Category Archives: Audi

2015 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T quattro manual (1079)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2015 Audi A5 Coupe 2.0T quattro manual full time all wheel drive. I don’t like to lead with a negative but we might as well get it out of the way. Low profile rims and tires have been a pet peeve of mine and lots of my journalist colleagues agree. As for me I don’t own this car but it breaks my heart to damage mine or anyone else’s pride and joy. The problem is that it is nearly impossible NOT to scratch the rims when parallel parking. Many cars today and all in years past had tires that stuck out beyond the rims and thus you’d blacken the curb with rubber but no other damage. As a side note older readers will say “not true because many cars, back in the day, had white wall tires and you’d bugger up the white and be hard pressed to get the black off the white”.

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Ok, you got me there but some other younger people can’t remember cars with white wall tires but they do know what I mean about damaging expensive aluminum wheels. And most of us have faith that car makers can surely answer this complaint. Publisher and colleague of mine had a great idea. Digital Curb Feelers much like laser sensors that beep at you for blind spot detection or back up alerts. Such sensors mounted on the side of the car front and rear could sound a warning when you are too close to the curb. Simple. Problem solved.

General Information: Parts: US/Canadian 1%, Germany 67%; Hungary 15%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany. It is Assembled in – Ingolstadt, Germany. Class – Sub-compact

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

Handling & Performance:

Outstanding. It’s like riding on rails and that speaks volumes. AWD full time makes this car hug the roads in a very special way. The turbocharger gives much appreciated acceleration because when you need it the power is there for passing and entering higher speed highways.

Styling:

All of the competitors are beautiful automobiles and to me it’s much like viewing the Sports Illustrated magazine bathing suit edition – nearly impossible to choose the best looking.

Fit and Finish:

No argument here. It doesn’t get much better.

Cost:

Expensive class of cars. But you get what you pay for and if you’re looking for performance the cost of admission may be cheap.

Conveniences and comfort:

The complement of features is good but with upgrade and added options that are offered the price can go up quickly to $50,000.

Consumer Recommendations:

If this is your price range all of the competition are lovely cars. But if you are conscious of repair costs the purchase price of any car won’t be the end of the story. I had a friend who bought a big boat at a tax sale because it was perceived as cheap. He asked my opinion and I said, “You can’t afford that boat. It will cost at least $15,000 a year in dock fees and normal maintenance. Then if you go to Catalina for the weekend the fuel will set you back $800 alone.”  The cost to buy may only be the tip of the iceberg in that boat and with luxury expensive badged cars. Friend Richard always says, “Think my boy, think!” Good advice.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A5 $40,000, BMW 2 Series $34,000, Cadillac ATS $40,000, Infiniti S60 $43,000, BMW 4 Series $43,000, Lexus RC $45,000, Audi TT $40,000, Mercedes Benz C-Class $46,000.

Good News:

Spectacular handling and performance that is flat fun to drive.

Bad News:

Cost is a factor.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder 220 horsepower turbocharged engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 18” wheels, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, tire pressure monitor, power sunroof, xenon headlights, heated power mirrors, 10-way power front seats with 4-way driver lumbar adjustment, leather seating, 60/40 split folding rear seat, climate control, AM/FM/SAT radio with SD card reader, Sirius satellite with 3-months subscription, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth prepared, front seat mounted side and curtain airbags and driver knee airbag, anti-theft alarm and LATCH child safety system.

Gas Stats:

$3.39/ Gal avg. March 12, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

22 City and 32 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $40,000

2015 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Tiptronic Sedan (1078)

Overview:
This week we’re looking at the 2015 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Sedan with Tiptronic. It rank’s 6 out of 13 upscale small cars based on published reviews and test drives as well as reliability and safety data according to US News. Comforting news but time is the test of all things that age and need repair.

As you likely know I owned a foreign car repair shop in California for many years and the older models of Audi were troublesome for owners. But the performance has always been wonderful and when you push a car to the limits it is likely to brake from time to time. Everyone loves a fine tuned well performing car, and few do it better than the Germans. No getting around that.

At the same time, German makes are more expensive to own and maintain, but the thrill of excellence in a car is hard to put a price on. So, if you’re like my friend who makes a barrel of money his BMW 7 Series at $140,000 is pretty cool. Repair bills don’t faze him even a little and they are a lot. But that is the case with anything bigger and arguably better. . . it just takes more to keep it that way.

General Information: Parts: US/Canadian 1%, Germany 65%; Hungary 16%; Engine – Hungary and transmission – Germany. It is Assembled in – Neckarsulm, Germany. Class – Compact

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

Handling & Performance:

Spectacular handling and in large measure that is because of AWD (All Wheel Drive). The Turbo 4-cylinder engine is responsive and downright fast when you need it. This A4 on the mountain road course is like driving on rails at Disneyland or 6-Flaggs Magic Mountain. Yep, it is a sheer magic driving experience.

Styling:

All Audi’s in my opinion are beautiful cars outside and inside and even the less expensive models are elegantly appointed. Nice job Audi.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Competitive with similar cars. So it’s important that if you’re looking for performance you will not be dissuaded because of a bunch of thousands more than others you could settle for.

Conveniences and comfort:

Consumer Recommendations:

If you are an Audi owner send me an email to give me your opinion of the year and model you drive. Tell me about repair bill experience, and general satisfaction with anything you care to talk about.

The noted competition is amazingly all priced the same and so since I have not included all that could be considered close, these are performance cars worthy of mention. I like them all and enjoy driving such capable cars. I have to say Cadillac is a favorite of mine and it too will light your hair on fire. The WRX is NOT a favorite and while I enjoy the performance it’s a “Kids” car so I wouldn’t be interested but then I’m much older and performance alone doesn’t lite my fire.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A4 $38,000, Cadillac ATS $38,000, Volvo S60 $38,000, Subaru WRX $38,000.

Good News:

Excellent handling and performance, luxury at any level, good fuel economy in class.

Bad News:

n/a.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder 170 horsepower engine, 8-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic, 17” wheels, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, tire pressure monitor, power sunroof, xenon headlights, heated power mirrors, 8-way power front seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment, leather seating, 60/40 split folding rear seat, climate control, AM/FM/SAT radion with SD card reader, Sirius satellite with 3-months subscription, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth prepared, front seat mounted side and curtain airbags, LATCH child safety system.

Gas Stats:

$3.49/ Gal avg. March 8, 2015

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

21 City and 30 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,600

2014 Audi A8 (1036A)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2014 Audi flagship A8 through the eyes of Vince Bodiford who got me into the newspaper business and reviewing cars just about 20 years ago. I guess he thought since I owned an automotive repair business this might just be up my alley. Vince has a column that runs in some of his papers in the South Bay area of California and his website www.theweekenddrive.com where I also contribute. Vince and I partnered up with Price Cobb in the newspaper business in Colorado and Texas in the 1990s. Price had just retired from active racing as a driver where he gained international fame as a winner of the triple-crown in racing for Jaguar.

So herewith Vince’s take on the Audi A8.

2014 Audi flagship A8 line offers five enticing variants

By Vince Bodiford

At the very top of the Audi product range is the A8 – a large, comfortable grand touring saloon that we love to drive – especially on long or interesting drives with a full load of passengers and gear. The A8 is the pinnacle of the Audi experience.

The model line includes five variants: the A8 3.0T, 4.0T, S8, W12 and the new 3.0 liter TDI. Each one fulfils its separate niche mission with ease and elegance. Available in normal and long wheelbases, the A8 embodies premium and functional design, progressive technology, and advanced engineering and performance. For this test, we drove the long-wheelbase A8 L TDI clean diesel – but I like each of the five flavors equally.

We’re very impressed with the fuel efficiency of our test car. The A8 L TDI delivers the best fuel economy in its segment with an EPA estimated 24 city/ 36 highway/ 28 combined miles per gallon that exceeds that of diesel and hybrid competitors alike. At the same time, the 3.0 liter V6 turbocharged clean diesel engine generates 240 hp and 406 lb-ft. of torque, easily launching from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds delivering all of the efficiency benefits without compromising performance.

The A8 3.0T, the entry to the A8 model line, continues in 2014 with a TFSI V6 supercharged engine that produces 333-hp and 325 lb-ft. of torque and sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

The A8 4.0-liter TFSI biturbo V8 engine produces 420 hp and 444 lb-ft. of torque, propelling from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds/4.8 seconds (normal wheelbase models/long wheelbase models).

The S8 is the performance heavyweight of the group. It delivers great performance through its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V8 engine, sport air suspension, and high-performance brake system. Producing 520 hp and 481 lb-ft. of torque, the S8 rockets from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reaches a governed top speed of 155-mph. The Audi A8 L W12, the pinnacle of the A8 model line, is equipped with a 6.3-liter FSI W12 engine that delivers 500 hp and 463 lb-ft of torque.

All engines are mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and feature the legendary Audi quattro all-wheel drive system. Clearly, any of the five models with any engine is the stuff you’d love to drive on an open road.

The A8 sedan is a beautiful car, with its sheet metal artfully crafted in aluminum. It exudes modern elegance, luxury and dynamism. With its sweeping lines and uniquely bold Audi grill, the A8 delivers a striking visual statement. New for 2014, the Audi A8 Premium package option includes full LED headlights that give the A8 a distinctive and unmistakable Audi appearance.

Inside, the spacious A8 cabin features meticulous craftsmanship and modern yet functional design elements. A new Premium package for the A8 3.0T, 4.0T and TDI includes 22-way front seats with ventilation, making any long drive enjoyable. Ventilated and massage rear seats have been added to the Rear Seat Comfort plus package for the long wheel base 3.0T, 4.0T and TDI models, which can be combined with the diamond stitch interior of the Luxury package.

Short- wheelbase models now have the Convenience package standard and include power door closers, Audi advanced key with foot-operated power trunklid, and Audi parking system plus with rearview camera. All models offer the optional Audi lane assist, which warns the driver by means of vibrations in the steering wheel if the vehicle begins to wander out of its lane.

Our favorite and coolest new feature for 2014 is the Driver Assistance and Camera Assistance packages, which have been combined, including the 360 degree view of the car which offers an entertaining (but useful) birds-eye view of the car and its surroundings using the fore, side and rear cameras to create a flattened image.

The line is equipped standard with Audi connect infotainment system. Audi was the first to offer factory-fitted in-vehicle Wi-Fi connectivity for passengers, enabling connectivity to up to eight wireless devices. With Audi connect, the onboard Audi MMI Navigation system is enhanced with Google Earth maps for a true aerial view of the route – and this combination in my opinion is the best in the business.

The driving experience of the A8 is unique and different from its rivals, in that it delivers a feel and ride quality of a very substantial, large and stable platform. Braking, throttle response, steering input, and visibility are all world-class and exceptional.

Overall, the Audi A8 range is a strong contender in the fine luxury car segment. Pricing for the A8 range starts at $75,100 up to $112,500, depending on which model, wheelbase, engine and option choices. Rivals include the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Lexus LS460-L.

2014 Audi S4 3.0 Supercharged Quattro Automatic (1002)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2014 Audi S4 3.0 Supercharged Quattro S Tronic sedan. The “S” in S4 means Supercharged as opposed to “T” for Turbocharged engine. If you didn’t see last week’s A5 review, it was turbocharged and I am repeating the explanation of the difference between Super and Turbo charging:

Let’s start with the similarities. Both turbochargers and superchargers are called forced induction systems. They compress the air flowing into the engine­ that has the advantage of stuffing more air into the cylinders which means more fuel can also be stuffed in as well so you get more power from each explosion in each cylinder. Thus = more power.­

The typical boost provided by either a turbocharger or a supercharger is 6 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi). Since normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level you get about 50-percent more air into the engine.

The key difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is its power supply. In a supercharger, there is a belt that connects directly to the engine to turn the compressor, like an alternator does. A turbocharger, on the other hand, gets its power from the exhaust stream. The exhaust runs through a turbine, which in turn spins the compressor.

There are tradeoffs in both systems. In theory, a turbocharger is more efficient because it is using the “wasted” energy in the exhaust stream for its power source. On the other hand, a turbocharger causes some amount of back pressure in the exhaust system and tends to provide less boost until the engine is running at higher RPMs. Superchargers are more responsive and avoid the characteristic delay you get from Turbo boost compression. Superchargers are also easier to install but also tend to be more expensive.

General Information:

It is assembled in Ingolstadt, Germany. Classification is Compact. Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Germany 75%, Engine – Hungary, Transmission: Germany.
Cars from Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, allroad, Q5, Q7, R8, RS5, RS7, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, SQ5 &TT.

Handling & Performance:

Super-fast off the line with a 3.0 liter 333 horsepower supercharged engine. It has a noticeably smooth ride in my opinion and more importantly it was mentioned by my friend Mark who drives a new BMW 7 Series with every bell and whistle for a ‘smooth’ $125,000. The fact that he mentioned the acceleration and smooth ride speaks volumes.

Styling:

Audi just has that signature look of German engineering and design and is very distinctive and easy on the eyes. If it evokes passion it does so on several levels for me: Looks, Luxury and Performance.

Fit and Finish:

Exceptional.

Cost:

You get what you pay for as always and the Audi badge doesn’t disappoint and is a super competitor in every class. But, once again, I have to say you must also know you pay for the image this car delivers.

Conveniences and comfort:

As equipped it has all the expected features in class and pricing.

Consumer Recommendation:

At the top of any market the players are pared down to a precious few, and it is a very fine line as to good better or best, because they are all fabulous. Such a lineup is like the Miss Universe Pageant when they narrow the field down to the final few contestants – they are all winners to me but then I’m easy. These are all beautiful cars and although I have my favorites I’m glad I don’t have to choose just one. I prefer to drive them all. But I will share a passion of mine over the years which is Cadillac and suggest you won’t be disappointed in the test drive. It is special.

Recognized Competition:

Audi S4 $49,000, BMW 3-series $45,000, Cadillac CTS $62,000, Infiniti G Sedan $39,000, Lexus IS 350 $42,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG $60,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $52,000, Volvo S60 $42,000.

Good News:

Elegant, fabulously fun to drive if you appreciate performance in ‘speed’. It also has a cloud-like soft ride.

Bad News:

This is a narrow group of contender because it is a pricey class. In Detroit you could buy two or three houses for the money.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 333 hp Supercharged V6 engine, seven speed auto transmission, all-wheel drive, 18” wheels, 4-wheel ABS brake system, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, sunroof, heated power mirrors, S sport leather seating, heated 8-way power front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seats, climate control, audio with Satellite and CD player, iPod music interface, front side and curtain airbags, anti-theft vehicle alarm, LATCH Child system.

Gas Stats:

$3.67/ Gal avg. Oct. 23, 2013
www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

18 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $49,500.

 

2014 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe Quattro MT (1001)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2014 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe Quattro Manual Transmission. Just after testing this coupe I tested the S4 sedan that lit my fire as well, but for me the 4 door sedan is more to my liking. The “S” is Supercharged as opposed to this A5 “T” Turbocharged engine. I think most are aware of the difference between Super and Turbo charging by now but for those who don’t know, here is a brief explanation:

Let’s start with the similarities. Both turbochargers and superchargers are called forced induction systems. They compress the air flowing into the engine­ that has the advantage of stuffing more air into the cylinders which means more fuel can also be stuffed in as well so you get more power from each explosion in each cylinder. Thus = more power.­

The typical boost provided by either a turbocharger or a supercharger is 6 to 8 pounds per square inch (psi). Since normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi at sea level you get about 50-percent more air into the engine.

The key difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is its power supply. In a supercharger, there is a belt that connects directly to the engine to turn the compressor, like an alternator does. A turbocharger, on the other hand, gets its power from the exhaust stream. The exhaust runs through a turbine, which in turn spins the compressor.

There are tradeoffs in both systems. In theory, a turbocharger is more efficient because it is using the “wasted” energy in the exhaust stream for its power source. On the other hand, a turbocharger causes some amount of back pressure in the exhaust system and tends to provide less boost until the engine is running at higher RPMs. Superchargers are more responsive and avoid the characteristic delay you get from Turbo boost compression. Superchargers are also easier to install but also tend to be more expensive.

General Information: It is assembled in Ingolstadt, Germany. Classification is Subcompact. Parts – US/Canadian 1%, Germany 75%, Engine – Hungary, Transmission: Germany.
Cars from Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, allroad, Q5, Q7, R8, RS5, RS7, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, SQ5 &TT.

Handling & Performance:

Very responsive with the turbocharged engine and the ride is smooth and simply a delight to drive.

Styling:

Audi icon of German engineering. Design has improved over the years and is very distinctive and a lovely looking automobile.

Fit and Finish:

Exceptional.

Cost:

You get what you pay for but if you like the Audi badge and don’t need all the options it is competitive in class. But make no mistake you pay for the image.

Conveniences and comfort:

All the expected features in class and pricing.

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a pretty small field of cars to consider. With the exception of the Ford and VW this is a sophisticated group of luxury brands. This is a tough grouping to find a clear standout. I especially like the styling of Cadillac and it is a super performer as well, but I enjoy driving the substantial performers from Germany. I can take or leave the Japanese contenders.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A5 $39,000, BMW 3-series $41,000, Cadillac CTS $53,000, Ford Mustang GT Coupe $31,000, Infiniti G Coupe $40,000, Lexus ES 350 $36,000, Lexus IS $41,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class (250) $38,000, Volkswagen CC $31,000.

Good News:

Nice performance and good fuel economy when you don’t push it the enticing power available, it is comfortable and provides a host of nice features.

Bad News:

Price will be a barrier to most consumers.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 220 hp inline 4 cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive, 18” wheels, 4-wheel ABS brake system, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, sunroof, tire pressure monitor, fog lights, rain and light sensors, power heated mirrors, leather seating, 8-way power front seats, drive information with trip computer, AM/FM/Sat/CD card reader, climate control, music interface w/iPod cable, front side and curtain and knee airbags, LATCH child tethers, anti-theft vehicle alarm. Note there are a lot of options that can push the total over $50,000 that you may want to consider but are not at all necessary.

Gas Stats:

$3.63/ Gal avg. Oct. 19, 2013
www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

22 City and 32Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $39,000.

 

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2013 – An Automotive Love Affair

2013 Audi Q5 3.0T quattro tiptronic (976)

Overview: 

This week we’re looking at the 2013 Audi Q5 3.0T quattro tiptronic which is always a delight to drive. However, the competition is brutal and there are many, which is bad for the car makers but good for the consumer. The top competitors of the Q5 include those underlined in the list below. But the others are not slouches and I have to say this is one of the toughest groups to have to choose from. For me it is as confusing as the Sports Illustrated swim suit edition – know what I mean? Don’t tell my wife I said that, because otherwise I don’t have to worry since she doesn’t read my column.

General Information:

It is assembled in Ingolstadt, Germany. Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, allroad, Q5, Q7, R8, RS5, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, TT.

Opinion and Observation – Automotive Innovation:

History: 1938 – Buick introduced turn signals; 1929 – First car radio introduced; 1923 – First Supercharger Ferdinand Porsche, Stuttgart, Germany; 1920 – Power steering invented by Francis Davis; 1903 – Windshield wipers patented; 1885 – first patent for seat belts; 1901 – invention of disc brakes by British inventor Frederick William Lanchester; 1901 – New York first state to require license plates that were called “Number Plates”. France did it in 1893;

1898 – First drive shaft invented by Louis Renault; 1890 – Canadian Thomas Ahearn invented the first electric car heater;

Handling & Performance:

Great size for my taste because it is on the smaller size so around town is great. But if I were on the road a lot on long trips I would trade up in size.

Styling:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for my part I have to say I love ‘em all.

Fit and Finish:

First cabin, not to be confused with accommodations on the Titanic.

Cost:

At the higher end of the crowd.

Conveniences and comfort:

I really like the unique sunroof that gives a total view next best to a convertible. Me, I like the wind in my hair and the total open feeling of the convertible better but this feature is really cool.

I also noted this Audi is comfortable for a small SUV and the size is really convenient for the majority of uses. I have a Ford F350 crew cab and my wife doesn’t like to ride in it because it is TOO big. And when you go to the market you find it is necessary to take up two parking spaces and simple maneuvers become IN-convenient. I suggest you consider test driving a very large SUV segment before your final decision – it is really illuminating.

Consumer Recommendation:

Owner reviews overall are excellent and one I read put it this way, “It is very classy looking, drives and handles beautifully especially in the snow to get out of the drive, and I love the panoramic sunroof. And it gets good gas mileage”.

When you live in places where you need 4-wheel drive to get out of your driveway, it may be time to move to a more temperate climate. Dad moved our family from Massachusetts to California with the parting words “I’ll never shovel another winter snow!” BUT, if you need to live in such harsh conditions the cost of fuel is less important than the offsetting benefits of all wheel drive.

Recognized Competition:

Audi Q5 $44,000, Acura RDX $34,000, Acura ZDX $51,000, BMW X3 $39,000, BMW X6 $60,000, Buick Encore $28,000, Cadillac SRX $43,000, Ford Edge $33,000, GMC Terrain $29,000, Infiniti EX $41,000, Land Rover LR2 $36,000, Lexus RX 350 $41,000, Lexus RX 450 $48,000, Lincoln MKX $42,000, Mazda CX-9 $34,000Mercedes-Benz $37,000Nissan Murano $39,000Porsche Cayenne $48,000, Toyota 4Runner $31,000, Volkswagen Tiguan $37,000, Volvo XC80 $36,000.

Good News:

Bad News:

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 272 hp V6 engine, 8-speed tiptronic transmission, all wheel drive, 19” wheels, 4-wheel ABS brake system with brake assist, stability control with rollover mitigation, speed sensitive power steering, trailer hitch pre-wiring, sunroof with power sunshade, power folding heated mirrors, power tailgate, leather seating, heated power front seats, 40/20/40 rear split seat with pass through, audio with CD & SD card reader, keyless start stop, music interface with iPod cable, front side and side curtain airbags, LATCH child tethers and safety locks, anti theft vehicle alarm.

Gas Stats:

$3.75/ Gal avg. May 3, 2013

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

 

18 City and 26 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $43,900.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

2012 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe quattro tiptronic (938)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2012 Audi A5 2.0T Coupe quattro tiptronic two door coupe. Audi has great distinctive styling, smooth ride, comfortable and put together to please the most fussy and particular car guy or gal. You’re gonna love this car.

General Information:
Parts from the US / Canada 1%, Germany 75%. It is assembled in Ingolstadt Germany. Classification is Sub Compact. Cars from Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, allroad, Q5, Q7, TT, R8.

 

Opinion:
Protocol and etiquette on the Highway. There are rules of the road and then there are common sense courtesies that should be automatic to anyone and observed without anyone saying anything to you. It should be obvious that when road conditions change because of weather or traffic flow (faster or slower than posted speeds) you must adjust. We all need to be more aware of our surroundings and adapt to ever changing conditions, or as Richard says, the enemy will eat your liver.

Yes you can drive in the number one lane at 55 mph but you shouldn’t. If all other traffic is doing 65 or 75, move over if you must go slower than the flow of traffic. It won’t hurt you to do that for others who you must share the highway. And you are not there to do the job of the CHP in deciding how fast is safe.

I will take the opportunity here to say once again that 65 is way too slow for today’s highways and the cars we drive. Our State knows that, but they need the money honey, so they can continue to live beyond OUR means. Vote the buggers out of office when they come up for re-election. We have the power ultimately to change how government works. Presently they DON’T work. They live off of you and me.
Handling & Performance:
Well, it is a nice performer but it’s not fair to have to compare it with the Audi TT I tested the prior week that was simply a spectacular handling sport car. But in balance the TT is a two seater and I like the convenience and comfort of the A5 more than the performance of the smaller car. At other times in my life that would have been a reverse opinion. So we all must consider the purpose and need of any car we buy. This Coupe just fits the bill perfectly for more all around utility.

Styling:
Distinctively Audi in a sea of commonplace cars. Nice Job Audi.

Fit and Finish:
Interior assembly is not only excellent, it is elegant.

Cost:
About what I expected and more than I’d like to pay and less than the little more you get from more expensive luxury cars… know what I mean. At some point there are diminishing returns on what you have to pay for what you get. And they don’t get much prettier.

Conveniences and comfort:
I want more – I need less – so it’s a toss-up. It’s all good stuff and it has that classy look. It is comfy and a car I would own. The model I drove had the premium Plus package that includes Bluetooth and navigation but I have nav on my iPhone and also have a hands free portable device. I prefer Bluetooth built in but wouldn’t pay the extra money for the package. If, however, I could have just those features out of the package, that I would do. The upgrade package’s can add $9,000 to the price of this car.

Fair size trunk. Roomy front seats unless you have rear seat passengers who will need to share your legroom. Perfect for the young executive family. If you’re a golfer however the trunk is a little tight (narrow) for a pro-size bag. I’ve thought of getting rid of that big bag anyway.

 

Consumer Recommendation:
In the old days when I owned an auto repair shop, we did a lot of Audi’s but that was well before Volkswagen was involved and it is such a good company I’m comforted a lot as I have tested all of the Audi product. And in context with all the competitors listed here, it is at the top of the list of cars I would buy. For example, I love Hyundai and in particular the Equus (in the second year of production) is special but I wouldn’t spend $20 grand more for the Equus even though it is more luxurious. The A5 is great, and I get that from a lot of car guys that review cars as I do.

Recognized Competition:
Audi A5 $39,000, Infiniti G Convertible $47,000, Infiniti EX $36,000, Cadillac CTS $39,000, Mercedes-Benz E Class $50,000, BMW 3-Series $35,000, BMW 6 Series $74,000, Infiniti G Coupe $38,000, Lexus IS C $41,000, Volvo C70 $40,000, Chevrolet Corvette $50,000, Hyundai Equus $59,000, Chevrolet Camaro $23,000.

Good News:
Great styling and elegant inside and out, fair fuel economy, nice handling and power.

Bad News:
None noted.

Standard Equipment:
2.0 liter TFSI turbocharged 4 cylinder 211 horsepower engine, 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, Quattro all wheel drive with 40/60 torque split, 18” wheels, electronic stability control, electromechanical steering, 5-link front suspension and trapezoidal–link rear axle, tire pressure monitor, anti-lock braking system, sun roof with retractable sunshade, halogen headlights and front fog lights, rain and light sensors, heated power mirrors, leather seats, 12-way power driver and 8-way power passenger seats, multi-function leather wrapped steering wheel, on board computer information system, climate control, cruise control, audio with in dash CD player and SD card reader, Aux input jack, driver adaptive airbag, passenger advanced 2-stage airbag, side and knee airbags, anti-theft alarm, LATCH system, 4-year 50,000 mile limited warranty / 12 yr corrosion and 4-year roadside assistance.

Gas Stats:

$4.13/ Gal avg. August 30, 2012

www.fueleconomy.gov

For more information.

 

20 City and 30 Highway MPG

 

Pricing:
MSRP $39,050.

2012 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Quattro MT6 Coupe (920)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2012 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI (Turbo fuel stratified injection), Quattro MT6 (Manual Transmission 6 speed) Coupe was first introduced in 2007 and remains a beauty.

I’m guessing you too would have the same reaction I did when it came to giving the car back. I was looking forward to the Jeep Patriot I would be testing next, but I really warmed up to this Audi. How I feel after the test says a lot if I really want to drive it longer. It says the experience was nearly perfect.

First of all the Audi has made some marvelous advances over the years and I believe Volkswagen has been a great influence in that improvement. That fact has been the case with so many other car companies that found it necessary to join forces. Ford’s takeover of Jaguar, Daimler / Mercedes-Benz’s takeover of Chrysler and others have all been positive.

You may know that I owned a foreign car repair shop for many years. I have to tell you in those early model years for Audi I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for the car. BMW was junk then too, to be fair, and FIAT (fix it again Tony) was a frequent visitor. But Fiat was cheap to fix, while Audi and BMW were pricey to keep running. That being said, Audi has made huge improvements and I was forced to rethink my opinion of the brand.

It reminds me of how America has influenced economic policy to the world generally. When you bring peoples of the world together you get the best of each ethnic group to be better in the end to the whole. I think it has as much to do with how stagnant one view of solving problems is as compared to how diversity of thought makes us better.
General Information:

Parts from the US/ Canadian 1%; Germany 75%, Engine – Hungary; Transmission – Germany. Classification is SUV. Cars from Audi: A3, A4, A4 Avant, A5, A6, A6 Avant, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, R8 S4, S5, S6 & TT.
Opinion:

Driving demands that you pay attention all the time and keep your speed consistent. Cruise control helps a lot in this area and will help you make lane changes slower rather than quick / fast movements. Signaling also helps you hesitate in changing lanes and helps those around you to know what you intend to do.

Speed, in itself, does not cause accidents but rather erratic movement coupled with traveling at much faster speeds than the normal flow of traffic. Be aware of traffic around you constantly and be considerate of others when you are thinking of cutting in front of another car that forces them to brake. That is irresponsible driving.

Finally if you plan ahead and give yourself more time to get to your destination you will avoid stress and eliminate the chances of causing or being involved in a traffic accident. Remember, driving at break-neck speed will save very little time for all the dangerous movements needed.

Handling & Performance:

Wonderful – simply wonderful. This is one of the few cars that earned me a speeding ticket because it is so easy to exceed road limits beyond the ability of the average car. Performance cars like this Audi handle the road like a pro! For sure it makes a better driver out of all of us.

And speaking of performance, the 211 hp with a 6-speed manual transmission will take you from 0-60 mph in just 6.4 exhilarating seconds.

Styling:

Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I found most folks I spoke with felt it is one beautiful example of what a car should look like. The model I tested was painted a bright white that is striking and the interior was a linen beige color … really cool.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost:

Well, we’re in the high rent district but the competition makes this Audi A5 appear to be a bargain in class.

Conveniences and comfort:

The A5 includes features I appreciate, but there are a few more it doesn’t include, like adaptive cruise control, sensors for blind spot detection of approaching traffic.

One negative that I’ve noticed that I wonder about is the HD Radio. It automatically kicks in but I found it to be annoyance because of static and volume and reception fluctuation. If there is a fix to that I shouldn’t have to figure out how to eliminate the odd noises and poor reception.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you are a performance motivated driver, you gotta love this Audi. Relatively speaking it is affordable. I like it better than the others noted here for many reasons there isn’t enough print space to explain. In summary, it just does what all the others can do, but better.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A5 $37,000, BMW 3-Series $45,000, BMW 6-Series $74,000, Cadillac CTS $36,000, Chevrolet Camaro $23,000, Chevrolet Corvette $50,000, Volvo C70 $40,000, Hyundai Equus $59,000, Infiniti EX $36,000, Infiniti G Convertible $47,000, Infiniti G Coupe $38,000, Lexus IS C $41,000, Mercedes-Benz E-Class $50,000.

Good News:

Well priced luxury in class, good warranty, fast.

Bad News:

Standard Equipment:

2.0 TFSI Quattro inline 4-cylinder 211 hp engine, 6-speed manual transmission, Quattro permanent all wheel drive, 18” 10-spoke wheels, power assist ABS disc brakes, stability control, speed sensitive power steering, tire pressure monitor, tilting glass sunroof, power heated mirrors, rain and light sensors, leather seating, 8-way power front seats, trip computer, climate control, audio with SIRIUS Satellite and CD, front side curtain and drive knee airbags, anti theft alarm and LATCH system. 4-year / 50,000 mile warranty with 12 year corrosion protection.

Gas Stats:

$3.99/ Gal avg. April 27, 2012
www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

21 City and 31 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $37,100.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

2012 Audi A6 TFSI (904)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2012 Audi A6 TFSI Quattro Auto Tiptronic Sedan. Audi has become an exceptional car over the past decade. It has been a transformation I’ve noticed because of the foreign car repair business I owned in Southern California for many years. It has become one of my favorite cars to drive in today’s world.

Of course it is also among the highest cost cars to own and operate. Interestingly enough those cars all seem to come from Germany. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. If you like being on the cutting edge of design, styling and innovation in technology and have the money to have all that Audi has earned its place at the top of the most desirable cars to own. There is no question you get what you pay for and if you have a champagne budget this is a great choice.

General Information: Parts from the US and Canada are 1%, Germany 75%; Engine  – Hungary Transmission – Germany. It is assembled in Neckarsulm, Germany, Classification is Mid-size.Cars from Audi: – A3, A4, A4 Avant, A5, A6, A6 Avant, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, R8, S4, S5, S6 & TT.

Handling & Performance:

Exceptional handling and you gotta just love the performance in driving range that has increased in recent years. A full tank of gas gets you about 500 miles. That is up from the average range of 300 miles typical of the past few decades.

Styling:

Wonderful.

Fit and Finish:

Excellent.

Cost: Wildly variable. The test car I drove had included about $21,000 in options for a total price of $71,300.

Conveniences and comfort:

Standard equipment is quite good, but there are some Options that you may want to consider. My favorite grouping is referred to as the Innovation Package that includes things like warning sensors while parking and changing lanes; adaptive cruise control, heads up display and power folding mirrors. Cost is $5,800. Could I live without them – of course. If cost were not a limiting factor ‘would’ I buy them – absolutely.

Adaptive cruise is the most interesting to me as evidenced by the fact I miss it a lot when it is NOT on the next test car.

Sensing features are also missed when you go to parking and that familiar beeping isn’t there to warn you of things in the way, and more than once I have avoided moving into a lane that is already occupied and not seen in mirrors. Great stuff.

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a classy looking car and has been drawing more attention and good press for the last 10 years. In the technology area you may want to look at the innovative use of Google Earth in the Nav System where you can view the actual landscape rather than just highways and byways. Really cool.

Recognized Competition:

Audi A6 $42,000, Acura RL $48,000, Acura TL $36,000, BMW 5-Series $45,000, BMW 5-series Gran Turismo $57,000, Cadillac CTS $39,000, Cadillac DTS $47,000, Cadillac STS $47,000, Chrysler 300 $27,000, Hyundai Genesis $34,000, Infiniti M $48,000, Jaguar XF Series $53,000, Lexus GS $47,000, Lexus GS 450h $59,000, Lincoln MKS $42,000, Mercedes Benz CLS-Class $71,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $50,000, Saab 9-5 $39,000, Volvo S80 $38,000.

Good News:

Comfortable, f-a-s-t, great handling and very good fuel economy possible and a truly lovely looking automobile.

Bad News:

Can be very pricey.

Standard Equipment:

3.0 liter 310 hp supercharged V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive, 17” alloy wheels, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist and ESC (Electronic Stability Control), speed sensitive power steering, leather wrapped steering wheel, electrically adjustable heated exterior power mirrors, leather seating, 8 way power heated front seats, split folding rear seat, climate control, cruise control, keyless start, audio with SIRIUS Satellite, single CD in dash, multi media interface MMI, power glass sunroof, rain and light sensor, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, anti theft alarm, front, side, and side curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring.

Gas Stats:

$3.57/ Gal avg. January 5, 2012

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

19 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $49,900.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair