on this experience -- it certainly has its Traction and Pitch and Yaw assists, but it is just not competent (in this circumstance).

    The back seat in the Merc was large, the Audi ample and the BMW inadequate for an almost $60,000 car (it seemed barely bigger than an A4's back seat which I also have little use for).

    The fit and finish -- the Audi and the Merc were exquisite. The salesperson at the Merc dealer kept showing me welds and braces and counter braces and cross members and all kinds of stuff that makes me convinced that the Merc is very well built. But the Audi gave nothing away in its interior -- it was beautiful. The BMW was black on black on black -- it looked plasticy and not as well put together as either of the other two.

    The Merc had the best Navigation system the, best radio/stereo went to the BMW with a button on the transmission tunnel that had a musical note on it that caused incredible bass. The Audi Bose system was great -- but didn't have the "guts" of the BMW system. The Merc was OK too in this regard. I could live with any of them, but would prefer the BMW's.

    The seats (front) were Recaro like sport seats in the Audi and Barco Lounger type in the Merc, the BMW had sprot seats too but they were the least comfortable of the three. The back seats in the Audi were faux-buckets and I thought they are the best back seat ever in any car (of course the Merc had more room, but the second class seats were -- well, second class.

    The wheels and tires were similar -- which is to say large and low profile. The Audi had 40 series/profile tire -- the lowest of the bunch. But it still rode better than the BMW. Makes me think the suspension is more compliant or that the body on the Audi is stiffer.

    In a straight line, on dry pavement, accelerating hard with the radio playing a tune with a good bass track -- the BMW brought a quick smile. Quicker than with the other two. But once the speed had passed 35mph, the thrill was pretty much over. The Audi also brought a smile, a split second slower but it lasted to higher speeds and continued through handling, braking, slick road competencies, etc., well beyond the smile-times of the other two fine cars. Each car is in a class of its own -- the BMW is closer in "class" if not in price to the Merc -- both are RWD and solid cars. The Audi is less money than the other two, close in virtually every aspect -- but with ESP, Quattro, Sport Suspension and that "Q" factor -- is cut from different cloth. For my money a cloth I prefer.

    This is in no way meant to dis the BMW or the Merc. The Audi has the edge until the next generation of BMW's which should include AWD versions across the board. And for the price, the Merc frankly has to stand in a class separate from the other two.
  • After 14 days of ownswership of an A6, 2.8Q, I have mixed emotions. Almost 3 days in the shop out of 14 days is excessive. I believe that Audi should be doing a better job of selecting proper tires and assure that the wheel balancing is properly done. The Continental tires just don't make it! The rear seat heater is useless, unless one drives in warmer states. The issue of plastic rattle is "not well known" according to Audi, however my car has one. Overall, if the dealer and Audi finally get their act together, this will be a fine automobile.
    John Fedak, Canada
  • len13len13 Posts: 5
    With the snow on the east coast, my wife got to utilize the quattro on my A6. One question. She said that she felt a vibration/grinding when she was driving thru the snow. Once she hit the plowed streets, it went away. I've never driven a car equipped w/ quattro. Is this normal?
  • You didn't mention if the car has ESP -- all A6's have ABS standard, 2.7T and 4.2 models have ESP standard -- but all A6's have the OPTION of ESP.

    This noise you noticed could be the ESP/ABS system working in concert to keep the car from oversteering or correct its understeering. Also if she "over accelerated" the A6 in slick conditions, the ESP will kick in to limit wheel spin (kind of like a super traction control system).

    You can tell if it has ESP -- there will be a button on the dashboard that says "ESP."
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    I would like to thank you for your detailed description of the comparison shopping you have done...you invariably answer the questions many of us ask before we ask them, and your answers are clear and succinct...you have practically saved many people from test driving the "wrong" car...I realize this is all your perception, but you have written your "review" much better than any automotive writer ever could, as you do not have an axe to grind...thanks.

    Bob
  • Good day good reader!

    I have a question or two that perhaps somebody might be able to help me with.

    I am strongly considering getting out of my Lincoln Navigator lease (I have a 2000 that is 1 year into a 3 year lease - yes, I know - its going to hurt!) and getting back into a real car.

    I am comparing A6 2.7T, Volvo S80 and BMW 530.

    I did have a Mercedes on my list but the dealer was so repugnantly superior (in demeanor only I might add - his knowledge of his own brand was stunningly poor) that Merc is now out of the picture.

    So, my question is, what are peoples experiences with Audi dealerships (I'm in South Florida but anywhere would be a good guideline)?

    Do they actually "deal" or are they more like "suppliers" (as the BMW 'dealers' seem to be around here!) I make the distinction because I need to negotiate the best price I can to try to offset the bath I am likely to take getting out of the Nav'. (sigh!).

    Also - I am assuming that the magic lease length is 39 months. Am I correct? The sales chap was certainly trying to direct me that way but then for all I know he might be getting an extra commission for those deals (suspicious of me I know).

    Any advice etc would be very great fully received.

    Sincerely,

    Russ.
  • nszabonszabo Posts: 19
    Drop the S80!!
  • adam68adam68 Posts: 59
    Russ,

    I'm in the South Fl area and know exactly what you mean about dealers who have an attitude. In all fairness, I think it partially depends on the salesperson. If you are not happy, don't be afraid to speak with the sales manager and tell him you'd like to deal with another salesperson.

    While i've looked at the BMW 325CI and Merc
    CLK 320, I have decided on the A6. One thing I have noticed is how well I am treated at all of these dealerships as opposed to one year ago. The slowdown in the economy has allready started to effect car sales. Last March, I had to wait for a salesperson to have time to talk with me. Now, I'm usually the only one in the showroom. Needless to say, the ball is in your court and depending on the model, you can do some nice negotiating.

    As far as Audi, I'd recommend you go to
    Champion Audi on the corner of Copans and I-95,
    very friendly, low pressure atmosphere.

    Hope this helps...

    Adam
  • My first time to post. If I decide to buy the Audi, I'll post my impressions. I'd appreciate your thoughts on a few things.

    It sounds like many A6 owners have had "issues" with their cars within the first year or so. Is that consistent with what people have heard on this board? Is it really worth paying a little more for the Audi (I'm considering a Acura 3.2 because its value priced) and then having to worry about defects?

    The deal I currently am working on is $42,687 for a Silver 2.7T with Preferred, Premium, Cold Weather, Bose, and Sun Shades. It is basically 5% over invoice. I'd prefer to pay 4%, but what is $400 more on a $42k car? Any thoughts on whether I should haggle more?

    Lastly, anybody on the board have experience with Princeton Audi or Audi of Bernardsville in NJ?

    Thanks for your help!
  • wwbecker,

    I recently ordered for lease a 2001 A6 4.2. I spent two hours negotiating with the dealer. Fortunately, I got a courteous individual who enjoyed the process and didn't try any tricks.

    I did do a tremendous amount of research on the car, options, and leasing figures (just ask carman). After all was said and done, I received, what I considered a reasonable deal of $2600 over invoice (~ 5.5% off MSRP).

    I have noticed some people getting a 2.7T between $1500 & $2500 over invoice (usually closer to $2000). For me, an extra $200 - $500 was, essentially, meaningless for a $53k car (an extra $5-$7/ month wasn't worth brow beating the dealer). Of course, I won't be able to lock in financing (read: residual & money factor) until May when the car arrives. This could be tricky as the "best" figures the dealer quoted me for Feb aren't great (Residual:56% & Equiv APR:7.35%). I told them that if either of these figures is worse in May, I may walk away from the deal - of course, I'd take better figures!

    Good luck!
    PS: My dealer is in Boston
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Hello, Walt. Just got two cars, an A4 1.8T and A6 2.7T through Audi of Bernardsville/Mendham. Common ownership, different sales and service staffs. Generally good impressions. Dealt with David Thomas in Bernardsville and Bonnie Manniello in Mendham. Both are fine professionals and good to do business with. Paid $1,700 over invoice for each car.

    The Acura 3.2TL was my fall back car. I drove it a couple times and spent a good deal of time looking at it and reading about it. I had a '92 Legend for a little over 5 years. Acura's and Audi's are very different in many ways. Suffice it to say that the A6 is a lot more car than the TL. Design philosophy and the dealer network are not the same.

    I'd be happy to tell you more if you'd like to e-mail me. It's tmsci@worldnet.att.net.
  • adam68adam68 Posts: 59
    I own the Acura 3.2 TL and while it is certainly a great value, it's not in the league of the
    A6. In order to bring the price down, compromises had to be made, interior fit and finish are far from first rate. I'm only 5' 10", yet I find the
    driving position awkward. Front seats
    do not go down low enough and leave me feeling as if i'm driving a SUV.

    I'm in the process of purchasing the A6, at least the TL holds it's value..

    Adam
  • Hi... Heard real good things about Len at Princeton Audi. Only problem is they don't always have much in inventory.

    I bought my car from Cherry Hill Imports. I Was very skeptical of this dealership at first, but they worked very hard to win my business. The plus was that they hired a salesperson from Audi Europe who really knows the A6 (and Audi for that matter). The advice and help he gave me won my business. I think I must have visited 12 Audi dealerships in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before I bought my car. That being said, I recommend Cherry Hill Imports, Princeton Audi or Audi of Huntingdon Valley.

    Oh, paid 1800 over invoice on the following car:

    A6 2.7T
    Ming Blue/Melange
    Cold Weather Package
    Prefered Package
    Luxury Package
    Bose

    Good luck!
    Bill
  • Am close to ordering an A6 2.7T. Only question is which Sport Package to go for. What is the advantage of the 17" wheels over the 16"?? The Audi dealer didn't give a very good answer (he probably doesn't know!). Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated!!
  • I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on the A6. I want to check out the Lexus GS300 today just for the sake of it.

    Bill, I too am dealing with Len. Knows his stuff, very professional, and apparantly very popular. He had three other customer waiting to see him on Sat. While I was there, if you include me, he sold three cars. An A4, a TT, and me the A6. Not bad.

    I'll let everyone know what I decide. Should be soon.
  • zierzier Posts: 9
    If you are getting that kind of deal, that is great. Where I live, there is only one Audi dealer (Indianapolis), and I have to travel over an hours in all directions to get to the nearest Audi, so the deals are not as good. It is pretty consistent with the TMV at edmunds site. It seems like you get a better price with more competetition in the area.

    david
  • zierzier Posts: 9
    I purchased a 4.2 quattro in Indy last week. The MSRP was 56,930, had the perlescent paint (1225 option), premium package (1475), sport package (1750), Guidance package (1630), rear side air bags (350), and disc changer in the trunk(550). I paid 53,400, which is about 3000 above MSRP. Edmunds TMV was 54,400, so I was satisfied with the deal. Dealer Invoice is 50,317. Audi has no dealer hold backs.

    Great Engine and a great to drive. Better drive, features, look and value than E430. BMW 540 nice car, but no deals and too cramped!!! Lexus caries too much Toyota plastics, which is not up to the German standards!! Although, Lexus will most likely be more trouble free than the others.
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