This week I drove a 2010 Audi A6 3.0T Premium Plus, which I briefly alluded to in my last post about the 2011 BMW 535i that I was so impressed with. My statement was that the Audi A6 felt like a step down from the Bimmer…. Until I drove the A6.
I dropped of the BMW and got into the Audi A6 that eCarOne gave me this week. I got into the car and it felt very roomy, well appointed, and luxurious but it felt like something was missing. The Bimmer gave me that feeling of being wrapped in luxury and the A6 did not… at least not at first. I started the car, found a comfortable driving position, adjusted the air and mirrors and headed out for my week long ownership experience. After revving up and getting on the highway with ease, blending into traffic and finding the left lane to open it up all the thoughts about a step down went away. This car felt very strong, competent, and every bit as responsive as the Bimmer. And why wouldn't it... with 300+ HP and 310+ ft/lb of torque, it's output is nearly identical with that of BMW's twin turbo V6 engine.
The power delivery was even smoother than I anticipated, and I can credit the supercharged V6 for that. Since a supercharger works directly off the crankshaft, it is making boost all the time and so you don’t get that abrupt thrust that you get with a turbo. Although these days most turbo cars have twin turbo technology that uses a smaller turbo that makes boost earlier and a larger one that kicks in later so you don’t get that “all or nothing” punch that was inherent to older turbo technology.
Back to the A6…. The engine is very smooth in power delivery and the transmission takes you through the rev range with ease. The brakes are excellent, though not as robust as those in the Bimmer but they get the job done and done well. As for driving dynamics, this car was not equipped with the sport suspension so the ride was controlled but not as sporty as what it would have been with the sport package option. On the other hand, this car is smooth and requires very little effort to drive… to some that is very positive. To me, I prefer a sporty feel. Next time, I’ll see if eCarOne has an A6 with a sport package and then I can more properly talk about Audi handling.
What are my dislikes? Well, the cabin was not as quite as I would have liked. But then again, this is all relative… compared to the BMW 5-series, the Audi is louder. But compared to my wife’s 2010 Honda CR-V, the Audi is quite as a coffin! But in all seriousness, this is perhaps the only complaint that I had. The soft suspension is not a complaint at all…. It’s a matter of personal preference. On the upside, this Audi had 18,000 miles on the odometer and not one single rattle, squeak, shimmy, or whisper from the cabin. Although the mileage is low, this is more than I could say for most German sedans I’ve driven… even ones with lower mileage. Case in point, I once owned a 1999 Audi A4 with 65,000 miles and a 1999 Mercedes E320 with 14,000 miles and you know where I’m going with this. Yes, the Audi was still rattle-free at five times the mileage of the Benz which had squeaks, rattles, and shakes I could not identify. I have to take my hat off to Audi for continuing to make a solid cabin.
Now, let’s talk about price point and where the Audi sits on the pricing spectrum. This Audi is priced by eCarOne at $40,950 which is roughly $25,000 below its price 18,000 miles ago! Essentially, I could get this A6 for the family and pick up a used TT for the weekend before I reach the new car price tag! It leaves me wondering why anyone would purchase a new car when you get a very slightly used one that is still covered by the full factory warranty and save a ton of money in the process. If you want to extend the existing factory warranty to another 4 years and another 50,000 miles, I’m sure eCarOne can set that up and you’re still way below the new car price. I know that based on my credit, I could walk into eCarOne today, get this car, get the warranty and get it all financed at less than 2% for five years! You don’t believe me? Go see for yourself.
Thanks for reading and happy driving.