2012 Audi A6: A Sporty, Well-Engineered Midsize Luxury Sedan

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  • Highlights: Twenty percent of the body frame is comprised of aluminum content. So, this makes the vehicle lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model.

    Test vehicle’s MSRP: $61,530 (Base Model starts at $43,095)

    Seating Capacity:  5

    Standard Safety Features: airbags (front, side and curtain); heated outside rear view mirrors; a tire pressure monitoring system; energy-absorbing structural cross members in case of an accident; ABS; traction control; and electronic stability control

    Standard Equipment: 17-inch alloy wheels; power heated (front) seats; leather seats;  a central locking system; automatic dimming mirrors; power sunroof;  keyless starter system; three-zone automatic climate control system; and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel

    Standard Audio: 14-speaker, 630-watt Bose surround sound speaker with a CD player and 3-month subscription to satellite radio

    Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

    Powertrain Warranty:  4 years or 50,000 miles

    Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

    Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder/310-hp

    Recommended Fuel: Premium

    Standard Fuel Mileage: 19-city/28-hwy

    Trim Levels:

    2.0 Turbo

    3.0 Turbo

    What’s New: The A6 has been redesigned for the 2012 model year.

    Seat Comfort/Support: Very Good

    Pros: The A6 is available in a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive turbo configuration, depending on the engine selected. The A6 we reviewed with its precise-steering and smooth-shifting 3.0-liter was outfitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission with the brand’s optional Prestige Package, which included front and rear parking sensors, a 4-zone automatic climate system, a High Definition Bose radio system, adaptable headlights, a power steering column, a 7-inch screen and a Multi Media Interface (MMI) touch system.

    And unlike a number of high tech gadgets, the A6 MMI system easily controls the vehicle’s navigation, audio and communication system via a pop-up in-dash system and via a rotating dial-type knob on the center console. Even those who are somewhat technically-challenge will find the MMI system is relatively easy-to-use.

    Moreover, the A6 allows the driver to adjust the steering, throttle and transmission setting by simply selecting the appropriate setting on the center console.

    Added to that, the A6 we reviewed was outfitted with an optional rolling WiFi system known as Audi Connect, which is capable of handling up to 8 users at a time. Outside of the laptops, Google Earth and Google Local can be utilized via Audi’s MMI system to locate directions and phone numbers. Real-time traffic and real-time weather updates are available through the MMI system too.

    Furthermore, our athletically designed A6 was outfitted with a Sport Package, which included 19-inch wheels, a sport suspension system, a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel and a shift paddle which serves as a substitute for a manual transmission that’s not an available feature with this model. These features meant this vehicle was now equipped to take on America’s roads, whether winding a bend or cruising the back streets.

    Also, while our A6 was well-equipped with a number of amenities, it excluded such available options as rear heated seats, a radar-activated cruise control system, a night vision system to identify objects when dark, a head-up display system and lane-changing technology.

    Cons: There isn’t really much not to like about the A6. For instance, some critics wish that that the smaller 2.0-liter turbo engine was available in an all-wheel drive configuration.  And why isn’t this performance-oriented, luxury vehicle not available with a manual transmission like its BMW competitor? Furthermore, why is the A6 not available with a blind-spot lane changing system? Vehicles such as the non premium Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima offer this feature.

    The Verdict: Audi designs spirited vehicles with the upwardly mobile professional in mind. While Audi’s A6 is considered to be a full size luxury vehicle, the automaker has been able to provide the perfect balance between providing a spirited, no non sense driving experience. The vehicle just performs as expected, especially since it’s an Audi.

    Audi unlike many of its luxury competitors in this segment, the A6 has been able to find the right mix between providing word-class luxury, with a compliable ride complimented by easy-to-use tech features, controlling the audio, the navigation and the climate control system.

    So with that said, for those looking for an upscale, driver-oriented, German-made vehicle, the A6 should shoot to the top of one’s shopping list.

    And for those willing to inch out more fuel economy, while sacrificing power in this big body sedan, a 4-cylinder turbo is available too, which makes the A6 one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in this midsize luxury car segment.

     

    Competition: BMW 5-series, Infiniti M-series and Mercedes E-Class

     


    Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.

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