WITH its sights set on becoming number one by 2018, German luxury automaker Audi is ending 2012 on a high note having emerged as the best-performing European brand in the recent US-based Consumer Reports survey. Audi owners gave the thumbs up to six of seven Audis in the survey; rating the vehicles as average or better when it comes to reliability.
According to Consumer Reports, Audi had its best showing ever, moving up 18 spots to eighth place, making it easily the most reliable European make, and the top non-Japanese brand. Glitch-free new models like the Audi A7 got high marks from Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing.
"They're 'out-BMWing' BMW easily, in terms of driving dynamics," he said.
Reliability predictions play a key role in the decision to recommend a model or not, along with road-test results and independent safety tests. These findings from the 2012 Annual Auto Survey are based on subscribers' experiences with 1.2 million vehicles.
Consumer Reports highlights the Audi A6 as its top-rated luxury sedan; giving it a 93 per cent Road Test Score. It's quick, thanks to the smooth and refined 3.0 litre supercharged V6, which returned a respectable 22 mpg overall in our tests. The eight-speed automatic is super-smooth. A 2.0 litre, turbo-charged four cylinder and the eight-speed are available with AWD; FWD versions get a CVT. The A6 rides comfortably, and handling is agile and secure. The cabin is very quiet, and the seats and interior quality are top-notch.
In highlighting the Audi Q5 as a "recommended" vehicle, the CR team described it as stylish and sporty; one of the better compact luxury SUVs. The cabin is plush and quiet, with very comfortable seats. The Q5 is almost as much fun to drive as a sports sedan, and the ride is steady and composed if rather firm. The Consumer Reports team gave the "recommended" nod to five Audi models including the A3, A4, A5, A6, and Q5.
Audi brand manager at ATL Automotive, Anthony Desnoes says the company is elated by Audi's achievements in 2012.
"This latest accolade deepens our confidence that we made a great decision in believing in the progressiveness of this brand. Unit sales for Audi this year have increased tremendously worldwide and Jamaica has made a huge contribution to that by being the fastest-growing market in the region and also having the number one premium-selling vehicle in the country this year; which is the Audi Q5 SUV," he said.