1996 Audi A6 Avant Quattro from North America


None more comfortable or reliable than my Audi wagon


I haven't had anything catastrophic go wrong with the car. I had the brakes serviced at 100,000 miles -- ouch! $600 for pads all the way around and new front rotors.

Also just had the timing belt and alternator replaced due to a strange noise in the front of the engine. Noise didn't go away, but I do feel better having replaced the timing belt at 105,000 miles -- cost $900. Now I don't have to worry about that.

We have determined that the odd noise is the Antilock Brake system pump building up pressure. I can feel the brake pedal fading when I first start the car if I press firmly. But once that noise stops, the pedal is firm. The Antilock Brakes do function properly.

It seems to have lost a fair amount of power -- not like it had much to begin with -- this past year. I took it in for service (not to the dealer) and the diagnostic computer couldn't find anything wrong. We replaced the plugs and wires and filters anyway, but no improvement.

I've noticed that the water temperature gauge might not be functioning properly. I think the thermostat is stuck open. Wish I'd had them change that out just for general principles when they did the timing belt.

General Comments:

I love this car. It's comfortable and great for long trips.

Gas mileage could use improvement -- I'm only getting about 17 mpg, but a little better on long trips, about 21 mpg.

I keep the interior as clean as I can and clean and dress the leather seats about every three months and they continue to look great.

From a performance perspective, it's a real dog -- but, hey, I didn't expect a race car out of a luxury wagon. I have a Porsche for that! :)

I've had none of the typical Audi electrical problems and am generally very satisfied.

I don't have a dealer available locally and have gotten to know my mechanic very well over the years given all of the German cars we've owned for the last 10 years. They always take good care of me and generally one trip fixes the problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2003

9th Apr 2004, 21:19

I have a 96 A6 and the anti-knock sensor was defective. Once I replaced that the power was much better.

12th Dec 2005, 18:39

It can't get anymore expensive than owning an A6. I've had my 96 A6 wagon for 3.5 years and I have probably spent close to 8,000 on repairs. I'm keeping it until the wheels fall off at this point. I have to say that it does hold the road well in the rain and snow.

6th Mar 2006, 10:03

My 96 A6 wagon has 185,000+ miles on it and without a doubt, has been the most trouble free vehicle I've owned (knock on wood). The paint is still looking great (silver) and the a/c belts it out great in summer. The heater seems to have a thermostat prob that takes it a bit to warm up, but other than that, I've got no complaints and would buy another one if I could find one to buy.

28th Feb 2008, 02:36

I just bought a 96 A6 Avant Quattro, and at 212k miles it is running great and strong! Not as powerful as my 01 4Runner, but it'll still win a couple of races (raced a TC and won)!

Great car and I'm very pleased with the fact that after twelve years, everything is still working great!

1996 Audi A6 TDI Avant 2.5 turbo diesel 5 cylinder from Germany


Comfy economic long distance runner


There were a few problems that were related to the Audi dealer's maintenance.

Lost the left indicators (twice) at high speed because they were not properly fixed.

Experienced increasing vibrations during a nightly ride on the Autobahn. Suspected failure of the wheel bearings, but apparently one of the front wheels was loose, all of which occurred after servicing the front disc brakes (Sic!).

Replacement of one of the nine bulbs in the dashboard required the dismantling of the steering wheel, the disconnection of the airbag unit and some other minor parts - this is too complicated as bulbs may always fail.

However the free Audi breakdown service was excellent in curing the problem and the garage tried everything to rule out the problems.

Oil consumption nearly nil during service intervals.

General Comments:

Very comfortable and economic long distance runner. Taking into account the empty weight of 1700 kg and the automatic gearbox, fuel consumption of about 7.5 litres/100 km at 150 kph with the air conditioning engaged is reasonable.

Large, spacious interior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2001