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I think one tough car buying bracket to be in is this mid-level luxury one that the Audi A6 finds itself in. On the one hand you have all the cars on the same stratus like the BMW 5 Series and Acura RL. You couldn't really go wrong with all three of them. Then you'd also have to think you could save a lot of money and still feel very well taken care of in the BMW 3 Series, Acura TL and Audi A4. Then you could probably get a new Pontiac Solstice for the weekends.

Let?s just say for arguments sake you have to spend the money on one of the same tier cars though. If you want the smoothest ride possible you go for the Acura RL. If you want even more authentic German handling and steering go for the BMW. If you want to be somewhere in the middle the A6 is just the ride. Me? I?m a conservative. I?d save a few grand and go with the Acura, which after a short test-drive I found plenty fast, great AWD and very plush inside. But the A6?s interior is definitely a cut above and I really think their MMI system is the best one going compared to iDrive and Acura?s, which I don?t think has a name, it?s just a big dial in the middle of the dash.

a6 mirrorThere are so many nice features here like the power folding side mirrors (a must for city parking), heated seats and steering wheel and amazing Bose stereo that add a lot of comfort and utility. But I think the strong looks of the car, especially in this color combination, are a major factor in swaying buyers. Some might hate it but it doesn?t leave anyone lukewarm. In person the A6 is a striking vehicle with a long hood and beefy stance. Very masculine, very German.

Basically the only thing I wasn?t thrilled with was the performance. The ride was just too rough for a car like this. Maybe if I was in an S6 it would be worth it. Handling and highway speeds were terrific and the car is maneuverable in any parking lot. But overall I was left wanting something more for the price tag. I think if I had tested the 3.2-liter at $10K less I wouldn?t have as high a standard. You at least get the looks and the entire ?Audi? package if not the extra 80 horsepower.

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