Audi manufactures near-luxury, and luxury vehicles. The A6 is their mid-size car. It has been a staple in their lineup for decades. The 2006 Audi A6 is one of the very best mid-size, luxury sedans available anywhere, at any price. It has superb handling, a very comfortable ride and plenty of power from the various engine options available. Both the overall vehicle fit and finish, and interior design and materials are top notch.
The cabin layout and materials set the standard by which all other luxury-automobile manufacturers judge their own products. And the other manufacturers have a hard time meeting, let alone beating, Audi interiors. In our opinion, this is the best overall product Audi has ever manufactured.
MSRP: $43,970 - $53,770
Invoice: $40,641 - $49,559
Class: Mid-Size Luxury Sedan
Tested Fuel Economy: 14.6 - 17 miles-per gallon using premium grade fuel
Audi has among the best exterior designs of any automaker building production vehicles. For us, they set the benchmark for design in the industry and they have been doing that for nearly a decade. This product, and all their others, are hip and elegant. The styling is understated, but also cutting edge. There are no superfluous lines, giving the vehicle a perfectly clean and stylish appearance. The timelessness of their designs adds value to their products. The A6 fits perfectly in the Audi lineup.
Audi continues to build the best interiors in the business. Pillars do not impinge on the driver's view, and thus visibility is excellent.
Talk about a quiet interior? Their "quiet" is exceptionally quiet. There is almost no wind noise, even on the highway. This makes long drives a pleasure. Even the base-model stereo system sounded fantastic in this cabin.
All the driver and passenger controls are nicely laid out, easy to use and reach. The interior color combinations are wonderful - lots of options to choose from - buttons, knobs, switches and materials are some of the best in the business. The A6 definitely feels luxurious.
The A6 has plenty of head- and leg-room for all passengers. Seats are solid and comfortable, and are not fatiguing on long trips. The rear seat has a 60/40 split, and folds down, though not flat. Audi maintains restraint when it comes to interior accoutrement like cup holders and cubby holes. There aren't many, but the ones available are well positioned and useful. We especially like the large map pockets in the doors.
Audi's system for controlling interior functions, such as the entertainment system and climate controls, is called the Multi Media Interface (MMI.) It is confusing, though not nearly as difficult to use as BMW's iDrive. Because MMI is not entirely intuitive, it is distracting, thus it remains, like iDrive, not as functional as old-fashioned knobs and buttons.
Many journalists also noted the lack of a slot for CDs in the dashboard, and the player is located in the glove compartment. This is not convenient for the driver. If you have a front-passenger to manage the CD player for you, that isn't an issue. But it will be if you like music, and are driving solo.
There are two engine options available. There is a 3.2 liter V6, and also a 4.2 liter V8 with 335-hp. The V8 is available with Quattro - Audi's all-wheel drive. The V8 has a lovely sound, something between a growl and a purr. Both engines offer very fast acceleration, though we noticed that the throttle was slower in first gear, when accelerating from a stand still.
A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Most Audi's are very comfortable and smooth on the highway. The A6 sedan is no different. We didn't notice any bouncing or float even when testing it on the undulating piece of highway in Camarillo, California.
The driver receives excellent feedback from the road making driving enjoyable. In particular the A6 is a blast on long drives and curving mountain roads, especially when un hindered by traffic. The 2006 Audi A6 balances ride comfort with handling.
Audi's Quattro (all-wheel drive) is among the best in the business. We always prefer the Audi's that have Quattro as it provides excellent handling regardless of the weather conditions, or the driving surface you are one. The cornering is excellent with very little body lean, providing excellent control for the driver. Braking is smooth and stops the vehicle quickly. Lots, and lots of fun!
The trunk is large, but a normal size for this segment. It is easy to use as it has few intrusions and a flat load floor. There are hooks to hold cargo bags for groceries, etc.
Acura RL, Acura TL, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G35, Infiniti M, Lexus ES 330, Lexus GS 350-450, Lincoln Zephyr, Mercedes-Benz CLS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class,
Standard Features and Safety
The A6 is sold as a sedan, or wagon (Avant,) and comes in two trim levels. You can choose either front wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Other standard features include: HID headlights, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, front and side-curtain airbags, ABS, antiskid, interior wood trim, MMI operating system.
The S-line package, available on the sedan, provides a sport suspension, 18" alloy wheels, performance tires, gray birch wood inlays, headlight washers, unique bummpers and grille. Other options include: adaptitive air suspension, adaptive cruise control, DBD-based navigation system, power liftgate (very useful,) rear parking sensors, rear torso-side airbags, voice-recognition system, steering-linked headlights, suspension adjustable for height and firmness.
Pros: Great acceleration. Interior materials and layout. Quattro. Passenger room. Cargo space.
Cons: Poor fuel economy. Be prepared to spend time learning the operating system for the climate and entertainment system controls (MMI.) Very expensive.