How Underrated is the C5 Audi A6 2.7T Manual?

Many Audis from the early ’00s are severely underrated and underappreciated. One of which might be among the most underrated and that’s the C5 Audi A6 2.7T. It’s a car that’s often overlooked by non-Audi enthusiasts for its boring looks and disregarded by Audi enthusiasts due to the horror stories of its poor reliability. However, it’s actually a car that was, and still is, surprisingly cool.


Admittedly, those aforementioned downsides aren’t without merit. Its looks are extremely bland, with almost no body lines or styling to speak of. It’s just a circular blob. Although, the 2.7T model did get Ultrasport wheels, which look great. It’s also not the most reliable of cars and that’s entirely due to its 2.7 liter bi-turbo engine.

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Having said that, the C5 Audi A6 2.7T can actually be a very cool car. For starters, the 2.7T model comes with the same 2.7 liter bi-turbo V6 engine as the B5-generation Audi S4. That means it makes 265 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque (or at least it did when it was new). So it’s got grunt and it can outrun even some sports cars of its time.


The best part, though, is that it came with a six-speed manual transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. So the A6 2.7T was a midsize luxury sedan with a bi-turbocharged engine, a proper manual gearbox and all-wheel drive. If that’s not a winning combination, I don’t know what is.

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Its interior was also quite nice as well, in a very typical early ’00s way. It’s simple and understated but very well built and made with lovely materials. Sure, its exterior is about as exciting as a tax audit but the interior is rather nice.


One bonus of the Audi A6 2.7T being underrated is that it’s cheap. Even nice examples can be had for $5,000 or less and, with that money, you’re getting a fast, fun-to-drive, luxurious executive sedan. It’s the sort of car with which you can drive to  work everyday, take your co-workers to lunch and still snake together a bit of twisty road on the way home.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.