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Audi A6

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Comments

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,649
    discourse, highlighting different mindsets involved in possessing vehicles.

    I buy stuff that works, or at least I try to. Things that break or don't work as advertised end up consuming a far too large fraction of my day.

    Now, if one acquires a car for the driving pleasure it provides, I don't think we're far off in our outlooks. Steering, shifting, handling and all the rest are timeless. On the other hand, geegaws aren't -- electronic magic and other stuff that's "so last week" may be near-obsolete by the time it's introduced, never mind by the time it's completely debugged.

    Different strokes, and all that.

    No offense meant, guys. You drive a great car.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Some electronic "stuff" is yesterday as noted. Airbags, ESP, ABS, brake assist, the upcoming direct injection engines (which IMHO would substantially alleviate concerns about pollution, fuel economy, power -- i.e., Efficiency Issues) automatic cruise control, adaptive suspensions (like the new RS6), etc etc. . . are not among them. Nor are heated seats -- at least here in Cincinnati -- mirrors and steering wheels. Electro mechanical brakes, replacing and improving upon hydraulic systems will be worthwhile reasons to move forward. Timeless -- steering wheels, perhaps -- windshields? I dunno -- it seems to me that every facet of an automobile is a candidate for upgrading, improving and "making more" (safe, efficient, fun even).

    It could be argued that cars are like PC's -- they come to market "obsolete." Yet, we cannot hold onto, say Windows 3.1 "just 'cause it is timeless or not broken for that matter." Software, unlike cars, virtually never wears out -- yet (recession not included) most of the time people and businesses upgrade and replace software to gain "new features, functions and competitive advantage." Sometimes companies get the latest and greatest software and hardware to attract employees -- I would be concerned if I went to work for a company that was using DOS or even Windows 3.0 or even 95 or 98. My 3 year old Pentium isn't broken, but I replaced it anyway to run Windows 2000 professional and will soon move to XP. I just got Powerpoint XP -- major improvement -- I don't think it is "yesterday." I have a THX ultra surround sound processor made by a company called Proceed -- it is Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS -- this year DD 7.1 and Pro Logic II and DTS-ES were announced as "upgrades" -- thank god this processor can be upgraded. The cost is 65% less than buying a new one.

    As I mentioned, save for the styling issues, it may be "too bad" that cars can't be upgraded (factory upgrades). I traded in a perfectly fine 2000 A6 4.2 for a 2001 with ESP -- that is why I traded it. True it was the latest and greatest electronic toy -- but I had been through a three day driving course and saw the benefit of ESP first hand for myself. I considered it a safety decision -- not a fun decision in this case.

    I cannot understand, but I don't try too hard to do so, why "one" would not want, if possible, if affordable, etc, the absolute latest and greatest interation of an Audi, or a Buick or a PC or a home theater, etc.

    Different strokes indeed. I think that the stroke I take is the one that -- to me -- means "move forward."
  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Posts: 188
    I just bought my first brand new car in 20 years, and I picked an Audi. 8) Here's my take of keeping a modern car past its warranty. Unless you are a trained auto mechanics in the particular brand of car you are driving, and have the necessary equipments on hand, i.e. diagnostic computers. Its no longer cost effective to keep a modern car too long past its warranty period. Most cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s do not have the amount of computer devices or complex mechanics in today's car.

    I believe, most independent garages will be reduced to just doing oil change in another 10 years. Even the 10 year old Camry I am keeping as a beater is getting expensive to keep, to the tune of $3k worth of repair in the past year.

    Again, if anybody wants and feel they need to keep their car for 10+ years and at least 150k miles before they give up. I tip my hat to you. But from my own experience and observation with modern cars, I don't think I want to take that chance.

    Now, I am not saying the modern cars are less reliable than cars from yore. As a matter of fact, I think they are more reliable and dependable. My family used to have the original mini and various Fiats, so I should know. 8) But, with so much electronics and complex machinery being incorporated in today's car, there are just more things to have a chance to break down on you.
  • cncarlsoncncarlson Posts: 26
    In addition to all of the very valid and intelligent remarks above especially "saftey innovations (ESP, EBA etc.), environmental issues (85% of car pollution is produced by less than 10% of the cars read older cars), being able to self-maintain - you can't even find things anymore in an engine". There is the simple issue of never investing in a depreciating asset. If you buy a $40K plus automible and drive it to 150K+ miles you have a $3K asset left, a loss of $37K plus maitenance and repairs etc. A new car every 24-39 months, no maintenance, always the newest saftey technology, etc. for $6000 a year, no brainer!
  • noshonosho Posts: 119
    Most families require two cars but can afford only a single car payment. This works out if one can buy a car over a 3-4 year period and then keep it with minimal maintenance cost for another 3-4 years. While owning the 1st car, you then purchase your 2nd car over a 3-4 year payment period.

    An unreliable car causes very painful financial penalties so the desire for a car that last >100K miles and 8 years.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Twenty-five years ago, I used to buy all my cars (Chevy's) from a Budget Rental Car. The cars were usually one year old, and didn't have high mileage. They appeared to be well maintained, and this particular fellow sold them CHEAP, even compared to other rental car purchase opportunities I investigated. They proved to be cheap, reliable transportation.

    I have an exlaw who is astutely parsimonious. He said he had calculated all costs of ownership for an auto, and the cheapest way to drive was to buy new, do whatever maintenance you could yourself, and run it into the ground. I don't know how buying new could be cheaper, considering the first year depreciation hit, but I wasn't prepared to argue. I would think that combining my method, and his would likely yield a low cost of ownership, though because of the complexity and cost of maintenance on newer cars, I'd think you'd have to come to a crossover point earlier, where unloading it is cheaper than fixing it.

    But none of this considers the pleasure of driving. In my early years, I couldn't afford to consider it, and most cars that were fun, were either very expensive, or very unreliable. For me one of the main problems when including the fun-to-drive factor into the equation is that most cars, even good ones, tend to have the driving experience degrade over time. This was most discernable to me in a '91 Legend I had. For the first 15K the combination of handling and ride were phenomenal. After that, the suspension had become beaten up by the rough roads on which I travel, and both ride and handling degraded substantially. Nothing was broken, that needed to fixed, rather I guess tolerances were knocked a bit askew in a design that couldn't afford it. That's just one example, but I think you might get what I mean.
  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Posts: 188
    Other then those of us that posts on this broad. How many car buying public really drives their cars 10+ years anymore? If you look at the "real world trade in value" at the smart shopper topic. Most people trade in their cars anywhere from 3-5 years of ownership.
  • tubeytubey Posts: 39
    I have now finished up the lease on my '99 and will be writing a check to buy it from the bank tomorrow. Managed to shave another $1,300 off the residual, so I'm happy. And we love the car, although, as Mark says, we dare not go naked. We purchased a very comprehensive, highly-recommended extended warranty when the car was a year old.

    So why the silly? Because I'm retiring at year end and we plan to keep this car indefinitely. Something about a phobia on our part about making payments on anything other than utilities, groceries, and insurance once we move into the fixed income world. Sure, we probably should have bought it to begin with rather than leasing, but some thoughts about huge sales tax outlay upfront dissuaded me (hey, you're never to old to be shortsighted). But, unfortunately, we fell in love with the car, so she's going to be with us for awhile.

    And we'll just try not to think about just what an expensive way this is to ultimately buy a car.
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    Wow, this board has really come to life! Rent vs Runintotheground. In the past I have owned cars 7-11 years before replacing them. Now I am leasing a 2002 2.7t. What has changed? For me, business usage.

    I don't use my car daily for business, but a few times a month I do make 100+ mile trips. Until recently I would rent a car for most 100 mile trips and use my personal car for the shorter trips. My intent was to minimize business miles on my personal car because I felt the IRS mileage deduction was insufficient to cover the cost of the usage. After reading this board and conversing with Mark about his set-up, I was able to convince my business partners that leasing a "company car" in my name could make sense. Previously the hurdle had been that only I drove enough to justify a car. Leasing just made it a cleaner way to document the cost of business usage.

    I am sympathetic to both approaches. I, too, noted the car buying habits of the Millionaires Next Door when I read the book years ago. I forget exactly how they reported the trait, but I seem to remember on average the cars they used they had had for 4-6 years. Upon reflecting, I decided those families must own more than one car, most likely with one "newish" one and one older car.

    We have tried to space our acquisition of cars in the past, but now the car lease will probably mess up this spacing. We put less than 10K mi/yr on our second car, and utility has been emphasized over driving experience, We will probably be replacing the second car in the next 6-18 months. What to do - new car, used car, lease?

    I have mentioned previously on this board that I know of someone whose opinion I respect who buys a 5 or 6 year old car and keeps it for another 7 or 8 years. He used to race cars professionally and he is able to maintain the car himself for the most part. He recently replaced his late 80s 5 Series with a mid 90s 540. I believe the price was about $15K. When he gets rid of it toward the end of this decade, his net capital cost will be $10-12K, plus he will have a few thousand more in maintenance.

    My problem with this approach is I have neither the skill nor the interest in maintaining the car myself. This greatly magnifies the cost of owning used. Secondly, "self-insuring" does not seem to scale well, as engineers say. It is one thing to buy a used car for $10K, have a major malfunction, and then decide whether to repair or replace, but it is another to buy a used car for $30K and have to consider a $10K repair bill.

    When my lease expires I'll consider buying it outright, but at this point it is more likely I will replace it with another leased vehicle.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The only way to own a car is to pay cash on the day you buy it, buy an extended warranty, keep the car at least until the asset is "worthless" (financially), don't ever put money into repairs that when completed will be a net loss -- etc etc etc -- and other stuff that while I am certain is provable (over a lifetime of car buying), most of us can't or won't do. I think that my CPA, and other financial advisors would argue that this kind of car ownership is the "highest" value way to own a car.

    My CPA has a new Passat 4Motion, his partner has a BMW 530, the other "junior" CPA's all have late model mostly European cars -- the two partners lease their cars. I ask them why.

    They said it is "cheaper" to lease a car for about 36 months (give or take 6) and get rid of the car and the variable expense. They also said words that I translated to mean "more fun." Heaven forbid that they actually would lead me, their client, to believe they would ever do something "for fun."

    Seriously, they said that cars depreciate and what we want is "the milk, not the cow." I shook it off and took that to mean we are looking for a car to be many things, but it is not a long term asset -- and for most of us it is not even a short term asset in the financial sense of the word.

    Hmm buy a car in cash -- use it "normally" for a couple of months -- woa, it is worth 25% less than. . .how could that be.

    One of the previous posts explained not only the philosophy of the lease but also the numbers, he said something to the effect that if you buy it costs X and if you lease it costs only a portion of X, "no brainer."

    These same financial advisors (over the years) have told me that most people rent apartments and buy cars and that that is exactly the opposite of what (financially justified) should happen.

    My receptionist needed a "new" car -- she ended up "buying" a two or three year old Saturn -- with over 50K miles on it. I do not know the "term" of her loan, but the payments EXCEEDED the lease payments on a VW Jetta or a Honda Civic -- both of which would have been new cars.

    I think it was the A/C that went first on her new (used) Saturn, then one of the outside mirrors stopped working (I assume the adjuster stopped), some other power accessory died, then the brake pads needed changing, plus the monthly payment. Needless to say -- no A/C and as other things pooped out, they didn't get fixed. But the payments continued. Now, for all I know she couldn't get a lease (credit-wise). But she was making decent money and I would not imagine this to be an issue.

    I went over leasing with her, perhaps too late, after she had acquired the new used Saturn. But, she was stuck with a financial albatross around her checkbook.

    I feel like I must be missing something, sometimes because so many on this board -- and I consider most of you "bright, invformed, involved, etc." -- seem to be against the concept of leasing. Yet, try as I might I cannot justify the expense of buying a car. You all must pay cash (because there is no logic in putting money down on a car -- it is either lease 100% or pay cash [or get 0.00% financing] -- I put my "cash" into my house and an office building I bought ).

    My house has appreciated, my 20,000sf office building now has two tenants each with 10 year leases, the mortgage is 12 years, the rent from the building more than covers the debt service and we are (hopefully) at the bottom of the economy -- so, theoretically at least, things will get better. I had to put $100,000 into the building -- in cash. I leased a $54,000 Audi -- thank god I didn't buy it, I could not have bought the building.

    I can afford to get a brand new Audi approximately every 24 to 36 months. I get (hopefully) the latest, safest -- greatest technology cars and always have a new or very young car. I do not have any financial surprises -- I have gas, insurance and a monthly payment and maybe a set or two of new tires. I always have a payment, I always have a new car -- I keep moving forward.

    And, if the commercial real estate market isn't in the toilet when I'm in my mid 60's, I'll own a very nice asset -- be able to sell it and invest the proceeds for income without touching the principal -- and be able to continue leasing new Audis every other year or so.

    I cannot afford to buy Audis -- or any car for that matter.

    I like having new cars -- I believe it is "safer" to have the newest latest and greatest car. They keep having new features and functions that overall I consider to be beneficial to have. I do not have any desire to have a car for 8 years with some 150,000+ miles on it. What's the fun in that?

    Like I said, I keep updating my PC's -- and they become obsolete not broken (unlike cars, which I will argue become both obsolete and "worn.") I cannot understand even the concept that most people need two cars and can afford only one car payment, so they buy a car (on time payments) pay it off, keep it and buy car #2 and when it is paid for get rid of the first car and make #2 the "clunker." It would be cheaper, wouldn't it, to lease two brand new Honda's or Jettas or whatevers and not have the repair costs of the "older" (but paid for) vehicle.

    My receptionist's Saturn keeps haunting me.

    If you need two cars and cannot afford them, perhaps the cars you are selecting are too expensive for your income, or you are attempting to somehow rationalize a "false economy."

    Last story, one of my employee's wife was a former flight attendant for a regional eastern airline. After babies, she decided she wanted to go back to being a flight attendant.

    It went something like this:

    Salary minus expenses to have the job equalled a negative number. Logically, financially unaffordable, right? Well there were some positives that are not financial -- self esteem, getting away from being a homemaker, talking with adults all day rather than children, self-worth ("I am contributing") etc. Also there were some negatives that were not financial: sometimes the job required overnight stays and spur of the moment calls to work, odd hours (can't see the kids as much as you had hoped), etc.

    Purely financially it was not a good move -- what do you think happened? She accepted the job, both husband and wife knowing it would "cost them" financially -- because the positive non-financial reasons outweighed the negative and the unattractive financial aspects. A couple of months later she got pregnant and it was moot. But the point was -- they could see that the job was a loser, but they chose it because of non financial reasons.

    My financial advisor says Buy what appreciates (real estate) and Rent (lease) what depreciates (automobiles).

    We don't always do what is provable. And besides, you can't prove it by me that it is in any way more desirable to buy a car than lease one and keep on leasing them every couple of years.

    Show me the money!
  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Posts: 188
    Very nicely written. Maybe you could post this in the Financial and Warranty section, under the topic Leasing (buying) is better than buying (leasing). It might spark another interesting discussion there.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,649
    thing. And again, this discussion is truly interesting. I'm pleased that so many are participating in such an enjoyable fashion -- there are even people who agree with me. What a concept.

    If maintenance costs are lower than the payment would have been in any given month, you're money ahead. Many take a 3- or 4-year note to buy a car and endure the monthly payment. When the payment ends, the question is whether it makes more sense to keep the car and endure the maintenance, or to trade it in on the next vehicle and begin (yet again) the 3- or 4-year payment book thing. We could choose to discuss opportunity cost and any number of other pinheaded (hey, that's me) concepts, but don't lets.

    Several factors have been raised: 1) If one doesn't pay cash up front (implies taking a loan and paying for it), you're better off leasing, 2) If one has any kind of business interest that allows car costs to be written off, you're better off leasing, 3) If you absolutely, positively have to have whatever the car industry thought up this year, you don't want to own the car.

    All valid.

    Add to this whether it makes sense to lease when it's possible you'll drive 15,000 - 25,000 miles per year.

    I don't want to come off as a Luddite. I made a special effort in '94 to buy a vehicle for my wife with 4-wheel ABS. In past years I've been early in line for true rear wheel independent suspension, 50% front-to-rear wheel weight distribution, a roadster that actually worked and didn't leak oil, as well as others. I appreciate and invest in (poor choice of words -- spend my money on) what I consider worthwhile improvements. I'm just not certain I want to be on the leading edge (the first year or so), where the de-bugging takes place.

    FWIW, I paid cash for my last car and accumulate well over 15K miles per year.

    Each of us comes at this car possessing thing from our own direction. The good news is that those in this board have the resources to examine a number of options that many others don't.

    Life could be worse.

    Much worse.
  • vertimaxvertimax Posts: 9
    I've been reading this bulletin board over the last week and have been duly impressed with the depth of the commentary. Clearly, there is a knowledgable group of A6 enthusiasts here. Having also been one to appreciate fine machinery for my 20+ years of driving, you can then understand my dilemma in choosing b/w a 2002 530i w/ sport package vs. an 2002 A6 w/ sport package. I currently drive a 2000 BMW 328i and love driving it - I'm trying not to let this history influence my decisionmaking process but it's tough. I've driven both at length and here are my obserations:

    1) The A6 clearly has the edge in acceleration and a broad powerband, although not many engines sound like the BMW inline 6 winding out.

    2) The A6 definitely has a nicer interior with many thoughtful touches that are lacking in the BMW.

    3) No doubt 4WD holds a big edge in bad weather, although haven't had too many winter days in NYC area in recent years.

    4) BMW still has the best suspension in the business, providing great handling (w/ the sport package) yet not being too harsh. I found the ride in the A6 2.7T less compliant and it didn't track quite as well around some rippled corners.

    5) I've read all the commentary re: reliability issues of the A6 and am willing to take a chance that the 02's have got most of the problems sorted out. I'm planning to keep the car for 5-7 years and only put on 5-8K a yr so am less worried about wear and tear.

    I'm sure I could go on and on since I too love to talk about great cars.... but I have a couple questions for all you knowledgable Audi enthusiasts.

    1) Has anyone lived w/ the A6 2.7T with sport package for any length of time? How have you found the ride?

    2) I was able to get my hands on the '03 option sheet and it looks like the sport package is no longer available but some of the individual pieces are (seats & wheel/tire package). Perhaps this was in response to some earlier comments on this board about the seats not being too accomodating for larger frames. Is the suspension being changed at all - softer or firmer?

    3) Has anyone heard about the Bose stereo being improved to appeal more to the audiophiles in the crowd?

    Love to hear your comments as I'm agonizing over this decision on which great car to buy and have to make a decision soon. Everyone should have these kind of choices.....
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    You are 100% correct -- life could be worse, and I'm betting that it will over the next few years get a whole lot better. And, you are also right, a lot of us on this town hall have some resources that do indeed enable us to examine options. For the most part, I'm assuming that it is because we made choices "that many others don't."

    This is not to bash anyone in or from any socio-economic "status" (class?). I assume only one thing, that people who participate in discussions of $45k+ cars must be at least in the so-called middle class and possibly upper middle class.

    I assume household incomes on this board exceed $100K and quiote possibly exceed $200K -- if you are earning $50K and buy or lease $45k+ cars there may be a day of reckoning coming for you -- beats me.

    All my friends and neighbors (and about 90% of my Audi dealers customers) lease their cars -- I have no idea how many of them are the millionaires next door. I may or may not be based on Arthur Andersen accounting practices (I couldn't resist the cheap shot), but I do plan on being one at or before retirement. My auto leasing decisions, IMHO, are supporting this goal.

    One of the guys I work with bought a used (1997, cherry Mercedes E 430) -- it just turned 50,001 miles. His reward? -- a tail light that "can't be fixed" -- it must be replaced -- cost: $109.

    He (and I) can only imagine what next will need repair or replacement now that he is out of warranty. The car in features continues to become more obsolete, the costs may continue to escalate -- and that is to just keep the car "current" to 1997 standards -- it doesn't even have ESP or brake assist or 6 or 8 airbags, nor is it considered an Ultra Low Emissions Vehical possibly not even a Low Emission Vehicle -- and every day it is worth slightly less than the day before and may cost a breathtaking amount to keep it both running and obsolete.

    It is his first Mercedes and one lousy $109 tail light has already turned him off.

    If I didn't trust the veracity of this erudite and very high integrity forum as much as I do, I would think those that try to petition for buying and holding we're either very lucky or had selective memories. I wish I had your luck -- because I DO BELIEVE YOU -- I have never been so fortunate -- oops, another unitentional slam against Audis.

    Or is it?
  • noshonosho Posts: 119
    I have a '00MY with 43K miles on it. What to say?

    Dislikes:
    Doesn't have a "riding on rails" feel (compared to Lincoln LS).
    Seats are not as comfortable as the LS's.
    Rubbery shifting feel.

    Likes:
    Engine - torque at every RPM.
    Roomy.
    Good sized trunk.
    AWD - nice peace of mind.

    Problems:
    MAF sensor just replace under warranty.

    '03MY supposedly has the sport suspension as standard.
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    As timcar said, fun is part of the consideration. When I went through the lease vs buy decision recently, it wasn't entirely a mechanical financial decision. I wanted a four door sedan, with room for adults front and rear. I wanted it to be more fun to drive than a De Ville. Price was part of the equation. Now, if money were no object, what would I have gotten? I would have given more serious consideration to a 7 series, but I don't know that it would necessarily have won. At this point I might get in line for an RS6.

    I also agree with our neighbor to the North (actually, cdnpinhead may live south of me) regarding the car's cost and performance after 150K miles. If a car on my short list were available with a 10 yr 150K bumper-to-bumper warranty, it would probably be the one I'd go with. There are two aspects to this I find appealing: from an engineering standpoint, I'd like to see cars designed for a long life. I don't like the thought of "disposing" of a car after 3 or 4 years. If it doesn't make sense for me to keep the car longer, why would it make sense for someone else to buy it (directly or indirectly) from me? I have and could continue to live with a car I liked for 10 years. I want cars to last more than 10 years.

    The second reason is a car expected to last 10 years would have a higher residual after 3 years than it does now. Of course the list price would have to rise to pay for the longer warranty, so it may be a wash on a 3 year lease. Also, it probably is not in the car maker's interests to increase the time period of the original ownership.

    If I could buy an Audi today with a 10 yr 150K warranty, what would induce me to replace it sooner than that? I like the 2002 2.7t, but if I could get one that was quicker, better gas mileage, better nav / internet access, great audio (and better leather and lighter gross vehicle weight) I would not wait 10 years. Once I have these things, I would raise the bar some more. As cdnpinhead said, "Life could be worse."
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    I'm in the same boat as you--I have a '99 A6 (vitually trouble-free, btw) with 2 mos left on a 36 mo lease. I'm seriously considering an A6 2.7T, the BMW 530i and...the Saab 9-5 aero. I have only driven the BMW once, but it was a lengthy test-drive and I got a good feel for it. As far as pure driveability, it doesn't get much better. I've driven the 2.7T w/ sport suspension and the handling felt prety 'rail-like' to me, though not as crisp & tight as the BMW. The sport suspension is a little firmer than mine, but it improves the handling a bit--though you may feel a few more bumps.

    One thing that bugs the hell out of me r.e. BMW is that you literally have to buy each "option' separately (including things like lumbar support, fold-down back seats that are standard on most other comparable cars)--the BMW will certainly cost more than the Audi.

    I don't know if the 03 Bose system is any different than past incarnations, but i'm totally biased--Bose car systems suck! I've never heard ANY Bose car system anywhere that I thought was worth a damn. I had some aftermarket audio components put into my A6 and have been in audiophile heaven for 3 years. (I am of course removing them before I turn the car back in).

    Much of what I like about both cars I find in the Saab. It's a rocket, handles very nicely, is well appointed (I have a few beefs with the interior ergonomics) and I like the fact that you don't see them at every intersection. I think they actually look pretty cool. I wonder if it's as quiet as the other two, though. It would probably be the least expensive of the 3.

    I've been very happy with my Audi and am leaning in that direction--I've come to really like the feel of AWD, the tiptronic (admittedly not quite as...kick-[non-permissible content removed] as the BMW auto/manual), and the excellent interior environment (much better storage than the Bmr), not to mention (for me anyway) the reliability. I'm not sure I can afford the extra $$ it would take for the 530i--if i can get a really good deal on a 2.7T I'll probably do it (btw, BMW wins the exterior color-choice contest hands down). If not, I'm keep feeling myself drawn to the Saab. It's a tough choice, but as you say everyone should have to make these kinds of choices. It sounds like yours is slightly more imminent than mine--don't know if this helped at all, but good luck...I'll be interested to see what you end up with, and why.
  • vertimaxvertimax Posts: 9
    I was also reading with great interest the string re: purchase vs. lease and it is also playing into my decision. I used to be a strong believer in buying a low mileage off-lease car and keeping it for a few years but am beginning to think otherwise. With the complexity of today's cars, especially the expensive European sedans we're considering, it may definitely pay to continue leasing. That being said, if you're like me and only drive 5-8K/yr (because I take a train to work), leasing is not a financially attractive option. I'll probably still end up buying - at this point in the year, I may be better off buying an 03 rather than an 02 since we're close to the release of the new model year.

    Having said that, some further thoughts on this purchase decision. Before I narrowed my choices down to these two fine autos, I also drove the Saab Aero, S80 T6, Lexus GS300, Infiniti I35, Lincoln LS V8, Jaguar S-Type 3.0, A6 3.0, BMW 525i & 540i. Needless to say, a lot of Sats. burned to do this but wanted to be sure of my choice. Like others have mentioned on this board, I'm in the fortunate position of being to get whatever car I like but am also concious of value for the money, in addition to features like driveability, reliability and looks. I don't think you can go too wrong with any of these cars as they all have great things going for them. However, it was a clear in my mind that the 530i and A6 2.7T were the best for my needs.

    I thought the Saab Aero was a nice car but it didn't feel as refined in its chassis or interior. It was deceptively fast though. No doubt you can get this car for many thousands less - and that's the appeal, but not for me.

    You can definitely pick up an A6 2.7t for a song, as I've been offered one for about 1,000 over invoice and that's not likely to happen with a BMW. In fact, I don't even know if I'll be able to get an 02 530i with my specs, may have to order an 03. Thus my questions re: the 03 A6 to make a fair comparison.
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Does anyone know if Audi has any plans of offering a more traditional Navigation system in their US cars? I'm looking at their competitors (BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, MB), all of whom have color-screen Nav systems.

    I currently have a Lexus with Navigation and love it so much I've listed it as a "must have" in my next car. Unfortunately, from what I've seen of it, Audi's little pictogram Nav system (as opposed to a color map display) doesn't appeal to me.

    Thanks!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    For 2003 the Nav lite is all that is available in the US. However, THE AUDI Sat Nav Plus is avail here in the US for about $2595 I think. This is about the right price, considering that the charge for Nav lite is something like $1695. I don't have the URL at this moment, but I have already sent the company an e-mail asking if I should cancel the Nav lite on my already ordered 2003 allroad.

    BTW, I found the system over on Audi World, about 10 days ago -- I think it was on the board discussion for A6/S6 or allroad. They have a search engine and you can find the URL in five or ten min of surfing.

    I totally agree -- what is the big deal with putting the full color moving map in the US Audis -- it is the same system (electronics) as used by Mercedes and is widely available on European Audi cars!

    What is up with that?!?

    I found the URL -- http://www.avalonmotorsports.com/
  • cncarlsoncncarlson Posts: 26
    I recently went through the same exercise as you looking at all of the same cars with the exception of the Lincoln. I went with the A6 for the following reasons: Size, the interior is signifigantly larger that the 530 (I needed the back seat room). Price, while it sounds like this may not be an issue for you it was for me. I also drive about 7k miles a year so the difference in handling was less important to me (you're correct that the 530 is one of the best handling sedans made). Finally, the 5 series are a dime a dozen here in Atlanta and the Audi folks at Jim Ellis are so much nicer than any of the BMW dealers I have been too. Hey when you are buying a luxury item, service is important. Hope that helps.
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Thanks for the URL about the Nav system. Seems to make no sense that Audi has a regular Nav system for Europe, but not here (for us spoiled Americans...)

    And THANKS for also liking/wanting Navigation. Get so tired of the righteous ones lamenting the "uselessness" of Navigation. I love it!
  • audibleaudible Posts: 2
    After all the talk about lease vs. buy, I thought I would offer a change in topic. As I posted before, my A6 2.7t blew its engine at 60k mi. The original estimate was $19,000 +-. The final estimate came in at $3,500 in repair and $15,000 in parts. The good news is that Audi is picking up the parts. The bad news is that my dealer, located in Natick, MA won't budge on the repair.

    Lesson One learned: Audi will stand by their product.

    Lesson Two learned: NEVER let your car get out of warranty.

    Lesson Three learned: If you want a dealer to work with you, it no longer matters where you bought the car, it matters where you had it serviced.

    Still love the car and may, just may buy it at the end of the lease. Who knows, how often can an engine blow anyway?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,592
    so does that $15,000 in parts get you a brand new engine? $3500 is much better than $20,000 though. You have to look on the bright side.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    And this applies to any car other than a BIC car (i.e., totally disposable) -- never have one of these cars go out of warranty. And for me, I would not keep one past 50K miles or 4 years in any case.
  • timcartimcar Posts: 363
    Thanks for the info. regarding the '03 suspension change. I asked your question over at AudiWorld and the word is that the sport suspension IS now standard. This makes me very envious. I have an '01 2.7, and WANTED the standard seats with the sport suspension, and couldn't get it. Sports seats are too small for me.

    Not having had much personal experience with the 5 Series, I can't really add much to what other poster have already said: I.e., the A6 is roomier, with a more attractive better finished interior, and you can get a better price on it. If it's an '03, $1K to $1.5K over dealer invoice should take it home. Most years, the best pricing during most of the model year has been $1.5K to $2K over invoice once adequate inventory arrives. Since the car's margin is $3.5K to $5K, the discounting has been substantial. I've read that BMW doesn't deal much.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Both a 530 and a 2.7T -- BMW cost way more, much less "power" -- better "handling" feel, but just barely. All wheel drive plus power plus the aggressive Audi pricing (more stuff for the money by far) -- changed his mind.

    Drive it like you live.
  • kirby2010kirby2010 Posts: 136
    I wrote a while back about a side by side comparison of my '01 2.7T 6-speed and a co-worker's BMW 530 w/auto. BMW was a consideration last year, as was Lincoln, Volvo, others. Still very happy with my decision. Looking at two cars at the same time can be a real eye opener - as can driving them within moments of each other - neither of which most car shoppers do. I know I didn't, my shopping took quite a few weeks.

    Both are great cars but I felt the edge goes to Audi for performance, styling, interior room, and available features. Come to think about it, just about everything goes to Audi. Add in the fun to drive factor and I'll take the 2.7T w/6-speed any day.

    I also mentioned once before that after giving another co-worker a ride in the Audi he told me his goal was to buy a BMW. I asked him if he'd ever driven a BMW and he said no. What else is there to say?
  • vertimaxvertimax Posts: 9
    Thanks for the commentary on the A6 2.7T vs BMW 530i. Just made a deal today on a 2002 A6 2.7T, loaded except for Nav & Onstar - thought it would cheer up all you Audi fans (of which I am now one!) I'll be picking it up this Sat and will let you know how it goes over the next couple of months.

    Ultimately, the decision came down to three factors:

    1) Lots of BMW's around my area and wanted something that looked a little different. The A6 w/ sport package offered that.

    2) Better value for the money in terms of equipment and options. Was also offered an outstanding lease deal that changed my mind about the purchase decision.

    3) Wanted to try the quattro system.

    Looking forward to putting some miles on!
  • theremintheremin Posts: 26
    Congrats on the new car! I'm sure you'll be very happy. When you have the time, I'm curious about a few things:

    --Color scheme ext / int?
    --What kind of wheels?
    --How do you like the sport seats?
    --How do you like the sound system? (As I
    mentioned earlier, I'm no fan of Bose and
    ended up putting after-market stuff in my
    A6 which sounds awesome. As an audio-
    phile yourself, what's your opinion?)
    --Do you mind disclosing the terms of your
    lease? I've pretty much eliminated the BMW
    and am down to the 2.7T and the Saab aero.
    Here's what I'd be looking for with the 2.7T:

    --Preferred pkg, Premium pkg, Sports pkg
    --36-39 mo lease
    --$3000 (or less) drive-off cost incl tax etc
    --15K miles/year
    --$499 (or less) per mo incl tax

    --Sound doable anyone?

    --Also just curious what it was about the Saab
    chassis you didn't like.

    Again, congratulations, drive safely and have fun!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Please do not put any up front money on this car -- if you really have that much extra money, send it to me, I will make good use of it.

    Seriously, putting money down on a leased car to buy down the payment is generally a loser all the way around. Even in "this" economy you will come out ahead with no money down.

    I realize it might be very nice to have a lower payment, but what makes it "worth" putting anything down? What is the ROI that is?

    Question: What is the payment with $0 down and with $3000 down for the same term?

    When you find this answer, we can do a couple of "spreadsheets" that will, or I'll bet they will, demonstrate that putting money down on a lease is a "false" economy.

    Topic: Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island, discuss.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    With 4375 miles on my 2002 A6 4.2, I had been loving this car . . . until yesterday. The audio system suddenly went out, including the radio, CD player, OnStar system, and hands-free telephone. I was listening to the radio, but when I turned the car back on after a stop for gas, the system was dead. (I've checked . . . it's not a blown fuse.)

    This was Tuesday, and I was planning to leave this weekend for a driving trip from Connecticut to Georgia in this car. So I called the dealer, who said the earliest he could look at the car is Friday -- which, of course, leaves no turnaround time if parts have to be ordered. He was unsympathetic about the prospect of my either having to cancel a vacation or of driving over 2,000 miles without even so much as a radio. And why should he care? He already has the $54,000 I gave him three months ago.

    I got rid of a 2000 Jaguar because of chronic electronic gremlins. Looks as if the Audi is headed for the same junk heap. Caveat emptor.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 13,592
    I agree with you that if you lease that you should put Zero Down (as a cap cost reduction). All you're doing is lowering your monthly payments and giving the leasing company their money early.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2017 Pilot Touring AWD, 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport 4WD

  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Posts: 188
    Have you tried to pull the fuse out for the radio and then put it back in? Or just visually inspected it?
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    Michael, you mentioned you replaced the Bose components with ones you much prefer, and I believe you also said you will put the Bose components back in when you are done with the car.

    Would you mind telling me what you went with and approximate cost and effort to make the improvement? Thanks.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Actually, the schematic showed the phone and the radio as being on separate fuses. So I don't think fuses could be the problem, although I checked anyway.
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    mpyles1, I had a problem with my radio not working about a week or so after I picked up my 02 2.7t. I too played with fuses, to no avail. However, I then had to re-enter the code for the radio, and when I did everything was fine and has been since then. Your problem may be different from mine, but just another suggestion for a possible quick cure.
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Thanks, but the radio won't even power up so that I can reset the code. Or is there a way to do it without powering up the radio?
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    As I remember, my radio was completely dead, did not power up. I pulled the fuse out, and re-seated it. I may also have re-seated another fuse or two. Then the radio would power up, which it did not do previously. When it did I had to re-enter the code. Been fine since then,

    The only other quirky problem is the DIS has dropped out. The display itself would be fine when the car was started, but when I would put the car in gear the mileage/gas info display would be blank. After fiddling around I found out tapping the reset button once would bring it back. The next time it happened I tapped the reset once and all was fine. To anyone, is this a "feature"?
  • dtwleungnycdtwleungnyc Posts: 188
    No, that's not a feature. 8)

    Mpyles1, quite a few owner pulled the fuse out and reseated it did solve the problem for them. Give it a try, you got nothing to lose, just don't lose the fuse. 8)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    While I find your issue very disturbing and somewhat disappointing -- I find your dealer's response (or lack of) to be close to unforgivable. Things break -- to me this is not desirable, but I wouldn't lose sleep over it. The dealer is breaking his relationship with you and that is unacceptable (vacation plans or not).
  • hjs2hjs2 Posts: 1
    BTW, congratulations on your new car.
    We are test driving A6's this weekend with a view to lease by the end of September, when our current lease runs out.
    Is your lease an Audi of America program, one specific to your dealer, or did you find the lease deal separate from the dealer?
    TIA
  • mpyles1mpyles1 Posts: 91
    Well, the good news is that the dealer finally agreed to squeeze me in today to look at the failed audio system.

    The bad news is that there is apparently a software glitch in the audio systems with Audi Telematics, and they have been failing at a high rate. They put a new unit in that supposedly has corrected software.

    Several weeks before the total system failure, I had started encountering another problem. The OnStar system has cell phone service available without having to have a phoneset installed in the car. If you do install the new Audi Telematics phone (which I did), the system is supposed to default to the Audi phone when you initiate a call instead of calling out over OnStar (for which you have to purchase "calling units" that cost a good deal more than regular cell phone service).

    In recent weeks, about a third of the time when I would initiate a hands-free call, I got a voice response saying "you have insufficient units to complete this call," which meant the system was trying to dial out over OnStar. I finally figured out that the only way to correct the problem was to remove the Audi phoneset from its cradle and reinstall it -- a tricky move in a moving car and a ridiculous exercise for a Telematics system that cost over $1500 (counting the required $695 OnStar option, the $625 Audi phone, the $150 cradle, and the installation labor). The dealer is clueless about how to fix it, and both OnStar and Audi USA service say they have not yet encountered the problem in other cars and likewise have no idea how to fix it. (Mine was the second car delivered by my dealer with the Telematics option, so I guess no one yet has much experience with it.)

    I am not impressed. As bad as my 2000 Jaguar electricals were, its 3-year-old voice activation technology was consideraly better than Audi's. And the Audi has had its first electronic failure three months into my ownership. It took the Jaguar electronics almost six months to start crashing.
  • kerbkerb Posts: 172
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,649
    play to my point, which is, new "gee-whiz" features are great to have. . .as long as they work.

    Otherwise, you're spending time (certainly not money, since everything's covered by the warranty) trying to make the vehicle you acquired do everything it was advertised to do.

    The more of this complexity that's built into a vehicle, the more important it is that it MUST ALWAYS WORK.

    Some of us feel that the simple (some would say elegant) vehicle that always performs its function is superior to the complex vehicle (offering additional features) that doesn't.

    Others don't.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    OnStar is hardly new -- GM cars have had it for years. This is disappointing.

    And I do agree with much of what cdpinhead says -- but obviously not all of it. . . .

    I am in the software business -- we do try to "mask" complexity with a simple user interface -- sometimes you just have to reboot. I do not accept this as an excuse -- but ever since we got away from DOS and moved to graphical systems (Windows for example) things started crashing, God I'm old, but I remember the days when I could load up Lotus 1-2-3 from DOS and other than a power failure it would NEVER fail. I have NEVER NOT had something running under windows go on without some kind of hiccup. My SE's tell me to reboot and they'll see if MS has a patch for it.

    We develop software on platforms other than windows, and they have a mean time between failure of 105 years -- but all our clients want windows -- which as of XP has just barely started to mask complexity with simplicity.

    This is not meant to be as much of an excuse as it may at first glance appear to be. . .I really do agree with some of cdpinheads points.

    I'll bet few of us are not using a PC based browser to participate in this forum. Sometimes I just have to reboot -- especially when I use Internet Explorer. I love Netscape -- but am sometimes forced to use IE. I don't know about you, but I can't lick em, so I do join em.

    The program is constant change (improvement is the goal of course) -- it doesn't matter if it is cars or PCs or medicine or telephones or or or. Embracing change, fostering change, leading change -- not following it -- is how we move forward. But man, this stuff about On Star in downright embarrassing and very disconcerting.

    You have encountered an error -- your program will now be closed. Na Na Na Na Na Naaaaaaa!
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    He didn't trust power windows and warned me against them on my 84 626. Other than blowing a fuse if I tried to lower all four at once, I never had any problems with them. I asked him how he felt about electric starters.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,649
    I've spent the past couple of days trying to get my LAN drop working properly after an unexpected move at work.

    My cube mate, who's 73 (experience is sometimes valued in corporate America), has made much fun of how dependant I am on the computer. I jab back at him with the flush toilet, electric light type of responses, not unlike max27t's power window comment.

    Point being, as always, that this stuff is great, so long as it works. If, however, the ability to use a vehicle suffers, we're back at the "for want of a nail" stage.
  • max27tmax27t Posts: 35
    EOM
  • davkingdavking Posts: 51
    Ah, yes, I remember well putting my head between the two dashpots (I think that is what they were called) to adjust the two carburetors on my TR-3. It was faithful, reliable, and a heckuva a lot of fun to drive.
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