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Auto Corner: Audi A6 - Reinventing the Balance of Sport, Luxury and Practicality

20 April 2013  
Audi’s A6 sedan is a fusion of luxury and high-tech German sports car. It starts at just $42,200
Audi's A6 sedan remains a leader in its class.

It's a tough job, driving all the new $50,000 to $70,000 sport-luxury sedans every year. For years now, Audi's A6 has been growing on me. The Audi costs less and is in many ways better than its competitors. This year's A6 is no exception. If you're searching for a luxurious sport sedan, then you simply must give the A6 a test drive.

New for 2013, Audi is offering a turbocharged four-cylinder version of the A6, the 2.0T, which starts at "just" $42,200 and earns 30 miles per gallon on the highway. That base price is significantly less than the BMW's 5 series. It's even less than the starting price on the Lexus GS350.

Having driven all these cars, year after year, I personally prefer the Audi A6 over any of its competitors. Even if Audi raised the price, it would still choose the A6 as my own daily driver. Ironically though, it costs less.

With the new turbo-four engine available, A6 buyers can now choose from three engines: the gas-friendly four-cylinder, the best-selling 310-horsepower six-cylinder (my personal favorite), or the monstrous 420-horsepower V-8 in the high performance S6 (my favorite if I owned an oil well). In any variant, the A6 challenges its competitors—and sometimes embarrasses them.

Car and Driver recently named the high performance version, the S6, its winner in a head-to-head comparison with the formidable BMW M5 and Mercedes E63 AMG. The same excellence in engineering trickles down from the high-end A6 to the "base" four-cylinder A6.

With years of experience driving the vehicles in this segment, let me explain what sets the Audi A6 apart for me: interior quality, handling competence, financial value, and unique exclusivity.

Inside, Audi offers a robust, comfortable and luxurious interior that is simply unrivaled. Sometimes it's easier to document every detail of a car's interior than it is to describe the feelings that the car's cockpit gives the driver. The A6 simply makes you feel confident and in control. You're aware that the latest technology is available at your fingertips, but none of it distracts you from the joy of driving.

I've always enjoyed Audi's fine touches when it comes to various interior "touch" components. The new A6 is no exception. It boasts components that feel significantly pricier than the A6's $42,200 base price.

Audi drivers also feel confident because Audi's brake and turn with such poise. Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system deserves the credit for this. Push a Quattro or all-wheel-drive Audi on rainy roads, and you still won't feel the car slip. In snow and on light mud, the Quattro A6 finds more traction than some cars find on dry pavement. This A6 handles and brakes in near super-car range as well. A "base" A6 can stop from 60 miles per hour in just 103 feet. That's Porsche territory.

As for value, the Audi is priced as a luxury car, but it now costs less than even the Lexus (typically the cheapest in the field). Finally, I prefer the Audi A6 because so many country clubs and valet stands are packed with BMW and Mercedes sedans. After awhile, those all start to look the same. The Audi has a unique and exclusive high-dollar look that's all it's own.

The Audi A6 is a slick looking, luxurious sport sedan that is incredibly practical at the pump. If you're looking for a daily driver that hugs turns and also looks phenomenal around town, the A6 may be your dream come true.

© Copyright 2012 Horsepower Auto Reviews


Possibly the perfect cockpit, the A6 feels secure as a womb in turns that make other cars squirm. 



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