Pros Supercharger launches like a sling shot, great mileage when you're easy on the throttle around town, firm, precise handling, very adaptive transmission,Quattro. Upgrades available via most dealers under warranty can put this in supercar territory.
Cons German overengineered controls, sport pack should be standard suspension, so complex I couldn't even figure out the airfilter box for fear of breaking it. Seriously.
Summary I spent a Christmas with my in-law's 2003 Audi A8 and I was totally sold on the performance, so I took a leap on replacing my '99 GS 400 with the 2009 Audi A6 3.0T.
I had put 225k HARD and enjoyable miles on the Lexus and milked every bit of power out of the 300hp V8 while flooring it around the desert Southwest, so it was a hard act to follow. Given the 3.0T had all the power (on paper) and the potential to improve gas mileage, this looked like a great combo.
Well, the Audi has lived up to all that and then some. I got the "Pretige" package, which is essentially Audi's "loaded" package, but cosmetically wish I went with the stock 18's and suspension. No slouch in performance without the upgrade, this thing handles like every bit of its top line German pedigree. The speed alone isn't the thrill as much as the urgency at which the supercharger gets you there. This car will keep up or outrun almost anything on the road with the exception of newer AMG, M, and S versions of the Usual Suspects. I must suggest that you replace the stock air filter with a K&N or similar product to liberate the supercharger; it took it from surge to sling-shot.
The transmission is great fun; it has a moderately aggressive "auto" setting, you can slap it over to "Manual" and either use the paddles or the console shifter, or you can be drving along in auto, tug at the (-) paddle and the car immediate responds in manual mode until it feels you're done playing, and then it quietly slides back into auto mode and goes on like nothing happened.
While cruising at 85 mph, car still shows 29 mpg, and will get in the high 30s mpg when cruising at 75mph. The larger gas tank (21+ gallons) will get you about anywhere you need to on one tank of gas; it takes some getting used to that you can get drive a car that can surge past 100 in a hiccup and at the same time give you such good mileage you wonder if your gauge is working.
The trunk on this thing is cavernous; you can pack a family of four in here for a week long trip and be very comfortable in the back seat. Climate and entertainment features pretty easy to figure out, and sat nav very current.
I've put about 15K miles on it, and I have enjoyed every minute. I have opened it up in some remote places, and this car is rock solid smooth well into speeds that I don't want to post. It's great in bad weather, scooting around town, and has the coolest LED lights in the market. I highly recommend this car for anyone who is passionate about driving, and looking for a good all-around performer in the performance-luxury sedan segment.
Pros Most stylinsh interior of the Euro cars
Cons Hardly any of the features of the Euro model
Summary You fail to mention the interior ambient lighting in the door sills that set these cars apart, and the 8 color LCD MFD screen is a boon as it displays in crisp hi-res detail any warning messages and navigation info without looking sideways at the main screen. TTS is not really necessary and useless anyway since most people don't have eagle eye vision to read the names of upcoming street signs to confirm it with the nav voice. Simple turn left-turn right is sufficient.
But what is irksome is that the missing features you nag about are available in Europe, just not on the US model which is leaves true Audi enthusiats scratchint their heads at how IMCOMPETENT the management at Audi America is. Text to speech(available with nav hacked DVD for US model), TMC traffic(which has been available and was started in Europe over 10 yrs ago), along with other features like TV tuner for the nav system have been available on the Euro models since 10 yrs ago. Add to that the new 3G MMI which uses Nvidia GPU to display 3D graphics will be available soon if Audi get's their head out of their butt and gives it to the US market quicker.
In a sense most of your complaints only pertain to the US model Audis. The Euro models get the goodies we don't, like better ecode headlights and such as well.