Premium midsize car; Built in Germany
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • allroad 4-doorwagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $16,500*


2000 Audi A6 2.8 sedan


1999 Audi A6 Avant


1999 Audi A6 interior


2000 Audi A6 2.7T sedan


2000 Audi A6 2.8 Avant

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Standard antilock braking
  • Side airbags
  • Build quality
  • Cargo room
  • Exterior finish
  • Interior materials
  • Passenger room
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Climate controls
  • Rear visibility

New or used, an A6 costs a lot less than a comparable BMW 528i or Mercedes-Benz E320, yet delivers a similar sense of Teutonic solidity and driving feel. Audi’s allroad wagon brings the ride and comfort of an SUV into the mix without sacrificing sophisticated onroad capability. The A6 is a well-made machine that performs admirably on the road. All told, we recommend these great German machines highly, despite their relatively high prices.

Overview

Replacing a model that had debuted for 1992 (initially as the 100 series), the newest A6 proved to be Audi’s best effort yet at matching the midline BMW and Mercedes-Benz models in terms of prestige and performance. The midsize, near-luxury sedan displayed the new Volkswagen/Audi corporate look, consisting of an arched roofline and prominent semicircular wheel openings. Built as a scaled-up version of the compact A4 sedan, the A6 was related to the then-new, similarly derived Volkswagen Passat. A sedan debuted first, with front-wheel drive or optional Quattro all-wheel drive. The sedan was about 3 inches longer in wheelbase than its predecessor, but a half-inch shorter overall. It was also slightly wider and taller. An Avant station wagon joined the sedan during the 1998 model year. Dashboard-mounted airbags featured “dual deployment” operation, meaning they would pop out with less force during a crash if the occupant was not wearing a seatbelt. Front side-impact airbags were standard, and rear side airbags optional. All told, an A6 could have as many as six airbags. Sole engine was a 2.8-liter V6 with five valves per cylinder, producing 200 horsepower. Audi’s 5-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission offered manual-shift capability with a secondary selector gate. Sedan rivals included the Acura TL, Infiniti I30, and Lexus ES 300. Except for Volvo and (later) Saab, no manufacturers offered a comparable “near-luxury” station wagon.

Yearly Updates

1999 A6
Only minor equipment changes marked the ’99 models. A larger right-door mirror went on all models, and a first-aid kit was installed. A Homelink transmitter and auto-dimming door mirrors were newly included in the extra-cost Convenience package. Rear heated seats were added to the Cold Weather Package. Audi’s Warm Weather option group lost insulated glass, but gained manual sunshades for the rear side windows. During the 1999 model year, the sedan gained a sport suspension option and available 5-speed manual shift for its Quattro edition. Sedans could have front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive, but Avant wagons all had the Quattro system.
2000 A6
Two new performance sedans joined the lineup this year. A6 2.8 sedans and Avant wagons kept the prior 200-horsepower, 2.8-liter V6 with 5-speed automatic. The 2.8 Quattro sedan could now be fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission. Audi’s new 2.7T Quattro sedan got a 250-horsepower twin-turbo V6 with 6-speed manual or no-extra-cost automatic transmission. Topping the line was a new 4.2 Quattro sedan with a 300 horsepower V8 (automatic only) and slightly different styling. New Sideguard “curtain” airbags, standard on the 4.2 and optional on other models, dropped down from above the side windows for head protection during a side impact. All models could now get an optional satellite-linked navigation system with audio and visual direction prompts, but no video screen display.
2001 A6
An SUV-inspired allroad wagon model was added for 2001. It had unique exterior cladding and an air-spring suspension for up to 8.2 inches of ground clearance. Automatic-transmission models now offered optional steering-wheel buttons for manual shifting. Steering wheel audio/cell phone controls and passenger-seat memory were newly standard on 4.2 models. An antiskid system became optional on 2.8 models, while curtain side airbags were now standard on 2.8s. Audi’s basic warranty was extended from 3 years/50,000 mi. to 4/50,000.
2002 A6
New for ’02 was the S6 Avant with a 340-hp 4.2 V8, sport suspension and tires, and aluminum exterior trim. A 3.0 sedan and Avant wagon replaced 2.8 models and had a 220-hp 3.0-liter V6 instead of a 200-hp 2.8 V6. The 3.0 sedan came with a continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive or quattro AWD; all other models came with quattro front-drive. All ’02 A6s got an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, new front- and rear-appearance touches, and revised dashboards. OnStar assistance became available midyear, and could be enhanced with extra-cost in-car e-mail service.
2003 A6
For 2003, leather seat inserts are standard for 3.0s and the 2.7T. The 2.7T trades 16-inch wheels for standard 17s. On the debit side, front passenger-seat memory is dropped, and the sunroof is optional instead of standard on the 4.2 sedan. Added midyear was the limited-production RS 6 sedan. It has a 450-hp twin-turbo V8, Audi’s new self-adjusting Dynamic Ride Control suspension, 18-inch wheels, and specific trim, and includes OnStar
2004 A6
Added for ’04 is a satellite radio option and a V8 engine for the allroad quattro. Dropped this year are the S6 Avant and RS 6 sedan.

Engines

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

Only one powertrain was available at first: a 2.8-liter, dual overhead-cam V6 with Tiptronic 5-speed automatic transmission that permitted manual gearchanges. By 2000, two additional engines were offered: a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 and a 4.2-liter V8. Two new transmission possibilities also arrived: a 5-speed manual (for 2.8 Quattro sedans) and a 6 speed manual in the new 2.7T Quattro sedan. The S6 Avant model, new in 2002, used a 340-hp 4.2 V8 engine. A 3.0-liter V6 replaced the 2.8-liter and was available with either 5-speed or continuously variable automatic transmission. The limited-production RS6 used a turbocharged version of the V8 that made 450 horsepower. It mated only to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 4.2-liter V8 is made available for the allroad quattro in ’04.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/169
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 207
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

17/27

22.4

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 220
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 221
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
CVT automatic
18/26
20/27
20.9

Turbocharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/163
Engine HP 250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
18/25
18/25
22.0

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/255
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 295
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

17/24

18.4

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/255
Engine HP 340
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 310
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

14/21

Turbocharged dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/255
Engine HP 450
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 415
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

15/22

14.4

Road Test

Thanks to throttle recalibrations and engine tuning, overall acceleration with the base engine is satisfying. Performance is swifter yet from the A6 2.7T and A6 4.2 sedans. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), available in the 3.0, sharpens throttle response at high engine speeds vs. conventional automatic. Audi claimed 0-60 mph acceleration times below 7 seconds for each of the performance editions, and we wouldn’t dispute those figures. They easily rank among the faster cars in the near-luxury class. Fuel economy is good for a near-luxury car. We averaged 22.4 mpg in a front-drive sedan. Heavier weight makes the Quattro editions somewhat less frugal.

Firm steering–especially in S6 models–communicates well in turns and helps the car head effortlessly down interstates and straightaways. Few front-wheel drive midsize sedans corner with more poise or grip than an A6. The penalty is a suspension that glides over rough pavement centers, but notices nearly every small bump and tar strip, making for a “busy” ride on many surfaces. On the plus side, the ride is generally supple and quiet. Brakes are strong, with neatly progressive pedal feel. Wind noise is very slight, but tires thump and whine. Limited-production RS6 is for the hard-core performance fan only. The ride is rough, noise levels much higher, and acceleration neck-snapping.

As for the interior, the A6 cabin is a breezy, sophisticated blend of color-matched surfaces and walnut trim, joined by touches of brightwork on the dashboard, doors, and console. The sedan is roomier than competitive BMW 5-Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class models. Occupants enjoy an abundance of head, shoulder, and leg room. In back is a supportive bench seat that promises plenty of knee clearance, toe space, and head room. The wagon’s 2-place rear seat is sized for preteens. Outside mirrors are small enough to hamper lane changes, but visibility otherwise is quite good. It’s even better in the glassy wagon, which also boasts good load-carrying ability. Trunk space is cavernous and easily accessible. Interior storage is also plentiful, including map pockets on every door. Workmanship and materials are top-notch throughout. Panel gaps are precise, inside and out.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Audi A6 4.2 sedan

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 - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 2
20%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.7 192.0 71.3 57.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
17.2 18.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.9 41.3 37.3
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.6 192 71.3 58.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
73.2 18.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 38.7 41.3 33.2-37.3
allroad 4-doorwagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.5 189.4 76.1 60.1-62
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
73.2 18.5 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.5 38.4 41.3 37.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 A6 Quattro 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

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

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 115
Injury 54
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Climate control
Description: The heated steering wheel may not heat up or may not stay warm. (1998-99)
Cruise control
Description: The cruise control fails to hold the set speed due to vacuum servo failure. (1995)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge is inaccurate. (1999)
Fuel gauge
Description: Fuel gauge on Quattro models may stick on full or empty if any one of the three sending units malfunctions. (1998-00)
Power seats
Description: The driver’s power seat stops working because the electronic module loses its memory. (1998)
Rough idle
Description: Dirty throttle body bore and throttle control module commonly cause rough or low idle. (1998-01)
Windows
Description: Sun visor mounting screw could chaffs wire and blows fuse to power windows, dome light, alarm system, and power seat memory. (1998)
Paint/body
Description: The front bumper is low and several owners have complained of damage on parking curbs. (1998-99)
Windshield
Description: The windshield may leak near the top edge. (1998)

Recall History

1998 A6
Description: If engine backfires during cold start, an air screen loosely seated in airflow meter can become damaged; screen pieces could enter intake system and prevent throttle plate from returning to full idle position.
1998 A6
Description: An incorrect filler neck that doesn’t match the fuel cap was installed during assembly and could allow fuel to escape.
1998-00 A6, A6 Avant
Description: While performing the remedial repair for recall 04V133000, if the plastic cover is not securely installed to the driver’s side support cross member, the headlight switch wiring harness could come into contact with the cross member. This could lead to an electrical short in the harness, which could lead to a fire in the driver’s side dashboard area.
1998-01 A6
Description: Sulfur in fuel could cause fuel gauge to read “full” when the tank is actually less than full.
1998-04 A6
Description: If driver’s knee bolster is touched, it may contact the headlight switch under the dash board and cause a short. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
1998-99 A6 w/Quattro
Description: If car is refueled shortly after engine is started, and is kept running during refueling, fuel-vapor recovery system could produce sufficient pressure to expel fuel when nozzle is removed.
1998-99 A6
Description: Some tie-rod seals may not seal properly; if moisture and/or dust particles enter swivel bearing mechanism, bearing could wear over time, diminishing steering control.
1998-99 A6 w/automatic transmission
Description: Control valve in vacuum hose may not open or close fully at temperatures below four degrees (F) under certain conditions; could cause insufficient vacuum to be provided to brake booster.
1998-99 A6
Description: When driving car registered in specified cold-weather state, in extremely low ambient temperatures with 2.8-liter five-valve V6 engine and automatic transmission, ice accumulation may cause throttle to freeze in open position; engine may fail to reduce speed when foot is raised from the gas pedal.
2001 A6 allroad
Description: Under heavy load conditions, the wiper blades could become entangled with each other and cease functioning.
2001-05 Allroad Quattro vehicles equipped with 2.7-liter or 4.2-liter engines
Description: A fuel leak from the fuel-tank rollover valve may result, which increases risk of fire. Dealers will inspect and reinforce or repair the affected parts.
2001-2004 A6 vehicles equipped with 4.2l engines and manufactured from June 19, 2001, through June 8, 2004.
Description: The aging of the plastic material in the fuel tank rollover valve combined with bending stress from the aluminum ventilation line to the rollover valve nipple may lead to cracking of the nipple. If this happens, a fuel leak may result. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source could lead to a vehicle fire. Dealers will reinforce the nipple on the rollover valve to prevent leakage or repair the cracking at the nipple.
2002-2003 S6 vehicles equipped with 4.2l engines and manufactured from June 19, 2001, through June 8, 2004.
Description: The aging of the plastic material in the fuel tank rollover valve combined with bending stress from the aluminum ventilation line to the rollover valve nipple may lead to cracking of the nipple. If this happens, a fuel leak may result. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source could lead to a vehicle fire. Dealers will reinforce the nipple on the rollover valve to prevent leakage or repair the cracking at the nipple.
2003 A6
Description: Driver airbag igniter may not have been assembled properly, making the air bag ineffective in the event of a crash. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
2003 RS6 vehicles equipped with 4.2l engines and manufactured from June 19, 2001, through June 8, 2004.
Description: The aging of the plastic material in the fuel tank rollover valve combined with bending stress from the aluminum ventilation line to the rollover valve nipple may lead to cracking of the nipple. If this happens, a fuel leak may result. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source could lead to a vehicle fire. Dealers will reinforce the nipple on the rollover valve to prevent leakage or repair the cracking at the nipple.

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.