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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
It doesn't take much to race to the top of the price bracket with the list of available options for the Audi A6, but it's a well-equipped car even in its base model. Just beware that you can easily load an A6 Prestige up toward the $70k mark--and that's about where the S6 Prestige starts.
Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) also is included on every A6. It's a roller-controller system that uses a knob and some hard keys to control navigation, phone, audio, and other functions. MMI's menus have been streamlined over the years, and the shortcut buttons are a welcome relief, but the system still can be a formidable few hours of learning before it becomes familiar. Like other automakers, Audi blocks all touch input from the screen, but there's a touchpad called MMI Touch that allows some secondary input. MMI Touch is a panel that doubles as both preset buttons for the audio system, and as a Palm Pilot-style scratch pad, on which drivers can write out letters to enter destinations or choose from the phonebook.
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.
On the base A6, there's a standard sunroof; power front seats; cruise control; leather upholstery; 17-inch wheels; tri-zone automatic climate control; power windows, locks and mirrors; tilt/telescoping steering; pushbutton start; AM/FM/XM/CD audio with a 6.5-inch LCD screen; and LED taillamps. Heated front seats are now standard, as of last year.
The next step in A6 features consists of the Premium Plus package. It adds a seven-inch color display; 18-inch wheels and tires; a CD changer (for anyone who still uses physical artifacts); HD Radio; real-time traffic data; front and rear parking sensors; and Audi Connect, and an in-car wireless data service through T-Mobile. Audi Connect taps that data stream to enable Google Earth navigation maps and traffic information. 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.
Other noteworthy options include a cold-weather package; a Sport package with 19-inch all-season tires and five-spoke wheels; a xenon headlight package; and a Black Optic package with gloss black exterior trim and 20-inch wheels wearing summer tires. The best option? An awesome 15-speaker, 1300-watt Bang & Olufsen with tweeters that rise on startup.
Google Earth mapping, in-car wireless internet, and Bang & Olufsen audio are some of the A6's top-drawer features.