Fine in principal, appalling in practise
Central locking failed at 41,000 miles (fixed under warranty)
Heated seats not working (fixed under warranty)
Battery failed at 48,000 miles.
Rear brake pipe failed 48,500 miles.
Brake down at 49,000 miles requiring new fuel injectors, spark plugs, thermostat, and ECU.
Temperature gauge failed at 50,000 miles.
Air conditioner developed intermittent fault at 50,000 miles, condenser fan replaced.
CV joints failed at 52,000 miles.
Audi Concert stereo developed intermittent fault at 55,000 miles.
Track-rod ends failed 59,000 miles.
The auto-box is becoming lazy and is sometimes reluctant to shift, sometimes delivering jerky changes.
The A6 is a joy to drive, and the 30-valve 2.8 litre V6 is a formidable power plant which packs a real punch, whilst also being very refined. Handling is as good as you would expect from this type of car; clearly delivering the levels of comfort expected in an executive cruiser requires some compromise in nimbleness, but the Audi doesn't spring any nasty surprises.
The cabin has a feel of quality about it, and the Bose sound system is considerably better than many people have in the homes. Overall it's a nice place to spend some time.
But (and it's a very big "but"), as you will note from the lengthy list of faults and failures, ownership has been a deeply painful experience. Ownership doesn't get much more expensive than this. Over the worst 6-month period, I picked up garage bills of about £2,500 exclusive of regular service costs.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 1st March, 2004