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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
Before your eyes start watering, consider the Bang & Olufsen sound system rings the register at $5900. Yes, it's awesome. Could you live without it? Sure.
The A6 is available with a cellular data plan. Among its many benefits, the always-on pipe feeds a Wi-Fi hotspot that services up to eight devices simultaneously.
Power up the 2012 Audi A6 and the Bang & Olufsen stereo tweeters rise majestically from the dashboard. At the same time, the navigation display unfolds itself from the dashboard, another hint that the new Audi A6 is an advanced technology titan.
The car's Multi Media Interface Plus now includes a touchpad that enables the MMI to perform character recognition tasks. This allows users to spell words with the stroke of a fingertip, providing another means of text input for navigation, phone and audio system functions.
At $50,775, the A6 looks pretty alluring—quiet, comfortable, sophisticated, and supremely competent. At $67,430, it still looks alluring. But it may provoke a domestic debt-ceiling debate.
Car and Driver
The 2013 Audi A6 and S6 are very well-equipped at the base level, as luxury sedans. But it's the options for the lineup that will really impress passengers. From Google Earth maps, to in-car wireless Internet access, to an innovative system that lets you trace out letters with your finger, this lineup goes above and beyond with tech options.
Even at the low end of the model line, the A6 is very well equipped. Standard features include power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; leather-trimmed seats; tilt/telescoping steering; 17-inch wheels; ambient lighting; three-zone automatic climate control; power front seats; a sunroof; pushbutton start; LED taillamps; AM/FM/XM/CD audio with a 6.5-inch LCD screen; and MMI, Audi's multi-media interface.
Audi's screen-based interface, called MMI, has improved a bit over the years, with a streamlined interface, better menus, and some clear shortcut buttons, but it's still a system of clicks, wheels and roller knobs that requires several movements and an eye on the screen for most tasks.
But one feature on the latest version, called MMI Touch, is a standout. A panel with buttons for preset functions doubles as a pad on which drivers can trace out letters to enter destinations or choose from the phonebook; this part of MMI works quite well, but we can't help but think Audi would be better with enhanced voice commands and a touch screen.
With a Premium Plus package, you get a seven-inch color display; a CD changer (for anyone who still uses physical artifacts); 18-inch wheels and tires; HD Radio; front and rear parking sensors; real-time traffic data; and Audi Connect, and an in-car wireless data service through T-Mobile USA (it's free for an introductory period. You also get Google Earth navigation, a stunning, simple add-on to conventional navigation that skips POI icons drawn by graphic artists and goes right to the Web titan for real-world pictures of the landmarks you're passing. Audi's system also allows you to plan and send up to 50 destinations to the car's navigation system from a computer and Google Maps.
2013 Audi A6 Prestige models come at the top of the model line. And what's confusing is that you can add a $6,550 Prestige Package to them, which adds a lot of good stuff like distinct 18-inch wheels; four-zone climate control; adaptive headlights; LED interior lighting; a Bose speaker package; ventilated front seats; a power-adjustable steering column; cornering lights; and S-line cosmetic trim, including its own grille and bumpers. S6 models are only offered in Prestige trim.
Other noteworthy options include a cold-weather package and an awesome 15-speaker, 1300-watt Bang & Olufsen with tweeters that rise on startup.
Beware that you can easily load an A6 Prestige up toward the $70k mark--and that's about where the 2013 S6 Prestige starts.
Google Earth navigation views, Bang & Olufsen sound, and a dedicated Internet connection are all features that go above and beyond what's typical, even in this class.