2011 A6 New Car Test Drive
The Audi A6 is a comfortable, stylish luxury sedan that delivers dynamic excellence. The A6 is packed with technology that enhances convenience and safety. Attention to detail inside and out is impressive; Audi is often a benchmark for automotive interior quality.
The A6 cabin is airy and comfortable, with firm, supportive seats and plenty of room for four. Its styling is a crisp, clean and modern interpretation of the aerodynamic sedan Audi debuted more than 30 years ago.
Underway, the A6 boasts precise steering, fluid engines and transmissions, stout brakes and a firm but comfortable ride. In high-speed corners the quattro models feel like they're on rails, a benefit of Audi's superb all-wheel-drive system. Braking and handling are excellent, whether on dry pavement or hurtling through a torrent of rain.
The A6 is available as a sedan or a wagon and both are among the sleekest designs in the class. The wagon is called the Avant, and it's a sporty vehicle, powered exclusively by Audi's newest 3-liter supercharged V6 engine.
The sedan offers two V6s, a V8 and a V10. All A6s except the entry model come with quattro all-wheel drive.
The standard 3.2-liter V6 is all-new for 2010, with more horsepower (265 hp, an increase of 10 over 2009) and better fuel economy than before. Backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission, the new 3.2-liter V6 delivers sufficient performance for any purpose. The supercharged 3-liter brings 300 hp and nearly as much torque as the V8, for similar performance on less fuel. The V10-powered S6 is for serious drivers who don't mind trading comfort for high performance.
Also new for 2010 are revised Sport packages and a third generation of MMI, Audi's Multi-Media Interface. These changes follow 2009's updates to bumpers and lighting and refinements to the suspension and all-wheel driveline.
The A6 competes primarily against the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Other contenders include the Acura RL, Cadillac CTS, Jaguar XF, and Lexus GS.
The 2010 Audi A6 lineup includes sedan and Avant wagon body styles, four engines, and three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.
The A6 3.2 Premium sedan ($45,200) is the entry-level A6. It's powered by the 265-hp 3.2-liter V6 and comes with front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission with seven preset gear ratios for manual control. That adds up to an EPA city/highway rating of 18/28 mpg.
A6 3.0T quattro Premium sedan ($50,200) and Avant ($53,310) are powered by a 300-hp supercharged V6, EPA-rated 18/26 mpg. The A6 4.2 quattro Premium sedan ($60,950) packs a 350-hp V8 rated 16/23 mpg. A6 3.0T and 4.2 models come with a six-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.
Base-level Premium trim includes Valcona leather upholstery; genuine walnut panels; moonroof; dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter; power windows, locks and heated mirrors; eight-way power front seats with driver's power lumbar; 60/40 split-folding rear seat; tilt/telescoping column with leather-wrapped, multi-function steering wheel; cruise control; trip computer; theft deterrent system; AM/FM/6CD/MP3 with 10 speakers; Sirius satellite radio; Bluetooth; iPod interface; rain-sensing variable-intermittent wipers; automatic headlights; headlight washers; front and rear fog lights; and 17-inch alloy wheels. The Avant also gets roof rails, cargo cover, cargo retention system, rear spoiler and rear wash/wipe. Options on Premium-grade cars include a cold weather package ($450-$650) with heated front and rear seats and steering wheel.
The Sport package ($1,000) features a stiffer suspension, three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles, and 18-inch road wheels with all-season tires.
Premium Plus ($1,320-$1,700) upgrades with 18-inch wheels, aluminum door sills, auto-dimming mirrors (with a compass in the inside mirror), driver memory system, self-leveling bi-Xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights, CD/DVD player, a color display for the trip computer, and voice-recognition navigation with 3G MMI. Options are the same as for the Premium level, except that the Sport package can be ordered with 18-inch ($1,000) or 19-inch ($1,500) wheels.
Prestige trim is standard on the A6 4.2 and optional ($4,850) on the 3.0T sedan and Avant. Prestige includes all Premium Plus features and adds 18-inch wheels, four-spoke multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles, adaptive headlights with cornering lights, Advanced Key starting, power-adjustable steering column, rearview camera, and Bose surround-sound. Only Prestige buyers can add the Audi Side Assist warning system ($500), but otherwise options are similar to the Premium and Premium Plus levels.
The S6 sedan ($76,100) features a 435-hp V10 engine (EPA 14/19), bigger brakes, sports suspension, 19-inch wheels and high-performance tires, S-line bodywork trim, quad tailpipes, gray birch wood, specific three-spoke steering wheel and Silk Nappa leather sport seats with integrated headrests, rear spoiler, and is generally equipped to Prestige specification. The S4 shares the Prestige option list as well, plus carbon fiber trim inlays ($400). Additionally, you may specify standard seats in Milano leather and 18-inch wheels with summer tires for areas of iffy infrastructure, with no charge for either. Safety features include traction control, electronic stability program, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. Passive safety features include two-stage frontal airbags, side-impact front airbags to protect the torso, head-protecting curtain side airbags to protect the head for front and rear outboard passengers; and active front head restraints. Rear side airbags are optional ($350) on all versions and a rearview camera comes with navigation. All except the 3.2 models come with all-wheel drive for added traction under power.