I have a 99 S 420. I am an occaisional skier, who lives in Northern
California. I am attracted to the A-6 4.2 because it has the power I
like, appears to seat four people with good leg and shoulder room, and can
handle snow from time to time without me having to drive a Ford Explorer.
However, in reading reports, the A-6 doesn't seem to get good points for
reliability. Other choices for me would be the E - 500 4 Motion Mercedes,
or just a standard BMW 5 series.
What can you tell me about long term ownership of an A-6 as far as fun,
reliability, power, and steering?
Just another point, here in the UK you cannot buy a A6 4.2 you can get a 3.0
or a S6, the price of the S6 is £49000 and the RS6 is £56000,
I would imagine it would be worth waiting for the new A6 which is released
somtime this year.
I just sold my 2000 A6 4.2 to my son-in-law and bought an RS6. The A6 4.2 was
a wonderful car that gave me many trouble-free miles. I had no maintenance
problems whatsoever. When I bought it I considered buying the S4, but it was
just a little too small for my needs. The A6 was perfect, but it was difficult
to choose between the 2.5T and the 4.2 V8.
I bought 4 alloy wheels and mounted a good set of snows for winter use. It
went anywhere I wanted to go, in the worst of New England weather. It was a
joy to drive. But the RS6 sang its siren song and has corrupted me forever.
I need to carry full size adults, and I'm on a budget. Mercedes as of late
has started to slip on reliability in their electronics (not the engines).
I want something that is trouble free, but fun to drive, that seats 4 adults
very comfortably, and can handle some trips into the snow, without chains.
How many miles did you put on your 4.2 A 6? Someone at eOpinions opined
that the V-8 was "sluggish" compared to the 2.7 Turbo? Any thoughts or
Your new car is very nice, but well out of the price range that I'm willing
Ta dah! A6 Quattro. It will seat four adults comfortably and there is a good
size trunk for baggage
It had 68,000 trouble free miles.
Someone at eOpinions opined
I drove the 2.7 Turbo the same day I bought the 4.2 V8. It may have just been
the particular car I drove, but it was under-tired. Straight line acceleration
was good, but in the twisties, it just didn't have the feel I was used to. The
4.2, otoh, came with 255/45 - 18 tires, more than enough to make the car feel
good. Plus, I'm an old man who has spent 50 years shifting 3,4,5, and 6 speed
trannies. My left leg ain't what it used to be, so the TipTronic of the 4.6
When you're an old phart like me perhaps you can afford it. d;o)
I'm not sure the 2.5 Turbo *had* 16 inch tires. They were much narrower (maybe
225s) and the aspect ratio was a bigger number (perhaps 50 or 60). The 255s on
the 4.2 took an on-ramp much easier (less/no squeal) that the 2.5T's tires. If
indeed the aspect ratio was higher on the Turbo's tires, that could explain
some of it, or the width (225 vs 255). I'm not sure, but the 225s may have
even been all-season (yuck) tires. And, there is air pressure to consider. I
know the 255s had their proper inflation (I bought the car), whereas the 225s
could have been under-inflated, causing more sidewall give in a high g turn.
The following year, the 2.5 Turbo came with a tire option that, I believe,
included the 18 inch 255s.
Neither one of them seemed "sluggish" to me. The 4.2 is slightly heavier than
the 2.7T and it's accleration suffers a bit. But it's got tottally seemlees
power delivery, whereas the 2.7T has a small spike at around 2,200 RPM after
the Turbo is spooled. However, I drove a 2002 2.7T with 250Hp. The 2004 version
has had software revisions both for the engine and the tranny, and it's now up
to 265Hp. It may be a better drive, and IMHO, it's certainly a better value. In
any case, even when eqiupped with the Titronic tranny, neither model will have
any problems laying down 0-60 in the mid to low 6s. There's also the S6, with
the 340Hp 4.2, but it's only avaliable as an Avant and it's more expensive.
My uncle just bought an E500 sedan, it feels small inside, but is otherwise a
pretty nice car.
Then you'll lose the AWD. Check out the X3 and X5, they both have very car like
driving characteristics, but give you AWD and more space. I'd reccomend looking
at the 2004 A6 2.7T over the 4.2. The S-Line version has been boasted to 265Hp,
it's actually slightly quicker than the heavier 4.2 (but doesn't give the V8's
seemless power delivery) and is less expensive.
I currently have both an S420 (for sale) and a Ford Explorer lease car.
I'd like to consolidate to one vehicle since my only use for the 4 wheel
drive is a once per month ski excursion in the snow during the winter.
And I'm at the point where I'd like to get dead bang great reliability from
a vehicle over a 10 year ownership (which is about 140,000 miles for me)
I've been reading each of these newsgroups, as well as a few others for a
while, and in each newsgroup there are ongoing complaints about the
reliability of each marque. I'm ALMOST willing to go Japanese, but not
What are your recommendations for the most reliable 4 wheel drive car that
will comfortably seat four adults, and why?
Thanks very much,
Done? Having driven your Explorer as an example? Come on!
I don't think RX is built like good ol' SUVs. RX is not a truck
underneath. It's more like a car.
Nowadays there are more and more what we knew as SUVs built on
their own "platform". Take Infiniti FX (Nissan Murano), Lexus RX,
Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg...
If you really need to get in the snow and not get stuck, a simple
AWD sedan is not going to work. You will need something with a bit
more clearance, like a Volvo XC or a Subaru Outback (am I allowed
to mention Subaru here?). Check out Chrysler Pacifica, maybe.
After all, they are Daimler now...
Ever hear of the Audi All-Road? It's a direct competitor to the
Cross-Country, and it isn't a piece of shit. Chrysler Pacifica?
Jesus, Chrysler hasn't built a decent car since the Hemi 'Cuda, and
even that thing had flimsy gearbox and only went straight.
The RX300 is now the RX330, but it's still boring. Lexus makes a
great, boring product. Hell, they make Honda reliability look bad. I
just can't get past the boring.
One car for all purposes? That's a tough one. For me, it's an old
Audi. Strength, reliability, safety. Wrap my family in high strength
German (galvanized, undercoated) steel and hope for the best. I can
tolerate the bullshit in leau of the benefits. Then again, I can fix
anything that would ever fail. I highly doubt I'd have two V8 winter
cars if I had to pay the repair bills. There is, however, nothing
better in the snow than and old V8 on four studded Hakka's.
Audi still has the best AWD system. I own a million miles worth of
quattro systems without one quattro failure. They were building AWD
automobiles long before the rest of the marques were even paying
attention to marketing. Audi single handedly created the AWD fad of
today. Do you think BMW or MB would have bothered with AWD models if
they were not losing sales to Audi? MB wouldn't even gives us a damn
cup holder until the late 90's! Screw German law, you're losing sales
to Asia over a cupholder!
Audi uses direct mechanical differential lockup when needed, and
also use the brakes as "traction control." Other makers do not.
4-Matic comes closest, but its frequent and costly fuckups make it
less admirable in my book. The Asian trash can't hold a candle to
quattro's function. They rely on brakes alone to handle power
distribution. Open diffs are cheap. Brakes are reactive, not
As for the 420, Mercedes quality is nothing like the old days. I
worked for MB back in the late 80's, and they had some excellent
vehicles. The 126 sedans were excellent, strong, and crashed like
nobody's business. Now they seem to be over-complicated, slapped
together budles of woe. And that's just the German made ones. The US
built one has turned out to be a joke.
On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 22:14:56 GMT, "Victor Bazarov"
excellent car. S6 Avant is of course even nicer, but costs twice as
much and isn't exported to US.
it's like a SUV for the ladies IMO :)
I still fail to understand why the cupholders are such a major
headache in the US...
4-matic is nearly RWD in 'normal' conditions. when rear wheels start
slipping, front wheels get more torque. The implementation is much
better than the typical part-time 4WD SUV things, but still not that
convincing at least to me.
BMW had an excellent AWD in 325/525ix, quite close to Audi with two
viscous couplings and no overly complicated crap (a la MB
ProbleMatic). The best part: power distribution is between rear and
front is 63/37 (because when accelerating, rear axle gets more weight
& traction). This is IMO nicer than Quattro which I find annoyingly
FWD due to tendency to understeer. I have no experience on the newer
BMW xi models though.
I thought we went through this already.
Audi has the most experience with all wheel drive passenger cars. The Quattro
system is bullet-proof. Plus it is one of the safest cars out there.
Yes, I wanted to expand it to other newsgroups and get opinions from other
marque owners. The net result is that they are ignoring the fact that I
want a CAR, e.g. sedan, and are getting into the SUV formats. So I'm not
sure I gained any ground.
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