P.S. I started this article several weeks before Christmas and just put the finishing touches on it tonight.
Since moving from Wisconsin to the Cleveland area, I have become a European car affeccianado. It started with the purchase of our first SAAB 900 when Katie was born. That first buy was the first of five Swedish cars and then two Jaguars. Coming from someone who thought owning a Chevy Corvair would be the epitome of fine driving, I’ve come a long way. But now I have crossed another threshold. In the last week, I have had the privilege of driving my first Mercedes and my first Audi. I will reserve my thoughts about the Mercedes for another time as I only drove the car around the dealership. These paragraphs will instead be focused on the Audi, a vehicle which I had never really understood.
This morning I received my first Internet lead on an Audi. Leikin Motor Company currently has two Audis in stock. And to be honest, I have focused my attention on the Volvo, SAAB, and Jaguar inventory as I have had more experience with them. This time, however, I was forced to take a moment to examine a car that really had done nothing to grab my interest.
The car I studied today was a 2006 Audi A6 3.2 Quattro. As you would imagine, the A6 is the mid size vehicle in Audi’s fleet. It comes with a 255 hp 3.2 liter V6 with plenty of get-up-and-go. Quattro refers to the AWD system which in this car was coupled to a nice automatic transmission. It was a pleasure to accelerate into corners as I quickly found out that the car could handle them with no problems.
But not knowing what packages were offered, I searched and found the following description. Apparently, the car we have on our lot has just about everything. Click here to read the entire article.
The A6 3.2 comes loaded with standard features. Among them: leather upholstery; wood trim; dual-zone automatic air conditioning with pollen filters; AM/FM/6CD with 10 speakers; 12-way power driver's seat with four-way adjustable power lumbar support; split-folding rear seats; tilt/telescoping steering column; leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel; leather-wrapped shift knob; theft deterrent system. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels.
Options for the 3.2 include premium leather upholstery ($1,000); power opening and closing rear tailgate ($450); manual rear and side window sunshades ($250); 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires ($900); rear side airbags ($350); a DVD-based navigation system ($1,800); Sirius or XM satellite radio ($550); a leather-segmented steering wheel with shift paddles ($690). Also available by ordering: a heated steering wheel ($200), adaptive air suspension ($2,300), and adaptive cruise control ($2,100).
The S-Line Package ($2,950) includes a sports suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, gray birch wood trim, S-Line badges, S-Line front and rear bumpers, and headlight washers. Solar sunroof panels are available for 4.2 models ($600). A Premium Package ($2,500) for 3.2 models includes bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive headlamps, a Bose premium sound system, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, auto-dimming and electrically folding exterior mirrors, memory for the driver's seat and mirror adjustments, Homelink, and a storage package. The Technology Package ($3,800) includes voice recognition, Advanced Key, rear Parktronic, DVD navigation, and satellite radio. A Cold Weather Package ($400) offers heated rear seats and a ski sack. The 3.2 sedan also offers front sport seats ($500).
The description and drive didn't win me over completely, but it did remind me that ignorance isn't always bliss. Some times it's just ignorance. Not knowing what a car is like limits the usefulness of one's comments about one's favorite car. For instance, if I think Swedish cars are better than German, there had better be some evidence to back up my claims. Are they really better? Or am I just a big mouth spouting narrow minded opinions? Driving the Audi showed me that there are other auto companies that make nice cars. Audi makes a nice car. (I'll give 'em at least that much.)