This week we’re looking at the 2006 Audi A4 3.2 FSI. I like German cars but I have to say I don’t care for their electronics. They just tend to be more complicated to operate than the rest of the world’s cars. Ok so my son, daughter and grandchildren of all ages would have no problem, but the average buyer who plunks down the bucks don’t want to be “Techno-nerds.” They simply want to use the equipment for the purpose intended. Examples: Nav and sound systems, cruise and climate controls, and you name it. They just seem to make it more difficult to operate them than it needs to be. Of course they plaster warning messages to say you should never operate while driving. HELLO! Is anyone at the manufacturers listening? Are they awake?
I used to think it was just me, but I have driven almost every car made and when I find the Japanese and American employ more (I hate the term) “User Friendly” I warm up to them and turn off ones like the electronics used in most German made cars.
Ok now, that being said, I have to say mechanically and handling this is a very capable car.
Handling & Performance:
Too good… I can say that because the radar Highway Robocop’s tell me I was going much too fast around the curves through the mountains. I want to make that perfectly clear since there are other curves I enjoy even more where going slow is as fun as going fast in a car. Know what I mean? I have two favorite mountain test areas that are top secret but I would like the Crest more if it were less heavily patrolled. Won’t you just love it when satellites track your speed, read the serial numbers and send you a citation on email or simply deduct the fine from your bank account? The benefit will be we won’t need those damn robots on motorcycles and we can save a ton of money on traffic law enforcement.
Fast is a good description for this 3.2-liter FSI. Like 0-60 in about 5 seconds. And it takes the curves effortlessly. You’ve got to hand it to Audi engineers. On the other hand I have another complaint. The throttle and brakes are both jerky and grabby. That would give me cause to test drive competitive cars all the more. It really was annoying.
One last footnote on handling: as good as this Audi handles I was blown away by the Corvette Z06 on the same mountain curves. Amazing. Look for that review upcoming.
German cars look great on the whole. Consider the Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and yes the Audi and close cousins Volkswagen.
Friend Merkel hates the grille on this Audi but I think it grows on you – in a good way. Sorry Merkel.
Fit and Finish:
Outstanding! In this big world of automakers attention to detail doesn’t get much better. Mercedes for example has rubbed off on Chrysler cars, don’t you think? I’m really proud of what Daimler Chrysler has grown up to be.
Ok, I guess, but in this class it is still a lot of money. The good news is for American automakers these pricey imports make domestic cars even more competitive. That, in turn, puts pressure on our European friends to price their cars better. Sharpen you pencils Audi.
As I said the electronics are too complicated and operation can be distracting. I hate jumping through hoops to simply change channels.
Boy this is tough competition. Me – if I had to choose I would likely end up with a Cadillac CTS. I’ve simply owned too many of them and love driving the CTS in particular. Beautiful.
Audi A4 $28-45,000, BMW 3-Series $31-45,000, Chrysler 300 $24-40,000, Cadillac CTS $29-51,000, Volvo S40 $24-29,000, Mercedes Benz C-Class $29-34,000, Saab 9-3 $26-42,000, Volkswagen Passat $23-32,000, Subaru Legacy $22-34,000, Acura TL $33-36,000, Jaguar X-Type $32,330, Lexus IS $30-35,000, Infiniti G35 $31-34,000.
German built, fun to drive, fast.
Lousy electronic features – too complicated
3.2 liter 255 hp 6 cylinder engine, 6-speed auto trans w/ tiptronic shift, all wheel drive, power steering, 17” alloy wheels, brake assist, climate control, power windows, electronic cruise control, 3-spoke leather wrapped sport steering wheel with controls, power heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, radio with 6-disc in dash CD player and satellite radio, dual front and side air bags, auto door locking, anti-theft alarm, child anchors and tethers.
19 City and 26 Highway MPG
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