Category Archives: Audi

2018 Audi Q7

2018 Audi Q7

By Phil Shuyler

The Audi Q7 just went through a complete redesign for the 2017 model year. Visually it has a low stance, which helps give it a nimble and capable appearance. It’s powered by either a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.0L 6-cylinder supercharged TFSI engine that puts out 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The 0-60 for the 2.0L is 7.1 seconds, while the 3.0L reaches 60 in 5.7 seconds.

Both engines are quite capable, however the 4-cylinder may leave you wanting more. The transmission you’ll find with either engine is a smooth shifting 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg highway, 19 city and 21 combined.

Quattro is standard on all Q7s and all-wheel steering is available to give you a tighter turning radius at lower speeds and more precise steering and higher speeds. Audi’s drive select includes up to 6 different modes, including Comfort, Dynamic, Auto, Individual, Offroad, and Allroad and Offroad/Lift. So no matter what condition or mood you’re in, there’s a mode for you.

Interior

The inside is Audi elegant, with available wood and brushed metal accents, and a infotainment screen that magically rises out of the dash. Of course the 12.3” fully digital virtual cockpit is available, as is the MMI all-in-touch touchpad which provides access to the infotainment screen. It enables you to handwrite various inputs as well as navigate through different screens and menus. Overall it’s easy and intuitive to use, though writing on the pad does take a little getting used to.

There’s also an available full-color head up display that projects relevant information directly in the driver’s field of vision. Handy to have, but it’ll probably take a little while before you get accustomed to using it. And who can’t live without the available adaptive ambient lighting, with over 900 color combinations!

Safety

Safety first! And the Q7 has a variety of ways to do just that. The standard Audi pre sense city detects stationary vehicles or pedestrians in the road ahead and initiates full braking when the vehicle is traveling under 52 mph and a potential collision is imminent. The available pre sense plus adds a collision warning and emergency braking at up to 137 mph.

Also available is Audi pre sense rear, rear cross traffic alert, collision avoidance assist, turn assist, and night vision assistant, just to name a few. Overall the Q7 earns a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA.

The 2018 Audi Q7 starts at $49,900 in the Premium trim with a 2.0L engine, and can be optioned up to around $90,000 in the Prestige trim which includes the 3.0L engine. No matter what your price point, the Q7 surrounds you with confidence and luxury.

2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro S tronic

2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro S tronic

An Automotive Love Affair

By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2017 Audi A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro S tronic. Merry Christmas – you gotta wonder how many lucky folks will find an Audi under their tree. Suppose your kids asked you what car you thought they should buy – what would you suggest?

Likely most every parent would tell them to do what is best for them. Also, most people, not only youth, lean toward Flashy or high-performance cars…

Well, there is no question that German and Italian high-end Luxury cars are engineering marvels. They are fabulously fun (thrilling) to drive but practically speaking they are designed and built for the very well healed – financially.

If your budget resembles young college students or young families and even yours or mine you may want to tread lightly and cautiously when considering whether this kind of Luxury car will be your choice. I was thrilled when my kids opted for Hyundai, Kia, Chevy and Chrysler. Just say’n it is best to spend wisely and keep your hard-earned money in your bank account for that inevitable rainy day.

General Information:

It is assembled in Gyor, Hungary; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Hungary 37%, Germany 57%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Subcompact. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A5 Sportback, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 3, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S5 Sportback, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, TT RS and TTS Coupe.

Handling & Performance:

Unquestionably exceptional.

Styling:

Unmistakable Audi.

Fit and Finish:

Among the best.

Cost:

Yes, Audi, like most German luxury cars are far more expensive to buy and operate than other choices, but it is also true they are exceptionally fabulous cars to drive. But your budget is what determines at the end of the day.

It is not a bad thing that these cars are pricey. Just be aware of this fact. As an owner of an automotive repair business for many years I can say this with confidence. It’s simply a fact you need to consider. Ferrari and Lamborghini are not for everyone and that is common sense and a place where you enter at your own risk. High end Japanese and German and Italian cars are simply expensive. Exceptional engineering comes at a high price. Oh, by the way, we did drive Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche cars, but it helps when you own a repair facility.

Conveniences and comfort:

A good complement of standard features. However, you must pop for about $9,000 if you want all the high-tech features becoming more commonplace in today’s competitive world. . . many of which are standard on many, even lesser luxury classed auto products. Things like ‘lane assist, cross traffic, side assist, adaptive cruise control, Navigation, etc., you’ll pay extra for here.

Consumer Recommendations:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Country/Origin Assembled
Audi A3 35 27 5 Germany Germany
Volvo S60 34 29 5 Sweden Sweden
MBZ CLA 35 27 5 Germany Germany
Cad ATS 36 25 5 USA USA
BMW 3 Ser 34 28 5 Germany Germany
Jag XE 31 34 5 United Kingdm United Kingdm
Acura ILX 30 29 5 Japan USA

Recognized Competition:

Audi A3 $35,000, Volvo S60 $34,000, MBZ CLA $35,000, Cad ATS $36,000, BMW 3 Ser $34,000, Jag XE$31,000, Acura ILX $30,000.

Good News:

Excellent engineering for exceptional handling and performance.

Bad News:

German luxury car high cost of purchase and maintenance.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter Turbo 220 hp 4 cylinder engine, 6-speed auto transmission, all-wheel-drive (Quattro), 17” wheels, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, keyless push button start/stop system, tire pressure monitor, Audi concert radio sound system, xenon headlights, dual zone climate control, information system , leather seating, sunroof, heated power mirrors, Bluetooth prepared, rain and light sensors, rearview camera, multifunction steering wheel, Aux-in with USB charge, 8-way power driver seat, front, knee, thorax side and side curtain airbags, LATCH children system with safety locks, anti-theft alarm system.

Options:

Prestige package adds about $9,000 for a total of $44,000 for this test vehicle.

Gas Stats:

$3.05/ Gal avg. November 18, 2017
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

24 City and 31 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $44,475 – equipped with options.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2017 – An Automotive Love Affair

2017 Audi A6 Sedan(1188)

2017 Audi A6 Sedan 3.0T Competition Quattro

By Vince Bodiford

Overview:

This is the 2017 Audi A6 Sedan 3.0T Competition quattro. Did I ever mention I love this car? Well I do, but you must not consider German luxury cars unless you can truly afford the price of admission and the price of repairs, both of which are not for the faint-hearted. (meaning you must have a budget as big as your appetite) – no beer budgets allowed, Armand de Brignac Brut Rose Champagne is more like it.

General Information: It is assembled in Neckarsulm, Germany; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Germany 58%; Hungary 18%. Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Mid-size. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, and TTS Coupe.

Opinion / Observation:

Drivers – on the highway today drivers range from polite to complete jerks, as you well know. My advice is to be aware and stay clear of those bad drivers. Those are the ones who tailgate, pass and cut you off and if they are especially having a bad day, they may apply the brakes to scare the crap out of you.

My take on the 100 plus miles a day I drive is that ‘speed’ doesn’t kill, ‘stupid’ does.

Handling & Performance:

Audi’s are always Special when it comes to ability and for some it is flat out fun and exhilarating to drive such cars. When I challenge test cars it is over what I call the Crest Test. Some may not know about Angeles Crest Highway, California route 2, that crosses the San Gabriel Mountains between La Canada and the High Desert to the North.

It is a very curvy route for 40 miles climbing to about 5,000 feet. I’m always confident the ride in an Audi will be the safest and for the uninitiated it may also be the scariest all at the same time.

Styling:

Design is traditional Audi that is very identifiable on the road or more importantly, for some, is how it looks in the driveway.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent, as is the case in this segment of the market.

Cost:

Why does it cost so much – let me count the ways: $67,600 plus options on this test car included Driver Assistance package for $2,550, Silver metallic paint $575; Cold Weather package $500; Destination charge $950 for a total of $72,175. But that is only for the cost side of the story. Performance and wonderful features don’t come cheap. You get what you pay for.

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding by any measure as equipped.

Consumer Recommendations:

This is my kind of competition – I hate too many options to choose from whether selecting a car or what to eat at a restaurant. It just occurred to me that must be the reason why Hot Dog Stands do so well… very few choices.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A6 $68,000, Jaguar XF $67,000, Volvo S90 $57,000, Audi S6 $72,000.

Good News:

Truly a special driving experience, luxurious, at the top in comfort.

Bad News:

A special driving experience will cost you a bunch.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 340 horsepower V6 engine, all wheeel drive, 8-speed automatic transmission, 20” titanium matte finish wheels, sport suspension, power sunroof, full LED headlights, power adjustable steering column with memory, auto dimming power folding heated exterior mirrors, split folding rear seat back and passthrough, heated 12-way power front sport seats in Valcona leather, three-spoke flat bottom leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, brushed aluminum inlays, Audi navigation, Sirius XM all access service, Audi connect, Audi side assist, Audi advanced key and garage door opener, Bluetooth, Audi parking system with rearview camera, Bose surround sound system, Four zone automatic climate control, Audi smartphone interface, Red brake calipers, front side and side curtain airbags, Anti-theft vehicle alarm system and ignition immobilizer, LATCH system for child safety.

Gas Stats:

$3.05/ Gal avg. April 23, 2017
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.
21 City and 29 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $67,600. (with Driver Assistance Pkg add $2,550)

2017 Audi A4 allroad 2.0T Quattro(1185)

2017 Audi A4 allroad 2.0T Quattro S tronic Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Audi A4 allroad 2.0T Quattro S tronic. Originally based on the A6 wagon, the Allroad has been based on the smaller A4 since 2011. But in a land where the SUV is king, can a compact wagon really be competitive?

Americans used to love wagons as the family vehicle of choice for decades before minivans and SUVs came along and put an end to their dominance. That’s a shame because unless you need to sit up high, wagons are fantastic with all the handling and performance characteristics of a good sedan along with the ability to carry a bunch of extra stuff.

Audi used to sell some of the best wagons in the U.S., but like so many other brands, it’s gone almost exclusively to SUVs now — almost. There’s still one Audi wagon left in the lineup and that’s the 2017 Audi A4 Allroad.

Other players include the Volvo V60 Cross Country and Subaru Outback and BMW’s 3 Series wagon in the U.S.

General Information:

It is assembled in Ingolstadt, Germany; Parts – US/Canadian 2%, Germany 53%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Small Station Wagon. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, and TTS Coupe.

Opinion / Observation:

It is too soon to know, but reflecting on “Smart Cruise” as a relatively new application in the Auto industry, the questions remain – how much can we trust the technology?

Like a newborn, we must watch them closely until they mature. So, driver intervention is critical.

All of these cutting-edge devices are experimental. Consider the new Autonomous Cars. At the present, there is a small current application such as simple people movers. Examples include ‘trams’ that move Disneyland’s visitors from parking to the entrance. That application appears to be fine, but at this point it doesn’t replace drivers on the highways. Another example is the automation in manufacturing where repetitive product movement works very well.

In the meantime, be very careful not to rely too much on technology to control your car on the highway.

Handling & Performance:

Special.

Styling:

Very similar styling but pricing will impact many in deciding how each differentiates the best look.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent in all of the offerings to choose from.

Cost:

Audi is at the upper end of the price point followed closely by BMW. Volvo and Subaru offer better pricing.

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding by any measure.

Consumer Recommendations:

This is my kind of competition – I hate too many options whether it comes to selecting a car or what to eat at a restaurant with a book of choices.

Recognized Competition:

Audi Aa allroad $52,000, BMW 9 Series $45,000, Volvo V60 $39,000, Subaru Outback $37.

Good News:

Truly a special driving experience, luxurious, at the top in comfort.

Bad News:

A special driving experience will cost you a bunch.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 252 hp 4-cylinder engine, quattro all wheel drive, 7-speed auto transmission, 18” 5-V-spoke wheels, stability control, tire pressure monitor, adaptive damping suspension, Audi drive select, pre-sense , audi sound system, heated power mirrors (manual folding), keyless engine stop / start, leather seating, LED interior and exterior lighting, panoramic sunroof, rain and light sensors, rearview camera, split folding rear seatbacks 40/20/40, three zone climate control, USB music interface with Smartphone interface, 3- spoke multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles, 8-way power front seats with 4-way driver lumbar adjustment, front side and side curtain airbags with front knee airbags, LATCH child safety system.

Gas Stats:

$2.89/ Gal avg. March 25, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $44,000.

2017 Audi Q7 3.0 T quattro(1183)

2017 Audi Q7 3.0 T quattro Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Audi Q7 3.0 T Quattro tiptronic. If an SUV is at the top of your list and you want luxury (rarely do you NEED it) and price is right for your budget this segment of the market is darn nice.

Not needing to carry a lot of folks and no longer do I use a lot of carrying capability the SUV doesn’t make much sense. The point is you must be wise and buy what your need is. Not only because large sucks up a lot of gas, but rather it is more difficult all the way around. It’s a large footprint, more difficult to park and there are many more options.

If price is an issue and cost to maintain is a consideration, there are many more options for SUV’s. I will be featuring more at far less money next week.

General Information:

It is assembled in Bratislava, Slovakia; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Slovakia 45%, Germany 30%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Standard Sport Utility. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, and TTS Coupe.

Handling & Performance:

The Crest Test was impressive. It is fast and for a large vehicle it handled well.

Styling:

Typical Audi Quality Look and feel. I wasn’t impressed with the interior lighting touches but I’m sure others will like the pizzazz.

Fit and Finish:

Audi excellent.

Cost:

Pricey. . . but maintenance in this class should also be a considered. My ownership of an Automotive Repair business taught me that.

Conveniences and comfort:

Outstanding array of most all of my preferred high tech features available these days. I drive a lot and have become convinced that all of the driver assistants, like Smart Cruise, would be worth every dollar spent. They will one day be standard and that will bring the prices down so most can afford them. They not only make the drive safer, they reduce stress.

– MMI refers to enhanced multimedia Bluetooth access.

– Audi Pre-Sense employs a front camera on the windshield to capture events up to a distance of about 328 ft. to activate braking to help avoid collisions.

– Audi Active and passive rollover protection is a system that recognizes impending rollover and selectively applies brakes with a high burst of pressure to the appropriate wheels and sometimes decreases the engine torque to interrupt the rollover before it occurs.

– Traffic sign recognition – is simply a camera / computer system to read signs ahead and displays on the instrument display to view when you’re not otherwise occupied.

Consumer Recommendations:

Warranties are comparative with Jeep providing a slight edge, but along with Cadillac they only seat 5 as opposed to the others that seat 7.

Recognized Competition:

Audi Q7 $60,000, Acura MDX $60,000, Volvo XC 90 $58,000, Cadillac XT5 $63,000, Jeep Grand Cherokee $54,000, Ford Explorer $54,000, Buick Enclave $51,000, GMC Acadia $48,000.

Good News:

Fast, comfortable luxury.

Bad News:

Expensive to own and operate for most consumers.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter333 hp V-6 engine, quattro all wheel drive, 8-speed auto transmission, 19” 5-V-spoke design wheels, tire pressure monitor, Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and tailights, power tailgate, panoramic sunroof with electric sunshade, auto dimming mirror with compass, heated outside mirrors with power folding and memory, heated 8-way power front seats with driver memory and lumbar support, power folding 3rd row seats including LATCH for 2nd and 3rd rows, 7-passenger leather seating, three zone auto climate control, parking system plus with rear view camera, MMI Radio with Audi sound system, Sirius satellite radio, 3 spoke leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, garage opener, preparation for Bluetooth phone, audi pre sense basic and city, rain and light sensor, USB Audi music interface, AM/FM/HD radio, Alu-optic roof rails, front and side seat mounted airbags, head curtain airbags. Active and passive rollover protection, LATCH system in rear, front and rear impact body crumple zones, anti-theft alarm system and ignition immobilizer.

Options:

Prestige package: $9,500 includes 20”10-spoke wheels, BOSE 3D surround sound, Heads up display, LED interior lighting vision package, warm weather package Audi advanced key, MMI Navigation, Audi connect prime and plus, and connect CARE, Smart phone interface, side assist and pro sense rear, power tilt and telescoping steering column, heated auto diming power folding mirrors.

Adaptive Chassis Package: $4,000, includes: 4-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension.

Driver Assistance Package: Adaptive cruise control, Active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and high-beam assistant.

Gas Stats:

$2.95/ Gal avg. March 10, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

*An interesting note is that two years ago gas price average was a $buck a gallon more.

19 City and 25 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $54,800.

2017 Audi A7 3.0 T Competition Quattro(1182)

2017 Audi A7 3.0 T Competition Quattro Review

Overview:

This is the 2017 Audi A7 3.0 T Competition Quattro. The bad news first is that these high performance luxury cars come with ‘sticker shock’ for the average consumer. But if it is within your budget constraints it is a thrill a minute. It is luxurious but a great performer.

The bad news is not just the initial cost but maintaining it, as it should be maintained, will not be for the faint hearted. If you have unlimited cash reserves, however, it won’t matter. The Good news is that it is NOT a Ferrari. Now that would even make the really rich wince at the repair and maintenance costs where a simple tune up can run several thousand.

General Information:

It is assembled in Neckarsulm, Germany; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Hungary 17%, Germany 63%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Midsize. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, and TTS Coupe.

Handling & Performance:

Very special. The road hugging ability of this car is ‘as good as it gets’. On the Crest mountain course I always find it to be unbelievably capable. Turbo – fast, roadability – all wheel drive control and race car disc braking.

Styling:

Uniquely Audi that can’t be mistaken.

Fit and Finish:

The very best.

Cost:

Expensive, relative to your threshold for wallet pain. BUT, if this is within your budget parameters you will enjoy the ride.

Conveniences and comfort:

If you opt for the Driver assistance package, there are many high tech safety features. The pre sense plus attempts to prepare for and avoid accidents. Adaptive Cruise (Smart Cruise) with stop and go capability reduces driving stress, active lane assist can keep you more aware as it reminds you if you don’t use your turn signal to change lanes, and if you do stray errantly it will warn of impending danger. Finally, when parking the camera system will add to safe driving.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you can afford it, ‘just do it’. At least test drive it. . . you may be convinced it is worth the price of admission and ‘intermission’. . . not to mention the cost of dinner after. You’ll fall in love.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A7 $78,000, BMW 6 Series $81,000, Genesis G 90 $73,000, BMW 7 Series $82,000, Audi A8 $83,000, Cadillac CT 6 $55,000, Lincoln Continental $66,000.

Good News:

Fast and furious excitement, luxurious, fabulous elegant ride.

Bad News:

Expensive.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter340 hp V-6 engine, quattro all wheel drive, 6-speed auto transmission, sport suppension tuning, Audi parking system with rearview camera, brushed aluminum inlays, red brake calipers, power sunroof, power adjust steering column with memory, auto dimming power folding heated exterior mirrors, split folding rear seat with pass-through 60/40 seat, heated 12-way powerfront sport seats in valcona leather, four zone auto climate control, remote key system with push button start, side assist, power tailgate, navigation with touch screen, Audi connect, two USB ports with AMI functionality, , Sirius XM all access service, 3-spoke flat bottom leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, smartphone interface, BOSE surround sounf system, front and front side seat mounted airbags, sideguard inflatable curtain airbags, Anti-theft vechile alarm system and ignition immobilizer, LATCH system child safety.

Options:

Driver Assistance package $2,450 includes Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Pre-sense, Active lane assist, corner view camera system, high-beam assistant.

Gas Stats:

$2.85/ Gal avg. March 5, 2017

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

*An interesting note is that two years ago gas price average was a $buck a gallon more.

21 City and 29 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $76,550.

2016 Audi TT Coupe 2.0 T Quattro S tronic (1155)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Audi TT Coupe 2.0 T Quattro S tronic. Lovely and a styling improvement visually from previous years, in my opinion. And that is only the beginning of a special driving week.

If I were in my youth this would have been a car I would “have” to own. But like the VW Carmen Ghia we had when married, it became too small when the kids came along. Surprise, surprise. Everything in its own time and place.

This was a flash back to years long gone by, but a welcomed visitation. What a fun car to drive and you sit in a jet-like cockpit that is cozy and comfortable. It is small but that’s the whole idea. If you need a bus, you buy a bus but if you want the exhilaration and heart throbbing thrill of such well-done sports cars this is just what the doctor ordered.

It is interesting that the industry identifies competitors that are much more money and only seat 2 as compared to the Audi and Infiniti that seat 4.

General Information: It is assembled in Gyor, Hungary; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Hungary 52%, Germany 39%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Sub Compact. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A3 Sportback e-tron, A4, A5, A5 Cabriolet, A5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7, S3, S4, S5, S5 Cabriolet, S5 Coupe, S6, S7, S8, SQ5, TT, TT Coupe, TT Roadster, TTS and TTS Coupe.

Handling & Performance:

Exhilarating doesn’t express the emotion adequately. If you read my columns often you know Audi is the “tops”. It can always be counted on for an amazing driving experience. Really among the best there is. I’ve driven all including Ferrari and even owned a Lamborghini and Porsche that were all exciting but for the money this Audi is hard to beat.

Styling:

Stunning in a simple sort of way. But even before I read about the term “Virtual cockpit” that Audi uses to explain the design of the driver seating area I explained it as a jet-like cockpit. And while we’re on the cockpit the interior is quietly elegant with nice LED lighting highlights, and aluminum touches on the pedals, etc.

Fit and Finish:

Audi excellence.

Cost:

As expected and highly competitive pricing. Note that only the Audi and Infiniti seat 4 while all others are two seat cars and substantially more money.

Conveniences and comfort:

Audi MMI operating system allows you to instinctively manage an array of systems including navigation, entertainment, interior, even ride dynamics on models with Audi drive select.

Consumer Recommendations:

If you have a love affair with cars that are exceptional handling and performance and you are in the market for a sports car, you must test drive this little gem. You’ll love it – I promise. However, if you are on a tight budget, buy a Mazda MX 5 Miata. They’re fun but – well –  drive them both, check your wallet or bank account …. Then decide.

If you tend to get in trouble with the CHP definitely go with the Miata.

One more consideration is that you should always be informed. Go to this website link for further information on cost to own and drive performance cars like this Audi TT:

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/10-most-expensive-cars-to-own-and-drive-1.aspx#ixzz3xX9RQ6Kz

Recognized Competition:

Audi TT $43,000, BMW Z4 $51,000, Infiniti Q60 $42,000, Porsche Boxster $53,000, Jaguar F Type $66,000.

Good News:

Fan-tastic driving delight, good fuel economy, beautiful styling inside and out.

Bad News:

Luxury car performance means luxury car cost of ownership – both of which are not for the faint hearted.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 220 hp inline 4-cylinder engine, quattro all wheel drive, 6-speed automatic transmission, 18” 5 double spoke wheels, stability control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, adaptive (automatic) rear spoiler with manual operation feature, tire pressure monitor, audi virtual cockpit, heated mirrors, keyless entry and push button start, drive select, heated 12-way power driver seat, leather interior, 50/50 split folding rear seat, AM/FM/Sat/CD audio with SD card reader, 3-spoke multifunction leather wrapped flat bottom steering wheel with shift paddles, climate control, LED tail lights and interior highlights, HomeLink, Bluetooth with audio streaming, Audi MMI touch with voice control, music interface with two USB ports and a 3.5 mm aux-in, auto dimming interior mirror with compass, parking assist, rain and light sensor, front and side airbags and front knee bags, side curtain airbags, LATCH child safety teathers, anti theft alarm system with ignition immobilizer, 4-year roadside assistance.

Gas Stats:

$2.40/ Gal avg. August 26, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City and 30 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $42,900.

2016 Audi A3 1.8 T FWD S-tronic Sedan (1124)

Overview:

This is the 2016 Audi A3 1.8 T FWD S-tronic Sedan. Beautiful in appearance and performance. But it will cost you to have fun and look better than you may be. Our ego’s get in the way of common sense I fear. We want to look good and that is reinforced by our friends. Just the other day when I visited a neighbor and drove up in a new VW Jetta the first words out of his mouth was “you look good in that car”. Personally I’d rather have people say “you make that car look good”. Perspective is everything.

General Information: It is assembled in Gyor, Hungary; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Hungary 53%, Germany 36%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Sub-Compact. Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A4, A5, A5 Cabriolet, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7 and S3.

Handling & Performance:

There is no doubt in my mind that Audi and most all German cars handle exceptionally well. After the thrill of driving on the Autobahn in Germany I came to understand why German cars all handle so well. All car manufacturers simply build their cars for the need of the consumer. If cars are expected to be driven at 55 mph that if far different than if folks will be driving at 150 mph which is common to cars traveling on the Autobahn.

More than half of the total length of the German autobahn network has no speed limit, about one third has a permanent limit, and the remaining parts have a temporary or conditional limit. Some cars with very powerful engines can reach speeds of well over 300 km/h (190 mph).

Consider that. Consider the rest of the world where the speed limit is 55-65 mph as it is in America. Cars built for that level of speed is half what a car will travel on Germany’s Autobahn. Thus those cars will only need to perform half as well as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche and Audi cars.

I think you’ll come to the same conclusion I came to. German cars and drivers are right at home on high speed roads. Other cars and drivers are a bit more timid and likely will not exceed 80 mph in the vast majority of the cases. The rest will pay high taxes in the form of speeding citations.

Styling:

unnamed“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – Plato

At the end of the day you will be the judge of how good a car looks. Me, I love the look as much as I love the feel of Audi. Nice.

 

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Luxury cars, like this Audi, tend to be priced higher than others partly because luxury cars have to account for the high cost of making superior handling cars and partly because of the Luxury Badge. We all know there are those who are willing to pay a premium to satisfy inflated egos.

Conveniences and comfort:

There is a good compliment of standard features. To justify high prices, it is my position they should include the following features as standard: Blind spot detection, Smart Cruise control and Bluetooth hands free.

Consumer Recommendations:

Include Cadillac in your search, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The competitors are all nice cars to consider if within your budget.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A3 1.8T $35,000, Acura ILX $36,000, BMW 3-Series $34,000, Cadillac ATS Sedan $40,000, Chevrolet Volt $38,000, Subaru WRX $32,000, Volvo S60 $41,000.

Good News:

Great handling and styling coupled with good fuel economy in a competitive field.

Bad News:

10 most expensive cars to own and drive

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series6. Audi A8 L W122. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG7. Chevrolet Corvette ZR13. Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG8. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S4. Audi R89. BMW M6 Convertible5. Porsche 911 Convertible10. Mercedes-Benz CLS63 A

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/10-most-expensive-cars-to-own-and-drive-1.aspx#ixzz3xX9RQ6Kz

Standard Equipment:

1.8 liter TSFI 170 HP 4 cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 17” wheels, electronic stability control with secondary collision brake assist, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, speed sensitive power steering, tire pressure monitor, panorama sunroof, rain and light sensors, power emirrors, 12-way power adjustable driver seat including lumbar support, 60/40 split folding rear seat, leather seating, climate control, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, rear camera, AM/FM/SAT/ CD audio with SD card reader and auxillary input, Sirius satellite radio, front side and side curtain airbags and front knee airbags, LATCH, Child Safety locks and theft alarm system.

Gas Stats:

$2.99/ Gal avg. January 16, 2016

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

23 City and 33 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $30,900.

2016 Audi A6 2.0 T (1108)

Overview: This is the 2016 Audi A6 2.0 T and performance is the word that describes it best. If you have ever ridden a spirited horse then you will understand what I mean. You know there are some special animals that simply want to run. There are also special cars that are high spirited as well.

It is clearly one of the best performance cars in class and continues to be a joy to drive. Truly it stands out when you get behind the wheel. It is especially apparent when you get on a curvy mountain road and put it through its paces.

The ride is exceptional and you have to give credit where credit is due. I’m not a cheerleader for German cars generally because they appeal to all but are affordable only to a few. They are expensive to own and operate and luxury car dealerships are notoriously expensive. That probably can’t change because it is simply a fact of the level of quality and capability this car provides. In that sense it is exactly what it should be. So be it. This class car is just not for everyone. And that is certainly okay.

The automotive market literally has something for every want or need. So no one has to apologize for any level and class of car. Just because I can’t justify owning a car in this class it doesn’t mean it is any less a transportation option.

That being said, if this IS justifiable in your life and budget you need to drive this very special automobile.

General Information: It is assembled in Neckarsulm, Germany; Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Germany 62%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany; Classification is Mid-size (luxury). Cars from Audi: A3 Cabriolet, A3 Sedan, A4, A5, A5 Cabriolet, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS 5, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 7 and S3.

Opinion: Diamond Lane: Gov. Jerry Brown recently vetoed a bill that would allow “Off Peak” travel in the diamond lane to relieve traffic congestion. Wow, is that a total disconnect for Brown? OR – was there something in the bill that was tacked on that was unreasonable or simply not to his liking. Can’t these legislators just address a problem to change such things for the purpose intended and not muddy up the issue with pet projects being tacked on?

The law would have allowed Southern Californian’s to drive in the HOV lane on the 134 and 210 freeways off peak.

If you know more on this matter please send me an email (noted below).

Handling & Performance: Outstanding and outclasses nearly every car you will drive.

Styling: Audi has consistently held to a very recognizable design over time. Nice job Volkswagen.

(Headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, Volkswagen designs, manufactures and distributes passenger and commercial vehicles, motorcycles, engines, and turbomachinery. They also offer financing, leasing and fleet management services. In 2012, it produced the second-largest number of motor vehicles of any company in the world, behind Toyota and ahead of General Motors.)

Fit and Finish: Outstanding.

Cost: Expensive.

Conveniences and comfort: Usual standard features and some advanced safety features that are becoming more in demand these days. For the money I believe Audi should do better. Bluetooth hands free phone for example should be standard on all cars since more and more accidents are being attributed to cell phone use.

Consumer Recommendations: If this is within your budget you will be impressed in everything about this car. Trust me. Test drive it and you will fall in love all over again.

Recognized Competition: Audi A6 2.0 T Quattro $53,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $54,000, BMW 5-Series $51,000, Cadillac CTS Sedan $54,000, Volvo S80 $49,000.

Good News: Style, handling and comfort above and beyond what is on the market today.

Bad News: Price will be way more than the vast majority can justify for transportation.

Standard Equipment: 2.0 liter 252 horsepower 4 cylinder engine, 8-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro permanent all wheel drive, stability control, Audi drive select, energy recuperation with start stop system, power sunroof, heated mirrors, 60/40 split folding rear seat back with passthrough, heated 8-way  power front seats with driver memory and 4-way lumbar adjustment, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, leather seating, walnut dark brown wood inlays, Audi sound system, Sirius satellite radio, rain and light sensors, front side and side curtain airbags, anti theft alarm system and ignition immobilizer, LATCH child safety system.

Gas Stats: $2.99/ Gal avg. October 4, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

22 City and 32 Highway MPG

Pricing: MSRP $48,400.

2015 Audi allroad 2.0T quattro Tiptronic (1080)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2015 Audi allroad 2.0T quattro Tiptronic. So this is the third week in a row at the wheel with Audi. A4, A5 and this allroad to round out three really enjoyable cars to drive. The past decade for Audi has been impressive years for the company as the consuming public has embraced this German car and made it a true contender worthy of competing with Mercedes Benz and BMW. To me MBZ has been the ‘Cadillac’ of European automobiles for all time. BMW and Audi both have improved dramatically in appearance and performance but the grand-daddy is Benz.

What I can’t really attest to is how well they do in the area of usual and customary repair and maintenance. You can help me with that by writing and telling me how they rank in your experience over time. The reason I ask this is, as you may recall, I have shared with you that the BMW and Audi products (prior to say 1995) had a dismal record as to repair cost for the owners while they were good for our Southern California repair shop in repair revenue. You can enlighten me on your experience.    

General Information: Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Germany 57%; Hungary 27%;  Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany. It is Assembled in – Ingolstadt, Germany

Class  – Small Station Wagons Cars from Audi – A3, A4, A5, A6, A8, allroad, Q3, Q5, Q7, R8, RS, S3, S4, S5, S6, S8, SQ5, TT.

Handling & Performance:

As with the other models tested this small wagon is substantially the same performer because it sits on the A4 platform. Simply put they are all a joy to drive as they stick to the road like glue. You gain a sense of confidence beyond most cars you will drive. Do it. Go out and feel the thrill of exceptional handling.

Styling:

Audi ergonomics (the study of how a workplace and the equipment used there can best be designed for comfort, efficiency, safety, and productivity) is among the best of all the cars I drive. However German cars generally are more cumbersome or complicated than they need to be to get the job done. Electronics is good but not as user friendly as others. As I have said before if I have to read the manual to operate the radio (or most anything else) I’m not a happy camper.

Fit and Finish:

Always first cabin. . . which reminds me of the acronym POSH (accommodations) a term that you may recognize was born out of shipboard Sea Travel from England to the US after the turn of the 20th Century. Can anyone recall what it stands for? If I remember I will tell you next week.

Cost:

Luxury German pricing – meaning not the best price for even luxury transportation. Yes cheaper that Rolls Royce or Bentley but much more that Hyundai for example that delivers all but the overpriced badge. But many will disagree and want the impress their ‘friends’ with their financial superiority. We’re strange creatures, are we not? And that reminds me of another quote: “Enough is abundance to the wise.” — Euripides. “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

Conveniences and comfort:

Very good. I particularly appreciate the blind spot warning as it removes stress of missing an approaching car on my ‘six’. If I were buying a car today I would surely add these things: smart (or some call it adaptive) cruise control, blind spot warnings (all around if they offer it), back up camera, rain sensing wipers, navigation. In the past I would have suggested using your phone or other portable versions of Nav systems because the cost is too high for the built in car versions. However the Traffic alerts are finally getting helpful and accurate which can save you a lot of frustration and valuable time being stuck in a long and lasting traffic jams. What they need to improve is “alternate route” guidance features to take you around the jam and back onto the freeway ahead.

Consumer Recommendations:

For crossover SUV lovers who want great handling of a sport car and better fuel economy this is a great option. Of course the cargo area will be less than the SUV so if that is not critical the benefits outweigh the lack of space. I like the lower gas cost and better handling.

The list of competitors is small enough to test drive all and when you compare you will find BMW is better on fuel and has a diesel engine option, and Volvo V60 is worthy but doesn’t handle as well as Audi, you will get more cargo area with Subaru Outback and it is also considered better off road.

Recognized Competition:

Audi allroad 2.0T $39-42,000, BMW 3 Series $40-43,000, Volvo V60 $37-49,000, Subaru Outback $31-33,000, Volvo XC70 $35-37,000.

Good News:

Attractive wagon with good fuel economy and great standard all-wheel-drive sure footed handling.

Bad News:

Complicated electronics.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder 220 horsepower turbocharged engine, quattro permanent all wheel drive, 8-speed tiptronic transmission, 18” wheels, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, tire pressure monitor, temporary compact spare tire, power sunroof, power tailgate, xenon headlights, heated power mirrors, 8-way power front seats with 4-way driver lumbar adjustment, leather seating, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 3-zone climate control, AM/FM/SAT radio with SD card reader, Sirius satellite with 3-months subscription, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth prepared, front airbags and seat mounted side and curtain airbags, anti-theft alarm and ignition immobilizer and LATCH child safety system.

Gas Stats:

$3.59/ Gal avg. March 21, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

21 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $42,400