By on May 29, 2014

2014 audi a6 tdi side

It’s likely that we all have been asked the most dreaded question at parties: “what’s your favorite car?”. I prefer to put a different spin on it: what car would I most like to take a cross-country road trip in? There is always a compromise of comfort, cabin space, trunk space, speed, cost, and/or fuel economy. After spending a weekend with this car, I can say that my answer to that question undoubtedly is the Audi A6 TDI.

2014 audi a6 tdi front

From the side it is uniquely Audi, offering perfect proportions when compared to the shrunken down A4 and the elongated A8. The once bizarre corporate grill has faded into normalcy over time, as have the often duplicated fancy headlights, which, by the way, are amazing. The rear is reminiscent of the original A8. Overall the exterior design is clean, modern, but conservative at the same time. The S-line treatment of the pictured vehicle hints of its sporty aspirations without being obnoxious about it. Bystanders will like this car when they see it but forget about it few minutes later.

2014 audi a6 tdi dash

The interior looks great, too. Every surface is pleasing to the senses; the soft leather smells great, the wood grain is intentionally left uneven, and the minimalist layout is pleasing to the eye. What’s important on a long trip, however, is comfort. The vehicle is very quiet at all speeds and the suspension does a fantastic job of keeping the unpleasantness of the outside world, outside. With plenty of room for four passengers, very comfortable seats, those complaining about these accommodations should have just stayed home.

The infotainment screen hides into the dash to further underscore that clean layout, which is especially nice for night driving. Vital information such as Sirius XM channel or navigational directions are displayed in the gauge cluster. Audi’s MMI Navigation interface is one of the best and easiest to use in the business. The main, iDrive-like, knob is positioned right where your hand is when your arm is resting on the armrest. It is surrounded by hard and soft keys, operation of which is reflected on the screen. All basic controls are easy to access, and once your presets, iPhone and gadget-de-jour, are synced and set to your liking, there is really no need do anything there.

2014 audi a6 tdi interior details

Nobody with an ounce of oil in their blood wants to drive a boring car, which many so-called luxury cars, tend to be. The beauty of the A6 TDI is that, despite the aforementioned refined ride and isolated comforts, it is simply fun to drive. The steering is quick, if a little over-boosted, the adjustable suspension is set just right, allowing plenty of highway ramp fun. The three suspension settings do not change vehicle dynamics drastically, and with sincere respect to Audi chassis engineers, I really question the need for those settings.

The real story here isn’t the ride, or the interior, or the looks. Rather, it is the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine and its 428 lb-ft of torque at 1750 rpm. Numbers themselves are never impressive; it’s translating those numbers into real world driving characteristics that make so many of us lust after compression–ignition engines. This engine turns this car into a beast. The power is instantaneous; no lag, no delay, no nothing. It. Just. Goes. Off the line, highway passing, the A6 TDI doesn’t care. It just goes, pressing you deeper into the seat. It goes smoothly, it goes evenly, it goes without any drama, and it goes while getting 38mpg on the highway.

2014 audi a6 tdi engine

But nothing is perfect, and neither is this vehicle. For instance the two front cup holders are simply too small. And there is no USB or auxiliary audio input ports (you need to use Bluetooth). Its price, which starts at $57,500 ($67,295 as pictured), does not do it any favors, either. Furthermore, any potential buyer would be a fool to ignore Audi’s reputation for long-term reliability. And yet, if anyone asked me what I would want to drive from New York City, around the Great Lakes and over Rocky Mountains, to San Francisco, this would be my answer.

In my lifetime of automotive obsession, two decades of driving, dozens of personal cars, and years of reviewing cars, I have never been more impressed. As a reviewer, this frustrates me because in my mind I sound like some kind of wobbler. 

2014 audi a6 tdi rear

Audi provided the car for the purpose of this review.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

112 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2014 Audi A6 TDI Prestige...”


  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Nice car…I still lust after the S6 though.

  • avatar

    Well thank goodness for those HUGE TDI GRAPHICS.

    Makes getting a picture of the side profile so easy doesn’t it?

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    What the… when did Audi and BMW get the same interior? The screen placement, dashboard swoop, and HVAC controls seem pretty much identical to the current 3 series?

    I may venture into the world of VWAG with a 2015 TDI Beetle next year, either that or a 2015 XC70. Never owned a European car before, only ‘Murican.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      And that Audi USB connection will cost you too from Audi! Who charges to connect your USB to a modern day car?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The same people who charge you for the same metallic paint that’s a no-cost option on a Yaris.

        • 0 avatar
          vbofw

          95% of non-econobox appliances have paint upcharge options.

          Audi options always appear far more palatable than BMW and MB. BMW charges $350 for satellite ratio antennas (cost=$0.50) and another few hundred for fold down rear seats. MB’s option groupings are laughable. Audi’s trim groupings make perfect sense to me, most everything is included in the Premium Plus.

          I don’t get why anybody needs USB. A backup option in case the Bluetooth antenna fails? I don’t have USB in my car and have never thought about it.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            I might want to have my phone charging while I’m driving a long distance. Streaming podcasts or Pandora over a long drive drains the battery a somewhat notable amount.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            USB chargers cost $1 on eBay.

  • avatar

    This is absolutely the sexiest Hyundai Genesis I’ve seen.

    Which package is this?

    “Audi Appearance Package”?

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      Honestly, I think the new Genesis looks better than this. It may not handle as well, but it probably rides better. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d say a RWD V8 Hyundai looks better than an Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        TheyBeRollin

        Audi styling is the crustless white bread of the automotive world. No car with such a high price tag is as forgettable. A beige Toyota Camry has edgier styling than any of Audi’s sedans.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          @TheyBeRollin:

          You’re joking, right?

          I quote my rural cousin, in his own native tongue:

          “It’s a BAD sum b*tch.”

          My humble opinion, since it’s apparently “subjective o’clock A.M.” at TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            I disagree with the above comments as well. No way a Genesis has the street presence of an A6. I think Audi also somehow manages the ‘same sausage different length” philosophy better than others. I don’t like the A8 grille, but it’s different from the A6. The A6 looks like a grown A4, but A4 doesn’t look like that anymore. With the S-line package, especially in the back, the A4 has quite a street presence as well. The one without it looks a little dowdy. But Audi is quite unmistakable. Conservative is the name of the game here, for sure. The question is who manages that how.

          • 0 avatar
            TheyBeRollin

            Not at all. I’m dead serious. There’s nothing wrong with tastefully-refined conservative/boring styling. Personally, based on appearance alone, I’d rather have one than most cars, but I’m not going to imagine that it will attract attention. If you want conspicuous attention grabbing or the latest fleeting styling, you get one of those other German brands. Or even (gasp!) something Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Lol, someone sounds threatened/jealous. FCA couldn’t put out a product of this quality in its wildest dreams. 300 is tupperware club bouncer luxury and the new Ghibli is an absolute mess. This and the Genesis are actually pretty good cars.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I haven’t dealt with an A6 in ages but in the past two years I have either been transported in or invited to drive E90s and B8s. While the A4 B8 was an improvement over the B7 I was more familiar with, and both the B8 and E90 had a very distinctive driving feel, I fail to see the immense “quality” the fanboys rave about. The E90s in particular, sure the soft touch crap is nice but when you can’t get a cupholder right, what can you do?

        http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=559826

  • avatar
    Meathead

    Turbo-diesels are exceptional cruisers and IMO are ideally suited for road trips in the US. I recently test-drove an European market E Class sedan with the small 4 cylinder turbo-diesel and a manual transmission. Very interesting proposition and an engaging package while sucking up the bad roads.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    Nice car, though I do wish AOA would STOP applying the stoopid graphics to the sides of the press cars.

    FYI, Audi just introduced a 320 hp (!!!) version of this same TDi engine in Europe, and that version should be here soon enough. Given that the current motor actually puts out more like 280-290 hp, the new one will make the A6 a diesel rocket.

    Audi knows a thing or 3 about diesels, too, having won LeMans several times with diesel-powered sportscars…

    • 0 avatar
      LuciferV8

      320 sounds like a nice round number.
      Still, it would be sick if they upped the displacement to 3.5. That would be one awesome TDI six.

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      Correct, the 3.0 TDI Biturbo Clean Diesel.

      GT cars, in the true sense of those letters, mostly come with very powerful 6 cylinder diesels these days.

      Audis with the 4.2 TDI (a V8) always come with quattro to handle the enormous torque.

    • 0 avatar
      vbofw

      When you’re bothered by the graphics attached to press cars (which presumably you have to look at, in online photos), that’s a good sign that life is good. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Mike N.

      It’s very frustating that they don’t bring the more powerful diesels here, likely for marketing reasons (~300hp gas v. diesel).

      BMW also makes a ~320hp version of the 3.0 diesel. In fact, what they sell as a 35d here is sold as a 30d everywhere else, with the “true” 35d having ~320hp. This is especially galling with the X5, since a both the US 35d and the ROW 35d are built here (not to mention the insane X5 M50d).

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    Nice car but too expensive.
    It may be the perfect car when your boyracer days are over.
    But you have to sell it before the gremlins moves in.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Too expensive?

      “In my lifetime of automotive obsession, two decades of driving, dozens of personal cars, and years of reviewing cars, I have never been more impressed overall by a vehicle than this.”

      Seems like good value for money if it’s that good.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      I sold my previous A6 (MY 2004, 2.7T) with 145,000 miles on it. Coil packs replaced under a recall was the only non-maintenance repair it ever required.

      My current 2011 S4 is at 75K miles with zero issues.

      Prior to about 2003, Audis could certainly be problematic. They’ve improved every year since, to the point that they’re now at least equal to their European competition, and according to most sources, actually better…

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        I had a 2001 Audi A6 back when Audi was not cheap and included maintenance. In 3 years of ownership I had zero issues other than a small oil leak from a seal in the oil pan and the damn thing went through snow and ice better than any SUV and the fit and finish were fantastic. I actually think they were built better back then than they are now.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Hey buckshot,

      what we really need are the Audi Fanboys to start commeting, making the notorious Audi Gremlins appear rosy to nonexistent.

      See, it’s all about converting the nonbelievers, and I do believe each Audi owner holds an MBA in Marketing.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        Raresleeper -

        Give the hyperbole a rest, please. Since the move to Audi’s MLB architecture in 2008 with the A5/A4 and now the rest of the lineup (sans A3), overall reliability is substantially better than the past. The B7 A4 was a notorious electrical gremlin and the C6 A6 could be a terror, but the new models are lightyears better. Even more important, for the first time Audi is actually proactively taking care of known problems like carbon buildup and a bad batch of water pumps about two years ago.

        So if we’re comparing to Lexus then no, Audis aren’t reliable. But for the most part they’ve improved enough to where you don’t hear the same number of horror stories that you used to in previous generations. The trend is definitely positive.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I can agree on the B7 A4. My parents have an 07 A4 cabrio. Its a beautiful car to drive but the electrics including the roof controls have been sketchy at best, and the interior falls apart in your hands. A damn shame.

          An acquaintance has a 10 A4 though and it has been rock solid.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Those large TDI stickers are probably only on the Audi fleet vehicles. Excluding the criminally insecure, I would hope no actual customer would drive around with those stickers.

    Also, I am confused by the VW badges these days:
    TDI = turbocharged direct injection
    TSI = turbocharged stratified injection

    By definition, aren’t they describing the same thing?

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      A TDI is always a diesel and a TSI is always a gasoline engine.

      • 0 avatar

        I just learned something!

        Thanks!

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Yes, I understand how they are used for branding purposes. The Average Joe won’t get into the technical definitions. They see TDI and think D is for diesel, 2.0T means turbo, and that TSI logo under the hood just sounds reassuringly advanced.

        Just pointing out the irony that two basic VW acronyms can interchangeably describe two very different engines. I believe the TDI designation was made long ago when turbocharging and direct injection were exclusive to diesels within the VW lineup. Now that turbocharging and direct injection are becoming common on gas engines too, the definition overlaps.

        • 0 avatar
          Johannes Dutch

          I see what you mean. A long time ago a D was a diesel and a TD a turbo-diesel. Then VW came up with the TDI, apparently TDDI was a bit too much….

          Now we can all go back to the simple d, like in BMW 320d. They all come with common rail injection and a turbo now. Or with a biturbo. Or triturbo.

          By the way, IIRC Fiat had the first car diesel with a turbo and direct injection. They also had the first car with common rail injection, the Alfa Romeo 156 in the late nineties.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Yes, thanks for clarifying that – the ‘D’ these days means direct injection, which now equally applies to gasoline and diesel engines.

            GDI = gasoline direct injection/injected, as used by other mfgrs.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Right…especially now that VW has put the 1.8-liter turbo four as the main engine in the Passat and Jetta, so those vehicles now wear “TSI” badges.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    I drive a VW TDI car. It’s great… love the ability to go long distances on road trips without intermediate fuel stops, love the torque and driveability.

    However… the one thing that drives me nuts are the incredibly filthy diesel fuel pumps at every single station in my area. Invariably, there is a lake of spilled diesel you have to stand in to fill your car. The pump handle is greasy and more often than not covered in dirt from the work truck that just tanked up before you. I have been keeping paper towels in the car for shoe and hand cleanups.

    The diesel culture / mindset (at least in my area) is dominated by the truck owners and professional drivers who don’t mind a little mess. Seems strange filling up this beautiful car behind a dump truck hauling fill dirt.

    However… I’d still drive it!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    For this kind of money I want rear wheel drive. And no Aux input? WTF?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Why rear wheel drive vs. Audi’s rear wheel biased all wheel drive?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Because AWD on pavement is silly? You pay more up front, you pay more in repairs, and you pay for more fuel. 2wd and snowtires are all you need even in foul weather, and if that doesn’t do the trick, stay home, because some idiot on all seasons will slide into you anyway.

        If the author liked this car, he really should try a BMW 335d or 535d. Though as I am not in so much of a hurry, I would prefer the 320d.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    Nice looking car, but out of my price range at the moment.

    Besides, everyone knows owning any VAG product means endless coil pack failures. I read it on TTAC so it has to be true.

    • 0 avatar

      Great news! Diesel engines do not have coil packs!

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        Sure enough, I replaced one two years ago. But it was a 2000 base Jetta, with 120k miles. And I don’t even think it cost that much. Unperturbed owner of a 2005.5 A4 now. At 95k, that V6 still screams beautifully. Everytime I go to the mechanic, they say it’s in really good shape. Next time oil change comes around I will take a print out of “The TTAC belief system about VAG” and hit him in the face with it if he dare say how good a shape my car is in!

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    So, the question is: how many people who spend $60,000+ on a car drive it on cross-country trips? Or even more than a days’ drive from home.

    I’m betting damn few. These folks fly, and usually business class. Then they rent a car at their destination.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You’d be surprised how many. I certainly do. I’ll drive up to 500 miles on business trips if I have the time to make the drive. It is just easier, and I like to drive. Then there is vacation travel – way easier and cheaper to drive that distance. We have lots of snowbirds here who migrate south by car every winter too. What is the point of owning a nice, comfortable car if you only ever drive around town in it?

      BTW – almost everyone in first class on a domestic flight are us poor FF slobs on free upgrades. I’m 1 in 54 for flying coach this year. It’s good to be Chairman’s Preferred.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I think it depends on a. the reason for the travel, and b. how long is the stay. Time is money so for longer distances I can definitely see business travelers flying. But those travelling for pleasure, at least in my experience, depend more on the length of stay as a determinant and believe it or not they’d rather have their cars than a rental.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      I saw some Audi literature floating around recently suggesting that the average A6 buyer’s household income is around $300K. Not bad, but not rich either. HENRY at best.

    • 0 avatar
      kkt

      It depends where they are in their career. If they’re working at whatever long-hours job allowed them to afford the $60K car, yes, they probably fly. But if they’ve retired or moved to a lower pressure job they may enjoy road trips. Flying is a pain in the butt.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Excellent car. I considered one before settling on a Q7. The Q7 cost very similar, but just gave me so much more utility.

    The diesel engine is a beast. I went with a gas engine myself, but that diesel can MOVE.

  • avatar
    srh

    A road-trip car with unusable cup-holders and no audio input?

    1000 miles into our road-trip, my wife isn’t going to care about how great the suspension is. But she will care that she can’t easily have her coffee cup, and that she has to futz with her phone to listen to music.

    So much win about this car. Why would they skip the small important details?

    • 0 avatar

      I was nitpicking. If I didn’t find something off with this car I would have woken up with a horse’s head next to me. The no USB/aux is an issue, but BT connection was easy. I stick to SiriusXM, personally.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        My own personal experience has found BT audio rather lacking in frequency response, especially at the low end. I can play the same song from my ipod (via USB) and then my phone via Bluetooth and the difference in bass reproduction is very noticeable.

        Now that doesn’t prove anything since it could be a limitation of my phone or my radio, but I can at least say that I have heard a difference with the equipment I do own.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “I can play the same song from my ipod (via USB) and then my phone via Bluetooth and the difference in bass reproduction is very noticeable.”

          The quality of the source device can make a huge difference.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            Since both devices are transferring digital bits to the same radio, the source shouldn’t matter in this case. FWIW, when using headphones the analog sound of my Blackberry is, to me, indistinguishable from the ipod. But again, the radio isn’t getting an analog signal.

            Again, without a plethora of equipment to compare, I can’t draw any conclusion. I could test my family’s phones, but any data I gain still doesn’t excuse VWAG from omitting a feature you can get in sub-$15k cars.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Is there really no USB? Seems really odd, if only because they are so useful as phone chargers, and in most German cars it is the BT that costs extra. Are you sure it just is not hidden in some odd place? I defy anyone to find the USB jack in either my BMW or my FIAT without reading the manual or being told.

        People always complain about the cup holders in German cars, but I have yet to find a reasonably sized beverage that they won’t hold just fine. Do you REALLY need a 64OZ Big Gulp in the car??

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “Since both devices are transferring digital bits to the same radio, the source shouldn’t matter in this case.”

          It matters because with BT there’s an RF transmitter involved. I used to have a phone that the MP3 audio-to-BT was so bad it was unusable. After upgrading that phone (same car) audio quality was much better.

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      Why do you want to drink coffee in your car?
      Spilling coffee and cookies all over the interior?
      Stop at a nice café and relax.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I have a strict NO FOOD policy in my car!

        And drinks only if you agree to pay for a spill cleanup!

        Only an Accord (top o’ the line), but still….

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    The pop-up screen ruins the interior lines, and the wood doesn’t work AT ALL.

    Audis have been growing on me lately, and this one’s pretty nice.

    Decals aside.

    • 0 avatar

      The screen hides, as mentioned. Perhaps I should have taken a pic of that.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      I agree, I refuse to buy another Audi until they get rid of that stupid pop-up screen. Those are the kinds of screens I used to have in my car when I was into car audio in high school, they have no place in a luxury car. I just imagine some 5 year old jumping around in the car when you are not looking, grabbing the screen and ripping it off. And motorized like that, it will break, there’s no way it won’t.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I am very much of the opposite opinion. I don’t want that stupid distracting screen in my field of vision unless I am actively using it. So the ability to stow it would be WONDERFUL. I wish BMW had that ability in their latest interiors. Or better yet, the ability to skip the ridiculous thing altogether like in my e91. If I want to use NAV, I have a perfectly delightful $150 TomTom that works a treat.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Some of these cars with a FIXED screen plopped in the middle of the dash like a stuck-on tablet device are just ASKING for a break-in attempt!

          Add a second “pod” at the top of the center-stack, a la Accord, or integrate it into the center-stack with enough hard-buttons to make things usable with minimal distraction or use of a voice-command system which is useless with an open sunroof or blasting A/C.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Kamil,
    What about sound proofing and road noise? I have found this to be Audi’s weak spot (or really other weak spot behind seat comfort).

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I love Audis, but I fear the high cost of owning one. A friend has a 2007 A6 and loves it – so do I for that matter, but after hearing what he pays to maintain it, no sale for me.

    Beautiful, cleanly-styled car just the same.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      If you can afford to buy a $60K car, you can afford to maintain it. It’s not even CLOSE. Over the course of the 4 year warranty, you are going to spend close to *$40,000* on depreciation. And even though you don’t write a check for it, you are surely spending that money. Do you think you are going to spend anything even remotely close to that over the next four years? Or ever?

      Or to put it another way, my BMW was $46K US MSRP. I paid $39K+TTL after discounts. Even with a decent down payment, it is almost $650/mo on a 1.9% 60 month loan. I’ll have it paid off before the warranty is up. I cannot begin to image that it is going to cost anything like $650/mo to maintain it out of warranty. Will it be more than Camry? Certainly. But it doesn’t drive like a Camry either, so well worth it to me.

      Where people get into trouble is when they pay new Camry money for a used $60K car, then can’t afford the maintenance. That is a very different scenario. And my #1 rule of buying a car is payments or repairs, never, ever, ever, both on the same car. I won’t borrow money to buy a car that is not under the original warranty for the life of the loan.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        I like your point about depreciation, but I hate the word “afford”. It’s practically meaningless. It’s really about what you feel like paying. I didn’t like BMW depreciation, but I was enjoying the car. By year 5 though, the car isn’t that much nicer than the new Camry that will come out, AND the repair bills just feel like a rip off. Some of these repairs are near similar repairs on my very, very low volume airplane. The parts are just stupid, and the hourly rates are nonsense. I do not believe the repair quality at my BMW dealer is higher than that at the better Japanese brand dealerships, and I have more choice of those.

        So, I think some of those issues are what gets people aggravated about maintaining the off warranty German cars.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Dealers are dealers. In my town, the BMW dealer is $20/hr cheaper than the Toyota dealer, and $10/hr cheaper than the Chevy dealer. Similarly, some dealers markup their parts prices through the roof – we have one Volvo dealer that is 30% higher across the board on parts than the other dealer. The Internet is your savior. I actually find my local BMW dealer to be pretty reasonable, which is surprising considering they are the only one in the state, AND their closest dealer competition is almost 100 miles away. But lots of good European car independents here too, including one of the best in the country who has all the dealer level computer equipment. He’s even an official Dinan dealer. Not much cheaper than the actual BMW dealer though.

          I would rather drive a nice 25yo BMW (or Mercedes, or Saab, or Volvo) than a new Camry (or any other melba-toast midsize sedan). It was only 6-7 years ago that my daily driver was an ’86 535i. And just like now, I traveled for a living and had shiny new rental cars all the time. I was always happy to climb into the 5′ver after a trip. Just no comparison, and my e91 is a MUCH larger leap over a shiny new Camry than that old e28 was. As I have said on here before, if what makes a BMW better than a Camry is not immediately evident to you, enjoy the Camry and spend the extra money on golf or something. So I find the potential cost of maintenance a non-issue, particularly in relation to what it costs to buy one in the first place. I find it no different than living in a mansion and complaining how good help is hard to find.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You are blessed with a rare BMW dealer. It has warped your perspective.

            There are essentially two BMW dealers near me and a half dozen of most common brands. Rumor was that one of the owners was actually a front man for the owner of the other two.

            We had a great dealer an hour and a half away, but he died. Now, there seems to be no one to deal with in hundreds of miles.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    “With plenty of room for four passengers, very comfortable seats, those complaining about these accommodations should have just stayed home.”

    Disagree! The interior of the latest generation A6 is “fine,” but I agree with Motortrend: it struggles to convince that it’s a $60K car. The 2014 E-class and the F10 5 series don’t have to struggle. You can see where the $60K is going in those cars plainly.

    In the A6, the center console is lovely, RIGHT up until you get to that strip of bright work just above the cup holder door. After that, it’s rock. hard. plastic. You simply don’t have that in the E or the 5. The cup holder door feels like it came from a Volkswagen Lupo.

    The door mounted arm rest is also not that lovely either. At least this time it’s somewhat ergonomically shaped, and the VINYL is somewhat soft-ish, instead of the flat, uncomfortable, rock hard vinyl slabs you got in the last two A6 generations. Again though, the 5 series trounces it, and yeah it’s leather covered.

    Most A6s will also have at least four blank buttons in the most conspicuous place possible, like an old base model Kia. Stay classy Audi.

    The problem with Audi, and this is coming from a former Audi owner, is that because they don’t have the sales volume in the US that BMW and Mercedes have, Audi restricts a TON of content from being offered here. I’m not talking about models like the A5 Sportback, or engine choices, I’m talking about features. Think you got the best A6 because you spent the cash for the “Prestige” version? Think again. What you actually get are the poverty spec, base seats. The GOOD seats are restricted for other markets. Same goes for the leather package which gets you actual leather on the doors and lower console. Unavailable on your “Prestige,” sorry.

    The A6 once upon a time used to offer the sport seats and some of the trim upgrades in the US, (there are now at least three seat options, not including Audi Exclusive stuff) but they stopped that I believe with the 2009 refresh. Since then it’s been the base seats or nothing.

    If you want to see everything that’s unavailable on a US spec A6 at any price, configure one on the Audi UK site. Despite the fact they have to build specific RHD cars for presumably fewer customers in Britain, they get the whole model range and all the the trimmings, and we get screwed.

    • 0 avatar

      I have done that! It resulted in a ridiculous badass RS4 wagon… or Avant, as they used to call them. But I digress…

      I didn’t have a Euro-spec car on hand, nor did I have an E-class or a 5-series. What I did have was this car and good recollection of an M6 that I reviewed some time ago (disclaimer: I owned six BMWs) and found the A6 to be very comparable. I can’t speak for older A6 models.

      • 0 avatar
        Davekaybsc

        Where Audi earned their rep for interior design mastery was in the mid ’90s with the B5 A4, which was light years ahead of the equivalent 3 series and C-class at the time. The IPs and switch gear in Mercedes cars from those days felt like they were from the ’80s, and BMW interiors were cold, dark, almost tomb like. All business and no pleasure.

        That trend continued until about 2005, when the C5 A6 launched. Suddenly an Audi interior was only keeping pace with the comparable 5 and E, instead of the big advantage that they used to have. The B8 A4 was another disappointment. Certainly far more technically advanced than the car it replaced, but the cost cutting was SEVERE. Their only salvation was that the interior of the comparable C-class was plastic trash, but again, they were no better than the equivalent 3 series, and Mercedes caught up with the C-class refresh.

        Now, Mercedes seems to be out for blood. Their latest interior designs are simply stunning (other than the CLA), and they knock Audi into the weeds. The brand new C-class looks more expensive on the inside than the A6, and it makes the A4 look like a Jetta.

        If the C-class is that good, I expect the next E to look like a baby S-class on the inside, which will take the A6 from business class to coach in a hurry.

        Oh, and just for the record, to use a USB device in a VWAG product you need one of those “multimedia interface” cables that has their proprietary connector on one end and a USB port on the other. They were unsure of where the mobile tech industry was going when they created that plug around a decade ago, but it’s beyond time for it to retire.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Disagree. I just got done test-driving the S6, 550xi, and E550, and the Mercedes’ interior was easily the worst of the bunch. Cheap, odd choices (a numeric keypad, really?), and poor electronics integration. It knocked the car out of consideration before I even started it up.

          • 0 avatar
            VenomV12

            Yep, the E-Class interior and exterior for that matter are hopelessly outdated. They really need to hurry up and bring a refreshed model like the new S-Class and C-Class. An updated E-Class version of those 2 cars will kill everything. I kind of feel the 5 series interior is kind of cheap and outdated too for the money, it really does not look that great, especially in light colors. The BS fake leather that Mercedes and BMW are using need to go also, that is unacceptable.

          • 0 avatar
            Davekaybsc

            Fair enough, though the S6 is a small improvement over the A6 on the inside, particularly with the seats which are the genuine article. To my eyes the 2014 E is about even with the A6, better in some areas, worse in some others. The version of COMAND that’s in the E is definitely below Audi’s MMI interface and the latest version of iDrive, no argument there.

            The whole numeric keypad thing is something that was in every Mercedes until just recently. For whatever reason, Mercedes and Volvo just can’t seem to let them go. It appears that with M-B’s latest system as in the C-class, the keypad is FINALLY gone, replaced with the touch pad. Volvo just will not let them go though, people must love to dial numbers by hand in Sweden.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Random question. If Audis are or were so unreliable, why does it seem like there are SO MANY old ones on the road? Are they just loaded with annoyance problems but fairly devoid of catastrophic ones? They’re obviously worlds more reliable than something like a Maserati (never heard of a 100,000 mile Maser, but 100 and 200k Audis aren’t all that rare)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I pose a question to you, how many 90s Audis do you see running around? Early 00s? I still see a fair amount of 90s BMWs and an occasional early to mid 90s Mercedes, but not Audis. I know ten years ago when I dealt with used cars, we did see early 90s Audis. Specifically the initial 2.8V6 Audi 100 with its fulltime Quattro and they were always on their last legs. Audi 90 or the previous 2.3L 100/5000 was usually our choice if we acquired one. In your travels note the age of the Audis you see, I’m willing to bet they are not very old.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Had a friend of mine who had an Audi 90. Mind you, this was 7 or 8 years back.

        I asked him, I said “hey, why don’t you ever drive your Audi?”

        “It doesn’t run, dude.”

        Sad thing is, I’m not kidding. Had less than 100k and was clean as a whistle.

        BUT: Ask about my buddy’s Audi 200 Quattro Turbo :)

        That was reliable… and pretty damned quick too.

        5 speed. Leather. Big, comfy. Fast. It would drop the ass end and just haul a$s with a Superchips ECU thingy by the passenger floorboard.

        The 200 was sweet, man.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          My 5000 always ran fine on the freeway. Idling was its biggest enemy. It kept me away from fast food drive thrus though.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          200s were nice, no doubt. I had the base 100 2.3L, the 200 was essentially the “top trim” of the model (although technically it was another model and it had a different front and rear facia). The 90s we had at the time were right about 10yo and were 2.3s just like the 100 through MY91. Audis of the period are weird cars though, and required VAG specific care to run properly. I can confirm though the 2.3L was a pretty good motor for what it was.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The I5 was a good motor, but all the electrics around it went to sh!t. The electric ghosts will infect the car before the engine’s mechanicals die.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well, that and mixing anything into the Pentosin (inc the wrong Pentosin ie 7 into 11s).

            Speaking of the golden green oil, I found a case of it in my storage locker.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had to get reaquainted with Pentosin when I had DSG VWs. They make the DSG fluid. It gave me flashbacks.

      • 0 avatar
        The Heisenberg Cartel

        Quite a few. Not as many as BMW and Benz, but then again they sold far less units than BMW and Benz did too. I don’t see as many 90s models but early to mid aughts are VERY common around here (northeast Bay Area).

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      I don’t see any old Audis around here. No 90s, no 100s. First gen. A4s are very rare. Even first generation TTs must be parked in garages gathering dust if they’re not already crushed.
      I’m assuming that high shop costs in this part of Canada make Audis too expensive to keep on the road beyond the original (somewhat prosperous and warranty covered) owner.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This has also been my observation. Most of the Audis I see are 04 or newer, occasionally a C5 platform A6 (97-04).

        • 0 avatar
          TheyBeRollin

          I have seen the opposite around here. A4s all the way back to the B5 (had to look these up on wikipedia) are pretty common, except the B6. A6s and A8s prior to the current generation are extremely rare. It has probably been at least 5 years since I’ve seen a D2 (and I actually notice these, because I found their styling very attractive). A quick search online reflects this – 3 A8s from that era for sale within a 500 mile radius of my home.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Not so much unreliable as ridiculously expensive to fix. Also, all the German cars seem to have unusually high amounts of electrical failures that stop your car outright rather than let you limp home. That may be a myth, but it’s a persistent one. OTOH, some of the older, simpler German cars will be with us forever.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        I’ve seen numerous 5000′s with just below or over 200k on them.

        Perhaps they’ve been meticulously maintained, I dunno…?

        A trip over to VW Vortex confirms this.

        Yes, the typical VW/Audi electronics- they are certainly rubbish. No ands, ifs, or butts. Just the VDO Gauge cluster woes alone still give me nightmares.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The 5000s can make it there. Its a matter of spending money on them. Something electric will go wrong. It just depends on if you NEED that particular feature to work or not.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Fun fact: You can pop the cluster out completely and drive without it in the 2.3L/3spd auto 5000/100. It will shift until at least second gear, didn’t try third without a speedo cluster and all :)

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            I can still hear that old VW door chime like it was yesterday… lol

            Annoying little tune

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If I go to hell, I’m sure I will hear that sound for eternity.

            I hope the power antenna on the 5000 is melting in hell. Good thing for Van Halen cassette tapes I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            Buckshot

            “I can still hear that old VW door chime like it was yesterday… lol

            Annoying little tune”

            Once i did but never again. I will never buy a car with a door chime.
            It drives me crazy.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Hmmmmm, perhaps I should play auto roulette to see if Audi can complete a German sweep of having each and every one of their fine machines I’ve been unfortunate enough to purchase can strand me within the first 15,000 miles.

    Sorry, it’s fine looking and has a wonderful interior, and I’m sure the drive is geat.

    But…I like to have my machines start…without first being towed to a dealer.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    You need, simply to share my, pain, to place something sharp on the comma key of your keyboard.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Small cupholders are a VW staple. In my mind, the only Volkswagens that have decently-sized cupholders are the larger ones (Touareg, Cayenne, Q7, A8). But the small cupholders keep me from ordering those gargantuan Route-44-sized sodas at Sonic, so I’m not complaining.

  • avatar
    Hans Shtick

    Bought a ’99 A6 (C5 2.8 quattro) w/ 33K, drove it all over US and Europe (lived in Germany for 3+ yrs); aside from recall-driven control arm replacement, changed brakes, water pump w/ timing belt and that was it. Sold it w/ 99K in near-perfect condition. Beautiful car… a bit low on power, but cruised all day long on the Autobahn with the best.

    My 2012 A6 3.0T has 27K, no problems to date. Outstanding daily driver, 22 mpg mixed driving, 34 mpg highway. Enough power when I need it in a good looking car (those who disagree are entitled to their view… I didn’t buy it for them).

    Not a fanboy, just an enthusiast who appreciates a great car.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Not me anything under ten hour drive I drive, air travel has gotten really bad since 9/11, great car for long trips how many miles to a tank ?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I’ve spent the last two years with an A6 3.0T at my didisposal. While a different engine might lead to another experience, all I can say is meh. The stupid transmission lost the plot in a month, the nav screen sounds like it’s grinding walnuts, as does the driver side retracting mirror, and the combination of an inadequate cup holder and horizontal console buttons caused foreseeable headaches. We should have held out for the new GS350. I didn’t even go into the details of all the perpetual warning lights.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I agree on the GS. I find it superior to the other cars in its class. I was never a Lexus fan, but if I was looking for a midsized luxury car, I’d start with the GS.

  • avatar
    duffman13

    On The Smoking Tire’s review of the new A3, Matt Farah made the same infotainment comment: No USB or Aux-in port.

    I’m sure it’s a fine vehicle, but connectivity is important to most people. Streaming on Bluetooth is a good way to kill a phone’s battery over a long drive, I know mine loses about 5-7% playing stored music each way on my hour commute, or closer to 10% if I’m streaming.

    I think Audi is making a mistake by failing to include USB while so many others have it. I mean, the owners could just buy a plug for the 12v socket, but this is a luxury car, why do I want to have wires like some sort of pleb?

  • avatar
    blppt

    I have driven a 2012 Golf TDI DSG, with its “mere” 236 lb/ft of torque, and it puts you into the seatback—I can only imagine the axle-twisting torque of this V6 monster…..

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “I have driven a 2012 Golf TDI DSG, with its “mere” 236 lb/ft of torque, and it puts you into the seatback—I can only imagine the axle-twisting torque of this V6 monster…..”

      Amen to that (you essentially drove my car). The A6 TDI is my dream car – but I’m so happy with the Golf that I’m unlikely to cough up 60 large for the Audi.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India