When I pull into my driveway, sporting my newest test vehicle, the men in my neighborhood crowd around. "How's the ride?" one asks. "That's the best one yet," another says. Not being familiar with the Audi line of cars, I begin to get the feeling I'm not yet in on the Audi secret.
The Audi A6 with Quattro has a sumptuous appearance inside and out, and the ride is fast and fun. The Quattro technology is basically a super-charged and more efficient version of all-wheel drive. It's the va-va-voom (as my counterpart, Kristin, would say) behind the revolutionary 25-years-in-the-making appeal of Audi. If this isn't what causes the men to drool over this boy-toy, then perhaps it's in the other specs that don't really appeal to me but make for a superb luxury-class car.
Things like: Triptronic transmission; electronic differential lock; Servotronic speed-sensitive steering; four-link front suspension; electronic stabilization program; Trapezoidal link rear suspension and, oh yeah, don't forget the Electromechanical Parking Break. Or is it that it goes from zero to 60 in seven seconds? What is jargon like this doing in my review?
Actually the electromechanical parking break is quite dainty. It's a small button that lifts up or down to park or release the break, and it's located in a convenient spot next to the gear shift. This is quite a change from the pull-up parking break or the foot break. I really enjoy using this cute little control. Other notable features include the cupholder that makes room for a mug handle; the floor mats that lock into place; and the massive amount of trunk space - really, I can fit a lot in that trunk! What else? Um, well, that's about it really. I'm done being impressed.
When it comes to "comfort and convenience" Audi offers the MultiMedia Interface computer (MMI) which they claim is incredibly easy to use. It's really a lovely fancy name but it's not so user friendly. To me, it's just another computer that I have to "hack into" just to change my A/C setting or the radio station. I still haven't figured out how to turn the air off. Luckily there is a way to control the volume and change radio stations on the steering wheel so I don't have to resort to the controls located near the gear shift and center console.
How about a CD? Well, too bad. I didn't realize I have to preload my CDs into the player, which is inconveniently located in the glove compartment. I literally have to sit in the passenger seat to load the CDs. This is not going to play well in my busy mom world.
While I continue to fool around with the MMI controls I come across something that asks for a telephone number. What? After referencing the encyclopedia that is the Audi Owner's Manual I determine that the MMI has a phone system. Like an address book, it will store names, addresses and phone numbers. It can also call the contacts using Audi's Bluetooth technology. One of those, "I don't know how it works but it works" things. I can see how, once I figure it out, this can be very useful for making phone calls without the hassle of dialing and holding the phone while driving. I am very interested in making this technology work in my life but I don't have the time to figure it out right now.
A funny thing happens while my husband and I are heading out to lunch with family. He is tinkering around with all the gadgets and trying to figure out the MMI (see, I'm not the only one that finds it difficult to use) and then flips down the visor. "Whoa! There's a magnifying mirror in this thing. Wow, I could really use some spackling or something, my pores are huge!" Now, it's not every day I catch my meat-and-potatoes husband examining his pores in the mirror. For this, I give Audi props for providing me with my newest funny story to embarrass my husband.
As for the rest of Audi's appeal I can't say there's much in it for me and my family. Although its pristine presentation makes for a deceptive way to hide the reality of spilled milk, cracker crumbs and my screaming toddler in the back seat.
*For more information on the Audi A6 and its safety features visit Cars.com.
Let's Talk Numbers LATCH connectors: 2 Passenger seating (including driver): 5
It's the Little Things That Count Storage Compartments (puny, fair, ample, galore): fair Cargo/Trunk Space(puny, fair, ample, galore): galore
Sense and Style Family Friendly (not really, fair, great, excellent): fair Fun-Factor (None, some, good times, groove-on): good times