More and more, when given a choice my preference is to get into an Audi. They've quickly become my new standard of measure for modern European cars. Audi hit the mark again with the newest A6. In whatever trim, the car comes handsomely equipped and stunningly beautiful. It's a huge improvement over the previous model. The body features are robust from any angle and give it a class-leading persona.
This is also one of those rare vehicles wherein the view from the inside is more visually stimulating than out. Considering the way it looks on the outside, this says a lot. Everything in the interior feels just right: solid, functional, not too complicated nor minimalist. There's just the right amount of chrome, leather and wood without being too gaudy or arty. The interior is definitely my favorite area.
On the road, handling and performance are predictable and well suited for a car in this segment. There's a solid steering feel with plenty of resistance and the car stays well planted in all situations. Obviously I prefer the 4.2-liter V8, but the 3.2 FSI V6 is quite responsive for its size and adequately propels the A6 for my everyday needs. All I can wish for is a manual transmission option.
There are some odd quirks that I found, minor details not necessarily found just in the A6. Audi's braking modulation is not so transparent when coming to an ultra-smooth stop. There's also a pretty noticeable two-to-one downshift when using the sport setting on the shifter as you come to a stop. For the most part, these are just refinement issues or simple mechanical limitations.
In a nutshell, this car has the right balance of everything and maintains a bold new appeal. Like I said, this is my choice of car for this market segment.
2005 Audi A6 3.2 Quattro AT6
Price as tested: $45,370
Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
3.2-liter V6, four overhead cams, four valves per cylinder
Peak Power: 255 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Peak Torque: 243 lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)
Fuel Economy: 19 city/ 26 highway
From the Hip
+ Beautiful interior wood trim
- Not necessarily my color