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.
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.
- Build quality
- Used value
- Great engines
- Equipment levels
- Capacious estate
- quattro 4WD option
We Don't Like
- Potentially high running costs