Audi A6 (2004-2011)

Beautifully built, ergonomically perfect and good (if not necessarily great) to drive, the A6 makes a great used buy; it also looks smart and is ultra-capacious in avant (estate) form. With a choice of great engines and the availability of quattro four-wheel drive, the A6 also makes an excellent tow car. Running costs can be steep on high-mileage cars though, thanks to high parts and labour costs, so buy with care.

Key Dates

3/04: The third-generation A6 saloon arrives with 2.4, 3.2 and 4.2-litre petrol engines, or a 3.0 TDi turbodiesel.

6/04: There's now a 2.0 TDi powerplant.

10/04: A 2.7 TDi engine joins the range.

1/05: The estate, or Avant, goes on sale.

12/06: The 2.4 is replaced by a 2.8FSi powerplant.

9/08: A facelift brings extra standard equipment, a revised nose and tail while a 3.0 TFSi engine supersedes the 3.2 and 4.2 FSi units. The eco-friendly 2.0 TDie also arrives.

Audi A6 (2004-2011) Checklist

  • The dual-mass flywheel can fail on 2.0 TDIs, leading to stalling and a failed clutch.
  • Manual-gearbox 2.0 TDis suffer from rough running, through injector seals melting because of poor-quality fuel being used.
  • The pollen filter seal can fail, leading to water leaking into the footwells.
  • A6 2.0TDis with the Multitronic gearbox can stall, because the transmission can't cope with engine braking.
  • Fuel gauges can read empty even when the tank is full.
  • A software upgrade might be needed to fix a fault with the electronic parking brake refusing to release.
  • The TDi engines can use a litre of oil every 1,000 miles.
  • Rear light cluster seals can fail, allowing water to get in.

We Like

  • Image
  • Build quality
  • Used value
  • Great engines
  • Refinement
  • Equipment levels
  • Capacious estate
  • quattro 4WD option

We Don't Like

  • Potentially high running costs