What's New for 2007
A new 4.2-liter V8 with direct injection and 350 horsepower debuts, as does a new overhead console and a digital speed indicator. Other changes for the 2007 Audi A6 include a standard trip computer for all trims, a rearview camera for the park assist system, available iPod integration and strangely, the deletion of active head restraints.
After years of playing second fiddle in the midsize luxury sedan segment, Audi's A6 has recently bettered itself so it now sits shoulder to shoulder with the class heavyweights -- the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. A redesign a couple of years ago resulted in a finely sculpted sedan that also had beauty under the skin in the form of an athletic suspension, energetic power plants and, in Audi tradition, a handsome cabin trimmed in the finest materials. A wagon version of the A6, called the Avant, is also available, and shares all the attributes of the sedan.
As with its most direct peers, one can have a 2007 Audi A6 with either six- or eight-cylinder power. Gone are the days of tepid V6s for this brand, as the direct-injected 3.2-liter unit puts out 255 hp. The big news this year, however, is the revamped 4.2-liter V8 that also uses direct fuel injection. Output is a potent 350 hp. Unfortunately, the A6 is no lightweight. At over 4000 pounds, there's quite a bit of mass here, so even with the muscular V8, the A6 isn't going to rip off sub-6-second 0-60 times. But this classy sedan and wagon were not built to outgun Shelby Mustangs at stop lights; their forte is covering hundreds of miles at a speedy pace, all the while coddling their occupants in quiet and spacious cabins.
For years, Audi had the all-wheel-drive niche of the luxury sedan segment virtually to itself. But now its competition has seen the light and offers AWD as well, giving those who live in inclement areas of the country more choices in a luxury sedan or wagon. As before, serious driving enthusiasts will find the BMW 5 Series the most rewarding to drive in this segment, thanks chiefly to its highly communicative steering and somewhat firmer suspension. But unlike the A6, the 5 Series doesn't offer all-wheel drive in the V8 version. Of course, the Mercedes E-Class is a strong choice in this segment as well, but it costs around $7,000 more than the A6. Another close competitor is the Acura RL sedan, which also comes with standard AWD and an attractive price. All things considered, however, the majority of drivers should be more than happy with the 2007 Audi A6. Whether you go the sedan or wagon route, the Audi's abundant luxury, sporty handling and comfortable ride quality will make it a pleasurable vehicle for nearly all situations.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Audi A6 is sold as a sedan and Avant (wagon). The sedan comes in 3.2 and 4.2 trim levels, and these numbers correspond to the size of engine fitted. The Avant comes in the 3.2 trim only. Standard features on the 3.2 sedan include 16-inch alloy wheels, wood interior trim, a trip computer, leather seating, power front seats, a tire-pressure monitor, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker stereo with a glovebox-mounted CD changer. The 3.2 Avant is similar but with 17-inch wheels and a sunroof. The top-line 4.2 sedan provides adaptive xenon HID headlights, a sunroof, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, upgraded leather upholstery and driver memory settings. An available premium package for the 3.2 models essentially adds the features of the 4.2. The S-line package adds a sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, gray birch wood inlays, headlight washers and unique bumper and grille treatment. Other options include iPod integration, adaptive air suspension, rear park assist with rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system and voice-recognition technology.
Powertrains and Performance
The A6 3.2 features a 3.1-liter V6 rated at 255 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque. The A6 4.2 has a 4.2-liter V8 that puts out 350 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The sedan is available with either engine, while the wagon comes with the V6 only. Both engines feature direct fuel-injection technology, which optimizes performance and efficiency via ultra-precise fuel delivery. The 3.2 front-wheel-drive sedan has a continuously variable transmission (with driver-selectable shift points), while all other A6s come with a six-speed automatic transmission and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Though the V6 is still a little short on low-end torque, it pulls with authority through the midrange. We timed a 3.2 Quattro sedan at 7.9 seconds from zero to 60 mph. As expected, the V8 is as smooth and potent as any eight-cylinder in the class and betters the 3.2 model's time by about a second; we recently timed a 4.2 sedan at 7.1 seconds to 60 mph.
All A6 models come with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional. The A6 performed admirably in IIHS testing, earning the top rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2007 Audi A6 offers one of the finest interiors of any midsize luxury sedan. Besides offering standard leather and wood inlays, each cabin is filled with supple, high-quality materials. If you bought an A6 for the sake of luxury appointments alone, you wouldn't be disappointed. All models come with the Multi Media Interface (MMI) vehicle management system, whose 7-inch display is integrated with the 10-speaker Bose stereo and the optional navigation system. In practice, it's much easier to use than BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' COMAND and helps minimize cabin clutter. An available Advanced Key feature allows drivers to keep the key on their person and simply hit the start button when entering the car, instead of fumbling for the ignition. The Avant wagon has a 34-cubic-foot cargo hold behind its rear seats, and folding the seats expands it to 59 cubes.
While the Audi's handling is softer than BMW's 5 Series or Infiniti's M35/M45, it provides an excellent ride around town, along with predictable reflexes and precise steering through turns. During high-speed cruising the A6 provides a serene cabin and a confident feel at the wheel. Additionally, its Quattro system affords it prodigious grip around turns that makes spirited driving that much more fun, while providing all-weather capability.