The history of Audi is certainly one of the most diverse in more than 100 years of automobile history. Its tradition in car and motorcycle manufacturing dates back to the 19th century, when pioneering engineer August Horch founded the company that would one day become Audi AG. Four automakers merged in 1932 under the emblem of the Four Rings to form Auto Union, and the Swabian company NSU from Neckarsulm, which joined in 1969. Together they enriched the worldwide automotive industry and decisively influenced the technical development of the motor car. The technically innovative image of the two brands, Audi and NSU, led ultimately to the slogan coined in 1971 which still applies today: Vorsprung durch Technik, which means Innovation through Technology. (Directly quoted from AudiUSA.com)
FEATURES & SPECS:
Engine - DOHC V6 2.8L, 200 hp @ 6000 rpm / 207 lbs-ft torque @ 3200 rpm.
Weight - 3704 lbs. (Quattro).
Transmission - AT only (w/ Tiptronic).
Fuel efficiency - 17 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy. Premium fuel is recommended/required.
Warranty info - Basic warranty is 48 months/50,000 miles, power train warranty is 48 months/50,000 & rust warranty is 10 years/unlimited miles.
Other features - A/C, ABS, power windows & locks, tilt steering, cruise control, leather seats (optional), power seats w/ lumbar support & 3-memory settings, 200 watt / 8-speaker Bose stereo (optional), 6-disc CD changer (optional), sunroof (optional), car phone (optional), tachometer, rear defroster, halogen headlights & fog lights, 16 alloy wheels w/ 205/55 tires & small spare tire.
There are so many good things to mention about the Audi A6. IMO, the most important feature is the all-wheel-drive Quattro system. My three previous cars didnt have this and you can tell in bad weather (i.e. heavy rain) that in the A6 Quattro, you have more traction and control than in any front or rear wheel drive vehicle. Theres also the ATs Tiptronic control which basically is like driving a stick, except theres no clutch necessary to change gears. This is especially useful in sharp inclines or steep declines in the roads and it can make driving the A6 a little more sporty/fun. Its equipped w/ ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) which assists in emergency braking situations and gives the driver more control of the vehicle. Also, it doesnt cause the tires to bald in an emergency stop. The Bose stereo is a must-have if you enjoy music while driving (which 99% of us do). It has a very good range of mid and high frequencies as well as the Bose subwoofer in the trunk thats nicely hidden away. Also, the 6-disc changer is also hidden in the trunk on the other side of the subwoofer. The dashboard is lighted in a nice, red digital display. Some may complain that its difficult to read in bright sunlight, but I havent had that problem. The dashboard display features are unique. It can show the length of time youve been driving, the mpg overall that youre getting as well as list what gear youre on and what stereo mode youre in (CD, cassette or radio station). Of course, if you dont desire to see these features displayed, you can turn it off. As for power windows, theyre all one-touch up or down. This is very convenient as many vehicles only offer one-touch down for the drivers side. Plus, the power seats offer lumbar support which is pleasant to have and I highly recommend using it for improved back support, especially on long drives. Also, the driver's seat has 3-memory settings which definitely comes in handy, so multiple drivers won't have to fiddle w/ all the power seat controls. The real wood trim is a welcomed relief, too. Its gives the car the luxury look/feel, along w/ the leather seats. In the near-luxury and luxury car division, who wants to pay premium prices for simulated wood trim? With Audi vehicles, theres no worry. Also, the dial to open the sunroof is easy to operate and the sunroof visor, if purchased, eliminates more wind noise when the sunroof is open. The trunk space is surprisingly spacious. It doesnt look as big on the outside, but when the trunk opens, especially when the rear seats are folded down, you can fit just about anything back there. A good feature on the rear folding seats is that youre able to lock it w/ your car key. The remote key itself is unique. The key folds out at the push of a button and on the remote you have three commands: lock, unlock and trunk open.
The driving experience is another big plus w/ this vehicle. The A6 accelerates smoothly and quietly. It can get a little noisier using the Tiptronic feature, but thats because the rpms will climb up much higher than the AT would do. Also, in Tiptronic mode, if you forget to change gears and the rpms hit above 7000, it will automatically shift up for you, a safety feature which comes in handy. If you care about your car, you dont ever want to red-line it often. And the steering/handling is good, even w/ the stock rim/tire combo. Most A6 buyers will be satisfied w/ this setup. In sharp, accelerated turns, theres some body lean, but Audis Quattro system keeps all four wheels planted on the ground and in constant motion. And Audis struts/springs help as well, too. So, theres less, if any, chance of fish-tailing on a turn. Whether its stop and go traffic or a long, relaxing trip, the A6 is a pleasure to drive where ever you go.
First, theres the high price, especially brand new models. But its a luxury European car, so thats expected. Second, for 1998 - 1999, there was only one type of engine available (2.8L V6) which lacks the necessary hp & torque to move this heavy vehicle (over 3700 lbs & 0 to 60 mph in @ 9 seconds)...now that's slow. Third, the standard sized tires and wheels are too small/thin which makes for a soft, non-sporty handling. Fourth, I find it inconvenient that the CD changer is in the trunk instead of being in the glove compartment or built into the stereo deck. Fifth, as w/ any luxury car make, going to the Audi dealership for maintenance is expensive. Even the simple oil change and vehicle inspection can run you @ $150. Last, Audi offers FWD w/ traction control, which is a con for marketing reasons, IMO. I guess theres people out there that doesnt want the Quattro system, but why?? Isnt the Quattro system one of the biggest reasons why you buy an Audi?? This isnt really that bad because FWD is @ 200 lbs. lighter; hence, its more fuel efficient. But in bad weather (rain or snow), when you compare any car w/ 2-wheel drive and traction control vs. an all-wheel drive vehicle, guess who has better traction overall? Enough said.
MY BUYING EXPERIENCE:
I bought my Audi A6 2.8 Quattro, fully loaded w/ the royal blue leather interior, car phone & Bose stereo system, from the local Audi dealership in May/June 2001. To make a long story short, they took my trade-in (1997 Lexus ES 300) and gave me the highest trade-in value possible (trust me, I called many dealerships and inquired). Then, the Fleet Mgr. stayed w/ me from @ 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. to not only make sure the paperwork was completed, but to make sure I understood all the functions/features of my new (used) vehicle. In all my years of buying vehicles (Toyota Paseo, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Lexus ES 300 & now, Audi A6 Quattro), Ive never experienced such excellent customer service as I have at the local Audi dealership. I mentioned this because the whole experience of buying a car can be very stressful. At this dealership, not only did I finally get the car Ive always wanted, but I got friendly service, too, which is hard to find these days. Please excuse me for not mentioning the dealership's name since I won't do any free advertising from them...LOL!
I sold the '98 A6 2.8, but I have no regrets buying it and still recommend it despite it being slightly underpowered, IMO.
I removed the "Aftermarket Upgrade" section of this review. I figured most people might be happy w/ the 2.8 engine and suspension/handling in stock form.
The Audi A6 Quattro is a European luxury model which competes nicely w/ other makes such as the BMW 5-series or the E-class Mercedes-Benz. But BMWs 5-series doesnt offer AWD (the 3-series does) & Mercedes 4-Matic is not as well-known as Audis Quattro system. So, if youre looking for a luxury used car, look no further because Audis A6 may just be the vehicle youve been searching for.
Amount Paid (US$):
1998Model and Options:
A6 2.8 Quattro