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>> Audi's A6 locks horns with BMW's 5 series and Mercedes E class. That's a tough room. Let's see how it comes out and check the tech.
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Now, as our A6 is in the prestige package, we've got, basically, all the goodies on here, save just a couple. Navigation is standard. Nothing new here, we've seen this Audi head unit and display a million times, and it's ready to go away. They've got a new one coming. This isn't it. Kind of soft, fuzzy rendering of typefaces and roads, not crazy about it. And the big thing I'm not crazy about is the fact that it's still DVD-based, which makes it kind of pokey. And you've got the NMI controller here. So everything is done via this kind of nonsensical, four-corner, which just never really worked for me and works a lot less now that other competitors have done it so much better. Entertainment includes AM, FM, CD, and we've also got what they call the music adaptor on here. So a lot of this stuff lives over in the glove box. Down there is my music adaptor with my iPod connector on there right now. To the right is my six-disc CD changer. There is no HD radio option here. Satellite radio, of course, is also in. And that would be Sirius Satellite Radio, this being an Audi. Display is relatively good, except they could make better use of the screen real estate. I'm not sure whose fault that is, the satellite radio folks or the Audi Folks, but you know, there's kind of some stuff missing here. With this much LCD, that shouldn't be the case. "Let's Live for Tea" is not what that song's called. And if you do nothing than just say, "I want audio," you get what they call the DSP audio system. But we have the upgraded Bose audio system, which again, part of the prestige package. So you've got the usual audio settings, plus you've got these Bose audio settings for the sound stage in terms of where it's focused, as well as the is audio pilot technology, which is a noise cancellation technology, and depending on your source, you can also turn on surround sound. The Bose audio system has 9 speakers, 255 watts coming out of a five-channel amp. One of those speakers is a center channel, so you do have true surround here. It's a good-sounding system. It's got good-sounding bass, treble, mid-range, and generally it is very compliant. Now, all the A6s have the same gearbox. It's a six-speed automatic tiptronic. And you've got paddles up here on the prestige car. If you don't go prestige, you go one of the lesser trims, you're tiptronicness is down here on the gearshift. Also on the prestige package, you get that, the rearview camera, which has two modes, one that will show you trajectory based on wheel position, and then if you can hit the other button here, you get sort of a static trajectory area. Now, the engine nomenclature on this A6 is kind of interesting. 3.0T means 3-liter turbo, right? Not exactly. Three-liter, yes, aluminum V6, but super-charged. Look. Right underneath here, there's our telltale belt and pulley running a super-charger assembly on top of the intake here. Bottom line is 300 horsepower, 310 foot-pounds of torque. Zero to sixty happens in under six seconds, and your mileage is about 18/26.
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If I had to pick one word to describe driving the A6, that would be easy, smooth. From the engine to the gearbox to the ride quality to the kinds of sounds the car makes, it's all smooth. The blower the on this engine makes plenty of urgency, especially when you're in the tiptronic shifting mode and not stuck loafing in top gear. Which brings me to the shift paddles, which require you shove the gear lever over into the manual gate before the paddles have any effect. That's a very old-school way of running a shiftable automatic. I could do without the blond, bird's eye maple, or whatever that tacky wood is, but other than that, and the antiquated head unit interface, this interior is well done, and a nice understated office for the driver to work in. Now, you can get into an A6 3oT for as little as 50 grand, but if you're watching a video about it on CNET, that's not the A63oT you want. You want the prestige trim level that has all the tech toys, the better audio, the creature comforts, and that's more like 55,000. Remember, all the 3oTs have Quattro all-wheel drive and only come with that 6-speed tiptronic automatic. You're only really a la carte tech option is Audi's side assist, their blind spot system, for about 500 bucks.
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