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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • Audi A6 Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Law & Order
    * CSI
    * Sports

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Entertain at Home
    * Health Club
    ------------------------------------------------
    Mercedes E-Class Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * CSI
    * Law & Order
    * American Idol

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Entertain at Home
    * Gardening

    --------------------------------------------------------

    BMW 5-Series Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * CSI
    * Law & Order
    * Sports

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Gardening
    * Entertain at Home

    ------------------------------------
    Infiniti M Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Sports
    * Desperate Housewives
    * CSI

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Health Club
    * Gardening

    ----------------------------------------------

    Lexus GS Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Law & Order
    * CSI
    * Sports

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Health Club
    * Entertain at Home

    ---------------------------------------------
    Cadillac STS Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * CSI
    * Law & Order
    * Sports

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Gardening
    * Movies
  • But you left out the best of them:

    Volvo S80 Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Masterpiece Theater
    * News Hour with Jim Lehrer
    * Julia Child reruns

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking for Exercise
    * Wine Tasting Parties
    * Environmental Activism Discussion Groups
  • I am pretty certain this stuff is false. . . .

    Audi A6 Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Modern Marvels
    * Southpark
    * Mr. Wizard or Futurama

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Waiting for Godot
    * Being entertained at someone else's home
    * Competitive "little ball" arena-style bowling
    ------------------------------------------------
    Mercedes E-Class Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * The History Channel
    * The Love Bus
    * American Idol

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking around the MB service department for exercise
    * Entertain at Home
    * Napping

    --------------------------------------------------------

    BMW 5-Series Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    * Smallville
    * Lost

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Not Walking
    * Vole trapping
    * Pretending to be Michael Knight

    ------------------------------------
    Infiniti M Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Heros
    * Desperate Housewives
    * Wonderfalls

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Grilling out during a sudden cold snap
    * Bar hopping
    * Skiing through revolving doors

    ----------------------------------------------

    Lexus GS Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Two and-a-half Men
    * Six feet Under
    * CSPAN-2

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Walking as Little as Possible
    * Health Club Avoidance
    * Napping

    ---------------------------------------------
    Cadillac STS Buyer Demographics

    Favorite TV Shows**:

    * Lawrence Welk
    * The Sopranos
    * Matlock or Murder She Wrote (tie)

    Favorite Sports or Activities**:

    * Watching people walk
    * Watching people garden
    * Wishing for a nap

    From the looks of it, I might be in the market for an STS next time -- other than the fact that I don't really care for Lawrence Welk.

    From the looks of the original JD Power study, CSI seems to be pretty much a common denominator. I wonder what that means. :confuse:
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    OMG, you and sfcharlie are to funny. My stomach hurts after all the laughing I just did. :D ;)

    Rocky

    P.S. I'm a STS guy. :P
  • What is your role in the Auto Industry, if you don't mind my asking? Sounds like you're seeing quite a bit of future trends from Japan. I'm particularly interested in #7 on your list. How does the Toyota Active Head Restraint function? Did Toyota develop it themselves? How does it work? Sounds very cool! Other than WIL, what does Toyota have out in the marketplace in the Lexus line-up you mentioned?
  • My A6 is hardly unique, but it is equipped with all the options other than TPMS and sport suspension -- what would be called Premium, Technology and Convenience were it an '07.

    My build date car has what must be Windows XP Pro Svc pk 2 (or whatever MMI goes by.)

    It was built, as I recall, in May 2005.

    It was, apparently, the "last or near last" 2005 in terms of its MMI version.

    Since the day I acquired it, it has had a feature that I have not really been bothered by but it I told Audi about it anyway: the Surround Sound mode (on CD and Sat Radio) reverts, periodically, to "normal" (i.e., non-surround mode.)

    MMI, likes Windows for a PC, controls everything, essentially. Because this -- for me at least -- was not a big deal, I figured "what the heck" and forgot about it.

    Audi puts on a training school in Columbus, Ohio for all the senior people in Ohio (and perhaps southern MI and western PA and KY) dealerships. I got a call and they said, "you have one of the cars that has so many features and functions and is of such and such an MMI version that we now can totally upgrade your car and teach all the folks in the "REGION" at the same time. You'll get a new MMI software upgrade AND we'll let you use a new Audi at our expense and our gas, etc for two days.

    They have been good to me, so "why not?"

    "How about a W12 for 2 days. . .no no, wait, how about an RS-4, no no, wait, what I really want is an S6 for two days, the white one with all the toys on it on the showroom floor?" Can I huh? Can I huh?

    "We'll see. . ."

    Now I knew the RS4 and W12 were right out and they did say "Mark, you can sit in the S6 and make engine sounds with your mouth!"

    They know I would simply not acquire a V10 Audi without winning the lottery or deciding my marriage was worth sacrificing (which it isn't.) They know I know that, I know they know that, and so on.

    "We'll get you a nice Enterprise PT Cruiser. . ."

    Ahhh, no, that won't do. . .

    "How about an A4 3.2?"

    Naahhhh, rather have an S4.

    I pull in to turn my car over to them for training and education and they trot out a $65K Q7 with a full tank of gas and literally all the toys and a 4.2 W/the adaptive air suspension and 20" wheels and I swear dual rear seat bidets.

    My wife and I had test driven an early build non adaptive air model w/18" wheels several months ago.

    Give me a wide, wider, widest berth and blow the fog horn, this ocean liner is about to dock!

    What a pleasant and powerful and darn near sporty surprise!

    This thing, set to dynamic suspension mode with the 20" shoes is damn near nimble.

    I am impressed -- probably not enough to want one or lease one (unless the price was impossibly low.)

    This is quiet, comfortable, responsive and feels nothing at all like the QE3!

    Now maybe if they made a Q6. . .
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I am connected to the vehicle technology and testing arm of a very large property & casualty insurance company, along with its internal/external research division.

    Toyota's active head restraint system is currently not that far ahead of what other Japanese companies offer (and in fact, the most current versions have only received middling scores from IIHS and other testing centers.) However, Toyota is ahead of everyone else in terms of what is under development. They are also taking their current scores as a source of embarrassment, and seem serious about hitting it out of the park in future tests.

    They showed us some prototypes, and they are mechanically constructed of moveable head restraint foundations that pivot forward to protect the head when triggered by a rear collision. They are also working on seat back hinges that will deform to better contour against the spine and neck of the passenger(s). Toyota is ahead of the pack in terms of coupling such features with front and rear radar detection systems that allow the car to electronically anticipate a potential crash. They are also ahead with comprehensive systems that tie in collision mitigation (ABS, TCS, electronic overrides) capabilities.

    Finally, due to its resources, Toyota is a key player in the safety infrastructure that Japan is testing and building that will allow cars to "communicate" with external traffic flow monitoring sensors, other cars in the vicinity, bicycles, or pedestrians whose locations can be approximated. Toyota is also creating in-car sensors that are supposed to detect when a driver may be falling asleep or not being attentive, by monitoring ambience and movements inside the car. Nissan is also a player in these arenas, but Toyota clearly leads the way and is an influencer to others.

    Some of this smacks of big brother, but the sheer creativeness of what the Japanese are noodling to reduce collision frequency/severity is quite impressive. Several of the insurance company executives in attendance at the meeting were joking(?) that if the Japanese are successful, they may eliminate the need for insurance companies!

    That's not such a bad concept, I suppose.
  • "facile comparisons of "the Germans" or "the Japanese" just don't hold any more. As you note, Audi is very well represented among the "highly recommended" (good drivers, reliable, good crash tests), and not a single MB is even "recommended."

    I resents the allegation and I resents the allegator -- seriously, though, I don't think that referencing places where CR or JDP suggest that readers should expect better reliability from Japanese cars is the same as making facile comparisons between German and Japanese cars.

    Yes, CR does highly recommend many Audi models and I'm delighted. Equally interesting is that when CR asked owners if they were likely to buy a similar model from the same manufacturer in the future, the four luxury cars for which at least 80% of owners said "yes" were Infiniti M35 (which had been out only a couple of months at time of survey), Lexus GS, Lexus LS, and Audi A6. In the "sporty car" category, the BMW M3 was nowhere to be seen, but the Audi S4 was there.

    Nonetheless, even Audi management has made statements about their need to overcome the bum-rap they had gotten from 60-Minutes, the frequent merging of VW and Audi in the mind of the consumer, and the late 1990s through 2000 engine problems.

    The also have October 2006 reports such as their "The problem with new models: Think twice about buying a newly designed model in its first year", in which they draw attention to average problem rates, by manufacturer, for newly designed 2000 through 2002 models. Some readers are going to see that every brand rated "above average" is Japanese and BMW is the worst.

    Most of us, on this forum, are not going to be influenced by that sort of data about six year-old models, but some CR readers will be. The comparing of Japanese and non-Japanese cars continues in the press. Pointing to its existence is not an endorsement of its statistical or real-world value, but it is a part of the literature on cars that draws a lot of attention when the reports come out.

    Worldwide, Audi is doing great. Here in the U.S. they need more advertising to let people know of the quality and excitement of their current line-up.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I have a 2003 530i (E39) with about 37,000 miles. Recently the "Service Engine Light" came on, although I didn't notice any performance problem. I took it in for service a couple days later, expecting some minor problem. The service rep called later saying the readout codes indicated a torque converter problem and they would either reprogram the tranny or replace the converter. Fine. I got a loaner X3.

    The next day the rep called to say that they had emailed the codes to Munich and their recommendation was to replace the torque converter. Fine.

    The day after that, Munich recommended replacing the entire tranny, not because of any current problem, but because it might go bad 20K miles down the road due to whatever torque converter problem they had found, and it would be out of warranty at that point.

    Now maybe there's some self-serving BS in all this, but still I'm pretty satisfied with BMW's service: I get a new transmission for free, while driving a free car during the fix.

    How many auto makers would do this?
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    On my 98 A6, I had a problem that I noticed right after I brought it home. They actually sent some techs from the factory over from Germany to take it apart and analyze the problem. While this was going on, they gave me a new A6 to drive...most of the manufacturers of the LPS ilk I think tend to do the same thing...fix it right.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Now maybe there's some self-serving BS in all this, but still I'm pretty satisfied with BMW's service: I get a new transmission for free, while driving a free car during the fix.

    It's definitely nice to see them take the initiative to keep your car running right, rather than band-aid the problem and set up the service department for a nice "bonus" 20K miles later.

    On a Lexus, I can pretty much guarantee you that the "check engine" light means that the oxygen sensor has failed. Unfortunately, out of warranty its about $500 or so for a new one.
  • I know "safety" hasn't been a major concern of this forum, but ti's in the news today, so:

    "Imported models took all 13 spots on the U.S. insurance industry's list of safest vehicles this year ... Winners for the 2007 model year included the Audi A6 in the large car category; the Audi A-4, Saab 9-3 and Subaru Legacy (with optional stability control) for mid-size cars; the Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona minivans; the Mercedes M-class and Volvo XC90 luxury SUVs; the Acura RDX, Honda Pilot and Subaru B9 Tribeca mid-size SUVs; and the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester small SUVs. All 13 vehicles are tops in protecting people in front, side and rear crashes based on institute tests during the year."
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Yes, but the poorest head restraint scores also went to imports, so there's work to be done....note Infiniti M in the "poor" category for whiplash protection (ie: seat/head restraint design).

    And it may be unprecedented to see Avalon and Sienna both rated as "poor" for protection in a rear crash. The standards for these tests are obviously very tough since I'd feel safe in virtually any of these models. For example, for a vehicle to receive the highest rating, it must also offer ESC.

    Acceptable rear protection
    Audi A3
    BMW 3-series 4dr
    Lexus IS 250/350

    Marginal rear protection
    Acura TL
    Honda Odyssey
    Lexus ES 350
    Lexus GS 350
    Toyota Camry
    Toyota FJ Cruiser
    Toyota Prius
    Toyota RAV4

    Poor rear protection
    Honda Accord 4dr
    Infiniti M35
    Nissan Quest
    Toyota Avalon
    Toyota Sienna
  • In 2000, I picked up an A6 4.2 quattro sport -- it was a 2001 model. It had -- heck it was an alphabet soup of TLA's like ESP, APC, ETC, TCPIP, ABS, and a partridge in a pear tree, it had sat nav and a hands free factory phone for what that is worth (with a directory, phone book and so on), too.

    Now, the gov says "ESP" is a requirement in all cars by 2012? That is either 12 or 13 years later! My '87 Audi had ABS and it was two years behind my friends '85 BMW which also had it.

    Even in the 2 minute demonstration given on the Today Show this morning about the safest cars, the A3 spinning out of control with ESP off is an impressive testimonial to the value of ESP.

    Yet, you can bet even the cheapies these days have power operated everything, CD changers, sunroofs and at least A/C if not climate control.

    Having a car without ESP seems -- these days -- about as nutz as it would be to buy a car without a steering wheel.

    ESP, as I recall from the Today show, is like a guardian angel watching over us, bla bla bla.

    And the example was a rain slicked test track not snow, ice or other lower coefficient of friction surface.

    After 5 driving schools now (4 Audi 1 BMW), it really seems "most ridiculous" not to put ESP in all cars from this day forward.

    Are "more well to do" folks (One Must Assume?) the only ones who need such wonderful technology?

    There are so few LPS cars, one would think the cars with greater market penetration would be the best place to put this technology and perhaps save all of us -- our lives and our money (via insurance premiums.)

    12 years later? By that time, the LPS cars will have force fields and there will be a mechanism that will "automatically raise the shields [Mr. Sulu]."

    Give me a break! Or, er, brake! :confuse:
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I totally agree that automakers should make ESP/ESC standard, without the need for a mandate from Uncle Sam. I suppose it's a matter of economics and marketplace acceptance, but hopefully the market forces will bring this to reality before 2012. It's also good to see that tire pressure monitoring systems will also become required in a couple years. We are notorious for driving around with grossly underinflated tires. That alone was a significant contributing factor to the Ford Explorer debacle of a few years ago, design flaws of the Explore notwithstanding.

    The fact that ABS did not reduce accident frequency when the systems were first introduced was very unfortunate. Due to driver ignorance and lack of proper training, drivers freaked out when the ABS systems made unprecedented vibrations, pulsations, and sounds; sometimes contributing to accidents rather than preventing them.

    Fortunately, ESP is much more seamless and transparent from the driver's standpoint.
  • Audi of America is mounting an effort to reshape its image. Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president in charge of Audi of America said the company needs to be "more American" in its marketing strategy -- more provocative and less about simply German engineering.Audi plans to emphasize the lifestyle of Audi owners. Its customers are mostly self-made affluent people who are younger and more likely to have a college-degree than those of its well-heeled luxury competitors, he said. U.S. Audi sales are up 4.1 percent this year and the company is on track to report its best-ever U.S. sales year, with around 85,000 vehicles sold.
  • I bought RL on 11/19/06. I felt the transmission tends to stay at higher gear. i.e. felt short of torque. It is non-tech package. But i just realized it has PAX tires(run flat tire). Its diameter is 20 inch instead of 17. is this feel of short torque due to larger tire without changing transmission related firmware?
    I don't like PAX system. I saw bad reviews and I have to change not only tires but wheels also if i want to go for conventional tires. BAD dealer....
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of points:

    1) You aren't alone in your dislike for the PAX system, checkout this discussion (different vehicle, same tire) for more information: steve_, "Run-flat, self-sealing, PAX tires for Minivans" #1, 29 Nov 2004 7:27 pm

    2) It is very unlikely that the diameter of the overall tire and wheel assembly is anything other than what Honda designed it to be. Consider the following:

    Acura RL standard tires: 245-50 R17
    Acura RL cmbs/pax tires: 245/680-460

    The wheels of the standard tires are of course 17" in diameter while the wheels of the PAX system are 18.11" in diameter. As for the tires, the overall diameter is 26.8" for the standard setup while your PAX tires are 26.77".

    True, the wheels are larger for the PAX system, however, there is virtually no difference in overall tire diameter and as such, any differences in revolutions per mile will be irrelevant.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks shipo
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,966
    Apparently Edmunds does not share all the favorable opinions noted here. The S6 did not compare well with their counterparts at MB and BMW. Kind of surprising.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • "Apparently Edmunds does not share all the favorable opinions noted here. The S6 did not compare well with their counterparts at MB and BMW. Kind of surprising."

    And quite different from the conclusion reached at Automobile Magazine, when they compared the M5, the S6, and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. The found the S6 and the E63 neck-and-neck for first, with the M5 not comparing well: "At an expected $85,000, the Benz digs deepest into the budget, but it is worth every penny--against the stopwatch and in smiles-per-miles currency. It wins on merit and appeal, even though it surpasses the S6 only by a whisker.The fact that the M5 has fallen so far so fast tells you three things: That this is an extremely fast-moving business. That even a well-founded status quo can be eroded by clever evolution. And that the big-engine-in-a-mid-size-car game is more competitive than ever."

    Fame is fleeting and and love is fickle in the automotive press.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    This really isn't much of a surprise. The S6 is a in between sort of car like the Jaguar S-Type R. The class has moved on to 500hp and 400hp just wont cut it, but the S6 is still a great car IMO, especially when you take a glance at the interior. Audi is trying to bracket the AMG/M cars with S cars on the bottom almost priced like "regular" MB/BMW models and RS models on top of the M/AMG models in price and performance.

    M
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I was dissapointed by it's performance numbers. It however is more handsome than the M5, and almost as stylish the Mercedes. Audi, needs to rework the V-10 to get better performance out of it. That's my only gripe with the car otherwise it's the perfect all-weather, performance luxury car. ;)

    Rocky
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Audi is trying to bracket the AMG/M cars with S cars on the bottom almost priced like "regular" MB/BMW models and RS models on top of the M/AMG models in price and performance.

    Im not sure about the RS6, but the RS4 wont be able to hold on to its performance crown for very long. Edmunds test of the 335i coupe had it within a hair of the RS4. That means the new M3 is going to be a 4 second car, and the RS4 cant touch that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you know how Audi does it with the RS cars, they save the best for last. Last being the end of the production run of the car they're based on...so in about 5-6 more years we're get another RS4 to fight the next M3!

    M
  • "Well you know how Audi does it with the RS cars, they save the best for last. Last being the end of the production run of the car they're based on...so in about 5-6 more years we're get another RS4 to fight the next M3!"

    True ... and, in fact, Edmunds comparo ended with: "But the situation might be changing, as a new, more powerful Audi RS6 should debut at the 2007 Geneva Show. Built by Quattro GmbH (an Audi subsidiary) just like the RS4, this new RS6 will be powered by a turbocharged version of the S6's V10. We're expecting an output somewhere around 550 hp, a number that could change the game completely."
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Not sure if this is a logical or an emotional argument. Probably the latter. But so often, the "better" car is deemed to be the one with more displacement. Year after year, it's "who can trump the other in terms of horsepower?"

    Although these cars compete in the same segment, they are not exactly apples to apples due to Audi's exclusive reliance on quattro. An AWD car has inherent weight, handling, and design obstacles that dampen outright performance (assuming comparable displacement). Plus, an AWD car just feels different from one with RWD, beyond the understeer considerations.

    Weight is the enemy of performance, and Audi engineers start with a 200-300 lb weight deficit. Want 50-50 weight distribution? No way Jose. But as Rocky said, what you get with the Audi is the best performer in virtually all weather conditions. Not sure the others can remotely make that claim.

    There are comparos currently pitting the TT vs. the Cayman, with the Porsche winning fairly handily in terms of handling and "performance." But are these cars truly apples to apples? Do they even compete in the same segment? I think it's debatable since the cars feel so differently from each other, and the price points differ.

    Quite often, the Audi is a hell of a value in a price-dependent comparo. And if the owner values AWD, it's gravy. Mark---can I hear an amen? =)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I was in the entry-lux forum and the discussion of the 07' Volvo S80 vs. Audi A8 as being luxury cars came up. I was defending the S80, as being competitive in this segment while being $30K cheaper. I was told the volvo isn't in the same league. I however am a fan of the S6, and even though I can't realistically afford one I like the car alot. I wished it had a bit more power, but regardless I like it. So as I come across as Anti-Audi, I really am not. I'm not much of a fan of the recent blonde wooded interior of the A8, and think it looks cheap and strange. Maybe some dark Walnut would help it ?

    Rocky

    P.S. Audi is a best performer in All-weather conditions and is why that special QUATTRO AWD system is banned from the track. ;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, still trolling I see. :P

    Don't you ever get tired of being shouted down so often?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,540
    to be fair, i wouldn't really call rocky a troll.

    maybe that's just my definition, but I believe a troll to be someone who drops a bomb and leaves shortly thereafter. Although rocky may have a different viewpoint than alot of folks, at least he has the tenacity to stick around and defend that viewpoint.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

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