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C&D Station Wagon Review

I simply have to weigh-in on the trashing Car and Driver took in this
newsgroup about the comparison between the A6Q, BMW525i and Volvo 850 Turbo
wagons.  For those who have not read the article, the final tally was Volvo
92, Audi 91, BWM 86.  C&D loved the Audi but gave the Volvo the nod because
its 222 bhp/221 ft-lb engine gave it a substantial performance edge.  They
complained that the Audi is slow.

Folks, it IS slow.  Really slow.  0-60 in 10.7, vs 7.8 for the Volvo.  That
isn't competitive even in the economy-class anymore.  I've driven an A6 sedan
with an automatic and it is dreadfully underpowered.  The wagon, at 200 lbs
over the sedan, is even slower.

PLEASE, no more garbage about not-knowing how to drive the car or use the
engine.  Acceleration testing doesn't take an Andretti to master.  172 hp in
a 3800 lb car is simply not enough.

The fault does not lie with C&D.  It belongs with Audi's STUPID marketing
division that refused to bring the 5-speed wagon into the USA.  That is the
car I really wanted, but bought an A6Q sedan, instead.  Having driven my car
for 7500 miles, I can tell you that it is reasonably spritely IF you keep the
motor spinning above 3000 and IF you drive aggressively.  Behavior that is
not at all in keeping with this large-ish sedan's luxury nature. Fast it is

For those who argued that they should have chosen the S6 for the test, that
model is way out of their target price range for the comparison test.  In
fact, one of the big reasons the BMW finished last was that BMW sent them a
car loaded with $6k worth of options (to $46K!) and they didn't feel that car
was worth the money.

More comparisons?
                                  AUDI               BWM               VOLVO
1/4 mile                       17.5                 16.8                 15.5
Braking, 70-0, feet       186                  167                  174
Skidpad, feet                .74                  .78                   .77
Lane change, mph        58.5                59.7                 61.6
MPG                            24                   28                    27

So, the A6 was slowest, handled worst, stopped longest, and got the poorest
gas mileage.  Seems to me we were lucky it placed second!

Look, I love my A6Q.  I think the wagon is incredibly good looking, has a
terrific interior and features quattro drive, which is worth a lot.  But the
article was fair.  It also points out a very big competitor for Audi.  Volvo
has a full-time four wheel drive system that may be coming here in 1997.
 Couple that with the 850's interior room, big-HP engine and low price, and
we could see serious sales problems, especially since Audi next motor will
only be 193 HP. 

- Carl Dreher