1997 Audi A6 Review


Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior, luxurious appointments, smooth ride, communicative handling
  • This car is sloooooooooow
List Price Estimate
$343 - $736

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Despite a recent freshening, the A6 sedan and wagon are growing old. Sitting next to the outstanding A4 and the brand-new A8 in the showroom, the only Audi that looks more geriatric than the A6 is the Cabriolet. Still, this midlevel model is attractive, solid, roomy, and comfortable, with just the right amount of luxury and European flair to make it a viable alternative to other entry-level makes.

The A6's major shortcoming is its powerplant. A 172-horsepower 2.8-liter V6 engine, the same motor found in the lighter A4 2.8, is expected to motivate as much as 3,847 pounds when installed in an unloaded A6 Quattro Wagon. This just isn't enough power, and performance can be called leisurely at best. Handling is another matter. Steering is crisp with excellent feel, though too light with overboosted power assist. Brakes are outstanding, bringing the heavy A6 to a stop smoothly and surely.

Passengers in an A6 are certain to be comfortable, perched on Audi's traditionally supportive seats. Jacquard cloth upholstery is new for 1997, and Kodiak leather remains optional. Interior ambiance is rich with burled walnut inserts and a no-nonsense gauge layout that features soothing red backlighting at night. Some controls are difficult to figure out at first, but owners quickly adapt.

Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system is available on both wagon and sedan as a stand-alone $1,600 option or as part of a new Quattro Value Package that includes a power glass sunroof, larger wheels, and bigger tires for less than $900 more. Currently, Audi is pitching the A6 Quattro Wagon as an alternative to truck-like luxury SUVs. The marketing doesn't seem to be working. Sales through October, 1996, appeared to be on target to match 1995's tally, while Subaru sales skyrocket, thanks to all-wheel drive station wagons.

A completely redesigned A6 sedan is expected to debut in 1998, with a wagon variant following a year later. Styling will fall in line with the A4 and A8, and a more powerful engine choice will be available. Unless you're dying for an all-wheel drive German luxury car and find the A4 too small inside, we suggest consumers wait for the new A6.

1997 Highlights

A new quattro Value Package is available with a power glass sunroof, larger alloy wheels, bigger tires and, of course, the quattro all-wheel-drive system. Selective unlocking capability expands to the remote keyless entry fob, and the alarm system now features interior monitoring. Jacquard cloth upholstery is new, and three new colors debut: Tornado Red, Volcano Black metallic and Byzantine metallic.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Audi A6.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1997 Audi A6 Review
Al Strohmaier,06/29/2006
This has been the best car I have ever owned. I live in NE Ohio in "snow belt" country, and the A6 eats snow and ice and slush as well as my F-250 4x4. I don't get tired driving it, whether it's my short commute or occasional multi-hour trip. Great ergonomics. I'm a car nut, and every time I think about buying a new car I hold it up to the A6 for comparability. Most are found wanting. New Audis aren't cheap, but my experience with the car makes me want to look at low-mileaged used A6s for $27k rather than purchase a new Honda Accord or Toyota Camry with a lot of their bells and whistles.
1997 Audi A6 Quattro
Every car has lemons so take this review for what it is. See suggested improvements for electrical problems. My 1997 Audi A6 quattro Sedan drives smoothly and has moderate to good acceleration at highway speeds (none to speak of off the line -- low end torque simply isnt there). The steering is unrivaled compared to all other cars I've driven, if only there wasn't this nagging hydrolic problem every winter that makes a very loud noise and stiffens the power steering. Unfortunately I cannot recommend this car. I don't like it and it ended up costing me a great deal of money in the end.
Wow! Nice Car!
I picked up my 1997 Audi A6 with 93,000 miles on it. I changed the timing belt and water pump (now ready for 75,000 more miles or whatever Audi recommends), rear calipers (hand brake portion rusted), popped in 6 CDs in the CD changer, and thats it. The sun roof needs to be rebuilt ($500), but it works OK if you don't go all the way to the rear. This car screams in snow! Wow! I went over 105,000 miles on recent trip to the Appalichian Mountains, got a flat tire, and didn't even know it on the hard turns, etc., for about 25 miles (not recommended). Afterwords, the tire was ok. Highly recommend HS Michelin all season tires. They are a great match!
Tank Solid Reliable Luxury
We've been very pleased at the quality and reliability of this Avant quattro. In silver, it looks fantastic. Audi/VW had relied on this 12V V6 motor for several of its platforms, and after living with it, and having no problems at all, I can see why. At 172 bhp, it is a little under-powered, but does great at speed. Leather interior holds up well if regularly treated. Quattro drive grips the road, dry, wet, or in ice and snow. We drove through a blizzard up a mountain and were passing some SUVs that were struggling. The pop-up rear-facing seats work great for our small kids and cousins, plus, they love riding back there. Interior cargo room is pretty good with rear seats folded down.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Audi A6

Used 1997 Audi A6 Overview

The Used 1997 Audi A6 is offered in the following submodels: A6 Sedan, A6 Wagon. Available styles include 2.8 4dr Sedan, 2.8 4dr Wagon, 2.8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD, and 2.8 quattro 4dr Wagon AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Audi A6?

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Which used 1997 Audi A6s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1997 Audi A6s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi A6 for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $11,509.

Find a used Audi for sale - 2 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $25,290.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi A6 for sale - 10 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $11,004.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 1 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $9,756.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Audi A6?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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