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A6 first drive - what's with the throttle lag and the steering ?

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Old 07-15-2014, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default A6 first drive - what's with the throttle lag and the steering ?

Looking to add a new car to the stable, and I liked what I had seen so far from the A6. This week service was due on my Q7, so I asked for a A6 loaner to give it a good test drive.
Now, my Q7 (2010 4.2 Prestige) is easily my favorite care I have ever owned. Despite the size and weight, the handling, responsiveness, brake feel and transmission are bar none. Naturally, my expectations on the A6 were pretty high.

I got a 2014 A6 3.0 TDI Premium Plus with 4k miles on it as a loaner. Looks great, interior is great, didn't care for the MMI changes compared to my 2010 too much, but I guess it's just what I got used to. Super smooth for a diesel, nice power and torque.

However, I thought the steering feel was terrible. Numb, overcorrecting, no feedback. Comfort / Auto / Dynamic Mode made little difference. It's so much worse than my 2010 Q7, I was shocked.

The other gripe was the throttle response, especially from a stop. At half throttle takeoff, the car would move leisurely for a scoend or two, and suddenly surge forward. Very annoying, and again, much worse than on the Q7, or any car I have ever driven actually.

Now, I read up on a lot of threads regarding these problems, ranging from creative re-programming options to waiting and hoping that the transmission learns how to properly function, to just having to live with it. None of these options are very appealing to me when buying a new 60 grand car.

Have you guys seen these traits in your cars, and how have you dealt with it ? I was actually considering a 3.0T, could I expect the steering and transmission / throttle issues to be the same as on the TDI ?

Last edited by sap_pete; 07-15-2014 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:19 PM   #2
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I agree on the steering. Coming out of a 2012 A4 with Sport package, and also owning a BMW, I was dissapointed in the steering feel.

My 3.0T does not lag that I notice. I am coming from 2.0T, which had minor turbo lag. The A6, particularly in sport, feels like it just goes. Maybe its a TDI thing?

Still, in the grand scheme of things, I wouldnt own anything else...
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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2.0T and 3.0TDI are turbo engines. All turbo engines have turbo lag.
3.0T is supercharged engine and there is no lag.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:10 PM   #4
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I have not noticed a turbo lag with my TDI but really don't push it...it's a diesel for goodness sake. I have much more delay from the DCT on my BMW 1 series so driving the Audi feels like a day in the park. Steering is not as good as my BMW but it is better if you set it to dynamic.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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I am new to Audi since last August. Coming up on 9K miles and love my A6. Only gripes I have are the steering, damn awful. Followed by the seats, not a big fan of them. I find throttle response good, I actually find at times a tad jerky where it will lurch, probably all that damn torque so early on. Only other thing I would love is 4G for the online connection and a faster head unit so it can process that quickly.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:44 PM   #6
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I'm a first time Audi owner and have a 2014 A6 TDI.

I actually love everything about mine, Like someone else said it is a diesel they run low rpms and make torque from all the way down to redline. Hp not so much.

Steering for me is wonderful, I have it on comfort and enjoy how it feels. My only complaint being that while lane assist is on it's unnerving having the car try and steer you back into your lane sometimes.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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1) There's been an update to the the programming of the EPS. The steering issue affected the A4, S4, A5, S5, Q5, A6.... My 2013 Q5 was a victim of poor steering feel, but my A6 steering is excellent. I suspect the loaner didn't have the updated program.
2) The transmission of the A6 upshifts very early (too early) into 2nd gear when in D, which makes the engine seem unresponsive, but is actually the momentary pause in power delivery as the transmission shifts, and is also the effect of the drop in engine speed. Driving the car in S eliminates this issue.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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3.0T - zero lag.
Electric steering? Just about all new Audis now have it or will soon. They still have a ways to go before it duplicates the feel and operation of hydraulic. The only thing about my A6 that disappoints me to a degree.

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by snagitseven View Post
3.0T - zero lag.
Electric steering? Just about all new Audis now have it or will soon. They still have a ways to go before it duplicates the feel and operation of hydraulic. The only thing about my A6 that disappoints me to a degree.
I have both C5 and C7, and C7 cannot match the the steering feel of old hydraulics.

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:45 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for all the input. I drove some more today and compared different settings. The steering I feel I can get used to, but even in sport mode there is too much of a lag. Even in sport mode accelerating out of a tight turn, it's a solid 3 seconds before the power really kicks in. It's great with paddle shifting, so I guess it's not the turbo, but lazy transmission. I tried the throttle reset, but couldn't tell a difference. It also doesn't nearly keep the revs up when slowing down as my 2010 Q7.
Might be some update missing; I'll ask the dealer.

I'll test drive a 3.0T as well, but the TDI mileage is certainly tempting.
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