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Terrible 2013 reliability to date; laughable Nav price--absurd if fails post-warranty

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Old 02-10-2014, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default Terrible 2013 reliability to date; laughable Nav price--absurd if fails post-warranty

So, with about 8,300 miles on the clock and about 6,000 of those since the 2013 Q5 Hybrid got back to the U.S. from initial Euro delivery, I just got the Q5 back from its trip to Audi dealer service for the third serial electronic failure. For reference, as a Hybrid it is basically a "Prestige" in terms of levels of equipment and options.

Bluntly, this is the worst reliability I have seen on any Audi owned from 0/low miles since my 1985 Audi 5000S. All of my 1996 A6 2.8, 2000 A6 4.2 and 2006 A8L W12 had (much) better reliability in the opening few years electronics wise.

The 2013 Q5 was delivered in July 2013 in Europe. It had no problems in its Euro phase over 2200 miles. Once it got here in October, the maladies started. Two of the three of these have nothing to do w/ it being a Hybrid and could happen on any similarly equipped Q5. Each is seemingly independent. The car lives in generally sunny and moderate weather, and has never been in an accident, broken into or anything similar. The facts/issues to date:

1. Lost adaptive feature to headlights and the related cornering lamps. Diagnosed as bad adaptive module, parts cost at list $499.00. Had it done w/ the 5K service. Unclear how it arose, but some sense something having to do w/ the factory trailer wiring done at the port could have contributed.

2. Next, the car wouldn't drive beyond a few MPH until a restart. That first happened when it slightly broke traction on a slight snow covered driveway in the fall. Light show on the dash, but it all cleared immediately with a restart I opted to do, and I then left it be figuring I would have them read the codes at next service if needed. Next failure was w/ my wife where it suddenly lost power, and hardly drove beyond a few miles per hour. Failed in a parking lot fortunately. She parked it and I went to get it. On restart, lights generally cleared but TPMS (of all things??) stayed on for a while but then also cleared. Diagnosed as main engine computer and replaced. Parts cost at list $1,580.00. Servicing dealer (who handles reasonable volume) says they have seen this on Hybrids a number of times. I remember another post on the forum from a Hybrid owner early on that sounded similar, but he never followed up to say what was found. Main computer has to keep sync with the TCU and also the brakes (as do typical ECU's these days), but coupling or tolerance is apparently tighter. Unlike a gas or TDI, of course it also has to control the electric drive and the cutover from gas to electric motors. Very disturbing since vehicle instantly lost power and with no sign of imminent failuree other than the momentary blip on the driveway weeks earlier.

3. The most absurd of all actually: Nav unit suddenly failed at the end of a 4 hour drive last week, with the last stop about 75 minutes earlier. System suddenly rebooted and then never came back, saying "initializing" on the screen continuously. I tried the three button reboot. Nothing. I could hear the drive clicking in the dash, telling me a likely sudden catastrophic failure. So, how much for a 60G hard drive basically? And BTW, they still even make these?? $30? $300? Nope, how about a cool $3,190.01 for the whole Nav unit!! Literally, the most absurd Audi part price I have ever heard in 35 years of owning them. Dealer says they have seen relatively few of these on Q5's lately (other than the early ones...), but then they are seeing it on S5's. Caused me to worry that greater S5 incidence may be due to it probably being standard on something like an S5, while it would be an option for Q5, A4, A5, etc.

Terrible electronics record is all I can say with only 8 months and 8,000 miles on the road. Two of the three have nothing to do w/ it being a Hybrid, and for that matter I've seen posts on other ECU sounding issues across the various motor types. The warranty service is typically pretty quick and the parts a day or two to get, so that part is reasonable. BUT, it shouldn't happen in the first place! Period. Each involves a couple of hours of overhead/wasted time, and typically related settings are lost and you also go through the programming again.

We'll see if it settles down, but the Q5 may not be a longer term keeper (beyond warranty) like I usually do with Audi's. I do my own work very often off warranty, but when parts like these just blow up out of left field and all you can do is pretty much bend over and change them out that's both bad economics and unpredictable when/if it will even happen. Meanwhile, yes I'll be watching the lemon law clock, but I think that needs about 20 more days of out of service unless something major recurs like the ECU again.
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Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


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Old 02-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #2
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So, what is the big deal? Everything was covered by warranty as you said and was done pretty quickly.

My gas 3.0T 2013 model went out with a rear wheel bearing and spent 30 days with the dealer for a replacement gear box flown in from Germany. It also needed a full wheel alignment at less than 3,000 miles.

Mine was out of service more than yours. You should be grateful for the privilege afforded you by Audi to drive such a magnificent vehicle.


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Old 02-10-2014, 01:29 PM   #3
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>>> You should be grateful for the privilege afforded you by Audi to drive such a magnificent vehicle.

He paid a lot of $$$$ for this "privilege" .....
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
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He paid a lot of $$$$ for this "privilege" .....[/QUOTE]

+1


I can only imagine the frustration dealing with any issue in a new vehichle. My biggest issue with my 2.0 2013 is if I will need to add a quart of oil before 10k miles or not, I think it will be close. Otherwise my first 7.5k so far has been complete bliss in the Q. After all we all paid for the privilege we should all get the privilege, hope it turns around for you.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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Default Huh? Issue remains on longer term reliability and ownership cost

See the other replies already capturing some thoughts. But meanwhile, the car should work. Period. Essentially quasi monthly trips to service are no fun either, loaner cars or not.

And, $3,000 for a basically obsolete 60G hard drive? To answer your question directly as well, so what happens when the "warranty" ends? These units haven't even made it one year, let alone 4, let alone the 10 years plus I keep my Audis in service. Just extrapolating, should I worry I may have to shell to $4,000 in a year year just for electronics, assuming I can diagnose and fix myself w/ no labor cost included. Net, the cost of ownership over the vehicle's life has to be assessed, and here any extrapolation to what it might suggest in the future is alarming to me.
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Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


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Old 02-10-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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Maybe the "tongue in the cheek" smiley did not come through...

I fully agree that there is an expectation that when you purchase a product it should be reasonably error free. We should be grateful that the Q5 is not an airplane...


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Old 02-10-2014, 05:05 PM   #7
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That's horrible. After the Audi carbon buildup fiasco, and years of denial only to later admit the problem, I'm not exited about buying another Audi any time soon.

LOL at that comment about having to be grateful to Audi for the privilege of driving the car. Must work for Audi.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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I think you're over reacting a bit. There are going to be more problems in a complicated car like a hybrid long term. 2 problems were not hybrid related. But one was.

The hard drive navigation is pricey. But if you're honest with yourself, all manufactures do the same thing.

You're going to pony up for technology packages in any car. Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infinit.... It's all the same. You pay 3,4,5k for navigation, cameras, blind spot assist.. Manufactures make up profit on the higher end options. Always has and alway will be that way.

You cant buy a loaded up X3 or GLK Mercedes for $5000 less than a q5. Audi has always given you more value for the dollar vs other German cars.

I love the new hard drive Navi with Audi connect and google earth. I always buy the top end prestige model because I want the toys and nicer upgrades.

It's always the numbers and random acts of things breaking. You could have 3-4 problems up front, and then 4-5 years of nothing and trouble free.

I'm amazed at how reliable all my Audis have been over the past 4-5 years. So much stuff to break and a lot of complicate technology. I'm happy that things run so smoothly most of the time.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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Default Once, maybe, twice hmmm, three times in short order??

One issue perhaps as some statistical teething pain, got it and BTW I never posted on it. Two issues in a few months, suck it up and maybe some Hybrid oddity. Ditto, no post. Three issues with failed systems in four months, I don't think so.

I have never had Nav fail in a factory car before, including the 2006 D3 A8, a 2004 Toyota or the 2008 goofball Smart with a Fujitsu Ten unit (where Toyota OE'ed theirs from). Yes, all those are DVD based, but at some point, reliability wins. And implementing Connect in the last few years with a hard drive to me is, let's say "quaint" technically. 64G of flash is available for well under $100 at retail, yet here they have a 60G rotating drive in an automotive environment that is like 10 years aged now technology wise, and I guess it is embedded enough in the unit that they just throw a $3,000 retail parts cost at it?


Likewise, my Audi's have tended to be relatively optioned up for many years now. But the equalizer to me is that for a given point in where tech stands, I can reduce it to unwanted trips to dealer per x amount of time, plus the underlying parts cost as a watch area for future repairs post warranty. The score so far is not looking good comparatively. We'll see how it does in the next couple of years. We went with the Hybrid as somewhat an experiment and fairly advanced comparatively, but I did not expect the majority of early issues in systems I would take for granted now in any luxury vehicle.
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Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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Since you went for hybrid technology, did you consider the Lexus RX 450h hybrid? They've had the hybrid tech for quite some time the reliability is stellar. Just curious, it looks like you prefer the Audi brand though.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #11
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Mine's over a year old w/37k km and I haven't had one problem. No nav, though.

The 2010 S4 only had the t-stat replaced under a recall, and the blower motor for the HVAC replaced because it had a slight chirp.

So far my Audi experience had been very good.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #12
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Default Yes, but...

The Lexus was too large and pretty dated; did consider the hybrid there. Lexi and Toyotas will rarely win any driver excitement or involvement laurels though, and I am not interested in the Buick sort of stereotype. Gave the X3 a look too. Most of the extra Lexus space is in the rear cargo area, and we didn't need that. The design is very near end of life with a new one due presumably momentarily. Tranny is a step back too, though MPG's probably a bit better actually.

Having owned a Toyota Sienna from new for about six years with the same basic floorpan underneath, I was actually not terribly impressed either. "AWD" is adequate and no more; not remotely like quattro. Sheet metal noticeably thinner than typical American or Euro makes, yet no lighter but prone to easier dings. Not impressed when the control arms up front gave way at 100K--14 book hours to change, and one failed again w/in a year. Having done it (once) on Audis, the labor is far less. And more serious, you think of an Audi as having worn parts at maybe " deflection; this actually deflected a couple of inches back before I figured it out. Just plain dangerous.

For a different discussion about the second failure, but I'm also finding counterfeit parts are making it seemingly dicey to own an older Japanese make with parts interchange to higher volume and common floorpans--RX, ES, Sienna, Highlander, etc. vis a vis Camry. Then there was the faulty design rear axle attachment to the body w/ a rubber bushing that routinely failed per the boards (at $300 each); just a bolt in part, but when it then lets a vehicle commonly used as a kid hauler roll back a full foot on an upslope, that's no good. Net, notice the issues were actually more on the mechanical side. Soured me in general on the supposed vaunted Toyota/Lexus quality mantra. I've had better luck w/ Audis (and certainly not worse), though these back-to-back early Q5 issues have me--and my wife, the driver of her first Audi--now wondering some.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


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Old 02-10-2014, 08:17 PM   #13
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Serious bummer. I hope you luck is better in the future.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:29 AM   #14
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I recently purchased a used 2010 Q5 PP with 52000, looks like a 1 month old car. Super clean record at the dealership with no issues whatsoever. Consumer Reports and US & Worls News Report recommend the 2010 Q5 over other model years, don't know why because I assume they're basically the same car.

My wife drives a Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited, not exiting to drive, but how exiting is a Q5 that never leaves the repair shop? It has 24k miles, fully loaded, rock solid, extreemly reliable.

Audi should offer to take your Q5 back and allow you to get another one, if that is not an option, I'd be looking at the lemon law in your state.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:12 AM   #15
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I completely agree with the OP that 3 issues in 4 months is not acceptable quality - for any car - in the prestige market or otherwise.

My view though is that with all the electronics in modern cars, owning one out of warranty is a VERY risky business...

I have various cars on my drive and they all fit into 1 of 2 categories;
1. In warranty
2. Over 14 years old
(they also all happen to be German in 1. and Japanese in 2. but not sure that's really relevant!)

The older cars when something goes wrong you can fix with minimal labour/parts costs, but the modern ones are insane when it comes to first diagnosing an issue, and then fixing it, both in time and cost. As such I have just come to accept that I will not be keeping any of my cars in category 1. beyond their warranty period.

I may end up spending a bit more to keep up to date, but at least I have fixed motoring costs with no HUGE surprises like $4000 for a new sat nag.
The way the industry is pricing spares and repairs it won't be long before cars are worth more in scrap at 4 years old with what used to be a minor fault than they are to fix.

It will be interesting to see if the big German luxury brands are forced to start offering 10 year+ warranties like the Asian car manufacturers are starting to do. Already I know 2 people that have moved over to a cheaper, longer warranty slightly less fun/luxury car (one when from a BMW M3 to a Kia Cee'd GT!!).

I wonder what the youth of tomorrow will be getting as their first cars, as there won't be such a thing as a $300 runabout for much longer - only classics and new...
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:41 AM   #16
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Not to get off track, but the hybrid q5 is a weird car. Very limited production and you pretty much have to buy one sight unseen and order it.

It's expensive and they make you buy the top line prestige in a 2.0. The fuel economy isn't that good at 31 mpg on the highway.

You can save $10,000 and buy a very nicely equipped 2.0 premium plus gas q5 for 42k. It gets 28 mpg on the highway. Buy a Garmin or use your iPhone for navigation. You can install an aftermarket back up camera. So you are not a slave to spending the most on tech options.

In my 5 Audis, the navigation has never crashed and the electronic have been near flawless.

We've all been the unlucky one in life and bought things that failed. 99 Sony tv's can be perfect, but the 100th has multiple problems and now that guy hates anything sony.

The 2 things that have annoyed me the most about my Audis had nothing to do with electronics. The seat on my 13 prestige a6 would "rock" back and forth a little and drove me crazy. I just got my q5 in October and I had another seat issue. The seat was moving side to side on cornering and they had to replace the frame mechanism. Frustrating that 2 cars in the 60 grand range would have seat problems. But it's fixed now.

I'm just under 3k miles on my q5 and it might be my favorite Audi so far.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:36 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jperryrocks View Post
Not to get off track, but the hybrid q5 is a weird car. Very limited production and you pretty much have to buy one sight unseen and order it.

It's expensive and they make you buy the top line prestige in a 2.0. The fuel economy isn't that good at 31 mpg on the highway.

You can save $10,000 and buy a very nicely equipped 2.0 premium plus gas q5 for 42k. It gets 28 mpg on the highway. Buy a Garmin or use your iPhone for navigation. You can install an aftermarket back up camera. So you are not a slave to spending the most on tech options.

In my 5 Audis, the navigation has never crashed and the electronic have been near flawless.

We've all been the unlucky one in life and bought things that failed. 99 Sony tv's can be perfect, but the 100th has multiple problems and now that guy hates anything sony.

The 2 things that have annoyed me the most about my Audis had nothing to do with electronics. The seat on my 13 prestige a6 would "rock" back and forth a little and drove me crazy. I just got my q5 in October and I had another seat issue. The seat was moving side to side on cornering and they had to replace the frame mechanism. Frustrating that 2 cars in the 60 grand range would have seat problems. But it's fixed now.

I'm just under 3k miles on my q5 and it might be my favorite Audi so far.
I had the same seat problem in my 13 Q5 3.0T. Never had that issue in my previous Audis.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #18
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MP 4.2+6.0, I'm sorry you've had those problems with your Q5 Hybrid. I'm one of the very few other Hybrid owners (Audi is selling about 35 - 45 a month nationwide!), and I've had essentially no problems with the vehicle. We've got about 9K miles on it so far.

The dealer over-filled the oil at the 5K service, and I went back and had that taken care of (I've got a dipstick). I also changed the oil at 1500 miles myself, and since I've done a lot of vehicle maintenance myself in the past, I plan to do the same on this beast.

I'm hoping for a bit better mileage after some more engine break-in time and getting back to Summer gas. I'm also hopeful that the regenerative braking feature will postpone the first brake pad/rotor job for significantly longer than needed for the Q5 gas/diesel vehicles. My 2010 Prius is approaching 70K miles on the original pads/rotors, and I anticipate going > 100K miles before a brake job. That's something that doesn't get mentioned as a Hybrid cost savings.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:11 AM   #19
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Thanks.

I changed the brakes over to RS5 calipers and rotors up front already. When I pulled them and took some measurements, an extrapolation of the wear suggested I might got 35-40K on the stock ones max. That is basically the same as my 2000A6 4.2 and my 2006 W12.

But as I've noticed from the Audiworld MPG posts that have more data here and there, my average speeds over a tank seem a lot lower than many other posts I see where I can interpret that data. Even though I would say I live in the "suburbs" as many others do, I'm realizing definitions about that vary a lot. Where I live (SF Bay Area) is now rated as the second worst traffic in the country for a metro area (behind only LA). What that translates too are low average speeds--low 20 MPH average is my typical reading on the local fill ups)--but also a bunch of stop and go. Add that to the Euro driving in the first 2200 miles with three on board and a bunch of luggage, plus some Autobahn sustained spirited jaunts, and I figure my early brake use was probably on the heavy relative side. I do try to brake it to stay just in the regen. area, which is pretty do-able once the speed comes down some.

Besides maybe brakes, another "hidden" hybrid plus in my state (CA) is unlike straight gas but also diesel, it is exempt from smog checks apparently. NE states typically follow CA rules for emissions now, so it might be similar in other places too. Not just the roller test is waived like any quattro/permanent AWD, but the whole requirement itself. A pleasant surprise since I own most cars out past 4-6 years when the smog checks become every other year here.

On MPG's, I hear you. I can see as low as about 21MPG when the ave. MPH is in the low 20's and as high as 26 or 27 when it is in the low to mid 40's average MPH. For reference, true MPG's based on gallons pumped; my trip computer is averaging about 2-3% optimistic beyond those numbers over a dozen+ tanks where I have data. I have yet to do any full tank open road run at moderate speeds where I expect it would be better. Half tank readings over about 225 miles of open road driving corrected for the assumed trip error seem to extrapolate to the EPA highway rating.

But also having had several loaners now, I have both seen the cumulative MPG's on both a Q5 2.0T and on a Q5 TDI in the world in which I drive and gather my own comparables--no one ever seems to clear the trip computers, so each loaner so far has had the data since it was new. The 2.0T (presumably driven in the same geo area as me and with 2000 miles on the clock) was several MPG's less (3-4MPG) than my lower end MPG experience--both what it read when they gave it to me, and my own MPG experience with it. The Hybrid also has the "right now" torque delivery compared to a 2.0T when you get on it that almost is like a blown and turbo'ed motor combo, but I could still see the MPG delta pretty easily as I drove it.

The TDI (only 400 miles when I got it) was toward the high end of my Hybrid range from the display when I got it, but also showed a lot higher average speeds than my daily experience. The TDI seemed most in its MPG element on moderate highway cruise, contrasted w/ the Hybrid that seems to make up ground quietly in town and on suburban w/ some traffic. The TDI easily broke into the mid 30's as I cruised at freeway speeds on flat ground, while the Hybrid stays in the mid to upper 20's. Over my weekend with the TDI, I saw in the mid 23 ave. MPG range as the average computed speeds my wife and I can drive in town came down a lot. That data is uncorrected for any trip computer error, and the few datas point I have seen on the board suggest 5-10% with TDI's. Even at mid 23, corrected for the higher diesel price than premium in my area, the fuel cost per mile is similar from my quick test where I was using a Q5 Hybrid in my local driving environment (low 20's for ave. MPH). I would need more like a week with it, and more broken in, to get a better direct comparable data set and net out any computer error.

Hopefully no more free loaners will be needed soon though! Both the Q5 TDI and the 2.0T were good loaner experiences to gather a better perspective specific to the model toward the MPG side of the equation, each had interesting motor specific power and torque feel to contrast with mine.
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Current #1: '06 D3 A8L W12 brilliant black w/ amaretto; 4 seat setup, CPO; modestly lowered, H&R 20mm rear and 12mm front DRs with 275/35 on OEM polished + forged 20's; S8 sway bars (see: rear bar and gen'l D3 bar info and front bar); tweaked 385mm front factory brake mod and matching rear brake mod; matching C6 A6 back headrests (better rear view: headrest tweak); owner installed AMI retrofit with part number details here. [If you want pics in foregoing links, ask AW where they went...used all to work] Upper control arm reference (+ more info in replies) here. Lower cost D3 OES sway bar links here.
Current #2: 2013 Q5 2.0T hybrid; Scuba blue w/ chestnut sport interior; Euro delivery 7/2013 (pictured at Ingolstadt); RS5 front brakes
Prior (each modded): 2000 C5 A6 4.2 & '96 C4 A6 2.8Q, both still w/ family; '85 C3 5000S 5 sp FWD; '73 C1 100LS

helpful cross reference to a C6 post with MMI and other TSB's that also cover D3 A8's.


Last edited by MP4.2+6.0; 02-11-2014 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:42 AM   #20
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I'm sorry to hear for your problems but electronics is such.

Navigation and many other electronic parts not produced Audi, I know they are responsible for the quality, but believe it or not they are in general do not repair navigation, but is returned to the manufacturer (Harman/Becker)

And other manufacturers (BMW, MB...) have similar problems if not greater

I hope you will not have more problems
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Last edited by spijun; 02-11-2014 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:42 AM
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