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Ss + xv = a6?

1595 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  brianch
A few of my friends are asking... why did you buy a 2014 Chevrolet SS!

I drove a 2003 Audi Allroad until the spring of 2012. I liked almost everything about the Audi. The Allroad (station wagon) layout works well for my situation combining the comfort of a sedan with the cargo carrying capacity of a small SUV. All-wheel-drive is a nice feature during our snowy Minnesota winters. I especially like that we could load up all three kids to go skiing one day and comfortably ferry business visitors around Minneapolis the next.

But... The Audi was not an inexpensive vehicle. In the ten years I owned the Allroad I replaced the Left front drive shaft twice and the right once. The constant velocity joints in the Quattro drive train are a reliability issue and very expensive to fix. The 2.7 twin turbo V-6 blew a head gasket at 65,000 miles ($$$) and I had to replace all four of the air ride suspension blatters twice. The Allroad is a vehicle that is not up to the rigors of a Minnesota winter and one you do not want to own outside of the new car warranty. I don't honestly think any performance sedan is up to the task (including the SS) but buying an allroad expecting it to be different was a mistake. Despite a highway rating of 20mpg; I never averaged better than 15 mpg with the Allroad.

I went back to the Audi dealership shopping for a new four door sedan. Audi brought back the Allroad in 2013 (without the adjustable Air ride suspension) available only with their turbo four cylinder engine. I also drove a nicely loaded A6 with the 3.0 V6. The 2014 Allroad is priced at about $56,000. A really nice A6 is going to have an MSRP of nearly $68,000.

I left the Audi dealer feeling that even though I like their vehicles I could not bring myself to buy another Audi. Their pricing got me thinking about buying two cars instead of one (a rich guy's version of the tried-and-true "winter beater" approach). I spent the the summer of 2012 looking at small SUV's and purchased a 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrex in late 2012. A nicely equipped Crosstrex goes for a little under $24,000. The Crosstrex has a very basic interior and feels a little "tinny" going down the road but is very sure-footed in the snow and fun to drive. We averaged 31 MPG on a 1,200 mile trip to the Dakotas last summer.

The Crosstrex stands in nicely for the Allroad in winter but comes up far short in summer performance and comfort. I "reserved" an SS in October and took delivery on December 2, 2013. I think the SS will do everything the A6 will do on (warm) dry roads and the combined $71,000 price tag with the Subaru is "only" $3000 more than the A6. I'm guessing (but not completely sure) the Subaru will be more robust than the Audi but at 1/3 the price it will not "hurt" as much if it is not. I know the SS will be just as much fun to drive in the summer as an Audi and "drifting" around the nearly abandoned streets of Minneapolis the other night in the all-wheel-drive Subaru was more fun than I ever had in the Allroad.

A few caveats...

I have come to the conclusion there is no car built capable of "elegantly" withstanding 10 years of Minnesota's combination of below zero temps, ice encrusted streets, and road salt. You guys in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Southern California have no idea how good you have it. There is a good reason why there are so many pickup trucks on the roads during the winters around here.

The Audi has a few really nice features that the SS lacks.
  • I like the Audi Navigation system better than the Chevrolet MyLink.
  • The A6 is available with adaptive cruise control (a feature I find intriguing).
  • The interior of the Audi is more "refined" and comfortable.

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A few of my friends are asking... why did you buy a 2014 Chevrolet SS!

...You guys in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Southern California have no idea how good you have it...

Yes, we do.

I went to Cleavland Ohio on Dec 6th one year to talk to a guy about buying my race car at the end of the season. When I came out of the airport, I thought I was on another planet(Hoth, comes to mind). I wouldn't live there. And, if I did, not without an All Wheel Drive car and a 4WD Chevy pickup.
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