Autoblog's Audi High Mileage Marathon Blogs Ends With A Whimper

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
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autoblog s audi high mileage marathon blogs ends with a whimper

It’s nice to know someone reads TTAC. I started this website with zero readers. As in none. On Monday, our new site design was vindicated by a huge jump in traffic: 39,791 unique visitors and 164,285 page views. Of course, we’re still small fry in the Autoblog scheme of things. But we’re on our way. Meanwhile, I like to soothe myself to sleep by dwelling on the entirely subjective idea that this website’s more about quality than quantity. And I’m proud to include Sam Abuelsamid amongst our Best and Brightest. I mean, how else could you explain Sam’s last entry in his high-mileage Audi Q7 TDI junket chronicle, which dwells on, and concludes with, a “don’t try this at home” mea culpa? Regular readers will know that TTAC took him to task on his boastful hypermiling. Specifically, drafting eighteen wheelers. It looks like Audi had a word with our boy. “Audi officials specifically warned us at the start that this event was not about hyper-miling, but when you put several dozen journalists in cars and ask them to see who can get the best mileage … well let’s just say they are a competitive bunch.” Testosterone, eh? And then the backpedaling really begins…

“One of the most controversial techniques associated with hyper-miling is drafting. Getting in behind a large truck letting it take care of moving the air out of the way, can certainly help reduce the loads on the powertrain, especially for a vehicle as large as the Q7. Unfortunately getting very close behind a truck is also dangerous. First there is the issue of visibility or lack thereof. If anything happens up ahead you can’t see it until it’s too late. You are also far more susceptible to damage from rocks thrown up or separating re-tread tires. Following this closely also requires extreme vigilance on the part of the driver. Doing this for any length of time is mentally draining, leading to fatigue and further safety concerns.”

And then Sam backpedals on the backpedaling. “With the Q7 we found another method that actually works almost as well and is far safer. The Q7 TDI is equipped with adaptive cruise control. This system uses a radar sensor behind the grille that monitors the distance from the vehicle ahead… The following distance is adjustable and it turns out that lowering the distance to the minimum still maintains a safe [ED: unspecified] space to the vehicle ahead.” And in conclusion… “The most important aspect however is safety. If you don’t get where you are going in one piece, it really doesn’t matter how little fuel you used.” Awww. Hey Sam, thanks for listening!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Seabrjim Seabrjim on Oct 15, 2008

    This whole Audi mileage blog was an abortion from the get go. Good riddance.

  • R_cardona68 R_cardona68 on Nov 09, 2008

    In my view, this aspect of Audi achieving higher MPGs is contradictory to the Audi philosophy of nice looking designs but with poorly engineered vehicles that require frequent and expensive maintenance. Is VW dragging Audi down or is Audi doing this all to itself: timing belts, oil sludge, instrument electronics, low gas mileage, poor reliability, etc is more than ample evidence. Add worse than mediocre customer support and you may have all the info you need to stay away from Audi products unless you want to get to know Audi's technicians by their first names. Not worth the money and not wise to buy expensive cars that do not work. My Audi experience has been largely negative even though my car is an eye catcher and I would gladly post my receipts but there not enough room for all that paper work.

  • 285exp If the conversion to EVs was really so vital to solve an existential climate change crisis, it wouldn’t matter whether they were built by US union workers or where the batteries and battery materials came from.
  • El scotto Another EBPosky, "EVs are Stoopid, prove to me water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius" article.It was never explained if the rural schools own the buses or if the school bus routes are contracted out. If the bus routes are contracted out, will Carpenter or Bluebird offer an electric school bus? Flexmatt never stated the range of brand-unspecified school bus. Will the min-mart be open at the end of the 179-mile drive? No cell coverage? Why doesn't the bus driver have an emergency sat phone?Two more problems Mr. Musk could solve.
  • RICK Long time Cadillac admirer with 89 Fleetwood Brougham deElegance and 93 Brougham, always liked Eldorado until downsized after 76. Those were the days. Sad to see what now wears Cadillac name.
  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.