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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Audi A6 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Audi A6 Overview

Why Be Boring?

As if the A6 line was not impressive enough, Audi also includes a high-powered version known as the A6 4.2. For those who love the power and performance that only a high-end European sport sedan can offer, the A6 4.2 gives you all the luxury and refinement of the V6 powered A6, but with a whole lot more attitude.

So what do you get when Audi drops a big V8 into the A6's engine bay? Well for starters, you get a 300 horsepower V8 engine that can propel the A6 from 0 to 60 mph in a scant 6.7 seconds. That's no typo; this is one sedan that your kids won't be embarrassed to be seen in—or to borrow. Though the fun factor is electronically capped once you hit 130-mph, the ride up to that point is just flat-out non-stop forward motion. The A6 4.2 is powerful from the second you ask it to move and power is there from 1900 rpms right up to redline. Of course, not every day will be a hot-rod day, so it's nice to know that the 4.2's strong low-end torque is also extremely helpful when pulling out into traffic, passing slower moving vehicles and darting across busy intersections.

Straight line acceleration may have been all that was needed in the era of the 60's muscle car, but today's driving enthusiast demands that a car's suspension and handling dynamics match or exceed those of the engine. Here is where the A6 shines brightest. Tuned to deliver an exceptionally smooth ride, yet still thrill and delight the driver, the A6's quattro all-wheel drive exhibits amazing stability and road holding grip that, once you've experience it, will make you never want to go back to two-wheel drive again.

Things get even better when you opt for the Sport package that stiffens the springs and shock settings, adds thicker stabilizer bars and lowers the car. Push the A6 into a high-speed turn, and the car responds as casually as if it were pulling into your driveway. There is absolutely no lean, no uncontrolled body roll, just level and instantaneous cornering. You can accelerate hard even while in the middle of the curve and still not shake the A6's unflappable composure. In fact, chances are you'll get cold feet and let up on the accelerator before the A6 breaks loose. Adding to the fun is the marvelously accurate five-speed Tiptronic automatic that lets you shift gears for yourself without the use of a clutch pedal. If you'd rather keep both hands on the wheel, you can leave the shifter in the D position and opt for the Sport mode which holds off shifts until higher in the rpm band and reduces hunting when climbing hills or decelerating.

It's not just twisting roads that beckon you to be bad, the hypnotic melody of the V8 is enough to make any enthusiast surrender completely to the will of this car. Of course, under normal driving conditions, the engine's sound is muted just enough as to be present but not annoying. During our test drive we actually found more noise generated by the wind rushing past the windows and side mirrors than by the massive 17-inch tires or dual-tipped exhaust.

Noise or not, the A6's interior is sumptuous enough to make you forget you're driving one of the most potent luxury-performance sedans on the market. In typical Audi style, the interior of the A6 could easily be called a work of art. Style does not trump function in the A6, leaving you and your passengers ample head and legroom both front and rear.

Having the A6 dash and door panels as a foundation already gives the A6 4.2 a leg up over its competition, but to this mix Audi then adds an excellent set of 12-way power seats, complete with power-adjustable lumbar that can be moved up or down to better fit drivers of all heights. The steering wheel is power adjustable and both tilts and telescopes; it also holds redundant controls for the audio and cruise control. Little touches like the puddle lights at the base of each door and the backlit controls that light up the dash in a sea of red, further bolster the A6's image as a truly well-crafted machine. Passengers will find just about every need has been anticipated, including those they don't like to think about. Surrounding the interior side windows is a protective airbag curtain; there are also front side-impact airbags as well as seatbelt pretensioners and adjustable head restraints at all five seating positions.

Other touches, such as the suede-like material used on the headliner, the heated rear seats, the solar sunroof and the onboard navigation system make the A6 4.2 as equally comfortable, pleasing the lover of fine things as it does the lover of high speed. In a world filled with never-ending compromise, you'll find that the A6 is one of those rare exceptions that give all you ask of it without sacrifice.

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