While the MX-6 is out of action, I managed to borrow my friend’s old car. His old car happens to be this.
May I present for your reading pleasure, the 2000-and-something Audi A6 Allroad 4.2 V8. Designed as the practical, comfortable, car-you-actually-want-to-be-seen-in alternative to a crossover (maybe) with actual off-road ability that isn’t just limited to dropping your Holden Trax off the kerb at your kids private school. This will handle at least a damp grassy field, and maybe even a farmers driveway.
Exterior - 7/10
So automatically it gets a 5 point advantage for being a wagon. Past that, there isn’t a huge amount to write home about. the headlights are faded, the wheels are kinda rough when you look up close. The main draw card of the exterior of this behemoth I would probably put down to the paint. The black has held really well for its age and the fact that it had been parked outside for most of its life. The other detail I like is the massive wheel arch flares. Those must add something like 100-150mm on top of the already very wide A6 estate body. Finally, the matte grey roof is a nice touch. Overall a good looking car with decent road presence. Finally, this car is MASSIVE. you don’t notice it when you drive on the road or park, but you notice it when you park lazily and it sticks out on two sides. There is a paid carpark at my uni where I can put wheels on both white lines.
Interior - 8/10
It’s really comfy. Leather all around, massive boot space even before you fold the seats down, sunroof etc. Its a teensy bit used, and there are quite a few trim pieces that have.. non-standard fitment. The armrest cubby for example, now has a removable lid. The owner of this car can reach around the interior and have about 5 pieces of car in his hands that have become removable post-manufacture. Everything is there though, and you really don’t notice the broken bits since they aren’t often used. Lay the back seats down and a full size single mattress fits.
Toys - 7/10
Lots of cool bits of kit in here. The biggest cool thing is the height-adjustable air suspension that goes from normal sports car height all the way to having more ground clearance than a small 4x4. The sunroof works great about 80% of the time. Dual zone climate control, electric front seats, cruise control, average and live fuel consumption, tiptronic gearbox etc are all mostly par for the course on a premium car these days from the likes of Lexus or Infiniti, but back in the early 2000's these all put together meant that this was a NZ$100,000+ luxury car. The quattro system is pretty effective at throwing the power around too. Points lost for only one 12v socket and evidently no way to set the bloody clock back an hour.
Audio - 10/10 (Audio gadgetry - 4/10)
Audio quality is great. The Audi Symphony system powers the Bose speaker arrangement really well. Lows are are really clear, highs are really clear. So the audio output is brilliant. Something that isn’t brilliant is audio input.
You get a grand total of 3 ways to play audio in this system. FM/AM radio (FM sound quality is pretty good though), CD and.. cassette tape. Yup. A car built less than 15 years ago with a cassette deck. No bueno. The V8 rumble sounds good though.
Acceleration - 7/10
It’s quick. Not in a 400hp yobbo Subaru kinda quick, but mildly surprising kinda quick. You don’t really notice that you accelerate rather fast apart from the gauge racing up. Overall I’m very impressed for a 1.9 tonne V8 superwagon that only makes 295hp.
Brakes - 8/10
It stops pretty hard. The brakes up front are rather large and while I haven’t tried repeated stopping they are vented so it should last at least a little while.
Ride - 7/10
It rides rather well, owing to its notoriously unreliable air suspension. The seats really help of course but even going over bumps and crappy B roads, it performs very smoothly. It isn’t Citroen territory of course, but it far outperforms my semi-rough MX-6 and my Fathers rock solid zero flex Peugeot 207 GTI. I would say it is on par with a late model Commodore or Falcon.
Handling - 5/10
It’s heavy. Really heavy. The flywheel, so the back face of the entire engine block, sits physically forward of the front axle centre line. This makes it very front heavy. Really hard cornering, and trying to find the limits of the car results in a fair bit of sledging, but the AWD is rear biased so it could probably be cured with a bit of power. Overall grip is quite good, of course owed a lot to the decent sized 245 tyres, but the air suspension does prevent quite a bit of roll.
Gearbox - 5/10
Nothing to write home about really. The tiptronic is fairly responsive but the whole system can be a bit dim witted and it sometimes changes up too soon. It is actively adaptive though, so drive like an idiot for a few days and it will hold in gear longer and change down with less throttle input.
Value - 4/10
Well. It is a V8 German luxury superwagon with air suspension, a sunroof, towbar and AWD. It was worth well over NZ$100,000 new. It is currently for sale for the massive amount of about $10,000. At face value, this could make its way into a Tavarish post! but then you realize it has 120000kms, and you are still paying for parts for a notoriously unreliable hundred thousand dollar car.. Personally I wouldn’t buy it, or if I did I would go to coil springs as soon as the bags went out.
Faults - minus 14 points
So the issues with this car. There are a few. I’m going to take off points for however many there are.
Interior - There are a fair few issues in here. Probably about 5 pieces of the trim are falling off or will dismantle themselves if you breathe too hard. -5 points.
Air suspension - The dreaded Allroad airbags have a leak somewhere. If the car sits for a few days, the front left corner goes all hellaflush and you have to let it sit for about 30s to pump back up. Probably a lead up to a much bigger issue. -7 points.
Drivetrain - Front right CV joint is totally buggered. Oh well. -2 points.
Total - 68-14=54 Points.
Hope it turned out well, there is a lack of photos but there isn’t really much to look at and I haven’t had much chance to take any.