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Audi A6



  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The naysayers all over the web and even here on edmunds, will generally agree with Forbes, but will quickly add that Audis are less than impressive in their reliability.

    We'll see -- now at 500 miles, I have nothing but good things to report about the A6 3.2 -- even the power seems "more than adequate" and I do find the engine sound is almost as sweet as the 4.2.
  • 5,600 on 2005 A6 4.2, oyster grey/amaretto, premium audio XM, nav, voice, advanced key, cold weather, convenience, parktronic, rear shade - not one problem since leaving dealer on delivery (they did replace nav box at delivery when it did not check out right.)

    It wants to be driven!
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Just broke 2,000 miles on A6. What is up with the S mode? I know D is regular drive and to the right is Tip-Tronic (aka manual mode). What does S do? I'm assuming it's a sport mode. Does it hold the revs longer or shift quicker? Is this for racing people?
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    The S is a sport mode. It allows the engine to rev higher into the redline before it upshifts. Your car will also run higher RPM's when in S mode than regular drive.

    When your cruising along at 60 mph, drop it into S mode. You'll see the RPM needle jump and your will engine work harder. It'll give you more torque for bursts of speed.

    S mode is good for zooming around town. But at long highway crusing speeds, your're better off in D for comfort & fuel economy.
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 221
    I'm pretty sure if you are cruising @ 60 MPH it wont shift down. The trannie will want to stay in 6th gear for better fuel efficiency. At 60 MPH sport will only kick in if you press down hard on the accelerator . Sport mode uses gears 1 through 5 and is for driving around town aggressively, on the highway it will not shift up to 6th speed.

    When I need to accelerate quickly I shift into sport. It gives me something close to the turbo rush I got with my 2.7.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .the RPM's in S mode are no different than in D mode.

    In "normal" around town driving, in "S," the shift points come at higher RPM's -- AND the transmission does remain in 5th gear longer before it shifts to 6th gear at highway speeds.

    There are instances when shifting from D to S at highway speeds will cause a one gear downshift, but it ultimately goes back to 6th.

    There are other instances when D Tip and S are all going to stay in 6th gear.

    The reasons some of us complain about tip lag are "reduced" in S mode.

    Now, the real reasons for tip lag are becoming known (or theorized by me) as every mile passes: the car shifts when "it" wants to not when "I" want it to (Doh!)

    So what you say? Well, if you've been driving as long as I have (I just turned 54) and have had and/or driven as many Audis as I have (28), and 90% of your cars life to date have been manual transmission cars -- YOU ARE NOT used to the cars shifting "as if possessed" by a brain other than your own.

    Perhaps if you've been driving "fill in the blank" cars from America, Europe and Japan and 90% of them have been automatics, you may think tiptronic behavior is quite normal, quite acceptable. Indeed it is pretty cool when you are in D or S and go down a hill -- the transmission shifts down (a little engine braking please.)

    Yet when I am on the highway at 55+MPH on a flat section of the roadway in my 2003 allroad 6spd manual, chances are I'm in 6th gear. Now, if I want to accelerate without much drama to the indicated "flow" of traffic (which in Cincinnati is moving between 70 and 80), i would press the accelerator down about 1/3 and the 250HP 258lb ft of torque 2.7T engine (still in 6th gear) would smoothly walk on up to 75MPH. ONLY if I need a bit more urge, would I down shift to 5th or 4th in those circumstances.

    This new generation of 5, 6 and I presume 7 speed conventional automatics (as opposed to DSG or SMG or CVT's) "aims to please."

    If if set the cruise control on this Audi 3.2 at 57mph on one of the flat Interstates around the Queen City and the car is either in D or S mode it will ultimately get itself situated into 6th gear. Then as the traffic thins somewhat and speeds climb to 74 (avg), I just lift up on the cruise control lever and the car begins to accelerate. One or two seconds of this and (if the car is in D or S) the transmission shifts down. I don't need that kind of RPM fuss or hurry.

    No matter what I do (especially in D) the transmission is forever hunting for the right gear to be in -- leaving me waiting for Godot -- any little twitch of my foot on the accelerator and some gear change happens -- when "it" wants to, not when "I" want it to. Every time I would be driving my 6spd manual and want more go, I would press down on the accelerator -- sometimes I would down shift. Sometimes even 2/3 or 3/4 throttle in 6th gear would suffice and no downshift would be made (by me.)

    The new tiptronic, "man, I'm at your service, Johnnie on the spot" shift shift shift shift -- and in D mode the transmission is in a race to see how quickly it can upshift and is loathe to shift down to first from second as you enter an intersection at 1 or 2 mph and then you have a lag in the power EXACTLY when (if you were driving a stick) you would "command it" -- without flooring it.

    This is not a smart transmission -- it is a robot. A good robot, a well-intentioned robot, but a robot nevertheless. It ONLY reacts (and sometimes slowly -- by design) it does not anticipate (even though it can pull off an imitation sometimes.)

    Tiptronics, Steptronics and their ilk are kinda like eating Grocery Store chocolate -- AFTER you've had Ghirardelli -- if you've only driven automatics, you may think these new transmissions and all their high zoot software tricks are just an amazing step forward. Packaging.

    But, if you've been raised on the best manuals (or at least very good manuals), these new automatics are, as my mom used to say about 78 RPM records after she heard Stereo LP's, "kinda tinny."

    Good as the new tip and steptronics are, they are the equivalent (to me) of 78 RPM records -- in today's light they are novel but are not really that much help with respect to providing a sense of control.

    Try S mode for about 200 miles of mixed driving. Perhaps you'll use that.

    Yesterday, I spent my day in tip shift mode -- hmmm, higher fidelity? Perhaps.

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    Interesting description & more fuel to my "I'll never have another automatic" fire.

    I'm in the midst of a big loop through Alberta, BC & back to AZ, and my car shifts when I shift it. Sometimes, on a downhill on-ramp when I'm merging gently, I skip 4th completely, yet another impossibility with an automatic.

    Since I keep my cars a long time, maintenance costs are an issue. A clutch replacement (& throwout bearing, while we're in there) is relatively inexpensive. I've got 82K miles on the original clutch, but someday. . . The days of an automatic going 100 - 200K miles with little or no major repairs (which they did at one time) appear to be over.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Although I agree and support your position, I also think it is impractical.

    Automatics and, I suspect, voice command, are going to be the norm (who are we kidding, how many manual transmissions are sold -- in NA at least?).

    Now, the fact that I am getting used to voice command, mostly, I must tell you that my Audi's voice command -- to change the radio for Pete's sake -- is OPTIONAL.

    A new A6 without voice command would be downright difficult and my wife thinks dangerous to change the radio. There are no buttons on the thing.

    The MMI in the new Audi is "the best" system. Thank you lord. If I had the BMW I drive, I would certainly be dead by now, as I have just passed 1,000 miles and even with voice command, I have found myself dinking around with the MMI knobs to go back and forth between radio stations.

    All this auto this and voice that is like the Plasma TV situation -- the technology WILL be there in a year or three. BUT IT ISN'T there yet.

    I am now quite comfortable with the MMI system -- but the pushbutton system of last year still has merit. With all the iDrive complaints published, I am blown away that the BMW outsells anyone unless it is possible to get this thing without the iDrive.

    It takes twice as long to turn on the heated seats now as it use to. . .

    This is theoretical progress.

    The system is easy to use, I give it that. But to me, the automatic transmission in the new Audi is a step back from the manual. This has to be the car being put out for the lowest common denominator of driver. The only thing I can say is -- they are all doing it -- it is what is selling it is not what is right, easy, fun or safe(r).

    Of course these strong opinions took me almost 40 years to develop. If you are under the age of 30, you probably won't relate to my frustration.

    I bought the tiptronic -- I couldn't even have gotten an A4 3.2 (today) with a stick.

    The BMW is so ugly and non-lux oriented (to me) that perhaps only a free one would have been considered.

    I spent today in tip shift mode (manu mode) -- it is perhaps a 7.5. Considering that the tiptronic in auto mode is a 4 and the S mode is a 5.5, this is a big improvement.

    Tip lag is real, and it is "the way it is." It is NOT a defect as far as I can tell. It is a compromise programmed by some pretty bright people.

    I actually used it in S mode in downtown Pittsburgh today and it was acceptable. It still makes shifting decisions based on things I cannot understand.

    All the king's horses . . . apparently . . .will not reverse this trend.

    Get used to cars that are voice commanded and two pedal'd.

    This sucks, to be as clear as possible.
  • craigs1craigs1 Posts: 3
    I just picked up my Black/Amaretto A6 4.2 Wednesday. S-line pkg/cold weather/advanced key/dvd nav/convenience/voice/Sirius (for Howard)/yada yada yada, basically everything but the power shades on it. I have to agree, this is one sweet ride.

    At 150 miles my sun roof made a clunking sound when I retracted it and a plastic piece fell on my head. It's going for a visit to the shop to get it taken care of. I'm not concerned at all. No sign of lag at all.

    This car is like a crouching tiger ... I find it difficult to obey the speed limits with any regularity. The smallest touch of the accelerator and it wants to run. I find myself resorting to cruise control when I want to make absolutely sure I'm legal.

    I'm still in the new car owner phase. Nobody else gets to drive it and I want desparately to limit how much I drive it or I'll be through the warranty in a heartbeat. The problem is that driving this car is addicting.

    I still wish the DVD nav would give up the nationwide coverage on one disk for better coverage by going to two or three regions.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    When you hold down the Shut Engine Off button on the A6, it locks your steering wheel. What is the point of this...for theft prevention or something else I'm missing?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Congrats on your new Audi -- the 4.2 is the sweetest sounding engine, and once you hit 1,000 miles you can floor it and really hear what this sounds like.

    The "lack of lag" however does beg me to ask the question: the past, say, 50,000 miles of driving have been with an automatic or a manual?

    I am now into day 2.5 of using the tip mode -- the responsiveness that was lacking in my 2000 and 2001 A6 4.2's is "as promised."

    Being forced to take this transmission is still a bummer, but I guess the saving grace is "it is no worse" than all the other manumatics and it is probably better than some.

    Anyway, best Audi EVER for me, although I do have fond memories of my 1995 S6. Sigh! :cry:
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531

    I personally have no problems changing radio stations. I don't have voice, and just use the 2 buttons by the stick (forward and backward). I have 20 preset favorite stations, but really only jump between 3 or 4 of them for the most part. When I really want to see what's playing on #20, I just use the scroll wheel when at a stoplight. Remember, you can also use the left scroll wheel on the steering wheel to scroll between stations.

    I personally would NOT want radio buttons as it would IMO clutter up the dash (many of the climate controls could also be moved to MMI that aren't used frequently to make it even cleaner).

    As to tiptronic, I agree its fun. I usually use S-mode when wanting to drive peppy, but at times go into tiptronic and have fund "shifting".
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    We have just over 1000 miles on our 2005 Canyon Red/Beige A6. We did not opt for the voice activation at this time, but I'm thinking we should have. Is it possible to add the Voice Activation afterwards or is that a factory install? Same thing with DVD nav. Can it be added later?

    One little nit... the XM radio, when sorting by channel number, is actually sorting by category, THEN number. Is there a way to have it just sort by Number? I've tried to set that in the MMI with Category filters on and off.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .to the extent you believe the in-car computer and its ability to accurately determine your gas milage, I offer:

    With about 1,050 miles on the new A6 3.2, I began driving from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati (heading west on I-70 for the most part) until I got about 25 miles east of Zanesville, Oh. I pulled into a Shell station and filled the car, reset all the trip computer's but not the trip OD.

    About 20 miles outside of Columbus, Ohio, we left I-70 and began "driving by the compass SW." Generally speaking, Cincinnati is about as SW as can be in OH (any further south and you're in KY and any more west and you're in IN.) Eventually we found route 22 which goes from approximately Lancaster, OH all the way to Cincinnati (lots of back roads, small towns and limited cell phone signal from time to time, lots of stop's and go's with intervals of 10 - 15 miles without seeing another soul on a relatively straight two-lane.)

    Ambient temp so says the dash 95F. A/C is set to "auto recirc" and full auto and both sides are at 68F setting. Speeds -- never more than 85 on I 70 and never more than 68 on route 22. Two adults, two shetland sheep dogs (small Shelties at that) two suitcases and one case of bottled water and one case of Yuengling Lager beer (can't get it in Cincinnati) in the trunk.

    Reached our destination (probably 200 miles after the stop for gas) -- trip computer says average gas consumption 26.6mpg. I did not baby anything, I only drove in S mode or in full on tip shift mode.

    I am amazed -- sure the thing isn't neck snapping powerful -- but it sips gas!

    And so you don't think I think this thing is a slug or something -- the power is adequate for all but drag racing.
  • fourringsfourrings Posts: 12
    Just talked to a sales manager and was told loyalty program for retrunign customers is good only for 2005 models as of now. Is there any truth to that ? Manager quoted me $700 over invoice on any 2005 A6 plus the loyalty $$$. Is that a fair price ? I'll probably wait for the 2006 to start arriving.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Yes, that is true. Dealers are trying to clear off 05's in anticipation of the new 06 models. So don't expect any perks when the new 06 models come out in about a month and a half.

    The base price of the A6 has also gone up to $43,900 for 2006. So if you can score a good deal on an 05 and get some loyalty money as well, an 05 might be the best way to go.
  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    Your 26.6 MPG sounds just excellent for that heavy of an automobile w/quattro and the air running. It would be interesting to try your next tank using the OD only and comparing results with the computer figure.

    My best MPG on a 2000 A6 2.7T w/tip is 24 (road) and almost 21 (stop/go) with the air OFF. Running that air seems to make quite a difference on the earlier Audis.

    Do you feel the "drag" when turning the air on, like on my model?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Zero impact with or without the A/C -- in terms of a "drag" on the engine.

    My miles to empty keeps increasing. I filled the car up yesterday and have driven it from northern Cinti to downtown and back twice and home and back once. Miles to empty when I filled it up said 494, now it says 505!

    Perpetual motion machine?

    I do NOT baby this at all, drive lots in S mode and lots in Tip mode and a little in D mode. I do use the cruise control on the Interstate when possible and speeds on the Interstates range from 60 to 80 -- with the flow.

    Had lunch in downtown Cincinnati today which required some trips around the block to find parking, etc, and otherwise some stop and go driving, etc.

    Sure the 1.8T's have provided better gas mileage, but this economy impresses me greatly.

    Note: the numbers have been "on faith" from the trip computer. I have not filled up, set the OD to zero driven X miles, filled up again and "done the math." I am reporting the computer readout. It may be overly optimistic, I am not claiming this is scientific or that it is or should be indicative of anything.

    It beats the heck outta my 2003 2.7T 6spd manual allroad, tho! :shades:
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    for the cradle to fit a Motorola Razr phone into the center console of a 2005? Is it required to use that to get the Bluetooth to work? What all is required for handsfree? Is the voice activation stuff required or just a nice-to-have for the dialing, etc? I'm new to this Bluetooth stuff, especially in a vehicle, so any assistance would be appreciated.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I have the Sony Ericson T637.

    I called the 1-800-FOR-AUDI number and they were very helpful, gave me the part number I needed, then I called my dealer and ordered same. Took two days to get it.


    Don't know about the Razor -- the number of phones that actually work in any given MFG's car/bluetooth is limited. I had originally bought a V505 from Moto, then found that Audi unlike Infiniti didn't support the Moto V505.

    My phone was $99 and it works GREAT with the system and when in the cradle it uses the roof 4way antenna for almost dropout free talk time.

    I think when the phone is in the cradle it uses the power, antenna and connection (the physical connection.)

    When the phone is out of the cradle it synchs up via bluetooth.

    Perhaps it is always bluetooth, beats me. I know that the voice command is SWEEEEEEET.

    Still can't figure out why Advanced Key is $750 and Voice activiation is $350. Smart Key ought to be a nuttin' and Voice activation is so good, they could probably charge more for it.

    Net -- the costs of these two options seems backwards.

    I am certain I could live without the voice activation, but I had it for 3 years in my On*star equipped allroad and I got so used to it and the new system is so much easier to use and has fewer "faults" and mulligan's, that I can only imagine what it will become in a couple more years.

    Me: "Computer. . .?"

    Computer: "Yes, Mark -- may I call you Mark. . .?

    Me: "Certainly."

    Computer: "Mark, what do you need?"

    Me: "Peel me a grape, please. . ."

    Computer: "Grape peeling is commencing. . ."

    Me: "Thank you Audi lady. . ."

    Computer: "You can call me Katrina. . ."

    Me: "OK, Katrina, thanks for the grape. . ."

    Computer: "You're welcome."

    Or, words to that effect. Pssst: Don't tell my wife about Katrina!

  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I've done the manual comparison with the trip computer and it was spot on...
  • mrejmrej Posts: 2
    We are down to one key for our A6.

    Anyone have any suggestions on where to get new keys from a third party, or is the dealer our only choice? $300 is pricey!

  • marleybarrmarleybarr Posts: 334
    I checked the Audi factory website and it says the A6 3.2 carries 21.1 gallons of fuel. Assuming you filled the tank to the top, 505 divided by 21.1 (if driven to empty)= 23.93 mpg.

    It appears that you are getting what the Audi website published at 26 highway and 19 city which seems fantastic at freeway speeds w/ air conditioning on!

    Also, the website says 8.6 quarts of oil. Wow, don't know if that includes the filter capacity, but the Audi no extra charge service saves atleast a $65.00 bill for oil changes that isn't included with the Infiniti.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I got our phone working via the Bluetooth w/o the cradle. But if the cradle uses the power and antenna connection for the phone, I see that as a huge plus. I was able to place a call using MMI, so it isn't too bad, but the voice activation would be nice. :)

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Part of the Premium Package is the upgraded (and I would add seriously upgraded) Bose Surround Sound System. Bose, of course, is passe now and shortly Audi will be converting to B&O for a sound system and company name more appropriate to the Premium Luxury Saloon class that Audi has finally gained entry into.

    Yet, for all of the mediocre Bose HOME audio that has come out over the years, one of the sometimes bright spark(s) from Bose has/have been their accomplishments in Automotive Audio. The new A6 is one of their (Audi+Bose) finest moments. Another fine, finer even, moment is the system in the new Infiniti M cars equipped with the Technology package.

    The Bose system in the new A6 is, from a guy who has had many Audis, the best Audi Audio system ever.

    Yet, there are some unknowns. And, when even a "geek" (actually I prefer the name Tech Weenie) like me -- who, after all, does actually read the manuals -- can't find any explanation, well I turn to the Internet for help.

    The Audi Bose system (in the A6's equipped with the Premium Package only) offers several "sound modes." With CD's and satellite radio, you have the option to turn on "surround front," or "surround rear." Then you have the capability of adjusting the "level" of the surround effect.

    Unlike the DSP systems (in home theater systems and in some auto systems) of the recent past, the surround modes apparently do not just add delay and echo (usually at the expense of clarity and imaging.) My wife and I in "double blind" tests have settled on "Surround Rear" for Sirius and CD's (you are stuck with "normal" so to speak for the radio -- even FM stereo.)

    OK, we have concluded, thus far that we seem to like the effect of surround rear and for the moment we have cranked the "surround effect" to about the mid point between "full on" and "neutral."

    Does anyone here have a URL that you can point me to to understand what the intended effect of surround "front or rear" is supposed to be? And, what does "surround effect level" actually do? Or/and what is the theory that makes this work.

    In the not too distant past, it was possible using a stereo (2 channel, normal, not processed, not Dolby this or that, just stereo) system to derive "additional" information beyond the left and right channels via a hook up that fed the "difference" information into one (usually two) speakers.

    Over time, an encoding scheme called matrixing allowed the creation of 4 channels from 2 (LF C RF and "rear" or "surround".)

    Is this "decoding" of the stereo signal from my new Van Morrison or Coldplay or Brian Wilson CD what is going on? In the Infinti system it was possible to insert a DVD-Audio disc and you would be rewarded with true, discreet multi-channel (more than the two nominally encoded on a traditional CD, that is) sound.

    What does the Bose system do? Is it performing the equivalent of taking a music only CD and playing in on a home theater system set to "Dolby Pro-logic or Pro-logic II?" In other words is the system decoding a stereo CD and deriving additional channels that may or may not have been the intent of the producer?

    I am not suggesting this is "fake" or that it sounds funny in some way -- as noted, we do prefer the surround rear configuration with the surround effect set to about 75% full on.

    If someone knows how or what etc -- I would greatly appreciate the edumacation or at least the pointing to another source so that I may squeeze every last bit of good sound from this, thus far, excellent system.

  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Does anybody know if the LG phone currently offered from Sprint PCS will work with the Bluetooth system in the new Audi?
    I hate the phone because it is cheap looking and I never really liked slider phones but don't really want to wait for a new phone from Sprint...who knows how long that will take.
    My only other option is to switch companies except everyone I know is on Sprint so it's like calling for free without using my minutes. I know that Sprint also has the Treo phones that are bluetooth but they are too big to carry around.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    So Audi is going to Bang and Olufsen for their audio? Dang, didn't know that.

    I agree the Bose system sounds great in the car. I prefer the sound rear set about how you have yours as well. I have not a clue as to why it sounds better. It just does. :)

  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Yes, AOA announced that they will go with B&O for the next premium stereo system in the A8. I haven't heard anything about the A6, but one would expect with the next model change for the A6, it would be B&O as least one hopes! :)
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    Well, driving home last night in the new A6...averaged 27 MPG until I got off the highway and because of the lights, I averaged 26.7 by the time I got home. Not bad for a 255 HP engine and a car this size. This was cruising at 75 MPH w/ cruise control on. I am shocked at how good the gas mileage is.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The 3.2 in the A6 is no hot rod, but it is adequate and better at many things than most cars on the road.

    Today, gas here in River City was $2.62 (Prem) -- my A6, too, sips gas, so far.

    This IS a trade off (power for milage) that really isn't too much of a give up in power for a significant gain in mileage. My 2003 allroad 2.7T was very thirsty and with its 250 HP and 258 lb ft of torque wasn't night and day more powerful feeling than the new A6 (but the 6spd manual coupled with the fact that the torque came on south of 2000 RPM's was plenty peppy.)

    I now fill up weekly rather than twice weekly. And, yes, I know the new A6 holds 3 gallons more than the allroad -- but that alone does not account for the improvement.

    I love power and I think, actually, that if this car could be offered with a 6spd manual or the DSG, that there would be an improvement in quickness that would be more than subtle.

    I understand, too, that this engine with clean gas can be so configured for even more power, more mileage AND (gasp) on REGULAR. Say it ain't so.

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