Car reviews - Audi - A6 - 2.8 V6 quattro sedan
Outstanding styling inside and out, poised behaviour
Room for improvement
Engines need to be revved to provide their best
4 Apr 2001
AUDI's boldly designed A6 was launched in late 1997 to do battle with fellow Germans the Mercedes-Benz E-class and BMW 5 Series in the hotly contested upper-middle luxury market.
Two A6s are available - an entry-level 2.4-litre V6 or the 2.8- litre luxury model - and both are available with four-wheel drive.
The A6 is a master stroke of design confidence. Viewed side on or from behind, the Audi is distinctive and elegant.
Inside, the solidly built A6 takes Audi's already efficient and ergonomic designs a step forward, adding real ambience, class and elegance to what is among the most attractive interiors in the business.
The interior features electric front seat adjustments that provide excellent positioning behind the multi-adjustable steering wheel. The seats are broad, comfortable, supple and supportive.
In the rear it is a similar story with a wide bench, an armrest containing a first-aid kit and a squab complete with pop-out cupholders.
The busy instrument cluster is clear, comprehensive and informative.
The A6, in quattro form, provides secure all-weather driving. The chassis can cope with whatever the engine produces the A6 rarely puts a wheel wrong.
Both motors are smooth, quiet and torquey although they do require a few thousand revs on the clock.
The standard front-drive, 121kW, 30-valve, 2.4-litre V6 feels lively and refined with good acceleration and relaxed highway cruising, thanks in part to the aerodynamics.
Five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission is standard. Combining a manual shifting facility with a fully automatic option, the gearbox contributes to the A6's overall refinement with seamless, silent shifting.
Attacking corners, the A6 remains flat and poised. The suspension, criticised early on for being a little too harsh, was modified by April, 1998, yet remains relatively firm.
Dynamically, the A6 is good enough to run with the pack. In terms of looks, inside and out, the Audi wins easily.
- Automotive NetWorks, 08/02/1999
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