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Road Test: Audi A6 3.0T quattro

by Ali Arsham
Wednesday, February 01, 2012

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Audi A6 3.0T quattro
If you are shopping around for a luxury sport sedan, you have a few choices but perhaps none that is better than the Audi A6.  Audi has redesigned the A6 range and while the look remains the same, almost everything is improved.

The exterior design of the A6 has always been very clean and muscular.  While some of the other German companies have resorted to strange shapes and designs, Audi’s styling has remained more traditional yet modern and clean.

The sedan is 193 inches long and 74 inches wide, but just 57.8 inches tall, the sportiest proportions in its class according to Audi. The long hood, the low, taut roofline and the distinctive lines on the flanks create a dynamic overall impression. Thanks to Audi’s new composite construction concept, the body is extremely lightweight, rigid and safe.  The numerous aluminum components and the high-tech steels reduce its weight by about 100 pounds compared to its predecessor.  Audi claims that 20% of the A6 is made of Aluminum which is amazing for a mass market car in this price range.

Dash
Get inside the A6 and you will not want to leave.  Audis have become known for their terrific interiors and the A6 will prove that point once again.  Many people may not understand when we talk about interior quality until you sit inside an A6.  Then suddenly your pseudo luxury car looks like a cheap imitation Rolex that you bought at a flea market.  Every interior detail documents the care with which Audi builds cars.  All materials, including “Beaufort oak,” an innovative layered wood veneer, are carefully selected and processed. 

The front seats are available with optional ventilation and massage functions and the leather feels soft and so comfortable.  The seats actually provide just the right amount of support and comfort.  Even the ambient lighting accents the interior with tiny highlights and is just beautiful.  A huge 7 inch Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI) screen pops out of the dash awaiting your command upon start up.  Some of the controls of the MMI are controlled by a touch pad that is similar to touch pads used on laptops. 

If you want preset number 6 on the radio for example, you can just draw a 6 with your finger and the system recognizes that.  It is brilliant.  The system does not stop there.  It also interfaces with Google Earth to show you an address of where you are going to.  It can even create a local Wi-Fi hot spot for your passengers.

Under the hood, the A6 comes with a choice of two engines for now.  The entry level A6 2.0T comes with a 211 hp 2.0 liter four cylinder turbocharged engine.  A four cylinder engine is rare in this size of car but Audi hopes to bring the weight and price down to create a more affordable A6 as well as improve fuel economy.  The front wheel drive A6 2.0T can run to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph while getting 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. 

Rear View
The A6 3.0T model is a much hotter car.  It comes with a supercharged 3.0 liter V6 that cranks out a solid 310 hp.  The 3.0T can make the run to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.3 seconds but is still limited to a top speed of 130 mph.  The downside is that fuel economy suffers and you will get about 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. 

The V6 engine is a monster and provides tons of power whenever you demand it without a moment’s hesitation.  The high tech direct injected engine is so smooth and quiet that you would never know it is such a beast when you floor the gas pedal.  The 8 speed automatic transmission is also a state of the art transmission and is one of the best automatics in use today with smooth and crisp shifts. 

All of these features and luxury do not come cheap but Audi has tried to keep things manageable.  The 2.0T model starts out at $41,700.  Our 3.0T started out at $49,900 and with a few options, the biggest of which was the $4200 Premium Plus package, our car’s total came to $57,470.  The Premium Plus package includes a lot of nice items such as 18 inch wheels, navigation, Xenon headlights, front and rear parking sensors and the 7 inch color screen.

The good life is never cheap.  Good stuff costs money but in the case of the A6 it is actually pretty reasonable when you compare it to the competition.  Audi gives you a lot of car for the money and it is a solid car that can put a smile on your face for a very long time.

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