Premium midsize car; Built in Germany
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $11,000 – $58,000*


2005 Audi A6


2005 Audi A6


2005 Audi A6


2006 Audi A6

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room (wagon)
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Audio/climate controls
  • Trouble prone electronics

The A6’s luxurious interior detailing, capable quattro AWD, overall refinement, and cool sophistication earn it a place on any luxury shopper’s list. Negatives include the way the MMI system complicates some control functions, sometimes frustrating throttle response, and Audi’s reputation for malfunctioning electronics.

Overview

Audi redesigned its A6 sedan for 2005, giving it new styling, more room, and more power. Wheelbase grew by 3.2 inches compared to the 1998-2004 A6, but other dimensions were virtually unchanged. The sedan came as the 3.2 model with a 255-hp V6 and as the 4.2 with a 335-hp V8. Both had a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. Also included were Audi’s MMI operating system that uses one knob on the center console to take the place of conventional dashboard controls for many of the car’s accessories.

Sold alongside the redesigned sedan for 2005 was Audi’s SUV-flavored allroad wagon, which retained a 1998-2004 design and is covered in a separate report.

All A6s had front side airbags and curtain side airbags; rear side airbags were optional. Also standard were antilock 4-wheel disc brakes and an antiskid system. Xenon headlamps were standard for the 4.2 models and optional for the others. The 3.2 sedan was available with 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels. The 4.2 sedan was available with 17s or 18s. Available features included a navigation system, satellite radio, and, for sedans, steering-linked adaptive headlights.

Yearly Updates

2006 A6
Audi expanded its A6 lineup for 2006 with a wagon body style called Avant and a front-wheel-drive sedan. The front-drive 3.2 sedan used a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) instead of the 6-speed automatic in the others. Sedans were also made available with Audi’s S-line Package that included a sport suspension and special trim. The wagon offered a power tailgate. Available for 2006 on all A6s was a rear air suspension that could be adjusted for height and firmness. In addition, all models were given wood interior trim.
2007 A6
A high-performance sedan was added for 2007. The new S6 quattro sedan got a 435-hp V10 and specific suspension tuning and styling touches.
2008 A6
The 2008 Audi A6 got no major changes.
2009 A6
Audi’s A6 received freshened styling and added an available 300-hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine for 2009. The engine came in the new 3.0T quattro, which was offered as a sedan or wagon. The previously available air suspension was dropped.
2010 A6
The 2010 Audi A6 3.2 gained slightly more power (an extra 10 hp), while other versions of this premium midsize car were largely unchanged.
2011 A6
The 2011 Audi A6 is largely unchanged.

Engines

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

The redesigned 2005 A6’s base engine was a 3.2-liter V6 with 255 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. Buyers could also opt for a 4.2-liter V8 with 335 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Both engines came only with a 6-speed automatic for 2005. A continuously variable automatic transmission was added for 2006 on V6 front-drive sedans. For 2007, the new S6 quattro sedan had a 435-hp V10 engine. A 300-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 was added for 2009 in the 3.0 Quattro; it came only with a 6-speed automatic. The base 3.2-liter V6 gained 10 horsepower for 2010.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/191
Engine HP 255-265
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 243
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
CVT automatic
19/26
18/28
16.1

Supercharged dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 310
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

18/26

dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.2/254
Engine HP 335
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 310
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

19/26

15.5

dohc V10
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.2/318
Engine HP 435
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 398
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

15/21

Road Test

The 3.2 V6 provides strong pull from a stop and ample highway passing power, though around-town response is at the mercy of sometimes-tardy transmission downshifts. Potent 4.2 V8 is quicker still, with satisfying power across the rev range. Some testers complain of imprecise throttle action away from a stop with both engines. Audi quotes 0-60 mph of 7.1 sec for 3.2, 6.0 for 4.2. Both engines are remarkably refined, though V8 snarls surprisingly at high rpm. We’ve had no opportunity to drive an A6 with the 3.0-liter supercharged engine.

In our experience, fuel economy was a bit disappointing. In an even mix of city/highway driving, test 3.2 averaged 16.1 mpg, test 4.2s averaged 14.7-16.3. Audi recommends premium-grade fuel for all models.

The A6 strikes a fine ride/handling balance, though it is a bit firm for a luxury vehicle. Sharp bumps can jolt, especially with the 18-inch tires, and sometimes with the 17s. There is virtually no highway float or wallow. The handling is among best in the class. It exhibits impressive composure in corners and little body lean. Steering has satisfying weight and accuracy. Audi’s AWD provides great grip and poise on all surfaces. The brakes deliver smooth, short stops.

Inside, the A6 sports contemporary design with high-grade materials and assembly–the envy of many a luxury-car company. The MMI control system easier to use than BMW’s complicated iDrive, but is still a distracting alternative to conventional switchgear. Other controls are logically placed, simple to use, but the CD changer is in glovebox, out of the driver’s reach, and there is no slot in the dash. Cabin impressively absent of wind noise, even at high speed. Road noise is subdued.

The front seat offers vast leg room and ample head room. The seats are comfortable, firm, and supportive. Visibility is excellent in all directions. The rear doors open wide to nicely contoured, not overly firm seats. Audi provides adequate knee room, even behind taller front passengers. Toe room is snug, and head clearance is good for those up to 6-ft-1. The sedan’s trunk is long and fairly wide; the strut-type hinges don’t intrude and there are handy grocery hooks. The rear seatbacks fold 60/40, providing greater utility. The wagon offers SUV-like room. All doors have generously sized map pockets, but interior storage is otherwise subpar.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Audi A6 3.2 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 - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 66

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.9 193.5 79.2 57.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.9 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 37.7 41.3 36.9
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.9 193.5 79.2 58.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
58.6 21.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 38.0 41.3 36.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

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 N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioning may not cool sufficiently and/or the outside temperature reading may be wrong due to a poor crimp connection or faulty outside temperature sensor. (2005)
Brakes
Description: The ABS (anti-lock brakes) may activate unnecessarily under normal to light application due to cracks in tone wheels. (1996-05)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The coolant level warning light may come on in colder (below 40 degrees) then go off when the engine warms up due to malfunctioning sensor in coolant reservoir. (2005-07)
Coolant leak
Description: The coolant level warning light may come on in colder (below 40 degrees) then go off when the engine warms up due to malfunctioning sensor in coolant reservoir. (2005-07)
Dashboard lights
Description: The “oil level” selection of the information center does not work because cars shipped to the US do not have this feature. (2005)
Doors
Description: Doors may occasionally not unlock with the remote due to a problem with the program in the door module(s) requiring reprogramming. (2006-08)
Doors
Description: Doors may occasionally not unlock with the remote due to a problem with the program in the door module(s) requiring reprogramming. (2006-08)
Engine misfire
Description: After sitting overnight, the 2.0L or 3.2L engine may run rough, misfire and trigger the check engine light because the hydraulic valve lash adjusters drain down and all must be replaced. (2005-06)
Fuel gauge
Description: If the fuel gauge does not show full after filling up, the program for the instrument cluster must be updated. (2005)
Keys
Description: The key may not come out of the ignition switch because the system can’t tell that the shift lever is in park. This requires replacement of the shift selector with redesigned part. (2005-06)
Keys
Description: The ignition key may not come out of the lock or the car may not lock due to trouble with the gear selector mechanism. (2005)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks may occur on the 3.2L engine at the timing chain upper covers requiring fresh sealant. Leaks from the camshaft sealing plugs require the old plugs to be removed (possibly from inside the engine) and redesigned plugs installed. (2005)
Oil leak
Description: Camshaft plugs in the cylinder heads of the 3.2L engine may come loose causing an oil leak. (2005)
Windows
Description: The master power window switch may work intermittently due to interference with the trim. (2005-07)
Windows
Description: The master power window switch may work intermittently due to interference with the trim. (2005-07)
Check-engine light
Description: After sitting overnight, the 2.0L or 3.2L engine may run rough, misfire and trigger the check engine light because the hydraulic valve lash adjusters drain down and all must be replaced. (2005-06)
Fuel door
Description: The fuel door may not open because the release cable causes interference and must be routed out of the way. (2005)

Recall History

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.