Used 2001 Audi A6 Review

Edmunds expert review

Refined and luxurious, the all-weather A6 family offers a satisfying alternative to the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class -- the 2.7T is our favorite.




What's new for 2001

All 2001 Audis receive a new 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and no-charge scheduled maintenance, a 12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation, and 24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years. All A6s are now equipped with the high-tech Immobilizer III security system, side-curtain airbags, a 12-millimeter increase in the headrest height adjustment and an optional multifunction steering wheel.

Vehicle overview

Four flavors of the A6 are available for 2001. The standard 2.8-liter V6, found in the base sedan and the Avant, brews up 200 horsepower and is mated to a standard Tiptronic automatic or an optional five-speed manual transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system is optional on the 2.8 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. Audi's Electronic Stability Program (ESP), standard on the sedans and optional on the 2.8 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 foot-pounds 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 foot-pounds 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 an 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.

The A6's styling is unmistakably Audi, with a swept greenhouse and muscular fenders. However, the A6 isn't a stunner like the A4. The rounded sheetmetal and sharply creased trim detail don't blend well to our eye, and the taillights on the sedan appear to have been lifted from Chevrolet's lowly S-10 pickup. From some angles, the car looks great. From others, it appears somewhat dumpy and jumbled. Front overhang can appear especially out of balance. Fortunately, the gracefully swept greenhouse on both the sedan and wagon lends a touch of class and elegance to an otherwise characterless profile.

Despite nitpicks, we believe 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, though it could use a boost in horsepower. Our personal favorite is the A6 2.7T. This version offers better acceleration than the 2.8 and nearly equals the 4.2. It also doesn't cost much more than the 2.8, and certainly costs less than the 4.2.






Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.