Luxury-car shoppers who love value have long cheered the Audi A6. And in true Audi fashion, the midsize A6 gives you a lot for a very competitive price. One of the A6's primary strengths is its deluxe cabin. Materials are first-rate, and the overall design is nothing short of class-leading. Its winter-weather capability is another plus as the A6, like other Audis, is available with all-wheel drive.
But the car's most compelling asset concerns value. In terms of overall quality, the Audi A6 is right up there with other midsize luxury cars, but it typically costs thousands less. A used A6 represents an even more affordable proposition, though these examples lack the athleticism of its contemporary rivals. The latest A6 benefits from enhanced performance and increased driver engagement, making it a top choice in the segment.
Used Audi A6 Models
The third-generation Audi A6 ran from the 2005 to the 2011 model year. Overall, the third-generation car represented an admirable mix of attention-getting style, entertaining driving dynamics and opulent furnishings. A wagon body style, known as the Avant, was offered alongside the sedan.
In the third generation's final year of production, three engines were offered: a 265-horsepower V6 (3.2), a 300-hp supercharged V6 (3.0T) and a 350-hp V8 (4.2). The 3.2 front-wheel-drive sedan had a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while all other A6s came with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The A6 Avant was only available with the 3.0T engine, AWD and the automatic.
Throughout the production run, trim levels were generally structured around engine selections. For the most part, three trims were offered: base 3.2 Premium, midlevel 3.0T Premium Quattro and top-of-the-line 4.2 Prestige Quattro. Wagons were available only in the 3.0T Premium Quattro trim. Standard features were as generous as any luxury car for the time, with navigation standard for all and the upper trims coming with heated seats. Meanwhile, Audi's easy-to-use Multi Media Interface (MMI) system made controlling audio, navigation and Bluetooth functions easy with clear and logical menus.
Those considering third-gen models should keep in mind that the base V6 made only 255 hp from 2005-'09 (later increased to 265 hp). Also, the supercharged V6 (3.0T) wasn't available from 2005-'08, while the car's V8 produced only 335 hp prior to 2007, when output was bumped to 350 hp. In terms of features, the A6 has stayed mostly unchanged, though trim packages and options were also simplified for '09, and the MMI electronics interface and navigation system were upgraded for 2010.
In reviews, we've found the engines to be smooth and refined. The base V6's acceleration is certainly passable, but our choice would be the 3.0T thanks to its broad range of torque and relative fuel efficiency. In fact, we've found this engine provided quicker acceleration than the V8. The A6 rode comfortably on the highway, and while it wasn't the most athletic car in its class, our editors applauded its predictable, confident feel around corners.
The second-generation A6 sedan arrived on the market in 1998 and benefited from a ground-up redesign; an all-new version of the Avant wagon debuted the following year. This was the first Audi A6 to ride on a stretched version of the highly regarded A4 platform.
For the first two years, only a naturally aspirated V6 was available, but in 2000, Audi added a spirited twin-turbocharged V6 and a torque-rich V8 to the sedan lineup. Given that acceleration tended to be sluggish with the base V6, particularly on the hefty A6 Avant wagon, Audi began offering a more powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder in 2002. Transmission choices included a five-speed automatic and a CVT (which was introduced in 2002). In reviews, we praised the heavenly cabin and all-wheel-drive utility offered by the second-generation A6, and panned its somewhat nonlinear steering. Overall, it represents a solid choice for used-car shoppers.
The original Audi A6 came to market in 1995 as a lightly revised version of the old Audi 100 sedan and wagon. Although prices on used A6 models from this era are convincingly low, consumers should be aware that only one engine -- a 172-hp V6 -- is available on these cars. With the lightest A6 sedan weighing in at 3,400 pounds, acceleration is modest at best. However, much like newer Audis, this A6 was nicely appointed and offered a choice of front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Audi A6 page.