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2008 Audi A6 4.2 Quattro Bookmark

The Good :)   Highly Refined, Powerful Engine, Superb MMI User Interface, Luxurious Interior, Excellent Handling.

The Bad :(   Expensive with options, Needs larger passenger compartment.

Engine 8Cyl 4.2 Liter

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Output 350 hp   @ 6800rpm
325 lb-ft @ 3500rpm
Top Speed 130 mph Limited in USA
0-60 mph 5.8 seconds
Weight 4,222 lbs
Price As Tested $56,300



From the words of the founder of Audi, August Horch a car company was born.  “The only innovations that interest me are the ones that lead to greater strength and quality.”  Audi has been innovating for more than 100 years and this constant strive for making a better car has made Audi today one of the best car makers in the world.  We recently tested the 2008 Audi A6 and were taken aback by the overall level of quality, refinement and superb engineering that not only makes the A6, but the entire Audi lineup, the best cars on the road today.

The exterior of the A6 is sleek and stylish with the vehicle looking like its slightly leaning forward.  All body panels are smooth from the front end to the rear.  Everything is as if it fits perfectly -- from the large front grille and the bold front end design -- to the smooth yet uniform rear end.  We liked the fact that most panels do not have cuts or grooves in them, but instead are as smooth as ice.  The rear apron is one such body panel that is very smooth and hugs the dual tailpipes and rear end nicely preventing you from seeing any muffler or exhaust pipes that we commonly see in lesser brands.  The A6 now has more presence than before, being 193 inches long and 73 inches wide.  Touches of chrome accents around the windows and on the front and rear ends offers a higher class appearance.  All A6 models for 2008 receive the S-line treatment with a distinctive front grille with S-line badges, better front and rear bumpers and standard 18 inch wheels.  Our vehicle had the optional 19 inch wheels and high performance summer tires. 

Open the doors and you notice that both doors are frameless with windows surrounded by no sheet metal.  We thought this design feature made for a convertible-like feel while retaining more of the vehicle on the body structure itself for an overall stronger car.  Our test car’s keyless start feature allows you to open the doors by just touching the door handles.  Locking is also easily done by small buttons located just under the handles.  When opening and closing the doors you immediately notice their weight which gives a strong and solid feeling.  Doors open with segmented latches which keep them open even when you are on a slanted hill.  Many German makes have learned that the first touch and opening of the door is highly important in conveying the overall feel and build quality of the entire car and here you definitely get that high quality feeling.

The owner of an A6 will appreciate the luxury found inside as this is one of the best fit and finishes we have seen in any car.  The driver focused cockpit offers it all, using aluminum, leather, wood, and distinctive sounds from the turn of each control switch.  Our caramel colored leather interior looked sumptuous and inviting.  Sitting in the drivers seat you will also remember the exterior’s forward leaning stance which is carried to the inside on all door panels, giving you a moving forward feeling. 

The instrument cluster is a delight to view with two large gauges and a large computer like display in between them.  This display quickly shows the driver almost every type of function in this vehicle, from trip computers, to open doors, to navigation directions, and the automatic cruise control.  With a push of a button the car also checks all fluid levels and electronically displays the results.  Rotating through the screens you will wonder how Audi did such a great job of putting everything here in a multicolor display that has almost every graphic imaginable.  It is simply amazing and far better than any other system we have tested.  

The steering wheel is power tilt and telescoping with an easy exit move away feature and its position can also be stored in the memory for two drivers.  We loved the Audi jog dials on either side of the wheel face which you can push to select a setting from volume to channel selection.  For example on the volume dial, a simple push mutes the volume.  The steering wheel has paddle shifters that allow you to upshift with a click of the right hand and downshift with the left.  Allowing you to have some fun on your drive home every day.

On the MMI screen next to the dash is another larger display of everything the car offers: navigation, stereo, vehicle settings, climate control, and telephone functions.  Watch our video for a view of how the system quickly changes menus and shows you a list of stations which is constantly updated with song titles as you drive.  This system is one of our favorites and a must have if you decide to purchase an A6.   

Climate control functions can be set on the dash with a twist of two aluminum control knobs, which feel very good by the way.  The automatic setting works very well with little noise.  There is very good air circulation all around the cabin thanks to the indirect ventilation feature and B-pillar outlets.  The system also has air quality, humidity, and sun angle sensors.  When you press the heated seat button, the MMI screen shows you a photo of a seat and a dial from 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest setting.  You can also control the air vent direction electronically via a switch which shows you a graphical display on the MMI screen.  The same goes for fan speed as well.  This climate system worked flawlessly and we never had issues with windows getting fogged up in cold rainy days.  Just press the automatic setting, set a temperature and never worry about playing with temperature, fan, or window defogger settings again.

Our test car also featured a rear window shade that automatically lowers when you go into reverse.  The rear side windows also offer manual window shades making the A6 feel like a luxurious sedan with a private rear cabin.  Putting the car into reverse also turns on the rear view camera which is displayed in the MMI screen.  This was a very useful feature with lines that would bend and show you what you could hit as you backed up.  Sensors also beep as you approach objects. 

The location of the MMI system is quite good with dials being right under your hand as you rest your arm on the center armrest while sitting.  All buttons feel exceptionally high grade.  The jog dials for the MMI and the volume control are ribbed and made of metal for a high quality feel.  Turning the dials you will notice that they make a nice clicking sound, which goes to show you the level of detail Audi engineers went through.  The deep gloss of the wood accents adds to the level of luxury found inside the A6.   Located on the steering wheel is a button for voice control of the navigation, stereo and the telephone.  The system worked well under various conditions and was useful at keeping your attention on the road instead of playing with the buttons.  We did not like the fact that the Bluetooth phone pairing required you to first connect the phone via a wire that you must buy separately at an Audi dealership along with the bluetooth option you must add.   Its very strange to first connect the phone via wire, the entire point of Bluetooth was to have a wireless connection!   Audi should look at GM’s system that is built into the rearview mirror; it’s simple to use and works very efficiently in pairing any Bluetooth capable phone.  Inside the glove box is a is a six- disc CD changer as well as a connector for the Audi interface option plug which plugs into another cable you must buy from Audi for items like iPods, USB devices, or standard audio jacks.  The benefit is that everything shows up nicely on the MMI screen once its attached.  Features such as a Bose surround sound system are excellent with DSP technology that offers amazing sound quality.  The A6 also comes with Sirius satellite radio integrated into the MMI system so you can change channels quickly, something that VW should learn from.

Front seats are comfortable while not being too firm.  Both front seats offer power lumbar support which is quite good for long journeys.  Even after driving for many hours we felt relaxed and comfortable.  Seat belts are also very comfortable with the right amount of tension as not to cause discomfort.
Our test car offered the leather dash covering which looked quite nice and had yellow stitching to match the caramel color of the interior leather.  We thought that this leather dash should have been standard and not a $1300 option.  The plastic trim piece surrounding the instrument cluster and MMI screen should also have been of a high quality material such as aluminum or wood.   

On the A6 the glove box is electronically opened by way of a switch on the dash.  We found that this switch was rather large and unnecessarily located right next to the center screen and away from the glove box.  Why not put the button next to the glove box and make the MMI screen much larger?  The automatic headlights with front and rear fog lamps are controlled by a switch located near the instrument cluster to the left of the steering wheel.  This makes for a clean and button free lower dash panel which was a pleasant and thoughtful design. 

The Bi-Xenon headlights feature a turning capability so you can see through curves much easier.  They were quite bright and worked well at lighting up the road around curves and bends.  We are thankful that this technology is standard on the 4.2 V8 model instead of an expensive option.  More automakers should be offering these types of lights as standard equipment because it has been years since they were first introduced.  Rear brake lights use LED’s which not only light up faster than a regular halogen bulb but are also far brighter.  Another useful feature is that as you approach or leave the car,, the front, the rear, as well as sides of the vehicle (by way of small lamps under the rear view mirrors) light up to give you visibility at night.  The tail lamps also look quite nice at night with a twinkle to their design for a very bling bling appearance. 
The A6 is also available with a optional lane departure warning system that slightly vibrates the steering wheel when a driver changes lanes without blinking or unintentionally drifts into the other lane.

Our test car featured the Audi adaptive cruise control system which keeps a set distance from the vehicle in front of you by way of a radar system.  The system can be set a few different ways ranging from how far you want to keep away to how aggressive you want the car to apply the gas and brake.  There are three modes ranging from a comfortable manner, a normal manner, or a dynamic manner.  Each method slightly changes the way the car reacts when room becomes available in front of you.  In dynamic mode the car moves forward very quickly and gets quite close to the car in front and then brakes hard.  This mode is very realistic to how an aggressive driver would quickly speed up until he gets close to another car whereby he would step hard on the brakes.  It was just a bit difficult to let a computer do such hair-raising maneuvers for you.  After various attempts we decided to keep it in comfort setting.  We have taken pictures of what the screen looks like while using this system and the various warning levels.  A sliding bar shows you the distance in front and as you approach the red section of the bar the vehicle will beep and warn you to take over. 

The rear seating compartment is quite comfortable with deep and angled seat bottoms and more legroom than in pervious models.  Both seats fold 60/40 with a quick button push, allowing you to store longer items in the trunk.  The roof line in back is rather low and the windows very high and narrow which makes it feels cosy and small in back.  Perhaps lessening trunk space and stretching the cabin will make the rear seat more roomy.  Quality in back is just as good in in front with wood trim and strong aluminum door knobs.  With all the window shades closed it is a great feeling inside.    

The trunk is deep and cavernous with plenty of room for bags to fly around, and Audi has at least thought of that fact and has provided 2 hooks in the roof that let you hang bags from them.  This is the end of flying oranges and bananas in your trunk.  A full sized spare tire is located below the floor and removing this can give you a huge amount of space as well as reduce quite a bit of weight.  Many manufacturers have eliminated the spare tire and instead replaced it with a can of tire sealant which is good enough to get you to a repair shop but here you get a extra real wheel.

At night the inside glows a wonderful red color.  The instrument cluster is beautifully backlit in white with glowing red needles that look like they are liquid.  We loved how the MMI control system was lit with a lava lamp like glow to the indicator lights.  The deep red glow was simply beautiful.  Doors feature strips of white light which you can also see in our photos.  The floor lighting is also a nice white glowing light that is offered in all four seating spaces.  The lighting is also controlled by way of the MMI system to your precise liking.  Even the buttons on the steering wheel are lit.  We are glad to see items from the A8 being brought into the A6 model line. 

The keyless start feature is a godsend once you get used to it.  Keeping a key in your pocket allows you to get in and out easily and the system is quite smart at recognizing whether the key has slipped out into the car or if it is outside of the car. Even the electronic parking brake is easier to use and more advanced in its operation.  Starting the car or turning it off happens with a touch of a button that is located next to the gear shifter. 

The 4.2 liter V8 engine in our Audi A6 produces 350 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.  Acceleration from 0-60 takes a brisk 5.8 seconds.  Taking a peak under the hood shows you that the engine is placed is placed almost in front of the front axle.  The tight fit makes you wonder how a V10 can fit in here as well. 

The driver feels like he is at the helm of a smooth and powerful machine.  The electrical steering offers almost excellent road feel (not as much as a Porsche) and is very precise.  It makes turning easy in slow conditions when you need to do a U turn and more precise when you are going fast.  The smooth engine is very powerful and power is strong from highway speeds into the triple digits, putting a big smile on your face everyday.  With all four wheels providing push, you get a amazing feel when accelerating.  Brakes are equally quick to slow you down, it is a feeling that must be felt once in your life.  We encourage you to take this car for a test drive, drive up to 60 mph and hit the brakes hard with one solid press of the pedal.  With all the 350 horses, carving through traffic as if you are a movie star in a Hollywood action film is so much fun. 

In mixed driving we achieved an average of 18 miles per gallon.   Driving purely on the highway at 65 mph may let you approach the highway mileage stated on the window sticker, listed as 25 mpg, although it is difficult to do this with such a powerful, quick and smooth engine.

All engines choices in the A6 feature Audi’s FSI direct injection technology.  Direct injection delivers more dynamic engine response with higher torque and power output and lower fuel consumption.  The main factor contributing to these improvements is how fuel is delivered.  Fuel is not injected into the intake port but rather directly into the combustion chamber.  The injector, which is supplied by a single-piston pump and common rail fuel line, is on the side of the cylinder head and controls the injection time to within thousandths of a second, at injection pressures of up to 1600 PSI.  This technology can be adapted to hydrogen fuel and hydrogen can be gotten from water by electrolysis enabling us to all run our cars on water in the future.  More people should be asking Audi to take the lead on this front. 
 
Other exciting features of the FSI engines are on-demand fuel supply, four-valve technology, and a variable intake manifold and infinitely variable camshaft adjustment which gives the driver a dynamic and powerful reaction to every movement of the accelerator.  All this equals muscular torque and a high standard of fuel efficiency.
 
Audi’s have always been known for their Quattro all-wheel drive system.   This system particularly appeals to people who live in northern states where it snows a lot.  In fact, we have talked to numerous people who can’t live without their Audi’s.  A system is also a typical feature of all high-performance Audi vehicles for performance and traction reasons.  Quattro models come with a torsion center differential that distributes engine torque in a straightforward but very effective flow of power to the front and rear axles.  This makes a significant contribution to the driving dynamics and superior safety, even in extreme situations weather conditions. 

Audi’s dynamic suspension featured on the A6 is likewise based on sporting, proven technology: the enhanced four-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension are adopted from the Audi A8. The result is a standard of dynamic driving behavior beyond comparison.  Like the A8, the A6 is a sporty and dynamic car, benefiting from speed-dependent Servotronic and supplementing the precise handling of the new A6 by even more sensitive steering precision.

The A6 comes with a long list of standard safety equipment.  Active safety components include the latest generation of ESP, brake assist and Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD).  There is also front and side airbags as well as the head curtain airbag system.   The A6 achieved a “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its occupant protection in both frontal and side impact crash tests.  A four year and 50,000 mile warranty is included with a 12 year warranty against corrosion.  A 12 month 5,000 mile no charge first scheduled maintenance is also included.  Four years of roadside assistance is provided as well should you have a flat tire. 

Our test car started off at a base price of $56,300.  Optional items are the adaptive cruise control at $2000.  The Technology package adds items such as the voice control system, advanced key and parking system for $1,850.  The DVD navigation system is $1,600.  Nineteen inch wheels with summer performance tires including the spare wheel and tire are $1,200.  The leather covering on the driver’s side of the dashboard is a pricy $1,275.  The leather steering wheel found on our test car was $690.  Power rear and manual side sun shades are $400.  A music interface for your media player is $290.  Destination of $775 brings our total to $66,380.  You can probably have this car at dealerships close to the invoice price with a good deal of bargaining. 

The 2008 Audi A6 is a marvel of engineering and technology.  The car handles brilliantly and the engine, transmission and suspension work flawlessly.  The A6 is silky smooth and the engine has instant power whenever you require it.  Inside the level of craftsmanship is suburb and everything from the fine leather and wood to the heavy doors and aluminum dials feels so great.  In the A6, Audi has designed a car that will provide years of enjoyment to the driver while providing everything from comfort to performance all in one package.  There is no need to buy a separate sports car, the A6 can compete with the Porsches and seat four people comfortably.








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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$52,361

$56,300

Destination

$775

$775

WTC   Technology Package  Includes voice control system, Advanced Key and advanced rear parking system with rear-view camera. Voice control system allows voice activated control of CD player, audio system and navigation system.

$1,721

$1,850

PND   Audi Navigation System

$1,487

$1,600

YVW   Leather Driver Side Dashboard  

$1,185

$1,275

PQ4   19" Alloy Wheels w/Summer Performance Tires

$1,115

$1,275

3FR   Solar Sunroof

$790

$734

3Y5   Power Rear and Manual Rear Side Window Sunshades

$400

$373

7D3   Audi Music Interface

$225

$295         

PCA   Adaptive Cruise Control $1,860
$2,000
1BK   Adaptive Air Suspension $2,141
$2,300

 


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COMPARISONS 2008 Audi A6
4.2 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
2008 BMW 5 Series
550i 4dr Sedan (4.8L 8cyl 6M)
2008 Infiniti M45
x 4dr Sedan AWD (4.5L 8cyl 5A)
2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (5.5L 8cyl 5A)
2008 Cadillac STS
Luxury 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 6A)
MSRP $56,300 $58,500 $52,200 $61,200 $52,715
Invoice $52,361 $53,820 $47,951 $56,916 $49,289
Destination Charge $775 $775 $715 $825 $775
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 6 yr. / 70000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 60000 mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 7 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 6 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 4.2 liters 4.8 liters 4.5 liters 5.5 liters 4.6 liters
Horsepower 350 hp @ 6800 rpm 360 hp @ 6300 rpm 325 hp @ 6400 rpm 382 hp @ 6000 rpm 320 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque 325 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 360 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm 336 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 391 ft-lbs. @ 2800 rpm 315 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm
Driven Wheels all wheel drive rear wheel drive all wheel drive all wheel drive rear wheel drive
Tires 245/40R18 97H
all season
225/50R17 V
all season
245/45R18 96V
all season
245/40R18
all season
P235/50R17 S
all season
Wheels alloy
18 x 8.0 in.
alloy
17 x 8.0 in.
alloy
18 x 8.0 in.
alloy
18 x 8.5 in.
polished alloy
17 x 7.5 in.
Spare fullsize matching
alloy
temporary
steel
temporary
steel
Being Researched temporary
steel
Rear Window Sunshade power - Optional power - Optional power - Optional power - Optional Not Available
Side Window Sunshade manual - Optional manual - Optional Not Available manual - Optional Not Available
Front Wipers variable intermittent rain sensing variable intermittent rain sensing intermittent variable intermittent rain sensing variable intermittent rain sensing
Driver Seat Ventilated Not Available Not Available Not Available Optional Optional
Xenon Headlights Standard Turning
Standard Standard Optional Optional
Premium Brand Audio System Bose Not Published Bose - Optional harman/kardon Bose
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional hard drive navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
SPECS
Handling A6 5 Series M45 E-Class STS
Turning Circle 39 ft. 37.5 ft. 36.1 ft. 37.4 ft. 37.7 ft.
City 16 mpg. 15 mpg. 14 mpg. 13 mpg. 15 mpg.
Highway 23 mpg. 22 mpg. 20 mpg. 19 mpg. 24 mpg.
Fuel Tank Capacity 21.1 gal. 18.5 gal. 20 gal. 21.1 gal. 17 gal.
Length 193.5 in. 191.1 in. 194.1 in. 191 in. 196.7 in.
Width 71.3 in. 72.7 in. 71.1 in. 71.7 in. 72.6 in.
Height 57.4 in. 57.8 in. 60 in. 58.4 in. 57.6 in.
Weight 4222 lbs. 3946 lbs. 4176 lbs. 4100 lbs. 3995 lbs.
Wheel Base 111.9 in. 113.7 in. 114.2 in. 112.4 in. 116.4 in.
Ground Clearance 4.6 in. Being Researched 5.5 in. 4.1 in. Being Researched
Interior A6 5 Series M45 E-Class STS
Front Headroom 37.5 in. 37.7 in. 39.6 in. 39.1 in. 38.7 in.
Rear Headroom 37.8 in. 37 in. 37.8 in. 37.8 in. 37.9 in.
Front Shoulder Room 57.1 in. 57.3 in. 58.2 in. 56.4 in. 58.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 55.9 in. 57.2 in. 56.9 in. 56.1 in. 57.4 in.
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 41.5 in. 44.2 in. 41.9 in. 42.6 in.
Rear Leg Room 36.9 in. 36 in. 37.3 in. 35.6 in. 38.3 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 15.9 cu. ft. 14 cu. ft. 14.9 cu. ft. 15.9 cu. ft. 13.8 cu. ft.

 

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