2006 A6 New Car Test Drive
The Audi A6 continues the firm's legacy of dynamic excellence and exceptional comfort. The A6 is packed with technology, enhancing convenience and driving dynamics. The attention to detail inside and out is impressive.
Most vehicles are redesigned every five years or so and this latest-generation A6 was launched as a 2005 model. It's larger and roomier than the previous-generation version, and features dramatically changed styling. If you believe the best time to buy a new car is in its second year of production, then the time to buy the A6 is now. The newest generation of vehicles typically have the latest in safety features and engineering, and some studies suggest quality is higher in the second year of production because the bugs have been worked out.
For 2006, the A6 lineup has been filled out to include an Avant, or wagon, as well as a new front-wheel-drive model.
There is much to love about the A6. Its cabin is airy and comfortable, with firm, supportive seats. Its styling is crisp, clean and modern, though the front is dominated by a massive grille that's somewhat controversial. There's nothing controversial about the driving experience, however. Underway, the A6 boasts sharp, precise steering, and a firm ride. In high-speed corners the quattro models feel like they're on rails, one of the benefits of Audi's superb all-wheel-drive system. Braking and handling are excellent, whether on dry pavement or when hurdling through a torrent of rain.
V6 and V8 versions of the A6 are available. The well-equipped V6 model delivers brisk acceleration performance, while the V8 qualifies the A6 as a high-performance sports sedan. Either way, the Audi A6 deserves consideration by anyone shopping for a luxurious sports sedan in its price range.
The 2006 Audi A6 line includes the 3.2 quattro ($43,970) and 4.2 quattro ($53,770) sedans, and the new Avant 3.2 quattro ($46,870). Also new for 2006 is a 3.2 FrontTrak sedan, which uses front-wheel drive and a CVT automatic.
The 3.2-liter V6 delivers 255 horsepower, while the 4.2-liter V8 generates 335 horsepower. The quattro models feature Audi's all-wheel drive and come with six-speed automatic transmissions. The Avant is a wagon.
The A6 3.2 comes loaded with standard features. Among them: leather upholstery; wood trim; dual-zone automatic air conditioning with pollen filters; AM/FM/6CD with 10 speakers; 12-way power driver's seat with four-way adjustable power lumbar support; split-folding rear seats; tilt/telescoping steering column; leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel; leather-wrapped shift knob; theft deterrent system. It comes with 16-inch alloy wheels.
Options for the 3.2 include premium leather upholstery ($1,000); power opening and closing rear tailgate ($450); manual rear and side window sunshades ($250); 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires ($900); rear side airbags ($350); a DVD-based navigation system ($1,800); Sirius or XM satellite radio ($550); a leather-segmented steering wheel with shift paddles ($690). Also available by ordering: a heated steering wheel ($200), adaptive air suspension ($2,300), and adaptive cruise control ($2,100).
The S-Line Package ($2,950) includes a sports suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, gray birch wood trim, S-Line badges, S-Line front and rear bumpers, and headlight washers. Solar sunroof panels are available for 4.2 models ($600). A Premium Package ($2,500) for 3.2 models includes bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive headlamps, a Bose premium sound system, auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, auto-dimming and electrically folding exterior mirrors, memory for the driver's seat and mirror adjustments, Homelink, and a storage package. The Technology Package ($3,800) includes voice recognition, Advanced Key, rear Parktronic, DVD navigation, and satellite radio. A Cold Weather Package ($400) offers heated rear seats and a ski sack. The 3.2 sedan also offers front sport seats ($500).
The 4.2 quattro comes standard with the premium leather, 17-inch wheels, high-intensity headlamps, power sunroof, upgraded mirrors and upgraded audio. The 4.2 offers similar options to those for the 3.2.
Active safety features that come standard include an electronic stability program, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. Passive safety features include two-stage frontal airbags, side-impact airbags to protect the torso, head airbags to protect the head in a side impact, and active front head airbags to help protect occupants from a collision from behind. A tire-pressure monitor comes standard to alert the driver to a soft tire.