What's New for 2002
The A6 gets a new 220-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 to replace last year's 2.8-liter. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available on front-wheel-drive models with this engine. Other mechanical changes this year include stronger brakes, an improved stability control system and BrakeAssist. OnStar telematics makes its way onto the options list, and you'll be pleased to find a standard six-disc changer in the dashboard. Styling in and around the car, such as the head and taillamps, is slightly modified and new interior and exterior colors expand your choices.
Several flavors of the A6 are available for 2002. A new standard 3.0-liter V6, found in the base sedan and Avant, brews up 220 horsepower and is mated to a standard Tiptronic automatic, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for non-quattro models or an optional five-speed manual transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional on the 3.0 and standard on all of the remaining models. This system constantly monitors the grip at all four tires. When one of them starts to lose traction, the quattro system automatically applies power to the tires with the most adhesion to the road surface. As extra precaution, Audi's Electronic Stability Program (ESP), standard on the sedans and optional on the 3.0 Avant, applies brakes to the misbehaving wheel and gently points you back on your course.
The A6 2.7T Sedan has a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 that produces 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Audi has used two small turbos rather than one large one to make the engine more responsive. In a nice tip of the hat to enthusiasts, the 2.7T comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. A five-speed Tiptronic-controlled automatic transmission is a no-cost option.
The Audi A6 4.2 Sedan features the V8 normally found in the larger A8 Sedan. Obviously, this is Audi's challenge to the V8-powered BMW 540i and Mercedes-Benz E430. The 4.2-liter engine produces 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, channeled through a five-speed Tiptronic-controlled automatic transmission. Beyond the engine, the 4.2 also comes with more aggressive styling, bigger wheels and tires and more standard equipment.
All A6 models feature a sublime interior that is one of the best in its class. Audi greets drivers with a generous amount of supple materials and features. As a bonus, A6 buyers can choose from three different types of interiors. The atmospheres -- Ambition, Ambiente and Advance -- differ in their use of texture and appearance of the seat upholstery, and the color and type of genuine wood and aluminum trim. New for 2002 is a standard in-dash six-disc changer.
The A6's styling is unmistakably Audi, with a swept greenhouse and muscular fenders. The Avant station wagon is a good fit for this silhouette, and offers 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space; 73.2 cubic feet are available with the seats down. So why did you need that SUV?
The A6 is an enticing choice in the hotly contested luxury sedan class. If you're looking for a wagon, the A6 Avant should serve nicely. Our personal favorite is the A6 2.7T. This version offers better acceleration than the 3.0 and nearly equals the 4.2. It also doesn't cost much more than the 3.0 and certainly costs less than the 4.2.