The community thinks...
Solid car, impressive reliability by An MSN Autos Consumer on 01/27/2011. Trim: 1996 Audi A6 Quattro, Owned 4 years.
Pros: You know a car is good when the worst thing someone can say is the cupholders aren't the best. This car has 212,000 miles and is probably the most solid car I've ever owned. It has great frontal crash-test ratings (NHTSA), and performed very well in offset tests although wasn't rated in this. I work at a ski resort and have to be at work before the plows come.This car has gotten me through the worst weather you can imagine with no complaints. Use snow tires and you're nearly unstoppable. Ground clearance being your only limitation, which actually isn't horrible at 4.7 inches. The interior fit/finish and quality is above many newer Audis. The buttons feel like they will never break.
Cons: I've had a few minor problems on this car. A fuel fitting cracked, the windshield washer pump needed to be replaced and also the coolant reservoir needed to be replaced. I've also replaced some cracking vacuum hoses and brake hoses. Otherwise it's just been normal maintenance. If it were another car I might complain about the slow acceleration, but the truth is it's a non-issue if you know how to keep the torque where you need it. This reliable V6 hits peak torque at 3k RPM! That's stellar for a V6, and with its learning transmission you shouldn't be disappointed with power. Just floor it once in a while to keep the computer in the more aggressive mode. One con is the small right mirror.
Overall review: I bought a newer A6 (C5) and am blown away by the poor interior quality and the volkswagen components and feel. This '96 A6 has strong, sturdy metal control arms as opposed to the C5 which uses an unreliable and complex aluminum system. This car has a strong appearance with a long hood that leaves lots of room for engine maintenance and I believe is partially responsible for the safety ratings. I do wish it had side and curtain airbags but those weren't till later. These older A6's were the most reliable Audi, at least of the '90s. The 12v engine is a little rough around the edges but just keeps going and going! Visibility is excellent although the back-end is a little high. The seating position is also high for a sedan which is nice. This car is very stable at speed, but it's not a sports car. The wagon version of this car could hold 7 people, although 2 of them small. I do wish they offered a manual transmission this year. The s6 version of this car is rare but a great choice.
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