Sunday, December 5, 2021

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Cars in the City

Audi A6 Quattro

8/4/2021

Sedan is a smooth operator.

Model test driven: 2021 Audi A6 Quattro with premium plus package, $69,700. The Quattro gets 24 mpg average city/highway.

As SUV and pickup trucks reign supreme in the auto sales market, four-door sedans still sell — just not as much. According to an Edmunds 2020 automotive industry trend report, in 2020, 51% of people purchased SUVs, 19% pickup trucks and 25% cars. In comparison, in 2010, 49% were car sales.

As a long-term sedan owner, I was pleased to finally test drive a “real” car, not an SUV. A sedan with a rich history is the Audi.

The Audi A6 55 TFSI Quattro (just call it an A6) is one of a half dozen sedan models numbered from A3-A8; the higher the number, the higher the price tag. The Quattro name gives a nod to an all-wheel drive.

The German-made car is solid, with attention to quality materials. The outdoor trim is all stainless steel, unlike other cars made with plastic chrome. The doors are welded in one piece. The area between the driver’s door and the inside seat makes it one of the strongest parts of the car. Translation? If it’s in an accident, you’re better protected.

Inside, stitched leather seats with 8-way power seats and 4-way lumbar adjustments mean a perfect fit for all body types. Adjust the steering wheel and set up your driver’s profile. After your long-legged partner has driven it, change it to your customized setting without fumbling with multiple knobs.

One thing I noticed right away is, when I shut the door, it was a commanding thud, not a creaking hesitancy like some doors. 

The 3-liter V6 engine takes off smoothly, but with a good punch. Some vehicles you can hear every tin-like sound. I imagine the Audi in an action movie as the impeccable getaway car — quick, quiet and unassuming.

The infotainment system gives you options, either displayed behind the steering wheel or to the driver’s right. The cool part is you can duplicate what is in the center, known as a “virtual cockpit” where it controls everything — navigation, music, temperature controls and more. The MMI touch response makes a type of click when you depress a button, giving you positive feedback that, yes, it did work.

When searching for gas or a restaurant, it’s often cumbersome to type one letter at a time in a keyboard or having Siri misunderstand you. Just use your finger pad to write in your request — even in cursive — and a suggestion comes up quickly.

The Audi and its recognizable logo has been around nearly 100 years. The four rings are an ode to four different German auto brands that merged into one Auto Union: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer. August Horch branched out on his own, creating a second auto company, translating his family name into Latin, which became Audi. 

If you’re looking for an expertly made luxury four-door sedan, the Audi A6 is a smooth operator. ♦

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