Sigh. Another Audi to review. This time it is the 2012 A6 Quattro. In recent memory, I have had the A5, A7, and I own an A8, so I was interested in what the A6 was like. It is almost like someone washed the A8 in water that was too hot and it became an A6. There are many similarities.
Under the hood, my test car has the 3.0-liter V6 with a supercharger and an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is an outstanding combination of power and fuel economy. This combo rates out at 310-horses, but feels faster and is incredibly smooth when you tromp on the car. The supercharger is one of the quietest I have experienced and will pin you to the seat. In addition, there is zero lag, acceleration is smooth and determined in this 4000-pound large sedan.
The 2012 A6 was redesigned on the exterior, with much more aggressive lines and a tough, wide stance. Although it is the same size as last year, it looks sleeker and faster.
Audi’s patented Quattro system-which is their term for advanced all-wheel drive-grips the road and makes the handling of the A6 feel much like a Porsche when you change the settings on the Drive Select feature. When you want a comfortable, luxury ride and drive, you can make that happen too. Drive Select is one of the few systems out there that changes the steering, engine, and transmission responsiveness, and it really works.
Like all Audis, the A6 has a beautifully-sculpted interior, with rich leather and just the right amount of wood trim. Everything operates from the center console of the car, and utilizes both a large dial and the touchscreen feature as well. A 7” color monitor rises out of the dash so you can easily operate all electronics. Audi went out of its way to make this system easy to use. The A6 is configured to hold 4 adults, and has ample headroom, even for people over 6-foot tall.
Just about everything you can imagine is standard equipment on the A6. My test car has the Prestige package, which gives you all the electronics, upgraded Bose stereo, Xenon headlights, cooled seats, and a lot more. This car also has the Sport package, which gives you 19” wheels, sport suspension, and shift paddles on a 3-spoke steering wheel.
Although enjoyable to drive, I see this car more as a luxury/comfort sedan than a performance sedan, and that is not because of the handling, but more because at 310-horsepower, I just can’t make the case it is a performance sedan. Audi clearly made a choice between horsepower and fuel economy and I think they made the correct one.
Audi is on a roll as an automaker, just ask any Audi dealer what he/she needs and they’ll tell you more inventory. Audis are so exceptional, they can usually demand a high price and get it, but in the case of the A6, it is priced very competitively. In fact, it is thousands cheaper than some of the cars in its class. From a value standpoint, the redesigned 2012 Audi A6 is an outstanding value.
What I liked most: Handling and the option to change the car through Drive Select.
What I would change: I can’t really think of a single thing.
MSRP: Base price, $49,900. As equipped $61,530
Fuel Economy: 19 in town/28 highway, actually doing 30 on the highway.
2012 Audi A6 in a few words: A strong, capable, enjoyable luxury car.