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2008 Audi A6 Avant 3.2 quattro Review

2008 Audi A6 Avant 3.2 quattro Review

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Making life easier

I was heading down to New Hampshire for Christmas with the kids and the Boston Terrier. I had a lot of gifts to bring down, but since I was going to my mom's place, I knew there would be a lot of stuff to carry back home; once again, my kids were to be spoiled rotten on Xmas day.

The quattro all-wheel drive is confidence-inspiring.

So I needed something big, something spacious--but at the same time, driving down to my destination is no walk in the park during winter--and I wanted an all-wheel drive vehicle. So as I'm calling up all the manufacturers, begging for a ride that will make my life easier during this stressful period of the year. Well, the only truck that was available was an FJ Cruiser, which my boss instantly vetoed: "I'm taking the FJ, thank you very much."

I finally got my hands on an A6 wagon, but was pretty sceptical about succeeding in fitting everything in. "We're going to have to strap you to the roof," I humorously said to my girlfriend the night before we were leaving. The next morning, after a bad night's sleep on the sofa, I started packing the car. The dog crate, two suitcases, presents for everyone, toys, my laptop, the four of us, and Fern the fleabag--to my surprise--all fit.

Smooth road tripper
Last year, we tested an A6 Avant with the S line package, and found the sport suspension to be a little too harsh. This time, my test car had the standard setup and proved to be dynamic and smooth at the same time. The steering is communicative and nicely weighted.

Power comes from a 3.2-liter V6 that develops 255 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, and the only transmission choice is a 6-speed automatic with manual mode. With the A6 sedan, you can also get yourself a 350-hp, 4.2-liter V8, or go nuts with an S6 that's stuffed with a 435-hp V10. But the wagon only gets the V6. It's enough.

0-to-100 km/h accelerations take 7.8 seconds, which is just fine for the vocation of the car. The A6 effortlessly cruises down the highway, and provides a quiet cockpit during that time. The quattro all-wheel drive is confidence-inspiring; the setup is rear-biased under normal conditions and funnels power to the front wheels when you hit slippery surfaces. Fuel consumption average over the duration of the test was 12.2 L/100 km, which isn't bad; the trip to New Hampshire itself rewarded me with a nice round average of 10.0 L/100 km.

Power comes from a 3.2-liter V6 that develops 255 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque.