Smooth powertrain, great brakes, well-equipped and beautifully crafted interior, standard all-wheel drive.
Unimpressive engine and handling performance, ride quality may be too stiff for some buyers.
Changes are light for the 2008 Audi S6. Satellite radio is now standard, while Audi's lane departure warning system is now optional.
The 2008 Audi S6 is a well-crafted sports sedan, but when compared to its two key competitors, it falls behind in terms of maximum performance and driver enjoyment.
Scale can be a real bugger sometimes. The Eiffel Tower sure seems tall until you realize that a glorified TV antenna in Canada called the CN Tower is nearly twice as tall. Or, your husband may seem hunky until Ocean's 11 comes on and the hubby is reduced to a level somewhere south of a clock-tower-dwelling hunchback. With its exotic V10 engine and various other sport-tuned components, the 2008 Audi S6 performance sedan is a fine machine that offers its driver a mix of high-speed fun and comfortable on-road demeanor. Yet when compared to its prime competitors, the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the S6 starts to suffer significantly from scale.
Putting aside its lofty competition for a moment, the 2008 S6 has a lot going for it -- specifically, the 435-horsepower, 5.2-liter V10 engine that's based on the V10 found in the Audi-owned Lamborghini Gallardo exotic sports car. Despite having less power, the S6 version features a fuller power band that's more befitting a luxury sport sedan. Further enhancements over a regular A6 include significant suspension tuning, larger wheels and brakes, unique styling elements and aggressively bolstered front seats.
The rest of the S6 is typical Audi. The only transmission is a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles, while its ubiquitous Quattro all-wheel-drive system should appeal to those who want maximum performance and maximum bad-weather traction. Inside, the cabin is constructed with the same impeccable panache and quality that sets the regular A6 apart in its class. All together, the 2008 S6 is a package that offers a lot of goods for a price that's at least $11,000 less than its two German rivals.
However, the question therefore arises, how important is value for shoppers of high-performance sedans? If one can afford an S6, are the extra thousands needed to buy an M5 or E63 AMG that prohibitive? We'll leave those answers to your checkbook, but price aside, the S6 simply does not measure up with the BMW or Benz. Both out-accelerate the S6 by a second or more in the 0-60-mph sprint and the quarter-mile. Both are far more at home on twisty roads than the Audi, which is pudgier and more nose-heavy, lacking the light-on-its-feet feel of the other two. Plus, its stiff ride makes it less comfortable than its hard-core competitors. It's far from a clock-tower-dwelling hunchback, but to the 2008 Audi S6, scale is still a real bugger.
Performance & mpg
The 2008 Audi S6 is powered by a 5.2-liter V10 that produces 435 hp and 398 pound-feet of torque. It sends that power to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that includes Tiptronic automanual shift paddles behind the steering wheel. In performance testing, we clocked the S6 going from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, with a quarter-mile run of 14 seconds. Fuel economy is 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.
Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Audi S6 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, all-wheel drive, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Optional safety equipment includes rear-seat side airbags, a rearview camera and Audi's Lane Assist lane departure system. In crash testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Audi A6 (on which the S6 is based) scored the highest possible rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Weighing nearly 4,500 pounds, the 2008 Audi S6 is no lightweight, and this is most noticeable when attacking a twisty road. Although steering is crisp, body roll is well controlled and handling is confidence-inspiring, the S6 just doesn't have the nimble feel of its lighter rivals. Around town, the sport suspension calibration gives a stiff-legged ride, quite out of character for an Audi and again not equal to the more forgiving yet still very capable setups of the M5 and E63 AMG.
Trimmed in leather, aluminum and birch wood accents, the S6's cabin upholds Audi's reputation as a builder of some of the finest automobile interiors. The S6's front sport seats are heavily bolstered to provide support during aggressive driving on a twisty road. The MMI control interface allows the driver and front passenger to operate entertainment, climate, communications and navigation functions. There's a steep learning curve involved, but the system is notably more intuitive than BMW's reviled iDrive. A split/folding rear seat with a pass-through provides additional cargo capacity should the trunk's 15.9 cubic feet not be enough.
2008 Audi S6 models
The 2008 Audi S6 is a high-performance version of Audi's A6 midsize luxury sedan that comes in one loaded trim level. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels with performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a sunroof, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front sport seats with driver-side memory, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system and a Bose surround-sound system with satellite radio and a six-CD changer in the glovebox.
Optional equipment includes the Technology Package that contains a navigation system, voice recognition, keyless ignition and rearview camera with parking sensors. The Warm Weather Package includes power rear and manual side window sun shades, and a solar sunroof that uses solar energy to power a ventilation system that cools the interior. Stand-alone extras include adaptive cruise control, heated rear seats, iPod integration and a no-cost option for less aggressively bolstered front seats.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Audi S6 Sedan.
I almost did not purchase this car after reading what Edmunds and alike had to say, but luckily did after driving both the E63 and M5. They are definitely fast but so is a ZR1 corvett or a mustang! Point being, Audi owners have more in mind than pure horsepower. It's the ability to have a car that handles under all conditions and environments, and do it in a way that doesn't say look at me. And seriously, the engine is a thing of beauty! The M5 will take me out until it starts to rain..he'll be in the ditch and I'll be eating dinner! I have seriously considered getting an R8 but can't come to grips with giving up such an all around wonderful car.
5 out of 5 stars
There is no comparison
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)
This is my 4th Audi and by far my favorite. You can't compare this car to the M5 or the E63, That's what the RS6 is for (We won't get the current 570bhp in the states) For those of us that know about Audis, this car will blow away any E500 or twin Turbo 550i and you will look better doing it. This is the best S I have owned. I had the 2001 S8 and that was a blast too.Until the 2011 RS6 comes this is the next best thing or the 2003 RS6.
5 out of 5 stars
Spectacular car, not cheap though.
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)
Don't kid yourself, this car gets expensive fast, expect no more than 17mpg unless you do a ton of highway miles. Cheap repairs are 2k+ a set of tires is easily 1800. It really should be babied to keep up appearance and performance, plan for 400+/mo. If none of that makes you cringe, then I highly recommend it. It will keep pace with if not outright decimate most cars out there, and happily put domestic upstarts to shame, while looking so much classier doing so. It handles beautifully, even performs drifts well, especially for a heavy luxury sedan. Every day with this car is a treat, it makes every mile so much more fun than my 08 S4. The onboard tech is very impressive, and for someone with back problems, it's extremely comfortable, even on very long drives (8+hrs). If you're considering this car and have the desire to spend the money on it that it deserves, just do it. Anyone who says the 3L turbo A6 is comparable is simply wrong. This is an entirely different beast.
5 out of 5 stars
Wow and simply amazing
quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)
Purchased this car Friday and have not stopped admiring what this car is capable of and how much fun you can have in a sedan. Tested M3 M5 but for the price, refinement and handling, hands down this the car is the best. It's a Lambo in a sedan's clothing and the grunt the engine make when it's pushed is awesome. Plus you have quattro stabilty and handling.
The Used 2008 Audi S6 Sedan is offered in the following styles: quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A).
The Used 2008 Audi S6 Sedan comes with all wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
The Used 2008 Audi S6 Sedan comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you
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