I bought a 2013 GS 350 after agonizing between it and the A6. In fact, having previously owned two Audi’s, I thought my mind was made up. After too much research, I was still intent on the A6 even tho...
I bought a 2013 GS 350 after agonizing between it and the A6. In fact, having previously owned two Audi’s, I thought my mind was made up. After too much research, I was still intent on the A6 even though the GS 350 had risen on my radar. I recalled seeing the new 2013 GS at a car show and being blown away by the cockpit and that cool display, but that was about it. I still wanted the German feel and Audi engineering/design. When I finally drove a loaded A6 30T Prestige I was a bit underwhelmed. I can’t explain why – it was beautiful and had lots of grunt off the line. Maybe my expectations were too high. My mind verified all the good things that I had read in reviews. But I was left feeling empty – and at that price point, I wanted to feel more - in my heart.
Then I test drove the GS. It immediately wowed me in comparison. Again, I could not explain why, but it felt better… it spoke to my mind and heart. And oh, how that engine growl sang to me as the RPMs shot past 4,500 on the tach compared to the silence of the A6.
So this sent me back to my research – exhaustive research – trying to quantify the differences so I could make my purchase with confidence. It was tough since I had such brand loyalty to Audi... and had been looking forward to getting back into one now that my kids were old enough not to trash it with spilled milk and gummy bears. But I kept hesitating. In the end, and after test driving another A6 I went with the GS 350. The deciding factors were clear… it was fun to drive, had impeccable build quality, was luxurious and sporty (lux package, thank you) and had a reputation for industry-leading reliability. It was a few pennys cheaper too (in purchase price and cost of ownership)… And I figured that it would be a rather high mileage car when the time came to sell it, and would clearly be worth more than a high mileage German car thanks to that Lexus reliability.
Now that I have been driving it for a while, I can better quantify the differences over the A6 and why I love it so much. It is not the most powerful or luxurious. But it is perfectly balanced as a driving experience for me – and I suspect most drivers in the market for this class of car. Compared to the A6, it just feels better as a driver’s car, tight and hunkered down with more feedback… and being able to choose Sport + mode turns it into more of a speed-racer than this dad with a past could become bored of… stomp on the gas and the sound is visceral. I’m a driver’s driver, but I also live in the real world spending most of my time commuting. And I look forward to commuting with this car. The GS is my sanctuary and elicits passion, not just in the way it drives, but in the way it surrounds you in sport AND luxury. The seats are the best I’ve ever experienced and this is one reason the A6 left me feeling unloved. The A6 seats are flat and uninspired. The GS seats w/ the lux package hug me… literally. The leather and slightly retro/slightly futuristic cockpit in black with linear espresso wood makes me feel ensconced. And the big display is just wow… The A6 felt but sterile compared to this car. It lacked passion for me. So in the end, I am reluctant, surprised and totally satisfied GS 350 owner.