This thread was an epic read. Glad to hear that your car is doing well after all the work you put into it. Just curious, but how would you compare the Audi to the MB? I used to have an 99 Audi 1.8t until last summer when it was totaled. I miss the manual and all wheel drive of the Audi. However, it doesn’t compare to the power (220hp) and space in the E320.
Thanks for reading along! The comparison makes me kind of uncomfortable after all of the leadup to getting the MB back on the road, to be honest. On one hand, I think that the W124 is one of the top 5 most beautiful car designs there has ever been. It is just perfectly proportioned and looks so dang good. When I sat back in it for that first test drive, it felt just like putting on an old pair of gloves made just for me. The seat hugs my back, the armrests sit at the exact locations and heights that my arms want to sit at. It goes down the road feeling smooth and agile at the same time. One thing I had forgotten that immediately came back (after I changed the front struts and all the brakes) was how "tossible" the Mercedes is. It's so predictable in corners and I can just slam it around with complete confidence in how it is going to react. I love the visibility inside the interior. This car has never needed any reverse cameras or fancy gadgets because it is so easy to see around and back into parking spots all on its own. I also love that when I want the vents to blow some air at me, they will do it with a gust like no other car I have ever been in. I love the simple controls, the air actuated door locks, the simple two stalk design on the left side of the steering wheel and the roushing sound it makes when you step on the gas. I like that you have to use a key in the door to unlock it and use a key in the ignition to start it. With all of that said, onto the Audi.
My Audi A6 is the C6 platform with the 3.0T (supercharged) and Quattro. It is a Prestige model that came with almost every option available except for lane assist (shakes the wheel when you wander out of your lane) and adaptive cruise control. I bought it from a local gentlemen that drove it (mostly by himself) for 200 miles a day. There was not a single scratch on the leather steering wheel, the shift knob or any of the buttons or controls in the car. Nobody had ever sat in the back seat and I think it was rare that anyone was in the passenger seat. Every bit of work was done at the dealer for all of the 200K miles that were on it. Also, the entire body is aluminum which means there is zero rust. The car is very comfortable, is great to take trips in with the kids in the back, is unstoppable in the snow and pretty fun to drive. It felt like a rocket when I first got it. Dual climate control in the front and another zone in the back, heated steering wheel and heated seats for everybody. Keyless entry, push to start, paddle shifters, etc. I think what has me caught up the most in this comparison though is that the Audi is fast. Granted it is not some 500 HP V8 or anything but there is simply no comparison in acceleration between the Audi and the Mercedes. It is night and day. Unfortunately, I have gotten very used to how fast it is over the last two years, and it makes for a hard transition back to the Mercedes. The Audi is not "tossible" though. In fact, I think taking turns too fast is the Quattro feels pretty unpredictable. It understeers like a front wheel drive car and that drives me nuts.
I am at a crossroads for sure. My next project on the Mercedes would be to completely replace the rear suspension and subframe components, not an easy job, and it will cost me about $500 in parts. Then, it needs a dealer alignment for another $200. After that is addressed, the AC system went soft the last couple years it was on the road which will require troubleshooting where the leak is, fixing it and then having a shop evacuate the system and recharge it. At that point, the car will be nearly perfect, mechanically. Then, there's the body. There are multiple bubbled paint spots now, the clearcoat issues and a couple of pretty rusty spots around the moonroof. The wheelwells and underbody is in good shape as are the door jambs, but the body panels need some attention. For now, I'm just rolling with it all and we'll see what happens.