It's no secret among car lovers that German automakers are known for their athletic yet luxurious sport sedans. A mere whisper of the name "BMW 5 Series" can cause a spine-tingling shiver or wistful sigh among enthusiasts. Sick and tired of hearing accolade after tribute made to its core competition, Audi has revamped its decade-old midsize A6 sedan, this time proving it has come to play.
Dropping the twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 engine option, the new A6 now offers a standard 3.2-liter V6 and an optional 4.2-liter V8. The V6 is rated at 255 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, while the V8 bumps up to 335 hp and a torque rating of 310 lb-ft. Those of you familiar with the previous A6 will notice that the new V6 puts out just five more horsepower than the 2.7-liter, but 35 hp more than the previous standard 3.0-liter V6. The new V8, however, first used in the Audi S4, has been retuned for the A6 and provides nearly as much power as the larger A8's V8 power plant. We spent enough miles behind the wheel of each A6 model to know that both models gave us a competent, quick rush of power with smooth acceleration.
Both of the previous generation's five-speed transmissions have been replaced by a standard six-speed automanual with seven shift stages, certainly a desirable equipment upgrade for drivers intent on optimizing their driving experience. Nevertheless, true enthusiasts may miss having the option of a true manual transmission, something the company has not yet decided whether to offer. Audi's standard quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard on all 2005 A6s; although, a front-wheel model may be available for the 2006 model year.
To further enhance the A6's remarkable road feel, the suspension is comprised of an upgraded four-link front suspension and a self-tracking, trapezoidal-link rear setup borrowed from the A8. Audi reports that torsional stiffness is up by more than 34 percent over the previous A6. All of these upgrades were designed to help smooth out unwelcome body roll while turning tight corners and keep the wheels firmly planted on the road. During our test-drive, we found the suspension to be spirited, yet comfortable, while offering quality feedback from the road. However, we're not as hip on the steering, which still seemed a little light at times.
The A6's wheelbase is now three inches longer, while the overall length is stretched nearly five inches and the width nearly two. These increased dimensions provide more space in the cabin for front and rear passengers (both legroom and shoulder room are up), while maximum luggage capacity logs in at 19.2 cubic feet (when the rear seats are folded).
The cabin clearly benefits from more sophisticated design aesthetics, as well as increased attention to ergonomics. Twelve-way power front seats can be covered in one of three kinds of leather, and sport seats are an option for drivers who appreciate extra lateral bolstering during enthusiastic driving. Aluminum interior trim provides a sportier look, while wood trim is optional in Brown Walnut or Beige Birch. The power-adjustable steering column and three-position memory for driver seat and mirrors, combined with the multifunction steering wheel, make it easy for drivers to settle in, while the dual-zone automatic climate control system allows passengers to get comfy as well. A power-sliding sunroof and power-folding/dimming heated exterior mirrors round out the extensive list of standard equipment.
There are a variety of new high-tech features, including xenon daytime running lights, active cornering lights (the A6 is the first Audi to receive them) and an electromechanical parking brake. Audi has also added the Multi Media Interface (MMI) control system first seen in the A8. The system has a 7.0-inch color display that's integrated with the 10-speaker Bose stereo system. We used the MMI controls to program the navigation system during our test-drive, and were pleased to find the system was simple to operate and never failed to point us in the right direction. There is also a new Advanced Key feature that 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.
Alongside all the latest gadgetry, you'll find a long list of safety equipment. Programmable daytime running lights and rain sensors help keep a clear view of the road ahead, and the latest generation of ESP (with BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) aids drivers in bringing the A6 to a quick, safe stop as we found when a wayward farm animal wandered into our path. Lastly, front, side and head airbags are on board to help keep occupants safe in the event of an unavoidable accident.
When it comes to dressing up an already nicely standard-equipped A6, four packages are available: The Premium Package includes a power glass sunroof, multifunction steering wheel, bi-xenon headlights, an upgraded Bose stereo system and wood interior trim. The Cold Weather Package provides heated front and rear seats, a ski sack and headlight washers. The Sports Package will give you a stiffer sport suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires. Lastly, the Convenience Package provides auto-dimming/folding exterior mirrors, an auto-dimming interior mirror with compass, memory for the driver seat and mirrors, HomeLink and a trip computer.
Separate options consist of rear parking sensors, rear side airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a DVD-based navigation system, power rear/manual side sunshades and voice control for the Bluetooth hands-free cell phone system. Premium leather and sport seats are also available as à la carte extras.
Audi calls the new A6 an "important bridge from the A4 to the A8," and we couldn't agree more. We enjoy the sporty appeal of the A4, but appreciate the space of the larger A6, all the while contemplating the day we might have enough dollars to spring for the A8. Audi tells us it anticipates selling 90 percent V6-equipped A6s, and just 10 percent of the V8 models. Pricing is expected to be near $45,000 for the V6 quattro, with the V8 entering the market in the low $50,000s. Look for the A6 to go on sale late in the 2004 calendar year.
Is the 2005 Audi A6 a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2005 Audi A6 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2005 A6 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are 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.
How do people like the 2005 Audi A6? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2005 Audi A6 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2005 A6 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2005 A6.
Review We have had our 2005 Audi A6 3.2 for about two years and bought it with about 106,000 miles. This car is a great looking car and very fun to drive, but none of that matters when reliability is an issue. I can honestly say that unless I win the next mega lottery I am never buying another Audi. Now before you dismiss me as a hater I want you to know I really wanted to love this car. I like German engineered cars. I had a few BMWs before and liked those, and my wife had a 2000 Audi S4 for a couple years that was also a fun car, but had maintenance issues that should haver warned us from buying another Audi. We had an extended aftermarket warranty on that car though, so I guess that helped us "forget" about the issues. Right from the get go the A6 was trouble. When accelerating from stop signs there was a drastic delay before the car would shift into gear and start moving - you would push the accelerator and nothing would happen for a couple beats and then it would suddenly take off. I finally learned that if I kept the car in sport mode that didn't happen. Sport mode is fun so I didn't mind too much, but my MPG suffered. After returning the car to the dealer I bought it from a couple time they still couldn't fix the problem and offered to put a new transmission in for $1,200. After agreeing to that I soon discovered that did nothing to fixed the problem! That set the tone for a trend that continued throughout ownership. Every four months or so an issue would pop up that required a trip to the local Audi dealer for repairs. I started to joke with people that a trip to the dealer was always followed with at least $500 in repairs. The icing of the cake though occurred last week when we brought the car in for a failed battery. At this point we have 123,000 miles on the odometer and we asked them to change the oil as well. Then we got a phone call from the dealer saying that the timing chain was stretched and the car sounded terrible. They would recommend we don't drive it but have it towed if we want a second opinion. The repair would cost $5,000!! And that was just to repair one of four chains in the engine. To repair all four the cost would be $8,000. Now after reading some forums and talking to some repair shops I have learned that this is fairly common with Audis of this time period. Apparently Audi went to the timing chain versus timing belt set up starting in 2005 and the new chain system trends towards failure on a good percentage of the cars between 110,000 and 150,000 miles. Now some people may say that is is a common result of neglected maintenance. I can tell you I was current on all of my oil changes and service. I can't say what the history of the car was before I bought it, but this drastic problem with a ridiculous repair price tag is unacceptable. If you look up the value of my car, this repair costs more that the car is worth at this point. So although I typically don't write reviews, I felt obligated to share my experience in hope that I can save some other car buyer from the same fate.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2005 Audi A6?
Available Audi A6 2005 Submodel Types: Sedan, Wagon, Diesel
Available Trims: 2.0T Premium Plus quattro, 3.0T Premium quattro, 3.0T Premium Plus quattro, 3.2 quattro, 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro, 3.0 TFSI Premium Plus quattro, 2.0T Premium quattro, 3.0T Prestige quattro, 4.2 quattro, 2.0T Premium, 2.7T quattro, 2.7T S-Line quattro, 3.0T quattro, 2.8 quattro, 3.0 TFSI Prestige quattro, 3.0 quattro, 2.0T Premium Plus, 3.2, 3.2 Avant quattro, 4.2 Prestige quattro, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2 Premium, TDI Premium Plus quattro
Exterior Colors: Brilliant Black, Moonlight Blue Metallic, Glacier White Metallic, Ibis White, Mythos Black Metallic, Phantom Black Pearl Effect, Ice Silver Metallic, Oolong Gray Metallic, Quartz Gray Metallic, Light Silver Metallic, Aviator Blue Metallic, Night Blue Pearl Effect, Oyster Gray Metallic, Florett Silver Metallic, Tornado Gray Metallic, Havanna Black Metallic, Aventurine Blue Pearl Effect, Arctic White, Dakota Gray Metallic, Garnet Red Pearl Effect, Daytona Gray Pearl Effect, Matador Red Metallic, Condor Gray Metallic, Dakar Beige Metallic, Santorin Blue PL Effect, Atlas Gray Metallic, Brilliant Black Clearcoat, Burgundy Red Pearl Effect, Casablanca White, Cashmere Gray PL Effect, Dolphin Gray Metallic, Ebony PL Effect, Ebony Pearl, Glacier White, Java Brown Metallic, Ming Blue Pearl, Royal Grey Metallic - Audi Exclusive
Interior Colors: Black leather, Nougat Brown leather, Velvet Beige leather, Black premium leather, Atlas Beige leather, Ebony premium leather, Amaretto premium leather, Cardamom Beige leather, Ebony, Light Gray leather, Beige, Flint Gray leather, Atlas Beige premium leather, Titanium Gray leather, Cardamom Beige premium leather, Amaretto/Black leather, Black w/Korso Red Stitching premium leather, Beige premium leather, Havana Brown premium leather, Havanna Brown premium leather, Light Gray premium leather, Amaretto, Black w/Black Stitching premium leather, Nougat Brown premium leather, Platinum, Platinum premium leather, Tungsten Gray
Popular Features: Alarm, Auto Climate Control, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Leather Seats, AWD/4WD, Bluetooth, Tire Pressure Warning, Sunroof/Moonroof, Trip Computer, Heated seats, Post-collision safety system, Pre-collision safety system, Navigation, Upgraded Headlights, Parking sensors, Back-up camera, USB Inputs, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Blind Spot Monitoring, Keyless Entry/Start, Mobile Internet, Upgraded Stereo, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Cooled Seats, Heads up display, Power Liftgate/Trunk, 360-degree camera