Premium midsize car; Built in Germany
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $4,100*


1992 Audi 100 CS 4-door sedan


1994 Audi 100S 4-door wagon


1996 Audi A6 Quattro 4-door sedan


1997 Audi A6 4-door sedan


1997 Audia A6 4-door wagon

Pros:
  • Acceleration (S6)
  • All-wheel drive (Quattro)
  • Antilock brakes
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Fuel economy
  • Instruments/controls
  • Rear visibility
  • Ride

The capable midsize Audi performs well, looks great, but still lags in overall value. Except for the extra traction of an Audi Quattro model, the rival Acura Legend was a better choice than Audi’s 100 when new, and remains so today.

Overview

Rounded restyling of Audi’s midsize premium sedan kept dimensions close to the former 100/200 series. A V6 went under the hood for the first time, replacing the inline 5-cylinder engine. Dimensions were nearly identical to the prior cars, inside and out, but curb weight grew by some 250 pounds. Three versions went on sale: 100, 100 S, and 100 CS. Each could have either 5-speed manual shift or a 4-speed automatic transmission. A driver-side airbag and antilock disc brakes were standard. All-wheel-drive 100 CS Quattro versions came later in the 1992 model year: both a sedan and a station wagon. The Quattro wagon had a standard automatic transmission–a “first” for any Audi all-wheel-drive model. Also arriving later was a limited-production, high-performance S4 edition (successor to the previous 200 Quattro), with manual shift and a 227-horsepower turbocharged version of the old 5-cylinder engine.

Yearly Updates

1993 100/S4/A6/S6
A passenger-side airbag was added in the 100’s second year. A front-drive station wagon arrived late in the season, with a third seat in the rear for 7-passenger capacity.
1994 100/S4/A6/S6
Few significant changes took place for 1994. The base-level sedan disappeared, leaving only a 100 S sedan and wagon, and a CS sedan.
1995 100/S4/A6/S6
Facelifting for ’95 was accompanied by a badge change, to A6 and high-performance S6. Body changes included new front and rear fascias, a new hood, revised bodyside moldings, and new ellipsoid headlights. The A6 came as a 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon, with front-wheel drive or Quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Only offered as a sedan, the S6 had a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, larger wheels and tires, a firmer suspension, twin exhaust pipes, and wheelwell flares.
1996 100/S4/A6/S6
No high-performance S6 went on sale for ’96, but new Electronic Differential Locking for the A6 improved low-speed traction on slippery surfaces. One-touch power windows were also installed. An automatic transmission now was standard in the A6 sedan, deleting the 5-speed manual gearbox.
1997 100/S4/A6/S6
A glass sunroof joined the option list, replacing a steel sunroof. A revised central locking system incorporated the fuel filler door, the interior lights added a fade out feature, and a new Quattro option package included 16-inch wheels and the sunroof.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Both the 100-series and its A6 successor use a 2.8-liter V6 engine that delivers 172 horsepower. A turbocharged, dual overhead-cam 5-cylinder engine powers the S4 and later S6 high performance editions. Those two models came only with 5-speed manual shift. Audi’s 100-series and the early A6 might have either a 5-speed or automatic transmission, but later A6 models all have automatics.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/169
Engine HP 172
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 184
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed manual
19/25
19/25
18.0

Turbocharged dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/136
Engine HP 227
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 256
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

18/23

Road Test

Though smaller than most engines in its class, acceleration with the V6 is lively with the 5-speed, but only adequate with 4-speed automatic, which shifts harshly and does not always downshift as needed. The 2.8-liter engine does not produce much torque at low speeds, so a heavy throttle foot is required for good pickup. Also, the automatic is often stuck in too high a gear to maximize available power. Audi’s manual gearbox, on the other hand, is one of the smoothest around.

Handling and roadholding rank at or near the top of the performance-oriented luxury-sedan class, but the earlier model’s chassis seems to transmit every bump to occupants. High-performance S4/S6 sedans promise an even harder ride. Steering response is excellent; brakes are strong and sure.

All models have ample room for four passengers and their luggage. Two rear occupants will enjoy plenty of head and leg room, but a third could be cramped. The wagon’s folding third seat is intended mainly for children. Interior appointments are first-rate. Though the dashboard is convenient, the automatic climate controls for the A6 are mounted low and consist of several small buttons with mysterious markings. Visibility is good to the front and sides, but a pair of huge rear headrests blocks the A6 view directly rearward.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Audi 100

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 48

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.8n1 192.6 70.2 56.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.8 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.6 42.4 34.8
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.8n1 192.6 70.2 57.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
64.4 21.1 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 39.1 42.4 34.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 A6/S6 Quattro 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 129
Injury 45
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Dashboard lights
Description: Driving with less than 3 gallons of fuel in the tank may illuminate the malfunction indicator lamp caused by a lean misfire. (1995)
Dashboard lights
Description: If the wrong thermostat (too cold) is installed, it will trigger the malfunction indicator lamp. (1992-97)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge may not read accurately due to a loose ground wire at the left taillight. (1993-95)

Recall History

1992 w/V6 and automatic
Description: Blades in brake-vacuum-booster pump can wear prematurely, causing reduced assist pressure when pedal is applied; could increase stopping distance.
1992 100
Description: In the presence of humidity, an electrolyte leak in the rear speakers may cause an unwanted conductive path.
1992-93
Description: Some airbag sensors do not comply with Audi’s durability standards.
1992-95 S4/S6
Description: Fuel feed line connecting fuel filter to engine can prematurely age and shrink, resulting in fuel seepage.
1993-94
Description: Fuel feed line connecting fuel filter to engine may have been improperly manufactured and could leak.
1993-95 w/V6 engine
Description: Internal seal of fuel injector can malfunction, allowing fuel leakage.
1994-96
Description: Defective ignition switch can cause some accessories (turn signals, lamps, wipers) to malfunction when engine is started.
1995-97
Description: Discharge of static electricity in low-humidity conditions can activate driver’s airbag when driver enters or exits car.
1997 A6
Description: Rear seatbelt retractors may not lock properly, or may not remain locked.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.