2000 A6 2.7T Review
While the steering and suspension were too soft, it does make for a comfortable drive when going over rough roads. The A6 could handle railroad tracks and potholes with very little discomfort to the passengers. At high speeds the steering tightens up and makes the car easy to control. I believe the addition of larger wheels would really improve the road feel of this car. Neil McGary reported that the addition of 18" wheels greatly improved the ride of the '99 A6 Avant he reviewed.
The 6-speed transmission is nice but all the throws are too long - especially from 4th to 5th. Another thing that bothered me was when casually downshifting from 6th to 5th, the shifter had the habit of jumping back to the left unless I had a firm grip on the knob. At speed the transmission held up nicely, even when I took the car to it's 130-speed limiter in 5th gear.
I found the interior to have a lot of room for the driver and passengers. Even in the back seat I had no problems with head or legroom. All the instruments were laid out well with all the controls easy to reach and use, with the exception of the cruise control stock, which is completely blocked by the top left spoke of the steering wheel making it hard to use if you're not familiar with the functions.
The biggest interior addition to the entire Audi line is the new Audi Symphony radio (except in the TT), which according to Audi was designed with the U.S. market in mind. This new radio finally includes an in-dash CD player, which is wonderful for us penny pinchers that don't want to spring for the CD changer. All the buttons and controls in this new radio are large and easy to read. When I first looked at this new radio and console layout, I was concerned that it would be difficult to insert a CD in the in-dash player if you had the cup holder open. A quick test showed that it was a little tight, but shouldn't be a major problem. The audio controls on the steering wheel were also a wonderful addition; I loved being able to change radio settings without taking my hands off the wheel. The steering wheel audio controls are part of the convenience package.
Another annoyance I had with this car was the folding key kept coming apart. If I grabbed just the end of it when removing it from the ignition, it would come off leaving the key part still in. I just couldn't believe that this kept happening time after time. If it was my own personal car I would have used some superglue to fix it, but I don't feel that is something that I should have to do.
One other thing I found odd about this test car was the spare tire did not have a matching sports package 6 spoke wheel. The spare wheel was the 5-spoke design that is standard on the A6 2.7T without the sports package. I don't know if this test car was an odd-ball, or if the spare is always the standard wheel. It may be something to check out if you decide to buy a 2.7T A6 with the optional sports package.
By the end of my review I had started to get used to the over all feel of this A6. It no longer felt like I was driving an ocean liner and the soft steering and suspension they didn't bother me as much. My wife even liked the car, I really don't think she had a clue of the power that was under the hood. This is not a car that you have to try and control the power, it is very pleasant for everyday driving.
I have a feeling that this car is going to be popular among enthusiast who would like to have an S4, but need more room. Since the base price of the A6 2.7T is only about $1000 more than a S4, it should be well within the S4 buyers reach. This car is almost the perfect compromise between performance and practicality. It is large enough for a family of four or five and has a large trunk for carrying around all the kids gear and grocery's, but when needed, it has the speed and performance that the enthusiast is looking for.
Would I buy this car over an S4? If it were going to be my main family car, I would get this A6, but if I didn't have to worry about hauling a family around, I would get the S4. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong.
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