I just recently bought a 2003 Audi A6 4.2 Sport Edition with 120,000kms. This is not my first A6, on the contrary, it would be about my 6th... which have come in many forms from an early 90's 100, to ...
I just recently bought a 2003 Audi A6 4.2 Sport Edition with 120,000kms. This is not my first A6, on the contrary, it would be about my 6th... which have come in many forms from an early 90's 100, to late 90's urS6, and a 2000 A6 4.2 wide body. I try to keep an open mind when buying used cars, I always try to look all of the competing models from any manufacturer that made something I would like to own... Bimmers, Mercs, Acuras, Lexus, etc... and for some reason I come back to the A6. It just seems to be a bit better in every way that is important to me.
So what is important... firstly, it has be to visually appealing, and the A6 4.2 wide-body in my mind is the nicest looking vehicles on the road today (that you can buy for a decent price). The sport suspension makes it sit low, lean and the wide-body with 255-40 treads makes it look just that much meaner!
Secondly, the living space is where you do your daily business of driving. It needs to be attractive and feel good. The Audi has been well known for their incredible interiors, everything is tight, well built and the ingenuity of its functionality is all about driving with a touch of elegance. The Sport Seats have not just regular seat heaters, they have 6 heating elements per seat, so the massive side bolsters also heat up to wrap you in warmth on those cold mornings! Even the steering wheel heats up... and let me tell you that is my favorite option!
Any 4--door sedan needs to be able to carry 4-5 adults and also carry their luggage. The leg room in this mid-size car is enormous. Not to mention, rear heated seats to boot. The trunk is larger then the A8's trunk... and with fold-down seats, this thing rivals any wagon!
Moving on to performance, well the 4.2L normally aspirated 5-valve per cylinder V8 engine is a torque monster. You only need to touch the accelerator a micron to get the sense of its power. And the best part is the mid-range pull, 3000-4000 rpms is where it really gets its grunt, right where you need it for passing. And how they find that balance between a suspension set up that is firm, but yet soft over the bumps never ceases to amaze me... remember this is a daily driver!
Like I said, a daily driver also needs to have economy, this machine delivers in spades, considering it has 300HP, I have driven over 900kms on a single tank of gas... it's a big tank 90 liters, but if you drive it smoothly and gently, it can take you a long ways between fuel stops.
Now for the area that is often used as its under-pinning... maintenance. Remember this is a $60,000 car new, that you have just bought 12 years old and it really comes down to how the previous owner(s) have treated it. I have a lot of experience with this area... my previous A6 (2000 A6 4.2) was a high mileage car (200+kms) when I bought it, it was very well kept (I reviewed the maintenance bills), and as I always do, I kept that car in near perfect condition over the 4 years I owned it, averaging about $2000 a year in repairs. But when I went to sell it, I had a line up of people wanting to buy it and sold it in 3 days for more then my asking price! When I have seen beat-up versions on sale for months and months.... I would not recommend you buying one of those!
Now for the most important aspect of this car, the driving experience! It is nothing short of incredible... I'm not sure if the previous owner of my 2003 only ever drove it to church on Sunday, but this car feels "new". The steering is so tight and precise, even better then my 2000? The suspension is incredibly firm, yet it goes over bumps like they weren't there! What can I say about the Quattro system... well, it is the most amazing piece of engineering I have ever had the pleasure to drive. The other day, a rare occurrence when we had about 2" of packed snow on the 401 (5 lanes wide) and no one on the highway. I took the opportunity to feel the capability of drifting left and right a few times and it came back to center with the smallest correction even at 100kph. That was positively a Quattro experience! I have driven all of the rest, Bimmer's x-drive, Mercs 4-matic, Subaru's AWD... they all pale in comparison! There really is nothing like a Quattro!
In short, this car has it all...great looks, best interior in the business, performance, economy and elegance. Make sure you keep up the maintenance and this car will keep you smiling for miles to come!