By KBB.com Editors
The midsize 2008 Audi A6 is the ideal vehicle for the socially mobile family in need of generous interior space and all-wheel-drive capability, but not at all interested in an SUV. Offered in both sedan and wagon (known as the Avant) forms, the A6 combines traditional Audi styling, luxury and performance with the sure-footedness of quattro all-wheel drive. Larger than the A4, but not as bulky (or expensive) as the A8, the A6 offers a range of models and features with broad appeal to the premium midsize luxury sedan buyer.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're in the market for a premium sedan whose road manners are as smart as its styling and price, the 2008 Audi A6 should be on your list. Those who live in foul-weather regions will appreciate the impressive capabilities afforded by the A6's quattro all-wheel drive.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you prefer simple controls and easy-to-understand components, the A6's high-tech interior may be a bit overwhelming. If you're a driving enthusiast, the lack of a manual transmission option could be a turn-off.What's Significant About This Car?
The S line exterior treatment (18-inch alloy wheels and S6 rear spoiler) is made standard across the line, as are headlight washers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and seatback storage pockets. Options include Audi lane assist and new 19-inch alloy wheels.Driving It Driving Impressions
In the 2008 Audi A6, supreme confidence on both expressways and winding roads is markedly enhanced by the sure-footed feel of quattro all-wheel drive. Acceleration is quite satisfying with the V6 and the automatic transmission responds effectively. No, it's not a powerhouse, but few drivers really need the V8's extra horses. Only if you get a thrill from lunging, full-throttle takeoffs would the V8 be a better bet. Overall, the A6 experience falls just a little short of serenemainly because the ride can get bouncy on washboard-stiff surfaces and through harsher bumps, though the suspension reacts rapidly.Favorite Features
Quattro All-Wheel Drive
For negotiating curvy canyons or snowy streets, Audi's famed quattro all-wheel-drive system gives the A6 a real advantage.
Multi Media Interface
Although it subjects its operator to a learning curve, Audi's MMI system is a sleek solution for the control of in-cabin technology.
From the driver's seat, the A6 comes across as one serious sedan. Leather surfaces are inviting, though seats are on the firm side. They're satisfying for long-term touring, however, with helpful but not intrusive support and bolstering. Backseat riders get plenty of headroom and knee space, but the center passenger must suffer the indignity of a stiff perch and a high floor hump. Fully calibrated gauges are especially easy to read, though the MMI (Multi Media Interface) control can be a handful. Don't expect an unobstructed view over the left shoulder, but visibility is good otherwise. An electronic dashboard button opens a glove box that is short on space.Exterior
The new look of Audi is evident across the A6 body. Up front, a bold trapezoidal grilletall and split into two elementsis flanked by sleek xenon headlamps. Designer Achim Badstubner says it's the kind of dramatic front end that promises "overtaking prestige on the Autobahn," informing drivers who see it coming in the rearview mirror that a serious machine is on its way.Notable Standard Equipment
Even in its most basic form, the A6 feels loaded to the brim. Standard features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), front and rear fog lights, front and rear head-curtain airbags, 12-way power driver and passenger seats with four-way power lumbar, leather seating, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with touch controls, one touch up/down windows, cruise control, power trunk release, 10-speaker sound system with six-disc CD/MP3 changer and 18-inch alloy wheels.Notable Optional Equipment
The V6 sedan can be equipped with such fine features as bi-xenon headlamps, Bose audio, adaptive speed control, solar moonroof panel and polished wheels. The Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and a ski sack. The S line interior package adds front sport seats with Milano leather surfaces, Birch Gray decorative inlays, three-spoke sport steering wheel and black headliner. DVD navigation, rear parking sensors, air suspension (3.2 wagon and 4.2 sedan), rearview camera and a leather dash are also available.Under the Hood
Both the V6 and V8 engines are more than sufficient to move the A6. It's simply a matter of how quickly you wish to be moved. The 3.2-liter V6 is smooth, quiet and refined, delivering excellent low-end torque for quick starts, as well as respectable highway fuel economy. The V8 turns the A6 from quick to remarkably quick, but you'll pay a premium at both the dealership and the gas pump.
255 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
243 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (FWD), 17/25 (AWD)
350 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
325 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23
The front-wheel-drive A6 3.2's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $44,000, while the quattro model starts around $47,000. The V8-powered A6 lists for around $57,000, and fully loaded tops out in the low $70,000 range, leaving the A6 in a slightly more affordable position than a loaded Mercedes-Benz E550 but more pricey than a similarly-equipped Lexus GS 430. A look at the Fair Purchase Price page will show you the typical transaction price paid at the dealer, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. As for resale, the A6 does not hold its value as well as the Mercedes Benz E350, but does better than the Cadillac STS or Jaguar S-Type. The V8 sedan retains more of its value than the V6, with a residual similar to those of the BMW 550 and Lexus GS 430 and greater than those of the Cadillac STS and Mercedes-Benz E550.