A nice Sunday drive

I’m hesitant to call this Apple Picking Sundae as Sheena calls it, since I picked no Apples and didn’t have a Sundae (though Cold Stone Creamery is pretty close) … anyway, it was a spectacular weather day for a beautiful drive around Massachusetts, with ten MINIs and a convertible Mercedes as well as me in my Q5!
As always, Sheena’s drive takes us along great curvy roads (which I’m happy to say my Audi performed reasonably well compared with the MINIs I was following, and better than the Mercedes behind), with hints of Fall foliage colors in addition to the colors of the MINIs ๐Ÿ™‚

I took lots of pictures,ย of course!

(Previous years drives: 2006 (Rain), 2007 (Great weather), 2008 (Cool) – I missed 2009 …

The popular Q5

It’s not just me that’s enjoying the Audi Q5 …
… The August 2010 results were buoyed by the continued extraordinary consumer response by year-over-year sales increases for the Audi Q5 crossover and Audi Q7. For the month, Audi sold 2,675 Q5 vehicles, a 78.8% increase over the 1,496 vehicles sold in August 2009. The Q5 line also enjoyed more than a 25% August 2010 sales jump over July 2010 …
(from autotalk)

Considering the Q5 is priced from about $40,000, these sales compare pretty well with MINI USA 4,425 total of all their vehicles for August – another reason for the Countryman development, no doubt!

Service (not) due

File this under “Audi dealership hopeless, compared with MINI” …

My Q5 last week told me that I needed an oil change, as I had reached 10K miles:

So I called Audi; they said that service is not due till 15K – because they do a first “free” service at 5K. They didn’t explain whether the Audi asks for a service at 10K, or whether it asks 10K after the previous service and they just didn’t bother resetting the interval at the 5K visit.

I asked them what to do about my car asking for service; they suggested that I ignore it – for the next 5,000 miles! They said that resetting the interval “takes at least an hour” and they clearly weren’t at all interested in doing it.
I suggested that ignoring a “service due” alert for 5,000 miles was a very poor quality way to make a car – apparently they (IRA Audi) didn’t much care. I also pointed out “what if some other issue comes up that requires service, given that you told me to ignore the warning”. Once again, they didn’t care.

So, I emailed Audi USA who, to their credit, called me within half an hour and were apologetic – but still didn’t explain whether the issue is with the car or with the dealership. Anyway they said to take it to the dealership to reset, and I told them how un-popular that seemed to be, and that IRA Audi claimed it would take a long time.

Today, I got a call from IRA Audi; they said to bring the car in so they can reset the service interval – it won’t take long, maybe 20 minutes … hmmm.

If this was a MINI, I know that MINI of Peabody would have encouraged me to bring it in either to service if it needed it, or to correct the wrong interval. I know also that BMW of Peabody would behave the same – since exactly that happened with Margaret’s BMW, and they sorted it.
I know also that I would have got a friendly and helpful explanation if the car was reporting the wrong service interval – I would not have been told to “just ignore it”!

I really like my Q5, but I continue to be amazed just how poor IRA Audi can be ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Another Audi

My Q5 went back to IRA Audi today for them to (finally / successfully) fix the keyless entry; this time I got an A4 to drive for the day – thankfully, only about 25 miles in it, as it was nowhere near as nice to drive as the Q5!
The A4 felt cramped, with a much lower roof; and under-powered, with the 2.0T being very sluggish – though once or twice the turbo kicked in unexpectedly to accelerate after I’d got used to not! That’s even worse, I think.


The same, but different

My Q5 is in for service currently, to get the keyless entry system working again, addressing a couple of service bulletins, and hopefully eliminating a rattle from the back of the car, and so I’m driving … a Q5! But this Q5 is not the “prestige” spec, so doesn’t have the B&O sound system, or navigation – and it does show in the interior with lower quality displays and poorer sound (though really that’s a good thing; it’s nice to know I got something for the extra money I paid!)

All the stereo / display controls are crammed together above the heating controls, leaving a lot of empty space around the shifter – compare my Q5 picture (left) with the rental:

The main display, in the center of the car, is smaller – and updates noticeably slower when for example scrolling through the Sirius radio channels; more noticeable still is the small display between the dials, with this rental Q5 having a single red color display with much bigger pixels (or less aliasing); it just looks lower quality!

Other differences include the speed-volume compensation (which is apparently randomly too loud in this rental Q5) and, strangely, much lighter steering – I definitely prefer my Q5 ๐Ÿ™‚

Q5 recall

My first Audi Q5 recall (and with luck, the only one) … apparently I might get hurt by a piece of plastic if I crash the car – there’s a revelation!

Not a very big concern (certainly not like the Toyota recall!) – but maybe Audi can fix my “Audi advanced key”, since in the cold weather it no longer senses me and unlocks the car … I have to go through the awful drudgery of pressing a button on the remote! ๐Ÿ˜‰