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Audi A6



  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    After the On*star (phone) voice recognition experience the current A6's software was a pleasure to engage.

    However, I must note: when I ask my wife to use the voice control (of the phone) she is often frustrated in her early attempts, for she will vary her cadence and/or not wait for the voice unit to say "Please continue" or she recites a string of numbers too slowly or attempts to cram 10 numbers into the voice unit at once.

    My conclusion, I have been trained by the system to know that I can say 7 numbers, wait, then say "Dial" but that I must say the numbers in a somewhat staccato fashion a bit faster than I might say it were I talking to a person.

    I mean by this to indicate that these systems have improved substantially over the past 3 or 4 years but that they still require some work on the users part to reach some 95% success.

    I find the radio by frequency the most difficult to master since here in Ohio we say Mega - Hurts; and the Audi voice system seems to recognize a British accent more readily.

    We say kill - o hurts -- the Audi system wants us to say "keeel - o - hairtz" as far as I can tell.

    Well, its better than having to learn, for instance, French or German -- even though that might not be a bad thing!
  • dan339gdan339g Posts: 56
    I think I may have my first warranty issue with my 5 month old A6 3.2. The "auto down/up" feature for the driver's power window, whereby it goes all the way down or up if you depress/pull the button to it's full extent of travel does not seem to be working. I pulled out the manual to see if I had inadvertently disabled this functionality in some obscure MMI sub menu option, since it had been working previously but that does not appear to be the case. It does still work for all the other windows, so I'm thinking it is a just a bad switch. This wouldn't be shocking since it is the most frequently used window, but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Just turned 16,000 (3.2) -- typical Audi engine, now fully into phase 2 (or 3 if you count the first 5,000 miles).

    Typically more powerful "feeling."

    Typically coasts in 6 gear forever.

    Now, when I fill it up, the "miles to empty" regularly tops "600" -- yesterday it was 630 briefly.

    No, not the real tankful mileage -- I have too much kid in me with my right foot to make that happen.

    Points are: more powerful and more economical.

    I don't have sport suspension, but do have the 18" tires/wheels and virtually every other doo dad.

    Starter switch in the car is number 4. Last time it was replace was in month 5 of owenership (6/2005).

    Other problems: NONE.

    Not a rattle, squeak or any other less than absolutely tight tight tight feel or sound.

    Duly reported.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Hey Mark,

    I have a question that I suspect (or at least hope) that you can answer. I drove my brother's A6 Avant Wanna-be in the form of a (very stealthy) Passat Wagon with the W8 6-Speed manual (tricky clutch, maybe trickier than the one on my 530i) yesterday, and after the drive, I popped the hood and took a gander at the very unusual 8-Track Squirrel mill in there. As with all of the last generation of Passats, this one had the engine installed with a very Audi-like longitudinal orientation, which leads me to my question. Does that engine layout imply a full Audi Torsen AWD system or is it some form of Haldex?

    Best Regards,
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The "VW" W8 and 2.8 V6 -- longitudinally laid out -- used the TorSen system and in the case of the 2.8 the "Audi" Tiptronic. The flavor of Passat -- the last gen -- was essentially an A5 (sort of.)

    The W8 "sport" was a particularly desirable car from several aspects when equipped with the sport suspension and 6 speed manual (and upgraded and larger wheels and tires.) It was often significantly discounted and was more powerful than most A6's.

    My local dealer had one with a full on Ground Effects and Spoiler Package, 6 speed and BBS wheels with some high end Pirelli tires -- it sat "forever."

    I don't know how much it actually sold for, but it was well below $40K and it was the full on sport and lux'd out version. In some respects it was VW's version of an S4+ (the plus being its wheel base was/is bigger than the Audi A4 yet smaller than the A6.)

    VW could confuse the market if it "wanted" to -- since there have been several VW's that "ought" to be able to way undercut the fraternal twin offerings from Audi.

    The RS32 leaps to mind as an affordable and some would say more desirable TT 3.2 or A3 3.2 -- the Phaeton had potential vs the A8L (but rarely achieved it, then at the price in some respects passed the A8L when the "value" card was played), the W8 sport Passat could often be had way under an Audi A4 V6, and so on.

    I am now at a stage when I really find myself unable to understand what VW's market is. Is it "near premium" ??? Is it the German Toyota or Honda ??? Is it "Audi -light" ??? Is it really meant to be 95% of a Mercedes at 80% of the price ???

    The dealers still, pretty much, suck. The customers, as my friend who is a VW GM says, "all buy the moment they walk in the door -- the problem is that with most of them we just can't get the deal done, credit wise" -- which leads me to believe it is a different customer draw than Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Almost as if VW is the German Hyundai !!! Of course the new Hyundai's are pretty impressive as they, too, seem hell bent to move to some semblance of a "Premium" car company.

    The W8 should'a could'a ought'a -- it was almost the invisible Passat.

  • tntmythtntmyth Posts: 70
    I am planning to order my Audi A6 4.2 S-line soon. I am wanting the Night Blue Pearl Effect exterior with the Amaretto interior and Grey Birch wood. I read an earlier post here that the Amaretto was NOT allowed on the S-line A6. Also I note that in my dealer's "special order menu", it clearly states that the Amaretto leather is not available with S-line. I can't understand why Audi would insist on this limitation for their most beautiful color interior. My sales rep says that he believes he can still order the color combo but didn't convince me. However, I have recently seen at two 2006 S-line A6's with Amaretto interior at the dealership. One was a brand new silver A6 4.2 on the showroom floor with Amaretto, wood segmented steering wheel and by the way that was with the Grey Birch wood. Looked awesome. The other day I also saw a certified pre-owned 2006 black S-line A6 3.2 with the Amaretto interior and Grey Birch wood. So what's the real story? Can the combo be ordered or is it no longer allowed? Because at some point this year, it must have been allowed. I really want this gorgeous color interior.

    Also I need the NAV system. But is the technology package worth the extra 2 grand?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I don't know and yes.

    If you want to order an Sline with your color combos you need to talk with a Audi Brand Specialist.

    The thing is it MAY be possible that this combination is not offered w/Sline. If that is the case, you are out of luck.

    When I ordered my wife's car some time back, I specified a color that was on the Global Audi Web site, but NOT on the US site.

    Having had many Audis over the years, I know that many things can be done "for a price." I used to order Pearl White Metallic when it was removed from the US order guide and Audi was always willing to "take my money."

    I asked for Panther Black Pearl for a car for my wife and I was prepped mentally for $1000. The quote came back @ $2,500 -- I said no thanks.

    Currently, I have a Green Pearl A6 (C6) -- 2005 -- with the Amaretto interior. At that point in time, Amaretto was $1,000 extra as it was considered Premium Leather.

    At the time, the green paint was no charge, then for '06 there was a charge, then for '07 it is for SOLD ORDERs only.

    I don't know if I should feel special or that I bought a combination that is so weird that dealers who bought them found them taking up space.

    I was at an open house for a BMW dealer yesterday, and while there I had a chance to look out over their "vast" inventory of new Bimmers. Silver, silver, dark silver, black, black, black, black, metallic black, white, black, black, silver, dark silver, dark silver, dark silver and a whole row of blacks with ONE red convertible in the mix.

    The M5's -- black, the Dinan 545's black.

    Now the Audi color pallate for 07, full of silver, dark silver, oyster grey, titanium and black.

    The color is quicking fading from German cars.

    Sure, you can get Misano red (but ONLY with the black interior -- soooo depressing, IMHO) in SLine.

    Anyway, Sline means very little as far as I am concerned at this point. So, why not build your own?

    The salient features of Sline that mean anything at all are literally "2" things: sport suspension and wheels/tires.

    It is my understanding that the sport suspension IS available still with a wheel tire upgrade.

    So, build your own: order the color combo you want, order the sport package (suspension alone or wheels/tires + suspension) and order the sport seats (which AREN'T even part of Sline in the first place.) And save the difference.

    If you want the RS6 wheels, Hartmann has some dead-on accurate aftermarket wheels (with the center caps) for the A6 in 18 and 19" sizes that will save you tons over the Audi wheels if purchased from Audi.

    Buy an SLine front grill badge and for good measure buy the rear deck lid Audi brand body color painted spoiler.

    You will have a factory looking but custom SLine in the color combo you want.

    Now, if they go and mark up the paint by $2500 plus the $1000 for Amaretto and you think that is too much (I would), well order a less costly combo that will permit the Amaretto interior and you can still pretty much make your own SLine as noted and probably save hundreds over the more restrictive SLine combo limitations.

    The technology package includes advance key which is nice (but overpriced) and voice (which is fantastic, even though it only has dozens of commands) -- voice in this car with MMI, nav and sat radio and phone is a must have safety feature. The nav system is great plus the rear camera for 2007 is not only a convenience feature but can be argued is also a safety feature, too.

    If you build your own Sline, you need to know one thing -- even if you buy the parts directly from the Audi dealer and they come with the Audi logo directly from Audi, the warranty on certain items (valve stem caps, for instance) is dropped from 50K to 12K -- so be careful.

    The paint job on the Audi branded rear spoiler will not carry the same warranty (unless you get them to so stipulate) either.

    These are minor and would not deter me from building my own SLine.

    Of course, if the fee to configure your Sline directly from the factory in the color combos you want is not onerous, that would be an even easier way to go.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I find them to be more of a novelty item than a true safety appliance; no matter how much you trust the image, you always find yourself turning around to verify. I'd rather see full park assist (front & back) which is much more useful.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I have to say, I rely on my parktronic probably more than I should. Just the other day, I was backing out of the garage while my neighbor was cutting down a huge tree. There were enormous branches everywhere...including one sticking onto my driveway but too low for my rearview mirror to see well. Parktronic, however, set out a howl, causing me to break and save my paint-job.

    Granted, I probably should have seen it in the mirror, but to have the sonar guidance was reassuring as well.

    Personally, I like the sonar aspect rather than rear-view camera. The sonar gives me another "sense" to use when backing out. I still look out the mirrors, but also have the sonar as a secondary guide...I don't know how I'd use the rear-view camera' can only look at the camera or the mirror, seems to be more limiting...but then, I've never tried it.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I am often wrong, but here is what I think you get in the US with the '07 A6 with the backup camera -- you get rear sonar/radar AND rear camera.

    I have parktronic on my 2005, my wife's BMW (2005 X3) has front AND rear parktronic and that is the best.

    Given a choice, I would want both front and rear parktronic and the camera.

    Given a lesser choice, I would want the rear parktronic (since Audi only seems to see fit to equip the A8's with front parktronic here in the US) and the rear camera -- given the choice of ONLY the rear camera or rear parktronic, I would take the rear parktronic.

    I went down the path of lauding Audi for adding the camera because I "assumed" it would not be simply substituted for the parktronic.

    The cameras and the trace lines are very helpful -- the sonar/radar is helpful for other reasons. Together they provide a greater capability to miss hitting something.

    I'm checkin' the 07 PDF order guide this minute to see what I can find out.

    Back when and if I know more for sure for sure.

  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    You wrote in one of your previous posts that your 2005 A6 3.2 shows "600 miles to empty" at times when filling the tank. Even if the display showed "500 miles", this car is averaging 23+ miles per gallon assuming you have the 21.5 gallon fuel tank.

    A remarkable increase over my 2000 A6 2.7T with the 5 speed tiptronic, which rarely shows over "350 miles to empty" on an 18.5 gallon tank!
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    My Lexus has sonar and rear camera, and I trust the sonar completely but never the camera by itself. The Lexus is being replaced with a new A6 Avant....I was sold by the driving dynamics in about 30 seconds.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    It has shown 630 miles to empty more than once or twice.

    It is a 2005 3.2 with 18" wheels and tires and almost all options. It was a US certified for sale new car in June 2005. I assume you are correct about the fuel tank's capacity. I just know that the thing is much more of a sipper than a guzzler.

    Yet I know we can do better. I assume the mfgr's will improve the gas engines and the diesel engines will rise somewhat in stature over the next few years.

    My 2.7T allroad (6spd manual) was much thirstier -- but it was quicker. The 3.2 is adequate and I do love the sound of the engine, the driving dynamics and overall this is a very fine car.

    Knowing what I know now, I would certainly hope there is an Audi TDI in our near term futures, however.

    With respect to the rear camera and sonar -- I have contacted my Audi brand specialist, and, and, and: he doesn't know if it has both the camera and the sonar.

    I hope it has both -- indeed, I think not having both makes little sense.

    He suggested that I take a look at the new Q7 which they will have on display on May 16th -- which will be a Premium edition (with the rear camera, i.e.) Hopefully whatever the Q7 has will translate to the A6.

    FWIW, the official memo says the Audi Q7, not just Q7 since Infiniti has a Q vehicle. Of course as customers, I guess we can just say Q7 and not fear for our lives or jobs.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    An Amaretto S line car is possible, you just have to be willing to pay the extra speial order cost to get it throught the Quattro GMBH program. It may be $1000, 1500 or so for Audi to do. Maybe even a little more. Inquire with your salesperson and he'll find out for you.

    Audi can paint your car any color in the Audi catalog if you're willing to pay for it. I saw a sage green A6 3.2 with creme beige interior. It's an old A8 color. Not my cup of tea, but a lot of things are possible if you're willing to pony up the cash. Special paint charges are usually around $2500 like others have said.

    You can't please everybody with paint and color combinations, and there's a limit to how many combinations you can offer from the factory without special charges.

    As for 2007 option changes, the technology package has the back-up cameras included. Also, there is a new 19 inch wheel that's available on the S line car.

    Here's the paint ontions for 2007

    Standard Colors:

    Brilliant Black
    Light Silver
    Night Blue Pearl
    Quartz Gray
    Ibis White

    Avaliable on S line only:

    Daytona Gray
    Missano Red

    Sold Order Colors:

    Phantom Black
    Oyster Gray
    Dakar Beige
    Cambridge Green
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    No reds on non-Sline rides?

    That stinks!

  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Correct. You can only get Misano Red on an S line car. I don't think that's a bad idea. Red is a tough car to sell on an A6 and it appeals to probably less than 5 percent of buyers. The S line package and 5 spoke wheels/sport suspension really set the car off, and I think it looks good on a flashy bright red color.

    The old Canyon Red had a bit darker orange look to it than the Misano Red.

    Too bad Canyon Red is gone for 2007 as well.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    They've retired my Oyster Gray to "sold only" status!

    I guess that will make it more unique and less prevalent...
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    ......and an extra $750 out of your pocket for a sold order color.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    What's Phantom Black? Is that like charcoal gray or something?
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    It's not quite as dark as the brilliant black, and you should be able to see some darker gray textures in there. Maybe similar to the lava gray, but a bit darker.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    If you are sold on the A6, what makes the most sense: try for a great deal on a 2006 model or order a 2007. Pros and cons anyone? Thanks
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    It all depends on what kind of Audi spiffs are at the end of the model year. Right now, Audi is one of the few car companies that have -0- rebates of any kind across the board on their entire product line. The only thing I know of was the $1000 lease cash on the A6's 3.2's.

    Audi is making a concerted effort to raise the residuals and resale on all their cars across the board. The way you do that is stay away from rebates and to not depreciate your cars with cut rate pricing.

    It all depends on what -if any- kind of rebate comes out on the A6 in the next fews months. But remember, when Audi gives a big year-end rebate, they kill the residual as well. Even with a big discount, if you want to lease a car, you might be better off getting a 2007 model.

    But if you're a cash or finance buyer and plan to keep your car for quite a while, getting a nice discount on an 06 might work for you. Last year, Audi had as much as $4500 dealer cash on 2005 3.2 A6's.
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    It also depends on which car you want...the 3.2 or 4.2. It is my understanding that the 4.2 will be with a new FSI engine for 2007, so that may be a pro (cool, new, fuel efficient engine) or a con (new engine) depending on how you see it. The 3.2 is not very different other than automated steering wheel option as far as I see.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    The 3.2 is largely a carryover. A few new colors, 19 inch wheels as an otion on the Sline package, and the standard power tilt/tele wheel on the V6 models are a few highlights. The back-up camera on the technology package is the only other notable addition.

    The 4.2's for 2007 will get a bump from 335hp to 350hp, and will have FSI.

    I'm kinda bummed that Audi didn't squeeze a few extra ponies out of the V6 engine for 2007. The new 3.6 passat makes 280 hp, and it doesn't make sense how Audi would have a car with less power than the VW.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Do you yet know if you will get BOTH the camera AND the park sensors in the same car at the same time for 2007?

    And, do you think the Audi Q7 will translate into the same configuration on the '07 A6 (speaking of the camera/sensors?)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Are you saying that you could order an A6 with two allowable colors and specify SLine?

    E.G., Night Blue Pearl + Amaretto w/Sline option?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    You can pay less "in cash" for a 2006 or possibly lease a 2007 for less (timing is everything.)

    If you change your cars every 30 to 42 months (no matter how you "finance" them) certain things will effect the transaction: MSRP, discount off MSRP and residual value.

    It is possible, for instance, to lease a 2007 car that has "$X" as its MSRP with $1,500 off but since it has a 10% (for example) higher residual it will be less than a 2006 that is offered at $3,000 off MSRP. And so on.

    Of course you may argue "but I be payin' cash!"

    And yes, the immediate cash out of your pocket would be less for the 2006 -- but the 2006 will have lost a larger percentage of its residual, so on the "asset" side, it is not worth as much to you should you wish to turn it back into cash.

    No free lunches.

    If you think you can buy your car, in cash, keep it beyond the effects of the sharpest depreciation (time again), then the 2006 in the above example may actually cost less.

    Then, however, you need to factor in "Total Cost of Ownership" which MAY rise at a point in time for the older of the two cars (despite the fact that they were both new when you purchased them.)

    Of course, if the discount is large enough, who cares?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735

    Only seen that color on one A6. Sure makes it unique. :)

  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I'm assuming the back up camera will still have the rear parking sensors as well. Here's what the order guide says:

    07 Technology Package:

    -Voice recognition
    -Advanced key
    -Advanced parking system with rear view camera
    -DVD nav with color driver info center
    -sirius sat radio
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Would it have front sensors too? It says advanced parking system...
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I don't know if the advanced parking system has front sensors. I'll see if I can find out.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Guessing here: in the US front parking sensors are reserved for the A8's.

    On the Audi World sites, front parking sensors are just another option on most of the entire line(that we don't get here.)

    Ditto BMW's (except the X3, oddly.)
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Looking for an Avant to use for many pro and college football tailgating parties ...not considering any SUVs. I drive a Lexus LS430 and just fell in love with the driving dynamics of the A6 Avant.
  • dan339gdan339g Posts: 56
    I'm glad to see that the power steering wheel is standard going forward, although disappointed it took them 2 model years to figure out that it is "basic" to an LPS in this price range. It wasn't even available as an option in 06 for the 3.2 model. I initially thought it wasn't such a big deal, but after living without it for 6 months now, I understand how unsafe it is to try to manually adjust the wheel while driving. I typically adjust the wheel when I settle in for a long highway trip, and for me it does require two hands which obviously isn't a good idea at 70+mph. I'm learning to be more forward thinking and adjust before I put it in drive, but definitely not as convenient as my 530i where the wheel would automatically adjust based on presets.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I believe the power column was avail elsewhere.

    I wonder what they were thinking since my 1997 A8 had this, as did my 2000 and 2001 A6's.

    Save a little money perhaps?

    Yet, I hardly miss it -- I rarely changed the setting even when it was power assisted.

    I am at least pleased that my manual wheel can be both tilted and telescoped and am nearly shocked when I note how many cars simply permit tilt.

    On the other hand, there is a piece of me that says, "the companies know they will NOT be updating their cars yearly in terms of major changes, so they make incremental changes (improvements one would hope) in year two, three and so on."

    The differences between my 2005 and the 2006's on the showroom floor are nearly invisible. The 2007's, however, will have some (largely cosmetic) changes (leather dash) and some new gizmos (rear camera.) Probably all of these changes could have been put into the cars in year one, but at a certain point, it seems that a new car is needed. The mild, incremental content changes in the second, third and fourth years are there -- IMHO -- to demonstrate continuous improvement and content advances that are "visible."

    Audi (like the others) often makes dozens or hundreds of changes that are or can be nearly impossible to fully suss.

    A backup camera and power articulated wheel probably do very little overall -- but at least they can be easily pointed to -- to differentiate the 2007's from the earlier models of the same (C6) version of a particular model (and model year.)
  • mikerochmikeroch Posts: 69

    Our new 4.2 Atlas grey/Amaretto will be here soon - can't wait!!

    Premium pkg
    Wood pkg
    Cold weather pkg
    18" Wheels
    Sport seats
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Well then, that makes your choice easier because I thought I've heard there won't be the 4.2 Avant in the US...

    Anyone else know the real answer?
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 3,029
    "The 4.2's for 2007 will get a bump from 335hp to 350hp, and will have FSI. "

    Anyone seen an official Torque number for the new 2007 V8?
    - Ray
    Wondering if they bumped that as well . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    I've been slowly narrowing down the field of luxury sport sedans to these two; M35X and A6 Quattro. I'd buy them both if I had no spending limits, but, alas …. How did anyone on this board, who considered both cars, decide on the A6?

    Subjective impressions have formed in my mind, based on driving and reading reviews of both cars. The M35X seemed to move off the line a bit quicker. I thought I felt a split-second hesitation with the A6. Sitting in and steering the A6 felt more like what I expected -- "nimble" is a word that reviewers seem to use a lot with regard to A6 and it matches my experience. Perhaps without any basis in fact (maybe someone here can point me to most relevant stats), I expect that M35X to be trouble free and the Audi to require a few trips to the dealer. Infiniti salesperson (completely unbiased :) said the M35 just requires oil change and tire rotation until 105,000 miles. On the other hand, A6 provides free maintenance up to 50K. My wife and son seem to lean toward M35X, mostly because, as passengers on my test drives, it feels more "luxurious" to them. The tufted leather put me off a little at first but they liked it right off and i got used to it. Edmunds 2005 comparison put both behind BMW, but Audi in second and Infiniti in third. Magazines seem to favor M35.

    Thanks, in advance, to anyone who has time and inclination to describe their weighing of these two fine cars against each other before choosing the Audi.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    My #1 and #2 choices were Audi A6 3.2 with all the boxes checked (practically) or the Infiniti M35X with Journey, Technology and rear deck aero.

    I wanted the Amaretto or Bourbon leather.

    The differences in the cars were subtle, but I liked the Audi for several reasons that primarily have to do with the feeling behind the wheel and a long history with Audi.

    The price difference on a lease, however, at the time I ordered the Infiniti favored the Infiniti by ~ $200 a month on a lease that began with a $6. The Audi had full maintenance, but that might be $50 per month (but with 10,000 oil changes, that might be high.)

    At the moment, in time -- then, the Audi was the choice for performance, luxury, history, driving experience, etc etc etc. But not a couple hundred a month "better choice."

    For me, hands down, apples and apples (@ a very similar price, i.e.) the Audi out-did the Infiniti.

    When the lease numbers came in three months later on the Audi (after they found out I had purchased an M35X -- or at least placed one on order) they had somehow figured out how to configure the car I wanted in the exact color I wanted, order it and lease it to me for $641/mo 36 months, no upfronts, 45K and whack off the last two lease payments on my 2003 allroad (and no sec dep either.)

    The Infiniti almost identically equipped was $677.

    The Audi, prior to this had been about $850 -- poof the price drop allowed me to get the car I wanted all along.

    Today, my choice would still include these two -- but would be augmented by the inclusion of the 530xi WITH A STICK SHIFT -- which, all things being equal again would very likely get the nod.

    With the stick out of the equation, I would probably be back to a finishing order of Audi, BMW and Infiniti.

    These cars are converging in terms of the L and P components of LPS. Until there is a substantial difference, I would probably still evaluate the situation in no small part based on the MO/PAY.

    I always order my cars and would likely not have to play the "what's on the inventory list" game.

    Yet, one final thought: if the BMW dealer has the car in stock that I want and it is a stick shift and it does NOT have black leather, I might well consider it if it is price competitive with the other two.

    These three cars "get it" -- the two Germans moreso, today, than the Japanese. Look out though, improvements in the M35X will certainly put even more heat on the German rival's -- especially if the Japanese can do it for a competitive price.

    I ended up with:

    Cambridge Green Pearl/Amaretto Premium Leather
    Cold Weather
    Voice Control
    Advanced Key
    In-Arm Rest Phone cradle

    $53,286 MSRP $0.00 down $641/36/45K Drive off, first month, plate transfer fee.

    Wish I had gone the extra $250 for the sport suspension.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    A long time Audi person put it to me best; he said "driving a japanese car is like driving a luxurious appliance that has no soul". Their vehicles are a dime a dozen, very uninspiring and unremarkable. There is no vehicle like the Audi...really.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I agree with what you have said, EXCEPT, their vehicles are certainly NOT now (not that they ever were) a dime a dozen in this class.

    The Lexus is the least involving and the Infiniti is the most (from my point of view.) I wouldn't buy, today, any Lexus product but that is different than thinking they are a dime a dozen. For me they are isolating in a way that seems to start off right and then end up beyond comfy beyond quiet -- too far beyond for my tastes.

    But these are serious contenders (especially the Infiniti) and are not in any way a dime a dozen.

    There are, increasingly, more NOW than ever (since 1977 anyway) more and more cars that are "like" Audi.

    Audi for nearly 25 years was rare, darn near unique -- and they frittered it away and have watched the competition heat up and up and up until the LPS crowd that is often discussed here on Edmunds has become more similar in terms of content and performance leaving the differentiation increasingly up to "style" rather than substance.

    Another corner heard from, i.e.

    Audi is, having said all the above, on a roll (in the US) -- for it has been sellling smartly for years against its rivals BMW and Mercedes (in Europe.)

    BMW comes out with X drive "as if" it had been doing it for 25 years (Audi really has.) Now, Mercedes -- very much like Audi -- offers virtually every product with at least available AWD.

    Audi was (that is past tense) different. Now, not so much.

    The breed (cars) is improving. Small comfort for Audi to see it is being copied in so many ways.

    It all started with the jellybean shaped Taurus (which was derivative of the Audi 5000) -- the march of the copycats has only accelerated.

    Whattya gonna do?

    Beware of believing there are no vehicles "like the Audi" for the entire market seems to be hell-bent to imitate them in so many ways.

    Of course, as usual, this is just my opinion, which is often wrong -- but I am NEVER uncertain.

  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Great comments; I have been in a Lexus LS430 for the last 5 years; I am sure the current M35 is an advancement in driving dynamics, but my test drive of an A6 just blew me away. The Lexus is indeed so isolating....nothing wrong with that... It is what it is! BTW, I am going to buy or order an A6 Avant very soon.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    My children will always be swayed by technology. But they are not buying or driving my vehicles.

    My wife has say on her car, but not mine. I love my wife to the end of time and thing the world of her [non-permissible content removed], but she don't get to pick my car seat. Her dimentions (thank goodness) are not like mine.

    The M is a nice care. The exterior is a bit bland, sort of looks like a ford fusion? Or five hundred?

    The interior has that "wiz-bang-new car-eye candy" look that is designed to grab you at "hello" and bring it home. But in two years, it will not be so. Kittens grow to cats.

    My 03' allroad looks great and while newer models are certainly nicer, if I had to drive this car for 20 years I can live with the interior. It is quality and ages well.

    The New A6 is a nice evolution of the Audi theme.

    My problem is no stick shift on the A6, and back seat on A4 is too tight for my needs.

    I agree with mark that based on Automatic choices the Audi and BMW would be on the top of my list.

    I also prefer to have less technology in the car and more road feel. The german car thing has its merits. But in terms of reliability, its not as high as Lexus. German cars just need to go to the dealer more often. If that bugs you out, go Japanese brands. Of my three cars, two are made in Japan. Oops, they are made in Indiana by a Japanese comapany!

    Remember, kids love video screens, and there are spouses that prefer luxury over anything. Whos driving this car Charlie? If its the Mrs., then get her what she wants.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I hate that you can't get a $250 sport suspension anymore, and have to buy the expensive S line package.

    I like the optional 7 arm 18 inch wheels. But a little drop would be nice as it sits a little high with the normal suspension.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Here's what kinda bugs me, you can't specify UHP A/S tires, you either have to take Summer Only UHP tires or HP A/S tires.

    I didn't used to think tires could "transform" a car.

    But the 18" wheels and 245 x 40 x 18" UPH All Season tires with inflation @ 38f 35r will make a huge handling difference.

    The ride height issue is about 20mm with the level one sport suspension, the ONE that used to be $250 over the price of the 18" wheel option alone.

    The SLine package is, frankly, more show than go -- BUT BUT BUT -- the SLine package with the UHP tire box ticked ups the wheels to 19" and adds the sport suspension.

    I have noted over the years that a higher performance tire on the larger (18 or 19") wheel offers THE greatest performance improvement (responsiveness, turn in, etc.) Now, of course, the lower suspension and the thicker anti roll bars and the stiffness in general add the finishing touches (sharply reduced body roll during hard cornering.)

    But the stiffer sidewalls of the UHP and Max performance tires do seem to mostly prevent the roll over on the tires that can happen with the lower performance H rated rubber.

    The SLine looks great. It seems about a grand or so too high to me though just on general principles.

    My dealer said very few people were happy with the sport package in 2005 and that the SLine cars sit in inventory much longer than the non SLine versions even if some of them have higher MSRP's (which is not THAT often.)

    The sport package with the summer only tires seemed to many to be too harsh and the tread life was, er, dismal.

    The A6 is bought at least as often for luxury as for performance, probably moreso.

    The A4 still allows the selection of the sport suspension for $250.

    The sport suspension is still a stand alone option (but not here in Vaspucciland) the last time I checked.

    Heck, the SLine Wheels are really sweeeeet looking. :cry:
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659

    You may have noticed, but Audi did tweek the sport suspension from 2005 to 2006.

    The 2005 models were quite harsh with the 18 inch wheels and either sport suspension or S line package. The 2005 cars sit lower to the ground that the revised 2006 models. More than a few people complained about the hard ride when the 05 sport model A6's first came out.

    The 2006 S line package feels great to me. It's a perfect set-up between looks, ride, handling, and every-day comfort.

    I just wish you could get that ride set-up for a little less money without the expensive S line. But as you said, those 5 arm wheels are quite sharp, and the S line grill and painted spoilers do add a nice look to the A6.

    The S line car in Atlas Gray is quite gorgeous. But Atlas is gone for 2007, and it's being replaced with Quartz, which is almost the same.

    There's also a Daytona Gray color exclusively available with the S line for 07.
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402

    Regarding "driving a Japanese car is like driving a luxurious appliance that has no soul" and "Their vehicles are a dime a dozen, very uninspiring and unremarkable. There is no vehicle like the Audi...really." I agree with "There is no vehicle like the Audi", but in a sense different than the way you mean it. I found the A6 delightfully distinctive, but (unlike the Lexus ES350 I drove) the M35x was also delightfully distinctive. If cars were clothes, it would have been fun to arrive and see that all the designers and engineers had not ended up producing either the same good thing or one good thing and one bad thing. The arrival of the M35 on the scene has made the car shopping both more interesting and also … what … existential angst-filled in the sense of having to choose between two really interesting machines. What intrigues me about Nissan, in general, is how they have held on (sometimes at peril of bankruptcy) to the course of making the kind of cars they make (from the 240-Z thru the M35) in a car culture where, for the big successful manufacturers, it's an anomaly to send to the U.S. a really interesting (and not just economical/reliable) car. They have the only engine that has been on Ward's 10 best engine in the world list for 12 straight years.


    I probably overused mentions of what my wife and son liked to convey the sense of how, even with three people on the same test drives, what impresses varies from person to person. I had not intended to say that I am looking for a consensus among the three of us about which car I buy. My driving experience comes first and I didn't find what I expected -- I didn't find myself wowed by the Audi and flat about the M35x. They both wowed me. In my memory (I'm going to drive them back to back again -- the dealers are about two blocks apart) the Audi A6 Quattro steering/handling feels more like an extension of me (in turns) while the interior is a bit harder than I'd like, but, other than that, slightly more in line with my aesthetics (more machine, less luxury). The M35x has a great engine/transmission and is not only quicker off the line but changes in speed seem to happen faster using the manu-matic. It seemed to me to give tighter control over shifting. I found most standing-starts in the Audi A6 V6 to have a momentary delay and then abrupt kick-in. The M35x just goes off the line. I also suspect that part of what feels a little more right and familiar (driving a BMW 325 now) is the rear-wheel-ness of the M35x, as compared with the front-oriented-ness of the Audi A6.

    One drawback to both (but not a deal-breaker for me) is that gas mileage, which drops down close to something like an SUV Mercedes ML 350. Consumer Guide, where they drove both cars for a substantial number of miles, they got about 16 mpg with either one in city driving.
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